No, they are exactly the same thing, the only difference is who the money is going to. It is still players paying real money to gain advancements or benefits. The P2W isn't minimal at all. It's pretty easy to see who is running which EXP pot. A ton of people also say they buy the bags on TLP. You can purchase Kronos, sell those Kronos for plat, and use that plat to fully deck out your character. They can also spend that plat on power levels. I mean aside from a max level max AA character in full BIS gear, it can't really get more P2W than that. Heroic Characters do exist also.