And then to an actual pay to win game that caters not only to casual whales but also hardcore whales. Maplestory.
Sure, you might say that Maplestory isn’t a pay to win game, that you can get entirely to endgame without being “funded” (not entirely true, as long as we’re talking about GMS, and yes I have played on KMS where it isn’t pay to win).
The reason why Maplestory is pay to win is because after a certain point, to improve, you must spend real money. It is technically possible to improve through drops, however you’re relying on RNG drops that are intentionally low to the point of non-existent bar that one guy everyone is yelling at, to have a chance, just as low, of improving your items.
The reason why not all Maplestory official servers are pay to win is because in KMS (I have not played JMS or TMS or EMS or MSea, although I hear bad things about TMS, EMS and MSea) basically every event shop comes with these pay to win items, meaning it’s entirely possible to “create” a godly weapon over time. It’s not reliant on super low RNG (although it technically is, since you are still re-rolling your stats, but so are the people that pay real money) and it isn’t unreasonable to obtain.
And for the casual whales, they have “gem store outfits” which you can put on over you clothes to improve you visuals. There are some items that give stat advantage or gameplay advantages, such as pets who can loot, buff, and even use potions for you. However, they are also attainable ingame as drops. In KMS, the outfits are permanent (bar the ridiculously cheap sales which are about 1/10 of the price and last for 365 days). In GMS, the outfits last 3 months (last I checked) at the same price. Additionally GMS used to (still does, maybe?) have skill books that required you to use the gem-store equivalent to purchase them as certain classes, meaning that if you were playing those classes you could not progress your skills past a certain point, thereby creating a paywall. In KMS, the skill books were not implemented in the gem store and were released as boss drops.
Do note that KMS came out before GMS and is the furthest out of all Maplestory servers. It has also been the most fair of all Maplestory games, even though Nexon has a lot of sneaky schemes with the game. A LOT. I can keep going on about how Maplestory is bad (even KMS has bad, I just didn’t touch on it).
Tl;dr: GW2 is not P2W, not even with the Watchwork Mining Pick. I bought one and while I do admit that it is silly that it has an advantage over all other mining picks, it isn’t pay to win. If they change it, I will be fine, although I would like to ask for a refund because I bought it specifically for the fact that it has an advantage since I have a legacy Molten Pick. Just my few cents… or dollars, I guess..