I have never seen a f2p BNS with actually so little p2w aspects in it.

At some points, especially 45, it does seem implied that the only way to move on is by a sudden flare of BNS Gold which is how people get caught and end up buying gold. However, that is just the common response to the shock factor most games try to pull off. You get small amounts of ingame currency as you go on, and then when they know you've reached a point where you'll need something to continue--it's a ridiculous price.

And what is the first reaction most people have? "What? How am I suppose to make this amount when all I have is 'this' amount? ... Oh wait, I can buy it."

And let's be honest,

After seeing that price, we think of the amount of questing we have to go through in order to get it, the struggle. And when you don't have the time or just don't want to deal... best thing to do is buy your way out, but that's because we chose to, not because it's required. You don't pay to win, you just pay to advance to something that in the end, if it's done right, we'll all achieve eventually.

Well, i played from the release day, and seriously, without paying irl money for gold ( or cash shop rng box to get load or mat, so Blade & Soul Gold ) or without scaming at the AH, since there was already ppl with the head start.
All price was insanely high.
I struggled during like 2-3weeks ( or more, dont really remember tho ) with the true profane, because at this time 4-5hours = 1moonwater transformation stone
+ count several days to be able to get the moonwater secret stuff to be able to craft trans stone yourself
+ count even more days / week to far thoses shit faction quest giving jack sh#t for SS to not spare gold
+ count all mat your need for upgrade beside trans stone & ss

You struggle doing the same sh#t 4-5hours / days during easyly more than a month. And time you finaly got everything you need to be self dependant, you barely do money from your craft.

Seriously, as much as i loved that game for the gameplay, so art style, this horrible grindfest setting was absolutely exhausting. Because you "have" to be up to date as much as you can.

That, and the crap server ( and thoses guys dont even need some BNS Items, and certainly never will, fix that ), i finaly dont regret totaly quiting that game.
Actualy, its more a relief when you uninstall the game and say" f# that sh#t grind" i'am done.

And sad such setting totaly waste the game, because, beside that, its really excellent to play, but well.