Pardon me while I name-drop. We had the chance to talk with Rob Pardo some at DICE and GDC, and from a couple of anecdotes I'm going to make a sweeping generalization - a reason Blizzard outclasses us is because the sorts of problems that I'm tempted to just make excuses about they actually solve. The example from DICE was a discussion about ladder systems: my feeling used to be "Use ELO" - like the true skill from Halo matches. Rob Pardo doesn't think ELO is fun. Which is the point where I start making excuses: "It's good enough for chess, for Halo, it works, it matches you with someone at your level."