Fan Nickname: "Super Avatar Bros.", due to the amount of jumping puzzles, and having to constantly leap over what effectively amount to Bottomless Pits.
Executive Meddling: Per Word of Garriot, he had to appease shareholders, who basically demanded he make a console platformer, as well as rush it out ahead of schedule.
Though he has also said he takes his share of the blame for this one. EA hadn't been around any longer than Origin, but was far more successful, so when they told him this was for the best, he simply believed them instead of pushing back.
What Could Have Been: The expansion pack. The eponymous lost vale was allegedly to be accessed through the huge double door on the Plateau, which in the full release ended up leading nowhere at all. There were several other people, places and storylines that were alluded to but didn't make the final cut. Also, waterbendingTempestry.