I was at the beta weekend event. Tried out the Elementalist and Guardian.
First of all, let me say that I loved how you could keep moving when using skills. Makes the combat much more fluid.
The "quests" are nothing truly groundbreaking, but it's the way they are presented that makes the deal. There is no quest log telling you what to do. When you arrive near an area with an objective, you get alerted to it. There are many ways in which you can complete the event, and you can complete it by doing any of those objectives, or a mix of them all. To make things even better, all players in the same area contribute to completion. Kill stealing is effectively out of the picture.
The skills in the game are situational. This, to me, is actually a good thing. The autoattack skill is your bread and butter damage dealer, while the other skills are to be used when needed. I like it that way. I find the concept of skill rotations to be terribly dull. I prefer a game that tests if you know when to use your skills than one that tests the order in which you use them.
Make no mistake, Guild Wars 2 does not hold your hand. You will die. A lot. Do not expect to go on your merry way slaughtering mobs, even in the starting areas. Fortunately, you get a chance to come back to the fight when your health reaches zero if you play your cards right. But be warned anyway, this game is hard.
Last, but definitely not least, is the business model. There are no subscription fees. You pay full price upfront and play as much as you want. The game is further supported by an ingame cash shop that sells aesthetic and convenience items. Players are able to freely trade ingame money and cash shop tokens between them. This means that you only pay what you wish to pay, and the devs don't need to add pointless grind to the game to keep you playing your monthly fee. Everyone's happy.
In a nutshell, Guild Wars 2 is nothing completely new, but it polishes the common tropes of MMORPGs and takes them in a new direction. The wait seems to be paying off.