Here is why. You pay either an upfront cost or a subscription to play a video game, in a vast majority of cases. So you pay for your game, then you have access to EVERYTHING available in that game, all armies with every unit and ability they have access to. Whether this is upfront or through subscription, it is essentially the same, you pay then you have everything that is within the game. Then they release something new, let’s say it’s an item, class, or unit. They provide it as an option that you have to buy if you want to use it. Most cases this is also a good unit/ability/weapon. Thus you ge the accusation that this is pay to play/win. If you are willing to pay more, you get better things quicker rather than playing the game longer to get comparable gear.
So why is this not comparable to 40k and GW. Well you do not pay a subscription to GW to play the game, nor do you pay a onetime fee. Let’s say for the sake of argument that GW was subscription based. So you pay a monthly fee and in doing so you get access to every model and army in the store, with each store have every army and every model available. Then they come out with a new one, but you now have to pay extra to use that one. That would be pay to play that is comparable to the video game industry.
But you don't. You only get access to as many models as you are willing to pay for, or share with buddies. By the very nature of table top, you MUST pay to play. If I do not have plasma guns, my army will lack that weapon till I buy models or bitz with it. I must pay to play. The only way I will have a leman russ is if I buy it. Same for any unit. To have a well rounded army, I must buy the units and weapons to allow me to do so. Pay to play.
This is a hobby, not just a game, the game is only an aspect of it, arguably one of the larger aspects if not largest, but it is still only a part of the whole. There are always better units then others and people will naturally use those units (see buy) over weaker ones. Note that does not mean the best units always.
The point is you are in to this hobby as much as you are willing to spend, and if you have reached that point where you are not willing or able to pay any more, do not bitch because there are others that are still willing or able to pay more. That is your problem.
So you don't like that GW is releasing Data slates in a "money grab", its allow people with more money to win more. Bull shit. Please show me data that supports that these data slates and supplements are just wrecking face. The Tau data slate, hmm, haven't seen Tau just destroying. Most combos and armies that are winning are using their codex's as is, with maybe an ally (usually a 5th one btw, see dark eldar).
I like allies, I like supplement, I like data slates. Very few of these are powerful in their own right. Most allow you to run more fluffy armies that are reasonably competitive. How dare they, they should leave fluffy armies in their shitty uncompetitiveness where they belong! Really? Has it not been the biggest gripe forever that fluffy armies are not competitive. Oh but now you can run a SM army with Chapter Tactics that allow you to play your chapter, have rules that reflect their fluff, and be decently competitive, note decently not wreck face. This is what most seem to really want, when you start seeing their real complaints about their armies.
Are some codex's more powerful than others, yes. Should GW strive to have relatively balanced codex's? Yeah kinda. I like that fluffy rules are focused on, though I also want that to translate to good boons and constraints. I think that they have a very good job of this for the most part, except for Tau and Eldar, those are at a level above most. But if those are taken out, 6th ed codex's are all relatively even with each other overall, with certain builds rising above others.
Of course many complain about releases coming out right after a codex, claiming that they are trying to grab more money when it should be in the codex to begin with. Really? Since never have we had codex's that included formations where you take certain units and give you special abilities outside of the norm. But now we should duh! I want MORE, MORE, MORE, but damn you for expecting me to pay more. I'm cheap and want extra for free.
Does GW have issues with quality? Yes, they are not perfect. Inq is a great example of a lazy job done. But it allows you to at least play an inquisitorial warband, which is fluffy, and you have never been able to use before. Unless you played with GKs with coteaz. Hey I know its crazy, maybe not everyone wants to take coteaz and wants to make their own warband around their own inquisitor. Hey how about that. You can do that now. Blah horrible.
