I'm not sure Garriot is such a good designer, but I sure agree with what he's saying. It's something I've been thinking for a while. Designers are so damn lazy. They can't be bothered to even consider balancing game systems. They act like it's impossible. It's not f-ing impossible, spend time on it, do it properly. Old school designers have done it for a long time. This is just one of the aspects of course.
I don't think we can blame designers for lack of innovation though. This is because of publishers and investors. They basically want to make clones of games that made a lot of money. It's much safer.