The purchase isn't providing the purchaser anything that the non-purchaser cannot obtain, meaning it isn't P2W. And since these two players aren't in competition, the P2W argument is not only pointless, it's simply wrong.
P2W does not depend that it be the only route to the highest level of power - that's just a false argument. P2W means that you are able to pay for advantages. Being able to access content two months earlier is an advantage. Having an additional two months of seals from running your dailies is an advantage.
How is this different than if they sold someone a two-month supply of seals that could be traded in for goods? Your "it can be obtained without it" argument isn't really going to hold weight then, is it.
The point is that, if I want to make a new character, I need to make a decision to invest two months slogging through broken content, or I can pay a fee and access the actual content I want two months faster.
It's not a problem in a sense that it needs to be fixed, it's a problem in a sense that it's a progression style game that's showing its age. You could speed up XP, but to what extent? Eventually you speed up XP to the point that forcing people through the content no longer has a point. And if it's sped up enough, you lose the connection between zones and quest hubs until people are just mindlessly wandering around looking for questgivers.
You could add a "Quest to 90" like you mentioned. And this would ensure that the only people who play the old content are the ones that want to, but that's no different than buying a 90. Based on this argument your issue is with the micro-transaction, and since your P2W argument is false it's just that you don't want to pay the fee. I get that and I understand it, but don't hide it behind a bogus argument.
Again, in no world have I EVER seen a P2W label being used exclusively for exclusive power levels. In any game I've ever seen that was P2W, RMT was letting you fast-track your way to power, not the exclusive way to access it.
Plus, I'm going to argue that it's just wrong that this isn't a problem that needs to be fixed. Blizzard is adding this option because there's demand for it, and there's demand for it because 1-90 content isn't fun. It's painful, it's terribly balanced, it's slow, it's unexciting (talent system and ability level changes greatly exacerbated that).
The fact that this content is so unenjoyable is what is their motivator for designing and implementing a payed "skip it" button, thereby heavily changing the landscape of their business model and the way players approach new content. They're adding it because they expect it to be the route a substantial number of people take when creating a new character, and they judge that potential profit to be well above what they lose by ******* off people like me.
It's BROKEN content. The content is meant to be enjoyable and interactive - it's a subscription-based game, and this is something they expect you to spend two months on. The fact is that the content is bad content, and they're using that as a motivator to get people spending money to bypass it and access the good
It's not just "showing it's wear and tear." The fact of the matter is that Blizzard is failing to provide a quality experience 1-90, and they're choosing to use that to push RMT instead of fixing that problem.
And, same as above, your counter-example can't exist in a bubble. If this was newer content that people wanted to skip because it was "showing it's wear and tear," would you have no problem with it? If people were bored gearing up ANOTHER heroic raid-ready character, would you be fine with Blizzard offering the ability to create a level 95 toon at ilvl <whatever> so you could jump right into the hardcore content?
That's absolutely the same thing. All we've done is moved the point in the timeline to a later date. It's no different investing time and effort in your character to get them up to level 90 and geared to take on new content as it is to get them to 95 and geared to take on new content.
You're approaching it differently because you WANT to consider that different. Logically, it isn't.
At each expansion the "progression" is reset, so there's no difference between a monetary investment and a time one. The only difference is what the player finds to be more valuable to them.
Also, since the progression of Player A has no impact on Player B, the competition argument isn't valid.
Yeah, if we're going to zoom our perspective out to a level stupidly far disconnected from human experience. And the EXACT SAME THING can be said of weapons. There's no value to an ilvl difference, because come new expansion that's just not going to matter.
The point is that, in the here and now, the choice of whether or not to buy a character boost up to level 90 is a really big factor in the quality of my play experience
And it's absolutely not okay for them to make players make that choice.
Either make the zoom to 90 a standard feature, do the once-and-done WoD thing, whatever. Keep it equal.
But no RMT purchase should EVER have a major potential to affect my real time enjoyment of the game. And this one definitely does.
I have no problem with RMT purchases that affect the enjoyment of the game in very minor ways - a non-combat pet, a mount, an appearance change. I have no problem with services that carry fees for good reasons, like realm transfers.
This is VERY different from those.