Another thought. Reduction of realism can strongly increase playability.
realism is games is not always good, games are GAMES not real life
I once knew a guy who's "Ultimate MMO" idea was to be hyper-realistic to the point that dressing yourself in armor would require 10-15 minutes and a pair of assistants. The high-point of the sequence included cinching and buckling each and every strap where the tightness or looseness of which would have positive/adverse affects on protection, speed and dexterity.
When your core game mechanics are fun, then you'll realize that players don't care about realism that much.