GameSpot has published a brief interview with Gas Powered Games' Kevin Lambert, in which the lead designer talks a bit about Dungeon Siege II. Here's a taste:
Q: Dungeon Siege was the first game to include an "automatically pick up everything" button, and the first game to include pack mules to carry extra loot, among other things. Is further streamlining of the interface (beyond what we've already seen) also a priority, or are there other things the team felt were more important to create or improve upon for the sequel?
A: Absolutely. We've taken many strides toward eliminating things that fans complained about having to manage. For example, when I played Dungeon Siege, I found myself spending a lot of time managing my inventory when I came back from a big dungeon haul and it was time to hit the shops. The reason I spent so much time with my inventory was that I wanted to go through each item and compare and contrast the stats to make sure my party had the best possible gear. In Dungeon Siege II, we've automated this comparison through the interface. When you pick up a piece of equipable gear--a sword, for example--it is compared with your currently equipped gear and the interface shows you "up" and "down" arrows to clearly indicate which piece of gear is better. We've added many little things like this (teleportation is another example) that will allow players to spend their time where they want to spend it, not where they feel they have to spend it.