It is easy to say that they should just fix the issues with current codex's rather than releasing new things. How about some perspective. They have thousand+ models, with multiple game lines. To update all of that in the instant gratification timeline that people want is impossible. It is laughable since they are releasing new armies at a pace never seen before. It is an attempt. The quality of execution will vary and some miss the mark. Its the nature of such an aggressive release schedule. I am willing to forgive some mistakes when the attempt is at least made. Are they off the hook? Absolutely not. I would buy far more if some of the rule books were better or the prices were lower. But it's their company and they will set their prices as they see fit. I vote with my wallet, I buy when something fills the need that I want. In the case of Inquisition, the ability to take an inquisitor and retinue without the baggage of grey knights, was worth the relatively lazy rule book. Btw I loved the fluff in it and have reread it a couple of times, . If you don't care about fluff in 40k, well I'm sorry thats a large part of this game whether you like it or not. You can find other games that focus on the game play more than the fluff.
And in regards to that, we are in a wonderful age for the tabletop hobby. There are so many different games out there that are a good product and provide a different experience. If 40k is not the experience you are looking for, then why are you playing it? Are you having fun? If not what hell are you doing? Have fun. That is the goal. I do not believe that everyone should play 40k, 'cause its the best ever that there will ever be. Nope its a game and hobby that I love because of the fluff and the game. Its not everyone's cup of tea. Find the one you like. In the end though, you have to pay to play, not matter which game you want to be involved in.
Now what to do, since if I don't talk about that, I just bitching about people bitching. The first thing is to look at yourself, an honest look, and ask yourself what you want and see if that lines up with what 40k is offering. If it isn't, then find something that is. It is your money and you choose how to spend it. It’s your time, you should enjoy it. If 40k isn't doing that for you, then find something that does. There is nothing wrong with that. Where you cross the line is shitting on things because other people have dared to enjoy something that you do not. I will never attack warmachine or x-wing or whatever game that I do not play or like. Nor will I attack players of those games. They are not my cup of tea, but if you like them, enjoy them and be happy that other people may enjoy other games. Despite what you may think, it is not YOUR game. It is the companies that make them. They get to decide the direction they want to pursue.
Now if you are in the area where you like 40k, but not every decision GW makes, guess what most of us are in that same boat. So how do you tell GW you do not agree. Well one, tell them. Send them a CONSTRUCTIVE email with your reasons and examples of what you don't like and why. But this is useless if you don't tell them what you want, complaining, even constructive, is useless. Give them a direction you want them to go in. Explain why you think prices should be lower and what you would buy if they were. And be realistic, saying it would be great if all digital products were $5 and you would buy them all if they were, is not realistic. And then comes the other part that is even more important. Don't buy things. Guess what if they don't sell things, they don't exist. They have proven time and again that they will adjust either through rules or pricing to get models to sell. It may not be what you want either, but they do adjust.
It will not be fixed overnight; it will take years for a company as large as GW to shift directions. Its easy to say lower prices. But real money is better the theoretical money. Lowering prices lowers their margins. You can claim all you want that they have plenty of margins and are gouging. How do you know that? Please share your data on their model production costs. They have the highest quality models being produced. I have yet to see any company match them in quality of plastic, with comparable detail and model ability. You do pay for quality, despite what many wish to claim. But rules drive sales you say. Quantify that. If you can’t then that statement is pure conjecture and wishing. All you have is people saying that they would buy models if the rules were better. I have said that. Yet I have a knight and love it, I also bought the codex, and I am happy with it for the most part. Do I wish all the knight variants were included in it. Sure. But I understand why they did what they did. If the knight didn’t sell well, then they were not committed to more models to make, as with recent court rulings striking down rules and sketches as being enough for IP protection.
Like it or not, that is the state of the business. They have to protect their IP. That is their duty. The days are gone where they can write rules for as many units as they want, and worry about the model later. Its how it is now.
So to wrap this up, do not crap on people that are enjoying the hobby. If you disagree, be constructive. If you want to see change, well you may have to leave the hobby, at least in buying models and rules, till they do. It’s the only way they will listen. Money talks. Constructive communication also works, when done as a community. It must be constructive though. You may think you sound perfectly sane. Have someone read it though, someone not involved in the hobby in anyway. If they think you are being reasonable, then go for it. If you are not having fun, move on to something that you enjoy. Any hobby that you will get involved in is going to be pay to play. The money is yours to do with as you choose, you get what you pay for.