I agree with this
Disagree with Pay to Play... The last thing the MMORPG world needs is another Subscription World of Warcraft.
Personally i believe if Oath's Design team is creative enough with their Season Events ,Costumes, Mounts, Weapon Skins, etc (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc) there would not be an issue in funding, similar to Guild Wars 2 as said before.
Here's a random idea that i thought of pooling different aspects from different games together and how they can be implemented in oath as one idea. All the names that I've used are randomly inspired from the word Oath
1. Have a Premium Status like Albion Online where players who have purchased their monthly premium will gain a boost to Gathering / Crafting Speed, Yield, Gold looting and anything else the game implements that could be boosted by it. (This is NOT Pay to win as the Yield should be small and just a bonus to what players can get anyway, this just makes it a little quicker and for players like myself who actually work / study, it would be beneficial to buy it via cash rather than in-game as a lot of people do not have 7 hours a day to play or do not like questing)
1a. Example: Player Gathering Herbs will gathering 10 herbs
1b. Example: Player with Premium gathering the same herb will gather 12-13 herbs (25% boost)
1c. Example: Player Crafting a Level 10 2h Sword will take 20 seconds to Craft the sword
1d. Example: Player with Premium crafting the same sword will take 15 seconds. (25% boost)
You can hardly call that Pay to win however to players who enjoy gathering and are joining as a group like i intend to and have been designated as a crafter / gatherer.. This is a big help to them.
Now to make it available to everyone. Ideas were taken from Guild Wars 2, Albion Online and Goonzu
2. Create an in-game Currency called Oath Relics or whatever that you can use to buy your Premium status and in-game cosmetics. (Not online cosmetics as it would reduce funding)
2a. Create a building in the Guild Hall called an Oath Relic Mine (Guild Wars 2 Aetherium Mine) and have guild members able to go down into the mines and gather the relics. (This will also boost the GvG aspect of the game as players can raid enemy guild's Mines for their un-gathered relics) (Obviously there would have to be a way to limit the number of wars you can wage against a guild as 1 guild could grief another guild constantly stealing their Resources in the guild vault and relics in the guild mine lol)
2b. Create an NPC in each major city that gives you a repeatable quest where you must deliver 10 Oath Relics to another NPC in another Major City and he / she will reward you with some Silver or gold and 5 oath Relics for yourself. (This will allow solo players to gather Oath Relics so it's not unfair)
2c. Create an Oath realm where NPC's give you "Oath Hunting Quests" (Like Goonzu) where players with premium can visit to do Oath Challenges, hunting monsters that steal oath Relics, rewarding players in Silver and 1-2 Salvageable Relics per mob killed. After Killing 50/50 or 100/100 Monsters in the Oath realm you return the repeatable quest to the Oath Researcher NPC where he rewards you with some Oath Relics. (Just more ways of making the premium worth it and attainable as each person is unique, likes different aspects of mmorpgs (solo, party, etc) and some have way more time than others)
3. Allowing Players to purchase Private Islands (like albion Online) using Oath Tokens Purchased from online. (Again... oath Relics and Oath Tokens are different.. Oath Relics are an in-game currency used to buy premium where as oath Tokens are an online currency.. If you wanna make Oath Tokens Purchasable via Oath Relics, you would need to nerf the amount of relics attainable in-game)
3a. The Personal Island is complete with 3 levels of upgrades.
Level 1 - A Small Cabin to decorate and a Small Farm with a Well where you can grow food and get water so you don't get hungry or thirsty and have your fighting power Reduced. (Like Tree of Life) (Being hungry reduces your fighting power dropping your attack, defense, hp and MP)(Obviously food will be attainable in all major cities and craftable by cooks in guilds)
Level 2 - A Medium Cottage to decorate and a Small Farm with a Well with the addition of a Pasture for Raising Animals. (These animals can be used to craft regular riding horses and what not)
Level 3 - A Large House to decorate. Includes a Small Farm, a Well, a Pasture for Raising Animals and a fishing pond. (Can sell something cheap like "Oath wood" or something that players need to use to upgrade the islands, it won't make it unfair as level 1 gives you access to free food and water and Lv2 and Lv3 are just bonuses) (Two types of Seeds for the farms can be purchased, Oath Relic Seeds Grow into Normal Quality Foods that keep you satisfied for 6 hours from Hunger and Oath Token Seeds which grow into High Quality Foods that keep you satisfied for 12 hours from Hunger) (It's not pay to win as Lv 1 Islands come with the same Cooking station as guild halls and everything can be obtained in-game) (I would scale it so all in-game foods give you 3 hours of satisfaction and if you want more just gather herbs, slay animals for meat, fish in nearby ponds and cook)
4. Guild Halls Spawn npc's who maintain and guard your Hall using Premium Wood, Stone and Food. (The Demand is based on the level of the guild hall) If the demand by the NPC's are not met the Walls, Gates and Buildings start slowly losing defense (Makes it easier to destroy during a GvG) and the guards will get a debuff reducing their hp, mp, attack and defense (similar to starving players).
