You only need to pay $40 to retain access to updates, you can still use the software. If you let it lapse after the first year, and renew 2 years after, you still only need to pay $40 to gain access to the newest updates.
yeah, i see that xenforo is the best and i like it too much, but im accustomed to vb4, who provides life time updates for vb4.. this on xf would be great but i appreciate the effort that xf developers made and i understand that they need money to grow
I want to say patches would be free but so far I don't think this particular topic has come up (or at least it was so small I don't recall anything about it). The only thread on a search was here but there wasn't a confirmation.