Innovation in Pinball:
What the player wants to see: The ball do something we have never seen it do before. Locked into a mech that we have no idea how it works, or some kind of contraption that, if activated, will let us see it do something we have never seen done in a game before. Physically. Not virtually as in show me someting on a screen, be it in the backbox, apron, or lockbar. As far as I am concerned, animations are for spectators and pauses during gameplay for effect like mode starts and mode ends, such as BOP's metamorphisis, or MB's intro to MB, MPM or MOR or <insert your favorite Multiball start animation here>
What the designers want to provide: Something that has never been seen in Pinball, but maybe not on the playfield... Maybe it's a topper, or a lightshow, or a ruleset that changes how player approach the game (JJPPOTC comes to mind with infinite possibilites etc... etc...) but not necessarily a new toy or mech.
What Pinside wants: any and everything a current pinball company is NOT providing
What we all eventually get: Another plywood box full of switches, lights, coils, motors, screens, ramps, VUKs, and scoops in a standard cabinet, three trim levels, and soaring costs that make a $4000 coin op investment actually cost $7K+ and after market prices that make a used car salesman blush.