Neither of Larian's previous games in this series had respawns. There was a resurrect spell you could use in Divine Divinity, though (if you left the area, resurrected creatures would turn hostile, and you could return to kill them again), and in the after-game battlefields for Beyond Divinity you could keep generating new battlefields (which were areas with several merchants and randomly generated dungeons).
Dragon Age: Origins has no respawns, but there is a low(?) chance of a random encounter traveling on the map.
A rather high chance for an encounter actually almost 1 every journey. Which is kinda nice. Long journeys even 2 sometimes.
As for the 'grinding' bit. When I played D1 and D2 it never was a problem due to the large quantities of mobs. If this is still the case throughout the game I don't mind. It even gives a sense of satisfaction to 'clear all'.
On the other hand it's a shame one cannot transfer a char to a 'high difficulty' to try and reach that virtual levelcap.