|AvenaOats Goblin Squad Member|
The OP did ask for "inspiration". I think that could be a "pep talk" or it could be "think positive thoughts", but I don't think those are powerful enough though possibly conducive for inspiration:-
Here's inspiration then, you may not like it but I believe I'v found it:-
GW is looking to make PFO with it's 4 pillars Exploration (a big world that changes interestingly that is truly enormous and a character itself); Adventure the (dungeon party stuff + the hiring at the Inn from a brooding stranger in the shadows with strangely glowing gimlet eyes), Development of settlements, businesses, kingdoms and Domination ie World at War
In fact this is a bit like a big game of Civilization bar Adventure. It's also not so disimilar from Strategy Games (war and so on). And again if you think about it it could be just like The Best Strategy Board Games only played by thousands + players at once over a long time.
So here's the inspiration:-
GW imho should focus on this aspect for PFO. If it's trying to create the tab-target experience combat system then it's going down the WOW route requiring that gameplay too much. Now that's not to say all the stuff done can't be used but just put on much smaller avatars in a different scaled world and work with the numbers of players syncing up to work on the world with more systems. Ie FOCUS dev away from the engine doing fancy stuff with the graphics and onto the stories in the minds of the players playing = reciprocal fun = return business and sense of game time = investment in growing story shares in the game.
I think speeding things up you can then do the massive dungeon Adventure aspect ala Torchbearer / Darkest Dungeon or even just Pathfinder RPG - linking the best run kingdoms to providing/financing the best dungeons for parties.
For convenience, a pithy statement: "Less WOW; More Board Game Strategy."
You know the RTS strategy and perhaps TBS grand strategy are genres that were huge and are in the lull loop atm. Turning these into MMOs or MMOs into these I think the hybrid will lead the way to innovation (for both).
Inspiration -> Innovation.