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Would it be possible to have better clarity on final prices and have different paying methods ?

Long time lurker first time poster here;

A couple days ago after the announcement that alpha one keys packs would return to the store and after following the project for quite some time i decided to consider the idea of shedding more than i had planned previously and go ahead supporting the game with the new equivalent of the braver of worlds pack (which was rumored to be 500$ shortly after the time of the announcement and then confirmed by the latest post).

After dwelling on it for quite some time i decided to make some comparisons with a game i previously supported and became,through the years,somewhat successful,Path of Exile.

I'll preface this by saying i have no problem whatsoever with the price ranges of both the kickstarter campaign or the current site ones as path of exile had similar ones once we got off closed beta and i feel like any project should give the individual possibility to anybody supporting them in the best way they see fit.

That being said what garnered my attention was the structure/content itself and main differences between the two models;

I took the biggest range supporter pack available for the Path of Exile Closed Beta as comparison and (even though it costs twice than the current biggest one available for Ashes of Creation) you can just eyeball the main differences;

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This is what the current structure of the Adventurer Pre-Order Package looks like : source

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  • Adventurer Pre-Order Package / 500$
  • Access to Alpha One test phase
  • Access to future Alpha Two test phase
  • Access to future Beta One test phase
  • Access to future Beta Two test phase
  • 11 months of game time (165$ value)
  • 150$ in Embers (in-game marketplace credits, NO P2W!)
  • Steelreef Pauldron (Accessory Cosmetic Skin)
  • Geyser Glider (Pet Cosmetic Skin)
  • Maelstrom's Crown (Mount Cosmetic Skin)
  • Mail of the Fathom's Fury (Costume Cosmetic Skin)
  • Coral Courser (Naval Cosmetic Skin)
  • Boundless Basin (Freehold Building Cosmetic Skin)
  • Name Reservation

This is what the Path of Exile Closed Beta packs structure looked like : source at the bottom of the page

  • Diamond Pack / $1000 / 10000 points (these are the equivalent of Ashes of Creation embers)
  • Diamond Kiwi Pet
  • 5 Closed Beta Keys
  • Diamond Supporter Forum Title (this is basically a forum badge you can see under your name in the forums)
  • Digital Soundtrack Download
  • Your name in the Path of Exile credits
  • A custom forum account avatar designed to your request
  • Collaborate with us designing a Unique Item based on your design (unique items are legendary items in game)
  • Map of Wraeclast Poster (physical good)
  • Path of Exile DVD and Soundtrack CD (physical good)
  • Path of Exile T-shirt (physical good)
  • All posted items signed on request
  • All physical goods came with free international shipping.

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Now, just for the sake of clarity and in light of making a complete fair comparison,most people will probably just look at the return they are getting in in-game points/monthly sub fee (PoE points and Embers+sub fee) and draw their conclusions off of that alone, but keep in mind the Path of Exile shop has always been notorious for having blown out prices; source
I tried looking up if Intrepid studios released any statement regarding their future in-game cosmetics prices but i couldn't find anything official other than content creators speculations which makes it sort of hard (more like impossible) making a full fair comparison between the two.

''Ok mate,we get it,but why make the comparison in the first place ? everyone's entitled to adopt the best marketing model they see fit'' and i completely agree, but as a consumer i would like everything (or close to) to be crystal clear before making a financial decision of any magnitude given some of the projects that came up in the past years have been controversial to say the least , i think it's healthier for both the developers and the consumers and it doesn't hurt having more light shed on the topic which could possibly lead to more sales in the long run,but this stamement more so applies to another topic that surprised most non-US residents from what i could see;

The applied VAT ( value-added tax ).
I have to admit i wasn't surprised by the VAT applied to the product but the reason behind it wasn't because i saw it in the FAQ or mentioned on the site but because one of the content creators mentioned it and i decided to look it up beforehand and i have to admit it was a first for me,even considering path of exile (which is NZ based) i have never been hit with VAT before* regarding similar type of products,which is quite the downside if you are from a high VAT country (like the scandinavians countries) and that 500$ automatically becomes 625$ (not including services fees which is my next and final point). *I want to clarify that in no way i blame anybody/the developers over this,but from a consumer standpoint it just plain irks.

Now this will be my final point and the reason that's holding me off for now (and i understand it's gonna look like a minor nuisance but you have to understand it's a personal point of view and there have been past encounters and problems with said service/payment processor);

The checkout process is handled through the Russian based Xsolla payment processor, now, if you come from Path of Exile like me you might understand why this is a huge deterrent and might keep people away from a final purchase,but to sum it up from past problems and the fallout that came off of it within the PoE community :

  • When Xsolla was first introduced as a paying method on Path of Exile numerous users reported transactions not going through and being withheld by their own banking providers since Xsolla has an incredibly shady reputation among banks regarding their business practices (Namely chargebacks and extra fees).
  • The above mentioned problem came into light when at some point Xsolla was used on twitch and applying a % tip fee that people had no clue about (it wasn't mentioned anywhere) and after countless tries with their customer support (which has sky high negative reviews) that led nowhere people decided to go through with chargebacks that eventually earned the service the shady label and being automatically red flagged by some banking providers.
  • Their customer support was absolutely abysmal to say the least,for most of the problems or issues you had you'd just get stonewalled to no avail until you eventually gave up (i can't speak for the past year and a half since i haven't bought anything through them since i switched over to steam payments regarding PoE).
  • Their currency exchange rate was never on point (again,i can't confirm for the past year and a half since i have since abandoned this service for good back in the days).

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I understand Intrepid Studios probably picked Xsolla over say, as an example, Stripe or Paypal since they both takes a bigger cut but i would rather walk the extra mile and feeling at ease with my payments instead of going through a shady service just for the sake of profit,especially given in the future it might not be a one time thing but a continuous payment plan with the monthly sub model.

So i'm here asking :

  • Would it be possible or are you considering implementing different paying processors/methods in the future ?
  • Will pre-order packs models ever change/evolve to give different options ?
  • Are you considering implementing payment plans like Path of Exile did ?

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Sorry in advance for my broken english as it ain't my native language and thanks for taking the time to read through the whole thing if you reached this far,my only request is to keep the discussion polite and more drama-free as possible.

We will have alternate payment processor options implemented this month.

[source]