We already know that DUST 514 will be completely free, but developer CCP is keeping microtransaction costs to a minimum as well.
According to CCP vice president of Art Morgan Godat, putting together a loadout with the game's "very top end" gear should cost around 24 cents. This includes guns, weapons, and other items.
The tiny fee is meant to offset the number of times you'll end up buying that gear. See, you actually lose all of it when you die, meaning you could wind up buying the same things over and over again.
Godat clarified the system a little bit:
"There's a thing about Dust, which is every time you die, you lose your items, so we're talking about relatively small amounts of money," said Godat. "You can buy 100 copies of this gun, you can buy 100 copies of this suit of armour. We've got to make sure we're pricing things at the right level, because if you die [you lose these things].
"We're still tuning prices - the costs will change according to the feedback we get on the beta - but I believe when I calculated it last, at its most high-end - if you assume that somebody came in and had to buy, with real-world money, the best gear for a serious throw down - (they already had the skills, which by the way you have to build up and work up to be able to use the equipment) it was like a 24-cent thing.
"That's assuming every piece of your equipment, including your dropsuit, was purchased with real-world money, and every time you died, it was a 24-cent cost to assemble your entire fit."
All this hypothetical talk assumes the player is completely decked out in paid gear (there is free loot), obviously, and reached the "very top end of the gear progression."
DUST 514 currently remains in closed beta, and CCP is taking the opportunity to figure out exactly how the pricing will work. Players are already buying in-game goodies with their real money, and Godat is confident their current pricing arrangement is "in the right area."
Once the beta ends, characters will be wiped, and players who spent real money will receive refunds.