It is significant to note a pattern of reduction in culpability.
At the time of Adam's sin, the existence of G-d was relatively obvious. Adam also had a direct relationship with G-d. Adams failure condemned all of Mankind to experience death.
By Noahs generation, the existence of G-d was not as obvious. Also, relative to Adam, the generation of the Flood did not have as direct a relationship with G-d. These factors combined to reduce Mankind's responsibility. We therefore note that the consequences of the their sins were less catastrophic. For example, everyone was condemned because of Adam but not everyone was not destroyed during the flood. Adam's sin permanently affected civilization. As massive as it was, the flood was temporal.
We can view this as a management strategy that G-d chose to take. It reduced risk for Mankind. It compromised on Mankind's schedule towards perfection.
Man still has free-will but the span of consequences that can result from free-will is narrower. This preserves the future of Mankind. It also lowers the stakes, because the quality of the afterlife is affected by the degree of Man's responsibility.
Individuals can still rise to obtain Adam's capability for eventual greatness.
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