1. What is your definition of a "casual" gamer and how exactly do companies cater to them?
2. I fail to see how anything you have said has any real relevance to the post you quoted. Evolutional seems to have been advocating a Wiki system that allowed people to look up frequently asked quests as well as general information about game design without having to search through the huge number of old posts this forum has. The expert system mentioned isn't an attempt to stifle a prospective designers creativity merely a way to provide them with a well-grounded and informative response quickly.
3. There tends to be a trend for people in any discipline to discount amateur's views on what seems like a whim. In some cases this is just them being egotistic but in a lot of cases there are valid reasons for doing so. The reason is often because they have has experience with a similar idea before and it failed to pan out. The reason it comes across as "ignoring" that person is because they fail to explain exactly why the idea won't work from their experience. This can both be the fault of the answerer but can also been the fault of the questioner for posting the same idea as 50 other people have. I would go onto say that the posters on this forum are very good at explaining exactly why an idea will or will not work.
4. This isn't a recent phenomenon and I think you will find that you are looking at the wrong section of the industry for "innovative" design, much like the movie industry, you will find the majority of new ideas come from the independent sector. The reasons for this are many but the main culprit isn't that designers are being elitist, but that there are a huge number of people leaving the industry within a couple of years of starting out and that will have more to do with current working practices than anything else.
5. This post and its purpose isn't some method of stifling creativity like you seem to suggest. It is merely a way of providing new posters with tips that will result in the kind of reply they are looking for and, hopefully, give them a good introduction to the community. The only section that could be construed in this way is the MMORPG one, that isn't saying don't post the idea but be realistic when you post and people will take you more seriously.
It wasn't so much a reply specifically to him or his post, thought I did quote his post. More or less, I was addressing points made throughout the entire thread. And it is true, that the independent sector is the most original and fresh and terms of new creative ideas, however even the mainstream industry makes frequent attempts to create original titles that aren't derivative clones, Alpha Protocol is an example of this, though a failed one.
But a telling sign is that studios never look outside the industry for design talent. Their job postings are guaranteed to always look like (5 years prior experience required, blah blah blah, such and such degree from a four year institution required, ect ect). And...as my post noted, there's tons of horrible titles coming out of the mainstream sector, which makes the rest of us face palm and scream, "WHY!?"
As a game player, I'd like to see the industry try to engage it's audience more for new ideas, rather than just create their own titles using their own musty old ideas. Will Wright in my mind, is a game designer who was almost one of a kind. Very innovative. But bogged down with the E.A bog.
I can't say that I fully agree or disagree with anything said as I didn't read most of it, but what I will say is this;
I feel too often that development teams aren't really creating their vision of a game. They are creating their vision of "Game A", where "Game A" is a previously released game, with their own "improvements" because "Game A" did so well financially. I challenge investors to take a step back, look at what they are investing in, and make sure as hell they are supporting a development team that is actually creative that is going to provide the investors with a quality return as well as a great game. I would challenge developers, but they just want to get paid damn the consequence. This isn't a blanket statement to include ALL developers and it also recognizes that people need to eat. They need money, but money shouldn't be everything.
*This came to my head as I was responding*
I helped beta test Star Wars: The Old Republic. I can't say that it will be that much different then the WoW/Rift/Aion/etc market so I am refusing to purchase it at this time. Companions and the attempt to tell stories more visually and interactively just isn't a big seller for me. Different and potentially interesting, sure, but not something that makes it worth the investment. I often found myself wondering why I wasn't just playing a singleplayer game for the story, at least it wouldn't come with a monthly fee.
Group sizes shrinking again to just four players/companions per group? MMOs are devolving to singleplayer games. Frankly I think that MMOs should have group sizes of 6+ minimum, with 8 being my preferred minimum. You shouldn't be looking to limit the potential for players to interact artificially by being overly restrictive with group sizes as it leads to more people being excluded just for the sake of instanced dungeon balancing. By lowering the group size you are also killing the R in RPG as you are lessening the amount and variety of roles available to play in. In some games are certain classes/roles less desirable than others? Sure, nothing is perfect. So rather than trying to balance these classes/roles they are removing/melding them entirely from games? You are neutering player choice, player freedom, by doing so.
Now that I think about it more, even if I can't translate it from my head to coherent sentences for others to read, I am kind of disgusted with the way MMOs are going. The genre is degenerating, devolving, but it will still be defended to the death by so many. Enough with the money grabs! Return to the roots of games, fun.