Wizardry 8 Retrospective, Conclusions

With the end of Wizardry 8 reached, Jay Barnson draws some design conclusions from his travels through the game. Again, spoiler warning.
So my adventures in Wizardry 8, the "last of the (mainstream) old-school RPGs," has come to an end. It's a good thing that a game doesn't have to be new for me to enjoy it. Plus, I no longer need to kick myself for missing out on it.

One of the many reasons I love RPGs is because, at the end, I don't feel so much like I've won the game so much as I got to live it. At least if its good. Wizardry 8 was definitely one of those experiences. At some points - particularly late-game when the combats seemed interminable - I felt more like I was enduring it than living it. But with the benefit of hindsight, I think I can appreciate a lot more of what the game accomplished.

Now that I have a full play-through of the game behind me, I've been pondering some of the design successes and issues. This is mainly an exercise for myself as I'm attempting to improve my own indie game-designer chops. But for the three people who might be interested (and, more importantly, share their own thoughts on it), I thought I'd open up my ruminations to the public (scary!) and see where it takes me.