They were transitioning from the usual 2-D isometric views to a more 3-D appearance.
This wasn't necessarily a good or bad thing, one of the greatest RPG series, Baldur's Gate, had an isometric view; many games look terrible, however, and it was hard to play them for more than a few minutes; but games like Summoner and Dungeon Siege looked great and were fun to play.
Dungeon Siege throws you into the mix immediately; your village is under attack and a friend's dying words begin your quest to reach town.
Dungeon Siege has a nice little nuance I noticed in the beginning of the game: most games have the hero start out as a farmer or simpleton of sorts, but the player is never really convinced of the hero's humble background, Dungeon Siege opens the game with the hero actually doing farmwork, with the dog lying around and chickens looking for feed.
It's a simple, yet nice touch that reinforces the idea of who the hero really is, just a farmer.
The game is much like Diablo and other Dungeon crawler games in that it focuses on exploring dungeons and other monster infested ares and less on towns, which serve more as pit stops to the next area.
You spend much less time in towns in Dungeon Siege than most other RPGs: you visit the buildings, sell your loot, maybe pickup a quest and a new party member, then on to the next dungeon.
The inventory system is exactly like Diablo's; each person has a set amount of space in their back pack and items of different size can take up various amounts of space.
And just like Diablo, if you pick up everything you can, those small potions will take up a lot of space.
Managing your inventory is key to making sure you leave a dungeon with as much stuff as you can, though you can always buy a pack mule to help carry what you find.
If you aren't caught up in storylines and in-depth town exploration, Dungeon Siege is a great game to add to your collection.
It's cathartic when you run your group into a swarm of enemies and watch the carnage ensue with weapons swinging, arrows flying, and spells exploding.