I don't get your point. Your comparison is meaningless. If you were to compare say the points I outlined maybe that would help? You seem to be under the impression that community building comes from the ability to adjust the game...community building is what we are doing right now, discussing ****, getting new folks reading the site, and maybe posting like my new buddy CorncobWilly who braved the waters to post in a ******* up thread to get in some +1's.
Your comparison doesn't compare anything to do with the community, it is entirely game related, which is a secondary aspect of a gaming forum.
Let me ask you a question.
Do you come here to read about FFXI, or do you come here because you want to shoot the **** with people you met here over the years that happen to play (or have played) the same game as you?
The comparison is community, not ability to access the Devs. Frankly the official forums have more community building threads, mostly because they have drama, they have their Rogs, and their anti rogs, they have their circle jerks, their white knights, their trolls. This site is devoid of many of those, because the circle jerk decreed this site be drama free. Which has caused the posting traffic to dwindle.
So ya your comparison is apple and oranges, and does not actually define why the sites are different at all. This website has minimal influence on what changes in the game. **** the main site has minimal influence as well. Unless you are new to the game, SE has been ******** on our ideas for years, regardless of where they were posted.