i think the inspiration they took from Skyrim (which is not a bad thing since its a great game) was the open world enviroment. Bioware has NEVER done an open world game. thats not there forte. it has always been static NPC's with theme park gameplay (main reason Bethesda>Bioware imo). only thing Bioware does good is storytelling. this could be good or bad.
not true. Balder's Gate most certainly was open world... it's been a while though. I think they restrict themselves to the themepark gameplay because it makes branching endings and cohesive storytelling a bit easier to do. I remember several interviews with bioware staff about the incredible amount of work that needed to be done to make it even possible to have just 2 "paths" in a game. It effectively doubled the work for the VAs and writers.
I think it was always a conscious decision by bioware to limit the player's choices in some ways so as to develop the "story" better... and if there is one thing bioware does better then bethesda its develop a good story. In bethesda games its very easy to lose the main point of the story and get lost in the world. Which is cool on its own but i think it sorta makes their games float directionless for long stretches, and of course early in a game when you're still trying to figure out what you should be doing i never thought that was a good thing.
Of course later in their games the open nature of the world has been developed to shape your character so if you can get past the "floating directionless" early in the game you're destined for a pretty epic play experience. the question is, does the story leave much of a mark? I can't say it does. They build amazing worlds, and some very cool RPG character building. But their storytelling has always been mediocre at best... and i think the open nature of their worlds is partly to blame for it.Edited by azanimefan - 11/12/13 at 9:56am