*Skipping the intro, starting at article*
"Guild Wars 2 will play 250 years after the last Guild Wars-campaign and takes you to Tyria again, where a new evil has risen; the Elder Dragons. These dragons have subjected undead armies, which are being used to corrupt Tyria and it's inhabitants. The five races are driven from their territories, and it's up to the player to unite them to defeat the dragons. Not a piece of cake, since hatred and indifference are common amongst the races.
Meet the locals
While in GW1 you could only play as a Human, you can now play as one of the four other races as well. The feline Charr possess new technology which allows them to produce and wield muskets, the Norn are northern warriors that have the ability to shapeshift, the Asura are a small but intelligent race and the Sylvari are an elf-like plant-race, born from a magic tree that only recently started to blossom. Thus, the Sylvari behave like children; they're born with knowledge of the world, but are without practical experience, which ensures this race to be a naive one. While they are very different from the other races, the Sylvari share the wish of defeating the dragons, because of their strong bond with nature they'd rather not see the land trampled (or even scorched). Not all Sylvari's intentions are noble, though, there are even those who turned against their one race (the Nightmare Court). Like the Sylvari themselves, their weapons are plantlike and are grown in the ground (instead of forged in fire). So, the races are known, but which skills and professions will be available is not. (IT-1) However, what is sure is that every race will have their own Racial Abilities and ArenaNet has cut down the quantity of skills. Head of Studio Mike O'Brien:"In the original we had over 1.200 skills, which made the game unpractical. Now we've realised that for Guild Wars 2, it's not quantity but quality that matters. So less skills, but more diversity."
Solo is too lonely
(IT-2) You will be able to play Guild Wars 2 on your own. You'll have the possibility of leaving other players out in the rain, and go out and explore with AI-henchmen and/or your Companion. This last NPC is comparable with "Heroes" from GW1, with one difference; it doesn't take up a partyslot, which means there's more room for real players. Because even though you will be able to finish the game with just NPC's perfectly fine, there will be some MMO-challenges which require players to work together. The makers of the game are planning to implement a so-called sidekick-system comparable to the one used in City of Heroes. This system will level the playing field for players with a higher level and lower level to allow them to play together. Comes in handy if you want to play with a friend but he just hasn't put that much into it as you have and he doesn't feel like getting chopped to pieces. Whichever way you play, everyone will start at the same level. Because of the way the game works, you won't be able to take your Guild Wars 1 character and play it in Guild Wars 2. You can, however, reserve your name and above all, the 'Hall of Monuments' will pay tribute to your achievements in the original Guild Wars and give you unique rewards accordingly. The precise details are yet to be revealed.
You'll see old as well as new areas in Guild Wars 2. One of the new tourist attractions is a complete continent under water, on which you can explore the oceans as well as the ocean floors. Lead designer Eric Flannum:"In a lot of games, water is a hostile environment where you constantly have to look out for running out of breath. We want to encourage fun and exploration underwater, however." (IT-3) In fact, creasing the kinks out of this continent is one of the main reasons why it's taking so long for Guild Wars 2 to be finished. Another design decision that's slurping up a lot of time is the change from instanced to a persistent game world. This change leads to Guild Wars 2 not having conventional quests, but what the developers call 'Events'. These are group-oriented activities which are meant to encourage the player to explore the world. With this new event system, you can stumble upon a castle only to find it under attack by centaurs. You can then choose to help the inhabitants of the castle to repel the attack. If you're a half an hour too late, you'll have to start an army with other players to send the centaurs home to their mommies. Or, when you walk down a familiar road for the hundredth time, suddenly a caravan shows up, which you can protect from bandits. However; even though the world is persistent now and this new event system will be implemented, the story won't fall to the background; it will be told with a combination of instanced and persistent areas, of which the instanced areas will give the same heavily plotdriven experience Guild Wars 1 delivered.
Player versus player
Despite the differences between the races, they are not hostile against each other. After all, the developers want you to play together with friends that might be another race. So no Alliance/Horde segregation. Ofcourse, PvP is a big part of Guild Wars, and that's why Guild Wars 2 will have the same PvP system Guild Wars 1 had. Which means; All PvP-participants will have access to the same skills and gear, which ensures survival is indeed of the fittest (and most strategic), not the one that has spent the most time online. Seeing as this primarily attracts hardcore PvP-players, have the developers implemented a World PvP system (Read: Server Vs. Server) as well, for the more casual PvP'er. This system is for those that want to fight with their gear and skills they found in the game, and you charge into a limitless battle (literally limitless; party size in World PvP has no limit). (IT-4) The World PvP Maps bear a resemblance to RTS-maps and give you a chance to play different roles. You can conquer stone mines, which will then deliver stone by caravan to your catapults, you can attack and cut off caravans of the enemy, you can operate as a scout and inform the rest of hostile movement, you can man watchtowers and defend, or you can just run up to a lost PvP'er and teach him a lesson. All these actions will earn you experience.
Visually, Guild Wars 2 improves technically as well as artistically. ArenaNet now has an engine that can pump out images close to the concept art already seen. This is particularly clear in the trailer, where in-game footage and concept art almost seamlessly flows into eachother.
To sum up (With search codes lol (Press CTRL+F and type in the code for the bit you want to read) - IT = Interesting Tidbit ;D)
1. Racials confirmed! (IT-1)
2. Solo won't actually be solo; you'll still have NPC's. (IT-2)
3. Some reasons why GW2 is taking this long to release (?) are the underwater continent as well as the change to a persistent world. (IT-3)
4. World PvP isn't just 'charge in, kill as many as you can'. Strategy plays a role as well. (IT-4)
I highlighted the bits that might be interesting.
Picture of (scantily clad) Norn female with Norn bear behind her;"Apparently, in the north you don't need a thick winter coat. Why bother if you can transform into a grizzly bear..."
Random screenshots from the trailer;"Guild Wars 2 will offer more non combat activities (like crafting)."
Forgot to highlight the Racial Bonus confirmation.
Added search system? x'D
Edited by Naoroji, 19 April 2010 - 12:38 AM.
Version 1.4 (Fixed some words).