Saves a lot of effort... it is a big understatement. Look at those new gems, maybe a non-paying player can get those in time but this time should be measured in years. No, I am not overreacting here. I do play quite a lot tho I am still in "casual player" brackets, I also did spend some money on this game (not much) just to unlock some extra bank/inventory slots and get few keys here and there - that's convenience. Compared to some of people I personally know who spent 500-1000 euros+ on Trove event alone I look like a poor man.
Need to say that I have nothing against stuff being available in cash shop but only when same stuff is achievable via normal play IN REASONABLE TIME. I just can't imagine how long it will take a casual plaer (with aspirations for greatness) to get 6 brilliant heptagonal gems with AP and cool Proc. The amount of materials needed for each transmutation is just insane. Upgrading your weapon/accessories is already expensive and time consuming.
Now, let's see what such uber gems/fully upgraded stuff gives you. Will it give you insta win button? Well, in some cases yes, look at Whirlwind or 1vX in owPVP (tho this game mode is dying anyway for various reasons). Will it make your life easier in dungoens, deffo but... if you party up with guys of similar gear setup or you risk having to "carry" those puny 550AP casuals.
Fact is that as hard as it may seem reaching 550 AP+ is not that hard for someone who plans ahead, saves gold and has clear goals. I play this game since headstart and got till this point while having fun, socialising and doing stuff as it comes. Nothing hardcore about it tho it took me some months. Most people feel pressure from cross-server dungeon "community" to have 600AP (soon probably much more) to run simpliest dungs while random parties with 400-500AP do same dungons maybe few minutes longer but still succeed.
Anyway, back to topic. People who say some stuff is achievable without resorting to VISA are right "on paper" but in reality farming insane amounts of materials needed for really cool stuff takes so much time that most of players will just give up or burn out along the way which will lead to even worse situation for those casuals coz they will not have a) people at their gear level to play with and b) empty zones=boring game (that is happening now on my server). Also, if you treat P2W term lightely, people who invested real money in gear will profit more when new content is released. If I had the level of gear I have now 2 months back I could easily make a fortune just by solo farming Brightsone (which takes me like 10-15 mins per run now). Now it is not that proffitable OFC tho still nets you like 3-5g for Tears alone. If I could run solo some 4-6 man purples the profit per run rises much more. If I have more money to spend I can progress much faster, that is after initial investment of RL cash. In this situation getting BiS gear fast with RL money is PURE WIN, don't you think so?
Sorry for a wall of text :D