Pay to win

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Ashes of Creation will not be pay to win.[1][2][3]

Ashes of Creation will not be pay to win, that is our pledge to the community. One of the core principles we set forth with Ashes of Creation is a very strong desire to maintain the game's even playing field.[3]

A lot of developers and companies have come along in the past- and I've been hit by this too- and they've said we're not going to have pay-to-win and then boom they roll out some pay-to-win. We have consistently said we won't be pay-to-win and in the pre-orders that we provide and even in the Kickstarter there were absolutely zero pay-to-win components whatsoever. So not only will we talk the talk but we will walk the walk as well.[2]Steven Sharif

Because we are a non-box purchase game, meaning there is no box price to play Ashes of Creation, it is only a subscription; and that's beneficial because it reduces the barrier of entry and we want a high population obviously; but at the same time one of the ways we augment the revenue flows to sustain constant updates and new chapter releases and additional content within the game is through a cosmetic-only marketplace; and that means absolutely no pay-to-win whatsoever; and that will be adhered to forever.[1]Steven Sharif

Inventory slots, RNG loot boxes and XP potions are considered pay-to-win.[4][5][6][7]

We will not use a loot box system for cosmetics either. We currently have a cosmetic store that offers limited time, limited quantity items to help sustain game development. These items are purely decorative and do not offer any in-game benefits.[4]

My definition of pay-to-win is really anything that affects the in-game economy, the in-game action pool, your abilities and/or skills... In my opinion the inventory slots and the XP potions would be considered pay-to-win.[6]Steven Sharif

Q: Will there be RNG boxes?
A: I dislike RNG. Archeage made me loath rng monetization gimmicks.[7]Steven Sharif

Subscription model

Game time is currently purchasable in Pre-order packs.[11]

This allows us to avoid the pay to win mentality many free-to-play games employ, as well as maintain a steady flow of new content for all our players.[12]

Ashes of Creation (the MMORPG) is a subscription based game.[12]

  • The monthly subscription fee is USD $14.99.[13][14]
    • Certain regions will have "harmonized" subscription prices that better reflect their local economies. These regions will be segregated from other regions.[15]

I think a sub cost provides both the barrier of entry to prevent, some not all, but mitigate some gold selling bots and whatnot because there's a cost associated with playing the game, but it's also not too high that it gets on the greedy side or prevents a lot of players from participating and trying the game; and then if the game is good then people will continue to subscribe and that subscription provides funding and revenue for the developers to continue a significant content creation and expansion rollout for the game.[2]Steven Sharif

  • Subscriptions will begin at launch or, subject to change, a user may be able to choose to activate their subscription to start at a particular point in time.[19]

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse was free-to-play.[21][22]

  • These are stand-alone modes that will be open to everyone, not just backers.[21][22][23][24]

There is no P2W in Apocalypse or the MMORPG![22]

Box cost

There is no upfront box cost associated with Ashes of Creation.[25]

Nobody should feel that they have to back the project to see it come to life. It's coming to life regardless of that. You do it because you want to support us and that's fine; and if you don't want to, that's also fine as well. We want to hear your voice and we want you to be part of the community, so that's a very important aspect. Nothing we offer in the pre-order packages are power driven. They don't give any competitive advantage to an individual who backs the game.[26]Steven Sharif


DLC expansions (post-launch releases) are planned on a monthly, quarterly, or six-monthly basis.[27][28]

  • The frequency and size of expansions will be based on the popularity and subscription base of the game.[27]
  • New content will primarily be introduced through the node system. The goal is for existing content to remain relevant alongside the new content.[32]

Because of the modularity of a lot of the systems that we're working on, it's not too hard to iterate and implement new things... We're planning on going on a quarterly/ monthly cycle to continue to push out new content.[33]Jeffrey Bard

The quarterly cycle for the big content is good for us and then, as you said, those modular components to our mechanisms in the game allow for us to introduce smaller content patches that can be seen in real time in the world.[33]Steven Sharif

We don't intend to a wordsmith around future charge for DLC content. As a subscription model, that's part of the agreement between us as a Studio and you guys: That there will be regularly scheduled updates and chapters; and that subscription is what allows you to access that content.[30]Steven Sharif

Cosmetic store

Ashes of Creation cosmetic store.[34]

There is going to be legendary cosmetics that can be earned and achieved in the game through the game systems, but that's going to take a significant amount of effort and work; and those cosmetics are going to be on-par with the cosmetics offered in the marketplace... What that does is it provides additional revenue to the company so that we can continue to fund the development of content as well and bridge the divide that not having a box cost would have and not having any pay-to-win mechanics whatsoever.[2]Steven Sharif

The Cosmetic store enables players to purchase Cosmetics for use in Ashes of Creation.[35] The cosmetic store offers limited time, limited quantity items to help sustain game development.[36]

