After a weekend of playing the GW2 beta weekend I feel that there is a lot of confusion of what was expected vs what was received. Most people on these boards have played a lot of MMOs before, myself included. I am going to focus more on what stood out among all the other things (good and bad). I am not going to give a rating mostly because ratings are extremely subjective and are based largely on perception of the reviewer.
Guild Wars 2 is an interesting piece of work that brings a some of new gameplay elements to the table while also refining a lot of the game features that have been largely left out by mainstream games (WoW and SWTOR). Where the PvE style of gameplay resembles some of the older games (EQ, DAoC, AO), preconstructed PvP is comes directly from original GW and WvW is nearly identical to DAoC.
Only thing that is really new is the combat system and new is a strong word considering Tera is already out. Now that is not to say that this is bad - it is fast paced and requires you to pay attention every step of the way. Even in lower level area if you will stop paying attention you will become food for local PvE wild life quite fast. One thing that was said multiple times and I absolutely agree with is melee vs ranged. There are no 'tanks' in conventional sense - so you can't just stand there and take the hits. That said you can evade 3 - 4 times before your endurance bar is out. As any melee class you need to get into the melee range of a mob (which can easily kill you in 2 - 3 hits) smack it once or twice and then get out. Even though your damage is much higher than that of a ranged class risk of going into melee range vs staying out far and blasting it with your rifle far out weights the reward. That said every class - will have to learn how to kite/evade, w/o this you will simply not last in GW2 combat. You have to pay attention and you have to be aware of what mob is doing in order to get out of the way in time. Overall I like combat quite a bit, but kill mobs will never be trivial even if you are in a low level area as a high level.
After playing quite a bit of SWTOR one thing that really stood out to me was the world of GW2. If you crank up the setting all the way to the max it is extremely beautiful (from purely graphical perspective). However even without maxed out graphics world feel alive - mostly because of the amazing design work, attention to details and style. I think GW2 took lessons learned in WoW - that you don't have to have realistic graphics to look amazing. It is the level designer that makes the level come to life rather than the polygon count.
For those of you who have played Warhammer - you will be glad to know that public quests are making a comeback - in a big way and I found that it was one of the biggest contributors to my leveling exp.
Another big point that I think deserves some focus. Most of games since WoW focused mostly on quest driven leveling - as in there are enough quests to level you from 1 to level cap. GW2 takes a very different approach - there are enough 'conventional' quests to get you probably 25 - 50% of your level. The rest of exp will come from world exploration, public quests, crafting, gathering and killing mobs. I am sure some of you will not be too excited about it but GW2 will not hold your hand all the way from start to end - most of the hand holding was done by level 10.
World vs World and Pre-Con PvP. If you played DAoC/Warhammer and participated in sieges, taking keeps, etc. this is the same thing - no surprises. As far as pre-con pvp goes - it is very much exactly what you expect it to be.
Overall I was pretty happy with the game - and I think they are off to a great start. There are definately issues with lag and melee combat that have to be fixed before release. It also needs A LOT of polish. I will say again - IT NEEDS A LOT OF POLISH. Now it was beta and I understand it that not everything will work right and there will be a lot of improvements. Things like draggable interface is a must, I should be able to rebind keys to any key combination as in 'Shift + Q' is a valid key binding, graphical evade glitches, stuck combat animations, lag spikes followed by insta death, etc. I can keep going and this list will be quite long but you guys get the picture.
Now I know some of you might disagree with some things - which is fine everyone is entitled to their own opinion so please keep pointless flame to yourself, and I am sure there are a ton of grammatical and spelling mistakes - well English is not my first language so if you have a problem with it fuck you too.