I'm new to this game and MMOs in general. I only got into it because of the lack of a sub fee.
I posted this question at the official forums but it got deleted
If you can buy gems for cash, then change those into gold, doesn't this mean the game will be designed to push people into needing gold to get better gear so as to stand a chance against stronger enemies?
Isn't this the same marketing ploy as free-to-play games (esp. on the mobile market) that are designed to require you to spend money in upgrades if you wat to get the most out of the game?
It is perfectly possible to play the game and never spend real money buying gems.
You can buy gems using in game gold that you can get by playing the game...alot.
I am not saying the ability to buy gems with real cash doesn't effect the game, it does, but its probably the least possible impact a 'cash shop' can have on actual gameplay and without it, the game would not exist at all because it would not be economically viable.
I bought gems one time when I first started playing and wanted to buy a bunch of random things. It's so easy (ascended gear aside) to get top lvl exotics by drops, crafting or TP that you really don't need to spend money for any sort of edge. Now if you want to look cool or have more things, than sure, money = more stuff but it doesn't affect the balance of the game at all. I have voiced many complaints about this game but this is not one of them. This game is not pay to win.
You're probably used to games where gear is more important than in Guild Wars 2. Not to say it's not important at all, but you don't need BIS gear in this game to "win". In fact, the entire design of the game is quite different from most MMOs. For example in most MMOs, your dodge is based on stats that is on your gear. In Guild Wars 2 knowing when to dodge has nothing to do with gear at all.
So maybe if you have a better weapon, you'll kill something in 20 seconds instead of 22 seconds. It's not really that big a deal. I don't know anyone who went out and bought gems to get high level gear.
Not to mention the fact that there are several easy and cheap ways to get the better stuff. Do your dailies every day and your monthly and you can use the karma rewards to get high end armor from karma vendors in Orr. That's just one example. The stuff on the auction house isn't all that expensive either.
And farming and crafting for those who enjoy it are also ways to get high end gear.
I've bought gems on several occasions but never sold any of them.