Forums in general are elitist in nature, its impossible to get around. All you can do is suppress the elitism the best you can with proper community managers and admins.
True, but ZAM takes it one step further by giving forum-goers the ability to rate down threads they don't even post in, meaning not only can you smother potentially good ideas because you simply don't like them, but you can also become an angry stalker.
For example, if someone suggests that players should lose a level every time they die, naturally, players are going to argue against it, but that means the player who came up with the idea might decide to hunt those players and rate down every post they ever make from then on out of spite, even though the idea was absolutely terrible.
Honestly, I think the karma system would work better if it wasn't anonymous and you could see everyone who rated a post up or down.
That aside, I think that if/when SE has their own forums, there are three points I'm curious about:
1) Will there be split forums for NA/EU/JP players or will everyone post in the same place? If they do, will translations be available? They may not always be accurate, but if you see someone post something, how can you know if you agree or not when you don't know what they said?
2) How heavily will the forums be moderated? Will they quickly lock or delete threads they find unconstructive? Exactly what constitutes "unconstructive enough" to warrant a lock or deletion?
3) Will character names/servers be visible when posting, or will all posting be anonymous? I hope that character names will be attached to posts, but I know that JPs have a preference towards anonymity when posting on forums so this may end up being the route they go.