Well, that is actually how everything working: today you play in free-to-play game, and tomorrow you start to pay for the gear and etc.
Especially the problem is when some people are trying to scam you (even your own teammates) in order to receive the control on your account. For instance, yesterday I asked my friend to send me a link on donation service to this game, and he sent me a fishing site. Hopefully, I had softpos from my bank account which defended me. Malware did not steal my pivotal data (/sigh/).
And yes: it is normal to donate. There is just need of a balance between "special" gear and just normal things.