Yet another poll for you. As I said here:
"As a gamer, I’ve always been irritated by patches. Patches for other forms of software are generally limited to bug fixes, optimization, and feature additions. Game patches, on the other hand, usually make significant changes to original gameplay. ..."
How I feel about patches makes little difference if most online gamers are just fine with them, I suppose. Do we have any idea what the majority thinks? Do changes to original gameplay (generally, not just the nerfs to your favorite class) bother you?
It's a certainty that a developer's game will not be exactly how he or she wants it to be at release. Developers of other industries are willing to accept that and treat their products as finished, if only basic (meaning additions are possible). Why is it different with games?
Aside from the problems mentioned in that WTG article, changing important gameplay features after release opens players' eyes to all the game's flaws. It makes gamers endlessly critical of published designs and diminishes their enjoyment of the games.
Some developers talk as if an MMO is some great democracy in which community participation in design takes gameplay to new levels. But that hasn't happened, has it? MMOs today haven't progressed far beyond what they were a decade ago. Most individual MMOs face the same problems years after release that they faced initially, like balancing issues. And if so many other industries can improve just through internal research and occasional polling of outsiders, why can't game developers do the same?
Should original gameplay generally remain untouched after released, excepting for bugs and polish?