I make judgements based on my previous experience as a gamer and based on my observations on how the AAA title production works.
No, I don't think that the Bioware folks are stupid... game developers rarely are, its a creative job after all and you can hardly mix creative with stupid. But I don't think they are the ultimate masters of their title. There are bigger "pencil-pushers" above them who call the ultimate shots.
Now they can be stupid. From a game design perspective. From the "earn truckloads of money" perspective I am sure they are quite competent. Most of the time. If you don't believe me, just take a look on how many AAA titles turned out to be mediocre slushjobs lately... I sort of doubt it was the game developers behind that.
I will bring SWG as an example again, because its such a good illustration of what happens when a businessman tells a game designer what to do.
SWG was a good game. It had some drawbacks, but at the height of its "game" it was fun, engaging, diverse and very "Star Warsy". It was also pretty unique with its sandbox approach to character building and fully player driven economy. I can tell you, that was the most fun I had from selling things in a game ever.
Then WoW came and the Businessman saw the green. And He beheld that SWG was not like WoW. So he went to the Designer and said "Let it be a WoW Clone". There was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, but ultimately the will of the Businessman prevailed.
And SWG died. Because It Does Not Do To Plagiarize Other People's Work - a lesson which every designer knows, but one which is totally lost on the business people, who do it all the time and usually get away with it.
Will Bioware escape the trappings which ultimately turned a good MMO into a cheap, half-dead ripoff without a soul? I hope so. It doesn't look that way from the available info, but I'd like to have a good SW MMO available to play, so I hope.
But as I said, I am more excited about Mortal Online than TOR, because MO guys seem to be bent on going with an original vision and approach (and are technically better equipped to pull it off than the available Darkfall). TOR guys unfortunately have to listen to LucasArts and EA honchos who are undoubtedly breathing heavily down their necks, all turned on by the prospect of potential dollars.