2. Nearly always a grind associated. This means players are spinding time "working" rather than enjoying the game. This is the problem w/power creep in general and is magnified w/P2W shops.
3. Dev time is spent on designing and implimenting P2W rather than more diversified playstyle environments and equipment to use for those environments.
For example, there's been complaints about Engineer and before that Science captain/boff abilities. The solution in this game has been mainly focused to introduce P2W consoles and doffs rather than create an environment where w/in the existing structure each one would shine.
4. For games w/challenging PvE, it ends up becoming easy and boring. This happens w/power creep in general, P2W speeds it up. Devs in this game spend time creating grinds -> P2W -> new grind -> new P2W.
Imo, P2W has not only destroyed what little PvP potential the game had it's also destroyed the PvE potential of having "Weekly" FEs and other quality PvE game play.
So in reading the convo in the OP - it looks like the typical excuse for those that do use the cheese.
"P2W is not the problem with PvP in STO. Players' refusal to buy P2W stuff and then complaining about the P2W stuff is the problem."
You have to wonder, in the end, how they would actually feel about it if everybody did buy it. How playable PvP would be... did they really think that through - or - are they just trying to make excuses?
F2P does not mean a game has to be P2W. Certainly a game like STO, one would think it could be F2P without the P2W. All the possible fluff, all the potential content packs, various account services, etc, etc, etc... it's Star Trek.
But no, it's munchkin gaming instead. Instead of Scotty, Spock, and Bones coming up with something to save the day - they've grabbed the credit card and headed to the store to buy something. I mean, c'mon - try to imagine an episode or even a movie playing out like day to day life in STO does, eh?
It'd be more like a group of teenage girls at the local mall... it's Mall Trek - not Star Trek.