Three things that came up from the Borderlands 2 stuff.
The game made it obvious to me early on that it was only saving world progress whenever you reached a new Zone, which does add that need to get to the next zone before quitting which I enjoy.
The ECHO stuff is the slick quest design that you guys are talking about, the text / speech automatically transfers from ECHO to person and back as you move away from them. Sure they have quest text but it is very superficial because they explain the major points to you during the quest & right as it begins, through voice.
Finally Cannata I have beef with you on your comment to Garnett working within the confines of the game rather than vice-versa. You talk about board games and card games and all kinds of games all the time. If you want to be playing a game you have to submit to the predefined structure of rules that the game imposes, if you don't like its specific formulation of those rules that is one thing, but demanding that it copy another form that may not even work is INSANE. Games need to have rules that the player must follow or else it will just be imagination and not a game. Also games have no business conforming to schedules of individual people.