I used to play Dungeons & Dragons too, but nowadays I also have some problems finding people with serious interest in the game, and who try to imagine themselves as their character, not just playing for the hack & slash and the loot galore!
True, in my board game, you cannot do everything you want. That is sadly impossible in a board game. But you do play together as a group adventurers against the story, and have some choices in the story and in your actions. And you can freely travel around.
But indeed, one of the charms of dungeons & dragons is the absolute freedom.