If buying this mini with cash is "paying to win," was obtaining it at PAX "showing up at PAX to win?"
I understand what you're saying. I do think its a tad extreme. Yes, I would be very uncomfortable with buying outright the end goal of a game, but who gets to say what could or should have been a PvE reward if it never was to start with? Sorry to resort to a slippery-slope argument, but by this logic is anything acceptable for the gem store? Any given item could have been a PvE reward instead.
I happen to think its a monumentally stupid way to spend your money, but unless this mini was an actual end game reward, this isn't pay to win.
Well, I never said it was actually pay to win, I said if such a thing existed for PvE, this would be close. And, there is a difference between gem store items and things that require actually using real life money to buy.
I'm just sick of the focus on selling things and time gating everything rather than allowing people to just play. I would much rather see this as an elite sPvP or WvW reward than a credit card reward.
Pay to win is a bad term, but there should be a term for these kinds of things. It reminds me of the Oblivian Horse Armor DLC. I don't remember that going over well either.
As for the promotion, I really don't care much... I think its a mistake to start selling the previously exclusive items through the gem shop, but only because its certain to upset people who obtained them the "hard" way. A larger issue is that, where anet/NCSoft seems to be feeling the need to milk more and more money from the players, I don't see them offering much in the way of worthwhile items in the shop. Even GW1's extremely limited cash shop had more things of interest to me than GW2's gigantic mess of a gem store.
After buying bank storage and character slots, there isn't really much worth buying... I mean, does anybody care that much about minipets in this game? They blend into the background and are often kinda crummy looking to boot. How about boosters? Real world money for temporary weak stat boosts? No thanks. Town clothes? What's the point, when they can't be worn over armor (something even the costumes in GW1 could do even before GW2 came out). Do we have anything interesting like a bonus mission pack in the gem store? All in all, I don't see the point. Yeah, you can convert the gems to gold, but as soon as you do it, chances are you've lost potential wealth since the conversion rates rise pretty steadily.... and where's the fun in that? RPGs aren't especially fun when you have things handed to you for no work. (Please don't take this as a pro-grind argument). GW2's gem shop is a complete waste in my opinion, so this promotion only serves to remind me of that, causing further discouragement about all the lost potential of this game.
+1 This is a better point than the one I made.
Edited by El Duderino, 02 December 2013 - 11:11 PM.