I know that research has been done on this in the past and the answer was simple. The current way of doing it was the most profitable, times may have changed but i very much doubt it (this was done on legends before it was "legends" about 10 years back).
It's possible they've done a TEST server here and come up with a similar answer, it's also possible, if you get enough backing from this topic, for a TEST server to happen with those exact parameters.
As a f2p player, i actually benefit in some sense from the p2w players from ridiculous auction prices allowing me to get the +25% boosts and PLUS for free usually shortly after t3 artifacts are out.
Putting more time into the game for raiding and decent use of resources is much more powerful than just shoving gold into the game. Doing both is a scary prospect but there's a highly limited number of these per server.
I just see it as allowing me to play for free and if i'm allied with a similar number that i'm against, it all balances out.