Obviously we're talking different languages here.
Regular Joe never cared much about vids, nor about halving, nor EG calling, round strategy, worker sniping, etc etc etc. For regular Joe nothing has changed, yes.
I'm talking about high-end game, pay2win is a term which applies to first place battle, not top 100.
Sure, even top 10 is achievable on average servers with this limitation. But how many rounds you will win without buying gold and having vids capped?
Besides, even while I'm cruising in a round, when I have some spare time, I watch vids. Not every day, maybe just once a week, but I do it. Now I will have a limit, which doesn't even carry over to the next day.
And I see nothing abusive in rewards for activity. Vids are not watched by themselves, they take player's time - and players receive rewards for this. There are things that give unfair advantage (like multiple people allowed to play on same account), which don't seem to bother anyone, but vids are not one of them.
Agree on most part. Regular Joes aren't affected, and the idea of station videos carrying over the next day should be considered. But the players battling for 1st place aren't all whales, those are anomalies, they aren't even the 1%, more like 0.1%, and even then...
Regardless, that's not really the point here. What you and the big shots here in this thread are saying is that Rail Nation just took the main weapon against gold spenders, a thing which I have argued it's not, or that they've taken the main source of gold income, again a thing that I have argued.
The hard core players I know that have went, successfully or not, for 1st place have not been whales, arguably not even gold spenders at all. They all had one thing in common: time. This game is won with time (yes, knowledge comes with time). A thing you pointed out too, in the form of multiple people playing on one account.
A whale may buy time but only up to a certain point, and if you want to be 1st you have to be ready to play this game for 16 hours and be mostly online. No amount of gold can give you that, and there's no automatic pilot that you can buy.
Lastly, while it's true that players do give something in return for the bonus from watching a station video, it's still an abusive income as long as it doesn't use a game mechanic. Compare watching a video with running a competition. Running a competition requires tactics, meaning that you need to time it with your prestige points for RG deliveries, time it with other competitions, time it with perhaps a golden hour, maybe even use the museum functionality in order to make sure you're having the optimal start.
How are all these tactics even comparable with just sitting on the chair and routinely watching station videos? They're not. There's no skill implied in watching a station video, any regular Joe can do it. So why allow it to run uncapped? I would argue that everything in this game needs to have a certain degree of complexity that allows you do be better at, given time and accumulated knowledge.
Watching station videos like an assembly line worker just doesn't feel right.