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No, you've been fooled by the line they all use to defend pay to win. It isn't about making something exclusive to those who pay, it's about selling gameplay items that matter ingame. The moment you do that, you've made a game where players can pay to win.
Picture two players who are able to spend an EQUAL amount of time in game. One of those players use real money to buy a fancy ship that's superior to the other player's ship - because he is not able to compensate by spending time to earn it ingame. How is that not paying to win?
The one thing I think allot of people are forgetting is that this is an alpha things can be changed and the good thing about Chris and cloud imperium is that if majority of the community is not happy they will take another look at it, if this was an EA game and thank fuck its not it would be promise after promise, fancy pictures and end up nothing like they promised and you would not get to see any thing or play anything until it was released. It then would be released with bugs coming out the wazoo and DLC will be out on day one, but you wont be able to play because there servers will be down for the first 3 months. They have always said that the ships you get now are supporting the game development and as a thank you for your contribution you get to keep them and if they go down the route of renting ships I don't care just because you went out and got a bigger ship don't mean your going to win. The good thing about Star Citizen is that its not just stats and number crunching and flying in circles smashing buttons i.e. EVE or STO there is some skill needed I mean look at a few weeks ago there was a guy in an aurora kicking every ones ass and that was mostly down to his flying skills.
At the end of the day haters will be haters and to add to your post Stinkflipper EVE is the biggest pay to win game I have ever seen I mean rather than starting the game from scratch I can go on the net buy an account with a relay good ship and skills and kick ass or I have to spend hundreds of dollars if not thousands just to get any where in monthly fees, like when I started to play in order to start this new mission I needed a new ship but to get that new ship I needed to learn a new skill but to learn that skill I needed another skill that took 1h then the main skill took some thing like 3h then I needed to get weapons and guess what that needed a new skill but this one was going to take a month so at that point I was like WTF!!!!! because that was a whole month sub gone just to do that.
Also I like to relate PCGN to a news paper the SECOND! they see a negative comment from the community they pounce on it i.e. Julian Benson was going on about how a hornit will set you back $165 this is a pledge to help the game you don't have to get that ship to win like I said before a guy in an a aurora was kicking the ass of people with a hornit so Julian before you talk about one part of the subject at least do more research into it and not only tell one part of the story.