The idea is "If it did'nt come into existance." That means there would be NO comparisons. =D
Happy day.. Oh Happy Day! Aside from that, the ATB feature was already in development to begin with. It would have shown up with or without FF, since final fantasy did not begin to RPG thing to begin with.
Then, it only sets the standard because there are enough mindless people to enjoy the same thing over and over so why bother to change? Except to please the smaller group of non-mindless drones who want games that have change in them..Which alot of game makers don't really bother to do.