Payment model

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Game time is currently purchasable in Pre-order packs.[1]

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.[2]

Ashes of Creation (the MMORPG) is a subscription based game.[2]

Certain regions will have "harmonized" subscription prices that better reflect their local economies. Harmonized regions will be segregated from other regions.[5]Ry Schueller
  • 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.[11]
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.[13]Steven Sharif
There is no P2W in Apocalypse or the MMORPG![15]

Pay to win

Ashes of Creation will not be pay to win.[16][13][17]

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.[17]

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.[13]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.[16]Steven Sharif

Inventory slots, RNG loot boxes and XP potions are considered pay-to-win.[18][19][20][21]

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.[18]

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.[20]Steven Sharif

Q: Will there be RNG boxes?
A: I dislike RNG. Archeage made me loath rng monetization gimmicks.[21]Steven Sharif

Cosmetic store (micro transactions)

Ashes of Creation cosmetic store.[25]

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.[13]Steven Sharif

The Cosmetic store enables players to purchase Cosmetics for use in Ashes of Creation.[26] The cosmetic store offers limited time, limited quantity items to help sustain game development.[27]

  • Equitable cosmetics, both from a quantity and quality standpoint, are achievable through in-game means.[27]
  • Nothing in the cosmetic store will be pay to win.[28]

Nothing in our shop will ever be pay to win as we believe this practice greatly hurts the MMORPG genre.[28]

  • Cash shop cosmetics will offer a diverse selection of unique looks.[29]

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.[27]Steven Sharif

  • All cosmetic store items will be non-tradeable.[30] There will be no gifting mechanism for cosmetic items.[31]

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.[31]Steven Sharif


Cinderhorn Steer pre-order pack cosmetic mount skin.[32]

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.[16]Steven Sharif

Accessories/armor, Buildings, Caravans, Mounts, Pets, and Ships sold in the cosmetic store are skins.[33][34][35]

Owning cosmetics does not guarantee the acquisition of the item the cosmetic can be used on. Players must still achieve the corresponding item/building.[37]Steven Sharif
  • The lore on store cosmetics is flavor text.[36]
  • The best skins will be in-game achievable.[45]
The best skins will be in-game achievable (obviously “best” is subjective, so I’d say the most ornate and detailed/unique).[45]Steven Sharif


Intrepid Studios does not plan to introduce NFTs or any other type of play-to-earn mechanics into Ashes of Creation.[46][47]

To be really clear, we have no plans to have NFTs in Ashes of Creation, or any other "play-to-earn" mechanics.[46]

Box cost

There is no upfront box cost associated with Ashes of Creation.[48]

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.[49]Steven Sharif


Intrepid Studios will self-publish Ashes of Creation in the NA (North American), OCE (Oceanic) and SEA (Southeast Asia) regions.[50][51]

We have learned a lot from our partnership with MY.GAMES, and we wish our friends there all the best as we have mutually decided to part ways. Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce that Intrepid Studios will be opening European offices in Amsterdam to help support our publishing operations in the EU/CIS regions. We have recently posted open positions for our new EU offices, and look forward to hiring the best and brightest in true Intrepid fashion.[52]Steven Sharif

The Ashes of Creation MMORPG will not be published on the Steam platform.[53]

Testing phases

Ashes of Creation testing phases.

Ashes of Creation's core game systems are expected to be in place at the start of Alpha-2.[62][63] By the end of Alpha-2, the game is expected to be feature complete, but it will not be content complete until launch.[64][65]

The game will be feature complete before Beta... Beta really is intended to identify last minute bugs to make sure that everything is ready for launch; it's important that all features are complete by Beta-1. Alpha-2 will not be feature complete at the start of Alpha-2. There are going to be updates that are going to be incorporated as part of the Alpha-2 process and there are going to be additional features that come online that get fleshed out between that time and Beta-1. There's going to be regions of the maps that aren't going to be accessible of course during Alpha-2.[65]Steven Sharif
Alpha-2 is intended to exist up until launch. There's going to be different testing periods that we will be releasing either new content locations or zones or systems that we want to have players focus in on. In those situations, if we're having participation drought because of the length of Alpha-2, we can set them up in a more focused setting. We can even incentivize that. We can offer unique testing to potentially new testers as well.[64]Steven Sharif
  • The developers will not necessarily announce NDA testing periods.[69]


DLC expansions (post-launch releases) are planned on a monthly, quarterly, or six-monthly basis.[71][72]