  • Equitable cosmetics, both from a quantity and quality standpoint, are achievable through in-game means.[36]
  • Nothing in the cosmetic store will be pay to win.[37]

Nothing in our shop will ever be pay to win as we believe this practice greatly hurts the MMORPG genre.[37]

  • Cash shop cosmetics will offer a diverse selection of unique looks.[38]

I want to incentivize purchase in the cosmetic shop for sustainability of what expansions we have intended, since we are not a box cost. I want to incentivize purchase by offering limited items: limited time, limited quantity, so you have confidence that when you purchase them, they won't be offered later on in some other way.[36]Steven Sharif

  • All cosmetic store items will be non-tradeable.[39] There will be no gifting mechanism for cosmetic items.[40]

I don't want cosmetic items that can be purchased from the market to be transferable... because it is in a way a transfer of money for potentially something in-game.[40]Steven Sharif


Cinderhorn Steer pre-order pack cosmetic mount skin.[41]

Providing these limited options that collectors out there like when it comes to achieving and/or purchasing cosmetics. It means something I think when players make that decision to purchase or they go through the rigorous portion of achieving those things in game that it is not just everywhere around them and becomes meaningless at that point.[1]Steven Sharif

Pets, Mounts, Armor, Buildings and Accessories sold in the cosmetic store are skins.[42]

  • The flavor text next to store items relates to the lore and background of creatures and items in the world of Verra.[43]
  • Caravan skins change the appearance of an in-game mount and in-game caravan that are hooked up to each other.[46][47]
    • The caravan and mount skin components are not able to be utilized separately.[46][47]
  • The best skins will be in-game achievable.[48]

The best skins will be in-game achievable (obviously “best” is subjective, so I’d say the most ornate and detailed/unique).[48]Steven Sharif


Intrepid Studios does not plan to introduce NFTs or any other type of play-to-earn mechanics into Ashes of Creation.[49][50]

To be really clear, we have no plans to have NFTs in Ashes of Creation, or any other "play-to-earn" mechanics.[49]

Power creep

The developers intend to limit power creep via item sinks, the lack of gear binding, and the absence of pay-to-win or pay-to-convenience in Ashes of Creation.[51]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (56:02).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:53:46).
  3. 3.0 3.1 kickstarter p2w.png
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 loot-boxes.png
  5. 5.0 5.1 Livestream, 25 July 2020 (48:28).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:57:56).
  7. 7.0 7.1 RNG boxes.png
  8. Interview, 13 June 2021 (48:27).
  9. steven-multi-boxing-3.png
  10. steven-multiple-accounts.png
  11. Pre-order packs
  12. 12.0 12.1 kickstarter subscription.png
  13. toast-subscription.png
  14. Livestream, 4 May 2018 (53:34).
  15. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:21:03).
  16. braver of worlds.png
  17. Summer Braver of Worlds.png
  18. steven-lifetime.png
  19. Livestream, 26 February 2021 (1:08:47).
  20. alpha-1-and-game-time.png
  21. 21.0 21.1 Livestream, 31 October 2018 (38:47).
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Blog: Steam Announce And Play Test FAQ For Ashes of Creation Apocalypse
  23. Livestream, 1 September 2018 (1:05:10).
  24. alpha-1-news.png
  25. kickstarter box cost.png
  26. Livestream, 23 December 2021 (1:23:41).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 Interview, 7 February 2021 (21:57).
  28. Livestream, 8 May 2017 (11:14).
  29. screenshot 328.png
  30. 30.0 30.1 Livestream, 17 August 2018 (1:02:38).
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:26:54).
  32. Interview, 13 June 2021 (42:22).
  33. 33.0 33.1 Livestream, 1 June 2017 (19:12).
  34. Ashes of Creation cosmetic store.
  35. cosmetics obtaining.png
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (58:29).
  37. 37.0 37.1 kickstarter microtransactions.png
  38. equitable-cosmetics-quote.png
  39. cash shop non tradable.jpg
  40. 40.0 40.1 Interview, 11 May 2018 (32:36).
  41. Ashes of Creation Store: Pay to win.
  42. cosmetic skins.png
  43. 43.0 43.1 Rime and Regal.
  44. Livestream, 6 December 2018 (41:43).
  45. Livestream, 30 November 2020 (58:24).
  46. 46.0 46.1 toast-caravan-skins.png
  47. 47.0 47.1 margaret-caravan-skins.png
  48. 48.0 48.1 steven-best-skins.png
  49. 49.0 49.1 [Reddit - Developer response regarding play-to-earn mechanics. Reddit - Developer response regarding play-to-earn mechanics.]
  50. margaret-nfts.png
  51. Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:53:52).