It's pretty impossible to separate whether WC's system was good from whether the staff was good; it was a very subjective system. I think, IIRC, that Surreality says the system was adapted from one she proposed for a game before WC existed? She said that they bastardized and ruined her original concept without permission if I'm remembering right. Anyway, the system was pretty horrible. It was broken in some real obvious ways.
If it was adapted from the system created for Manifestation: Hong Kong, yep, that one was the horribly broken bastardization of mine. It sounds like it got worse from there, and it's hard to get worse than 'look we don't understand this crap we just want to write up spiffy powers to make us the specialest snowflakes so we can get on with our lesbian fairy sex, so here we're going with this version that removes the benefits of the system and leaves it horribly broken so we can get back to artificially inseminating one another with our magic nymph tongue-tentacles'.
I wish I was kidding. I'm not kidding. :( I'm not even kidding a little.
Edit: Oh -- and no, the creator of Windy City (whose RL name I know but I don't know what name she used on WC so I can't name the name here, sorry!) did NOT have permission to take the system written for M:HK, broken or not. :/
Addendum on this one: The combat system wasn't my nightmare. I just had a core stat block at the time, without the combat system in place. I don't remember who did MHK's, so I have no idea what happened from there. (It may not even have had one to speak of; I don't even recall if MHK and the game it was based on were 'consent games with stats' or not, and they may very well have been.)