Except for the fact that:
1) CCP are using technology that's been in development for years to be used by EVE and DUST. This cuts down the budget significantly for all three games, seeing as so much in the way of development assets are coreified to be shared between all CCP projects.
2) It's been in planning since 2006 at the very latest. The story has also been being developed (Across the WoD universe) for 20 years plus.
3) They don't need MASSES of staff, when you consider that the content teams are relatively small groups of people. The server architecture...well, if anyone knows what they're doing there it's CCP, and the writing team:
4) The content writers and designers sure as hell know the backstory better than anyone, seeing as White Wolf is owned by CCP.
1) So is FunCom. The DreamWorld 2.0 engine is a graphically updated, completely back-engineered DreamWorld Engine (AoC) to remove all the spaghetti code and effectuate the functioning code.
2) TSW has been in pre-production continually since 1999.
3) I'll give you that.
4) Don't know if you know this, but FunCom's staff consists of a few ex-CCP and ex-Bethesda staffers that all worked on similar projects in the past.
I wouldn't call it being 'grudged up'. It's just that I have no faith in Funcom. They either deliver a steaming pile of shit and spend ages trying to promote it until it's finally playable as they finally have budget for it (AO), or they release something that is in theory brilliant but then either ignore it or dilute it much more than they should (AoC). The only thing it's got going for it is that it's got the Dreamfall guy involved.
Not as much as a smidge of the staff involved with either AO or AoC remain on this team. They have also waited until the very final stages of the project to get an auxiliary investor/publisher (EA, for the US release) and can't possibly be pushed to release too soon.
You can say what you want about AoC, but it gave them the economic freedom to see their next project blossom before even being released.
The investigation system is novel, but it's going to be a short-lived novelty no matter how many expansions they add in for it. Having to leave the game to search things is an inherently bad idea. It's going to completely break immersion, and let's face it, that can't really be contested.
It's also inviting people to read spoilers constantly and even non-intentionally.
Within days, people are going to have walkthroughs for the entire game written out online, and as people google these investigations, they're going to get higher and higher on search rankings, inevitably making the entire system pointless, inane and without any of the feeling of accomplishment that the devs expect people to feel.
I don't doubt the gameplay will probably be fun in itself, but things like this, especially when a dev is so proud of and excited for a system (a la these investigations) means they're probably going to be shoehorned in and practically forced no matter how much people don't want to do them. Essentially telling players to "just fucking google it" seems like a cheap cop-out for making decent investigation missions in the game universe, in my opinion.
The ARG's are events, not content. They will run every week until someone solves it. You can't make guides fast enough for this content. On immersion breaking, you couldn't be more wrong, as the game will incorporate immerse systems within the game to look the information up without minimizing the game.
I am, however, just as excited for WoD as you are, and I'm going to check that out as well.
A closed mind is a weak mind.