4a. Because the whole idea of a F2P game is to be fair, it must be available to both paying players and none-paying players. The Premium Wood, Stone and Food should be purchasable in each Major city, sold by players who are high enough level to gather and craft it. Also sold in the Guild Hall Market for anyone wondering by to pick up a little extra money for your guild. (A new low level player shouldn't be able to sustain a max level guild hall as he is not trained enough to successfully gather and craft the wood, stone, food)
4b. Add different levels of the premium Wood, Stone and Food in the Cash Shop and in-game for different players.
+(Low Quality Oath Resources will Sustain a guild hall up to level 2 for 24 Hours)
+(Normal Quality Oath Resources will sustain a guild hall up to level 4 for 48 hours)
+(High Quality Oath Resources will Sustain a guild hall up to Level 5(Max) for up to 72 Hours)
4c. Add Different ways in which they can be obtained by paying and none-paying players.
+Low Quality Oath Wood, Oath Stone and Oath Berries can be Obtained in-game via gathering and gathering on the level 1 premium island and upgraded via the Oath Researcher in any major City. 5 Low Quality to 1 Regular Quality.
+Regular Quality Oath Wood, Oath Stone and Oath Berries can be obtained in-game Via the Oath Relic Shop. gathering on the level 2 premium island or Online via the Oath Token Cash shop and Upgraded via the Oath Researcher in any Major City. 5 Regular Quality to 1 High Quality.
+High Quality Oath Wood, Oath Stone and Oath Berries can be obtained Via the Cash Shop, gathering on level 3 Premium island or Via the oath Researcher. (Making it obtainable for the players who don't pay but who only grind all day.. and making it easier for the players who work or study or hardcore players who will pay just to have it done quicker instead of grinding daily.)(Premium resources gathered by individuals on the premium islands daily will NOT be enough to sustain the guild hall as it would take away to point of buying it. It would simply be a small bonus to what you already have.) Example: Monthly Stockpile in Guild Hall Lv 3 0/1000 High Quality Oath Wood 0/1000 High Quality Oath Stone 0/1000 High Quality Oath Berries Each Island gives you 50 every 168 hours(1 week) giving you 200 a month(20% of the total) Yes players can simply have multiple accounts so they can live their dream and have a big Lv5 Guild Hall / Castle all to them self.. However that person will need to either gather thousands of resources monthly to upgrade by himself or it will simply generate more money for the game as he would need to maintain 5 Premium Accounts monthly, 5 Premium Islands Monthly generating even more revenue for the game.
4d. You can also create in-game events where bandits raid your guild hall weekly, attack your guards and try to steal your premium resources and destroy your buildings. (Inspired by early access Tree of Life) (This will keep the demand for premium resources high among guilds. If your premium resources are stolen, you need to buy or gather more quickly before a guild wages war against you as you're weak from battle to steal your regular resources)
The Prices of all these items i leave up to you. None of it seems ufnair as it is all obtainable in-game and does not offer any "Competitive pvp bonus"
In a Free to Play game it's safe to guess that 50% of the players will spend money and 50% wont. So expanding the Purchasable items by introducing Premium Status yet making it affordable to players with more time on their hands keeps it fair and keeps the money coming in.
50% who work and study and play will buy it via cash shop. (Simple, affordable and worth it)
50% who play all day will grind hard n buy it via In-game. (A massive reward as he didn't have to spend his allowance money and keeps things competitive as he is now on the same level as someone who paid for it)
All of these things Implemented would take time and money and effort.
However none of the items listed above are pay to win and can be used to self sustain the server.... Anything else is just profit.