When we designed those perks back in 2015 we tried hard to keep them simple and not «pay to win», because we are absolutely against microtransactions or cash shops. But we wanted to be able to give people little perks that were nice little «boosters» for their support. Some people enjoy gear, others want a title, hoarders will enjoy tax-free house, etc.

There's plenty of time, so no rush, and feel free to pop into our Discord if you have questions. I'm actively around various sites today answering questions, but over the next 48 hours I'll probably end up forgetting about all the places where I was chatting!
It's only the price/tax removal if you pre-order at that tier; they are not unique houses.

And while players who pre-ordered will have a slight headstart from the gear they obtained as part of their pre-order, it's far from game breaking and more like little heirloom items that give you a slight boost to run speed and the like. Perks for having been a supporter in the early days of our game.

Collector's Edition contains the cloth map + signed copy of Book One. And honestly, at least the cloth map will likely carry over to the CE we have available for sale closer to launch (because cloth maps kick ass!).
It can be. The WoW developers heavily played EverQuest while they were developing their initial game. It was primarily enjoyment for them, but they were also getting valuable hands-on research for things they wanted to do in their own title.

From our own vaults, that's also why we have our Saga of Lucimia gaming community and roll from game to game with them. It's partly for enjoyment and doing things with them outside of our own alpha, but it's also valuable research into how different games are doing things and whether or not there are aspects that we want to apply to our own game.

Pantheon, for example; our entire team (like many old-school MMORPG players) is waiting for that game to come out so we can go full-bore hardcore. But, they are also our «competition», so you can absolutely be sure we will be paying attention to how they are doing things, and you know they are doing the same :)
We look at them like Kickstarter rewards: they are there only for the people who pre-order. Kickstarter awards go away after the campaign; they do not typically carry over to launch. So in that sense, we are similar to a crowdfunded game, even though we are not crowdfunded. The rewards are special perks/bonuses for the people who were there for us from the beginning.
We're still not 100% sure. John and I would like to keep that option available throughout alpha for existing customers, but our engineering team has come up against some reasons why they would prefer to keep things simple and just shut everything off, so we'll be making a decision on that in the next couple of months.
Also, yeah, I've been playing Betrayal at Krondor a couple of times per week (but not streaming lately) on the DOSBox; was surprised to see that on GOG, to be honest, but it was only a few dollars and I had not played it since I was maybe 15 years old.
Sounds like the case. Damn you, Google Translate!

But yeah, it's sad how many developers don't bother to play. Like, how the hell can you make a game if you don't play games first!?!?!

I've been an addict since like 1985. Text-based games and then adventure games from Sierra and Lucasarts and beyond. Until I die :)
Actually, our pre-order numbers have never been better. Last month was record sales, and this month we have already had record numbers daily.

Investors are coming in not because we need them to launch, but because we want to speed up development, and hire 6 — 8 full-time new employees to help us achieve that goal.

We can launch with the team we have now, but it will take us longer than we desire. So we are raising some money to hire those 6- 8 full-time employees and take our team size from 14 to 20+

And yes, the Dual Universe example is exactly true: they wanted to increase the team and have a second studio, and that kind of money does not come from players with 40 dollar purchase. Unless you go the Star Citizen route and sell all sorts of ships and digital products.

We don't have a cash store, so for us we are going with investors for the expansion.
Also, something to clarify:

We do not *need* investment money to finish our game. We are fine doing things as we have been doing, with our pre-order store + our own money and time.

However, we want to launch sooner, rather than later, so bringing on investors allows us to hire 6 — 8 full-time employees, which helps us launch more quickly and expand certain aspects of the game.
So I'm here replying in English (based on good old rough Google Translate), so hopefully folks can understand my reply and/or translate (I'm assuming most folks on this site speak at least basic English; unfortunately my Russian was never that good, even after a few years living in Bulgaria and learning BG and RS a bit):

I work 12 — 14 hours a day on Stormhaven Studios + Saga of Lucimia. I play video games for roughly 2 hours every day. Some is for fun, some is for research. I also watch 1-2 shows with my wife every evening. I also cook all of our meals, work out for an hour a day, and do most of our grocery shopping.

There are 14 people currently working on JUST the MMORPG. My job is to manage the teams + work on writing quests + work on the novels + work on the tabletop game.
I am the ONLY person working on the novels + tabletop game, although there is some crossover with our 2d artists as their concept art is not only used for the MMORPG, but also for the tabletop books.

I am a gamer. I play games every day. Games were the inspiration to make my own. Of course I play every day! And there is nothing wrong with taking two hours a day of personal time to play games. I already work 12 — 14 hours a day building an MMORPG + game studio, almost five years without a salary. What more do people want? :)