Templayer wrote:"No major gameplay overhaul, slight in-game effect, vanilla-friendly" - I disagree with that, strongly. For me this just limits what you can do.
Look at it more in terms of how much more in fact you can do with this, rather than in terms of what it doesn't alloew you to do. It's still more than the basic, unedited version of the merge gives you, at the very least, and something that gives you dozens of new possibilities isn't bad solely because it doesn't give you hundreds. I just threw this out there for Rodril to see and make of it what he will. Believe it or not, but sometimes limits are actually a good thing. Less is more, was it? It's easier to direct and focus your imagination if you have some restrictions to follow. For example, learning about really big, yet finite numbers and what they are (such as the tritri or Graham's number) helps the average mind much more to grasp the concept of infinity than just telling them that it's, well, infinite. A thematically closer example: why do you think HotA is in general more popular than WoG? I think it's because it's straightforward and limited, yet focused. It adds a restricted amount of new content, intuitive and easy to use, just like any previous expansion. WoG on the other hand adds so much stuff that it's easy to get lost in the seemingly infinite possibilities that it offers. A scripting language of its own, map elements with no uses assigned to by default - most people will just spend days figuring out what new functionality to use and how to use it, while in HotA they'll just get to making the map right away, since their finite but well-understood set of tools doesn't take focus away from creating the actual map to pondering the plethora of options. Same with LEGO - usually the trick is to build the best thing you can only with the bricks you have. When playing around with the digital lego creator software, with no such restriction you're more likely to get lost in browsing and admiring the miscellaneous parts than actually making a project (unless you possess high levels of self-control and mental discipline). That's the problem with platforms providing too many options such as WoG does - most works created using them will be glorified showcases of the platform's new possibilities, rather than high quality productions whose merit comes from their content.
Same goes for MM. If people had found the character creation system drastically lacking to the point of ruining the fun, the games wouldn't have such a passionate community to this day. Having the possibility of mixing and matching classes with races to the degree that we currently have in the base merge is already a huge new world of choices opening to the player. Enforcing a set of race restrictions or bonuses to skill caps would give these choices a meaning beyond just aesthetics and if done properly, increase replay value by making players want to try for example one time an elf druid, another time a dwarf druid - both providing advantages over the other that the other doesn't have, yet both useful and rewarding to play beyond what the vanilla MM7 druid offers. On the other hand, with the Unlocker people seem to have a hard time exercising restraint, and the biggest pastime seems to be outdoing each other at coming up with the most outlandish race/class combos, or even parties. For that reason I think developing the class skill bonus/penalty system (not necessarily in the form I presented it in, mind you) is conceptually better suited for the base game - Rodril has in fact already begun implementing it with several racial skill alterations such as the axe bonus for minos.
Don't take this as anything more than a suggestion and I hope you understand my perspective.