  • The frequency and size of expansions will be based on the popularity and subscription base of the game.[71]
  • New content will primarily be introduced through the node system. The goal is for existing content to remain relevant alongside the new content.[76]
  • Expansions provide an opportunity for the developers to evaluate ways to unlock content that was not readily experienced by players in the previous release.[77]
Each inflection point, which is those updates as expansions... you get to go back reevaluate. Hey, it seems like 89% of the servers out there never opened this door. Well, maybe the predicates were too granular. Maybe they were too focused. Maybe there's a reason why that didn't happen? Let's expand on that for the next expansion so that this content has an opportunity to come out and see the light of day.[77]Steven Sharif

See also


  1. Pre-order packs
  2. 2.0 2.1 kickstarter subscription.png
  3. toast-subscription.png
  4. Livestream, May 4, 2018 (53:34).
  5. 5.0 5.1 roshen-harmonized.png
  6. Livestream, July 25, 2020 (1:21:03).
  7. margaret-region-locking.png
  8. braver of worlds.png
  9. Summer Braver of Worlds.png
  10. steven-lifetime.png
  11. Livestream, February 26, 2021 (1:08:47).
  12. alpha-1-and-game-time.png
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Livestream, July 25, 2020 (1:53:46).
  14. Livestream, October 31, 2018 (38:47).
  15. 15.0 15.1 Blog: Steam Announce And Play Test FAQ For Ashes of Creation Apocalypse
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Livestream, November 30, 2020 (56:02).
  17. 17.0 17.1 kickstarter p2w.png
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 loot-boxes.png
  19. 19.0 19.1 Livestream, July 25, 2020 (48:28).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:57:56).
  21. 21.0 21.1 RNG boxes.png
  22. Interview, June 13, 2021 (48:27).
  23. steven-multi-boxing-3.png
  24. steven-multiple-accounts.png
  25. 25.0 25.1 Ashes of Creation cosmetic store.
  26. cosmetics obtaining.png
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (58:29).
  28. 28.0 28.1 kickstarter microtransactions.png
  29. equitable-cosmetics-quote.png
  30. cash shop non tradable.jpg
  31. 31.0 31.1 Interview, May 11, 2018 (32:36).
  32. Ashes of Creation Store: Payment model.
  33. cosmetic skins.png
  34. Cygnus.png
  35. Pimp your caravan.jpg
  36. 36.0 36.1 Rime and Regal.
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 steven-cosmetic-skins.png
  38. Livestream, December 6, 2018 (41:43).
  39. Livestream, June 30, 2023 (1:15:34).
  40. Livestream, November 30, 2020 (57:50).
  41. Livestream, August 28, 2020 (2:14:06).
  42. cosmetic-levels.png
  43. 43.0 43.1 toast-caravan-skins.png
  44. 44.0 44.1 margaret-caravan-skins.png
  45. 45.0 45.1 steven-best-skins.png
  46. 46.0 46.1 Reddit - Developer response regarding play-to-earn mechanics.
  47. margaret-nfts.png
  48. kickstarter box cost.png
  49. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (1:23:41).
  50. steven-publishing-oce-sea.png
  51. Interview, August 21, 2018 (11:20).
  52. 52.0 52.1 Blog: New Adventure Awaits.
  53. ashes-steam.png
  54. apoc-offline.png
  55. 55.0 55.1 Kickstarter packages.
  56. MMOGAMES Interview, 2017-09-8.
  57. beta 0.png
  58. Intrepid pre-order pack.
  59. Adventurer pre-order pack.
  60. PAX West 2017 Alpha package.
  61. PAX West 2017 Beta package.
  62. Livestream, March 31, 2023 (1:24:21).
  63. Podcast, September 29, 2021 (59:29).
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 Livestream, April 7, 2023 (28:08).
  65. 65.0 65.1 Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:08:49).
  66. Livestream, March 31, 2023 (5:57).
  67. Livestream, July 30, 2021 (45:11).
  68. Livestream, January 18, 2018 (25:22).
  69. Interview, July 9, 2023 (26:35).
  70. server wipe.jpg
  71. 71.0 71.1 71.2 71.3 71.4 71.5 71.6 Interview, February 7, 2021 (21:57).
  72. Livestream, May 8, 2017 (11:14).
  73. screenshot 328.png
  74. Livestream, August 17, 2018 (1:02:38).
  75. 75.0 75.1 75.2 75.3 75.4 Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:26:54).
  76. Interview, June 13, 2021 (42:22).
  77. 77.0 77.1 Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:02:27).