Thankfully the GW2 team seems to have plenty of people still focused on making a game they'd want to play, and the impact of what's currently offered in the gem store should be minimal. But the underlying principle of providing an advantage to players with more disposable income is still present and it's a slippery slope. And it's not just the offerings that are directly in the gem store. With RMT in place, anything that can be acquired with gold can also be acquired with real money. Including consumables that improve in-game fighting capabilities, like food and potions.
It's no game-breaker (far from it), since they're all craftable and so far seem completely unnecessary. But I genuinely believe that the game would be better without RMT and the gem store boosts. And the consumables. All of them. I hate consumables.
Difference being, one opinion is actually correct, and based on reality.
There is no ****ing way that getting to 80 in gw2 is like an Olympic race. The winner gets absolutely no special reward compared to the people who reach 80 after them.
Blinkie Ponie Armie [BPA] :: The Order of Dii [Dii]
There's nothing you can pay to help you with the race, but paying a trainer will help you get there sooner.
I can see why some people think it gives people an unfair advantage over others. In a way it is more a 'pay2get some minor advantage directly after the game launches' than 'pay2win', because it's about PvE and not PvP. In the beginning it even gives players in WvW an advantage because they have all their trait lines unlocked. But I'm quite sure that after 25% of the number of days it takes to get to level 80 with boosts, others will also reach the level 80 and the advantage is gone. Those with the disadvantage just learned to play against odds and became better players than those relying on trait lines and skills. In my opinion it's a temporary advantage at best.
I don't give a rat's *** about my armour or weapons as long as it's as good as any other armour or weapon out there. This advantage some might buy can't really upset me, I see why they implemented it (earn more money and pay to save time for those who can afford it). I can't say I wouldn't make some extra profit of something I made if I did have the chance, probably, we all would. I really like how they do not betray their standards with respect to fair PvP and the lack of uber elite gear you need to spend ridiculous amounts of whatever you have on.
Tl;dr... those people who use the boosts will have a slight advantage at the start, but the rest will catch up and once everyone and their mums owns 4 level 80 characters it's just plain pay2savetime.
This is different from people spamming: "LF runner to LA!" how?
And it doesn't really matter. In PvE you're forced to buy boosts since not buying them would mean you progress slower than you normally would. Not buying boosts in PvP would mean that you win less than you normally would. It's the same thing, if you consider "win" in PvE to be progress at as high a pace as possible.
Which many do.
I'm aware that pay2win in GW2 PvP doesn't exist, just as you are aware that I only used it as an example.
2) Indeed. Which is why getting to level 80 means a lot. Another reason is that people (if they create a new character later on) want to play a character at full potential, which is only possible at max level.
3) Yes, but in PvE, you're nearly assured of winning anyway. So in PvE, saving time = win.
4) I played 23 levels and if those are like the endgame is then there's no point in playing.