Where are you getting this 400 gold figure? Advisors alone count for 1k gold/month. I also never said it would take an entire alliance to beat one whale. However, one whale can easily beat 3 or 4 free to play players. Also, if caps are imposed it prolongs the amount of time players will pay for an advantage. They can't get an overwhelming advantage at the start, which makes a more competitive environment which drives more gold spending for longer as people try to buy an edge. I know such a business model is scalable, because as scott stated, the actual resource overhead when it comes to things like electricity and server power is minimal. The only real cost is moderators, and it doesn't take a lot of actual time to manage thousands of players, especially if an automated reporting system is already in place, which I am pretty sure it is.I'm acutely serious lol. How do you know it's scalable? what percentage of players are spending 400 gold per month? If an entire alliance can't compete against a single "Gold Whale" how many would it take to make up for that player?
Where are you coming up with this info? Is that your first account? I have been playing this game on and off since Alpha launched in the US, and by far the biggest reason for quiting has been the demoralization factor when players that win a fight against a golder, wiping out a good chunk of his strength, see him gold it right back up overnight. Pay to win is not a sustainable business model for a game. People will stay if they can learn a game but they won't stay if they know they have to not only learn to play but also compete with their wallet. The exception of course is the people that want to compete with their wallet. Especially since this game does not exist in a vacuum and there are other TW clones that are less pay to win. Most people when given a choice will choose to play a game where being good at the actual game is more important than how deep their pockets are.I managed to figure it out playing mostly solo in the age of insta, so again it's difficult but not impossible. Golding isn't the reason for the decline in players, lazy tactics and lack of novice training is shrinking the pool.