"For all the improvements, it's remarkable now little actual change there has been in gameplay. Even the simplest of battles are involved affairs that require player interaction, it's not just a matter of setting the warrior to auto-swing and occasionally delivering a kick. The various rage/mana/etc. managements that each class has keep things interesting. Battles do often play out similarly - charge, rend, wait for 2 attacks, yell, wait an attack, smash - but the ability to participate does make a difference. A warrior has to be particularly quick with his Overpower shortcut which will permit him to score a hit despite a 'Dodge'."
Though we expect more nowadays, and should always strive to improve, maybe the combat system wasn't so bad for its time.