Imho. Nowadays MMOs reach his launch date with one foot in the grave already. Why? I think 50% blame is of the producer of course, but the other 50% is of the overhyped players, after WoW launch, almost every game has been blindly hyped. We tend to overreact creating hopes and dreams of a game we haven't played. Maybe because the producer starts releasing chunks of info three years before launch (GW2 anyone?) or just because we only want to see the cool parts of our next MMO (TERA's combat is so awesome! shame it only have 2 high end 5-man instances).
So, when launch day arrives, 80% of the players knows how to clean the lvl 35 dungeon, where do you earn that sword that shoots cosmic beams and the best place to farm orichalcumcite ore.
Another problem is that players want to play a game without a single bug/exploit/glitch on the first day of the game. Hell, even some players complain about having issues on betas. In my opinion that's just pathetic, you can't complain about having 30fps instead 55 on crowded areas, or having 100ms ping instead 70ms on 50vs50 battles.
In the end, I don't care if Trion publishes a game for the masses or only for hardcore players. I just care about them publishing a game I want to play.
The irony is World of Warcraft had one of this worst MMO launches ever.
Still, what you said shows the player base skill to be is one of Archeage's strengths. Archeage cuts out a lot of the character limitations with its skill system.
Archeage has an open world like WoW, unlike most MMOs that have loading screens between zones.
And show in Archeage videos ground mounts and gliders are received at a far lower level than their MMO counterparts.
Though, that mount mini-game could get old real quick. Frankly, I think Trion should make it so if the player does it once, they don't have to do again on the rest of their characters.
Keep in mind that MMO games are both a sprint (good launch day) and a long distance run (maintaining and growing a subscriber base).