By the time you started looking at WOM, there was very little of the original design left. The nice thing about the Internet is that stuff lives on forever. The early discussions and forums posts (including the early concept drawings, one of which I posted here) are still out there somewhere. You can easily look at the image I pasted and the final game and see how different they were.
It has often been the case that forum users overstate their role in the development process. You don't use forum beta testers as your primary QA. Even in terms of forums, we have forums within forums that most users don't see where interim builds are released under NDA. And beyond that you have the external QA group and then the internal QA group and so on. This particular forum is just one layer of a larger process.
The problem with WOM was that it lacked any sort of project management process. That led to everything such as poor internal QA, haphazard inclusion of fan requests, scattershot implementation of content, etc. It had over 3 years of development. It wasn't rushed. It was just managed more like a hobbyist effort and it was far too ambitious to be run that way.
I remember that, it was definitely the case of almost everything we wanted/suggested/hinted at was thrown into the game, it got kind of messy with patches trying to fix everything but the kitchen sink (that was always backed up). I think the dev's are keeping note, just don't expect everything all at once in the first release. Or everything YOU think should be because "xxx had it".
There's going to be a lot of balance changes as they go, I hope, but it will be tweaking, not wholesale changes. FE may not end up being for everybody, but I'm pretty sure it will be a well thought-out game. Restraint is good, beware of creeping elegance.
Oh, and yeah, this forum doesn't seem to be as much fun as some of the other, older forums were, maybe because I see hardly any of the old nyms, changed out of disgust and remorse?