Pay-to-Win (P2W) is an OBSCENELY broad term. It varies from person to person and from game to game. In World of Warcraft, apparently buying a mount is already P2W for some people. Go figure. But in games like Blade and Soul where the cash shop has the huge possibility of being a big, deciding factor in player progression, it gets a bit more nitty-gritty.
Blade and Soul Gold: The Game is NOT P2W
First of all, what is my definition of P2W? Well, that’s being able to use Blade and Soul gold and/or real money to purchase gear that would not be otherwise accessible for free. And when I mean gear, I don’t mean cosmetics; what I’m looking at are those kinds of broken items like super powerful weapons and armor that are game changing in both PvP and PvE. By my definition, Blade and Soul is definitely NOT P2W as there are no such things that can be purchased in its cash shop. But I WILL say that BnS is pay-for-convenience as having a ton of BnS gold or real disposable income can greatly reduce the stress and time consumption of F2P grinding.
With that in mind, it’s clear that Blade and Soul’s population, those that claim it is P2W, clearly have a different standard for it. Apparently, quicker progression equates to “winning” the game when, in fact, there’s no real way to “win” an MMO. It’s infinite progression that gets updated every month and PvP arenas are games of skill rather than games of gear. It doesn’t really matter how much BnS gold you make with your characters, you certainly can’t pay your way to the top unless getting achievements in dungeons or instances matter so much to you. If people like paying for faster prog, then why not? There are folks capable of doing the same level of progression without paying a real dollar; just pure work and then some. That’s something you certainly cannot buy.