So as title says i've been on the fence about buying this game while i was researching it (mostly because if i get another wow look alike i am going to scream and flip a table) And before you rage at me for not doing the free weekend thing i've tried TWICE now and both time's it says "Sorry! The Guild Wars 2 Free Trial period has ended" during the free weekend which makes it VERY difficult to see for my self without buying the bloody game, But it seems different enough i'm thinking about jumping in and just buying it as it seems something i enjoy, But before i do i figured i would ask a few current players (or players who stopped playing for various reasons) for their opinions as i don't have a lot of money to throw around right now and would be quite upset to buy something i play for a few hours then never touch again, That and i've also read so many mixed opinions about the game that its driving me nearly up a wall so yea....
Anyway back on topic here the main questions i have are below, But keep in mind i ask them from a wow standpoint as that's where i have the most experience.
1. is the game still growing/holding steady or is it on a steep downhill slide I.E dead servers no one ever on only able to get into a non social clan guild/clan ect ect if you already have top end stuff?
2. i've read skill>gear in this game but what is the actual difference I.E if i have entry level gear but average/above average skills would i be able to match/smoke a crap player with top end gear or would said crap player still eat me alive with little/no effort or would we be about equal in dps output?
3. i am a major hardcore PvE player (was in a top 100 clan with a small stint in a top 30 clan before it broke up in wow, Right up until i finally burned out and stopped playing a month before panda) and am decent at PvP, Is their good endgame PvE content and how does PvP work? (i will admit i didn't do as much research into pvp as PvE and both were kinda vague on what solid things i COULD find that weren't contradicting 6 other opinions)
4. Am i going to be forced into the tired old role of "set your skills EXACTLY like this" otherwise you will not be accepted because you do 5 dps less and we wont take you/you do less then half the dps of the other skillset?
5. i've heard mixed opinions on this one so i would like clarification, Basically due to the game being free to play the ingame store has options that turn the game pay to win I.E great gear/massive stat boosts/huge bundles of money to buy anything you want, and that you ether pay through the nose or you spend months grinding out enough tokens/money ect ect to buy ANYTHING where as buying a package you get it in hours/days, Is this true or is it more wow garbage thrown out as chaff to help scare off people like me who are on the fence or is it inbetween I.E you can spend 2 weeks hard core grinding tokens for X item or you can pay for something and just spend a week doing it with the same amount of effort?
Anyway thanks in advance and i hope i don't rustle any jimmy's asking >.< like i said i've done a lot of research into it but there are so many mixed opinions that even good ol Google broke down and cried in a corner while its flame shield melted with all the back and forth flame wars and contradicting opinions that i gave up and figured i would just ask people who actually PLAY the bloody game.
(as an aside to the mods i didn't see any rules against this so if i broke any please forgive me, Also to the grammar nazi's i'm posting this from a phone right now as the powers out and i've been meaning to do this for weeks so meh if i made any grammar/spelling mistakes)