I have two paid GW2 accounts. Yup, I bit that bullet twice. I also have a free account. Why? Because playing for free multiplies the joy. Truly!
We live in an “instant gratification” world. We want it and we want it now. But there isn’t a lot of joy in that. I’ve re-discovered the joy in building a base slowly and working smartly, and that’s where the free account comes in.
Admittedly, I’ve cheated. I’ve sent things from my paid accounts to my free account, but I’ve really worked hard to keep it within reason. Big bag (one 18 slot silk, one 18 slot invisible)? Yes. Minuscule amount of gold (10g), sure. Low level mats to buff the crafting? Sure! Cheating? Uh . . . yeah, I sent unbreakable tools and glyphs for those tools once my free character hit 80 . . . I probably shouldn’t have done that but I did. It’s done . . . moving on.
Here’s the point and my goals. I plan to do everything, all the map completion, crafting, story line, events . . . everything I can do on this free toon until I run out of things to do . . . and then, and only then, I will consider upgrading to a paid story line.
I am maximizing the fun by not getting HoT or POF until I’ve done everything else first, maximized every craft, explored every map, completed the story line . . . everything. You cannot imagine the joy of working toward a goal instead of paying to reach it.