The beta has started and Pre-Orders begin on 10th April, so the game will probably go live during the summer.
I'm expecting Guild Wars 2 to deliver, as the original was a fun game to play through - PvE and PvP. All of the info below is from the beta videos on YouTube and the Guild Wars 2 Wiki, parts of which may be inaccurate (Note the disclaimer incase I am getting flamed 5 months down the line!).
Professions; Guardian, Warrior, Engineer, Ranger, Thief, Elementalist, Mesmer, Necromancer.
Races; Asura, Charr, Human, Norn and Sylvari.
Level Cap; 80.
The first thing to note is any race can choose any profession, and the second thing to note is the absence of the Monk. There is no healer in GW2!
The race should only affect the aesthetics of your character and their personal storyline, but there are racial traits too, which again are not meant to become so powerful to determine the selection of that race.
The Quick Bar!
As from the original GW, there will be a limit of a single, 10 button quick bar. These abilities cannot be changed during the conflict, you are limited to the handful of abilities and weapons you choose before going in to battle. I'm guessing in world PvE, you have access to all 50+ of your abilities, but in dungeons and PvP zones, your QB will be locked to changes.
From that image of a QB above, going left to right:
Curled Arrows : Switches between the 2 sets of weapons most classes can carry.
1 - 5 : These skills changes depending on the weapon you equip
Red Circle : Health pool, diminishes as you take damage
6 : Self Heal
7 - 9 : Utility/Class skills, can be upgraded by points earned as you level up
0 : Elite skill
F1 - F4 : (Above weapon skills) Varied effects, depends on the class
Conditions : (Above Health Circle) The buffs and debuffs affecting you
Dodge : (Above Utility skills) The endurance pool for your evasive actions.
These are anything but your conventional classes. Every class can self-heal(with a cool down), but no class is effective as a group healer. Some, like the Elementalist and Engineer have AoE heals. The picture I get is of a group laying down a defensive ring with their AoE buffs and heals and pulling mobs into it, layering the same area with offensive conditions. So... I'm undecided on classes right now, they all look of interest but nothing is standing out either.
Every class can dodge incoming ranged and melee attacks by double-tapping a movement key to jump aside. The endurance pool looks good for about 2-3 evades, and refils quickly so you can expect to be using it often.
There's a large selection of weapons for every class, like greatswords, swords, daggers, axes, mace, warhorns, staffs, torch, rifles, pistols.. etc etc. Some can be dual wielded and used in different combinations unique to that class. 2h weapons will give 5 skills. A one handed weapon will give 3 skills and the offhand fills the other 2 slots. So you can use a sword + dagger, or torch, warhorn or whatever in the offhand for those 2 associated skills.
Classes can also combine skills for a combat bonus, i.e. one person sets the ground aflame and the other shoots arrows through it to set the enemy on fire. There are meant to be many combinations in the game to be discovered by the players.
PvE should be worth it for the huge boss fights, like these couple of dragons from ingame pics:
Tequatl the Sunless
Guild Wars was all about the PvP and if I were to generalise, I'd say for the sequel they've borrowed some from WoW's PvE and from Dark Age of Camelot's PvP.
There are two PvP modes; The small Group vs Group matches and the new World vs World vs World conflict.
Here's an amazing concept for PvP; every server is united during their PvE endeavours, there are no opposing factions or PvP zones, you all live in harmony. Then every two weeks, three Servers are joined around a huge battleground, in which they must fight to prove themselves the best of that group. The war is for control of resource camps, towers, forts and the central castle. The reason people want to join this conflict is they're given server-wide bonuses for controlling the most resources.
This war lasts for two weeks and then the scores are tallied, the winning servers move up in ranks to join with other winners for the next match. This happens every two weeks to keep the conflict zones balanced.
The resource bonuses gained from capturing and holding conflict points, this updates every 5 minutes:
Something to note is, the server you start on is called your Home Server, but you can visit other servers to PvE with friends there. From this I'd expect the name you choose at character creation will be global. And that must also help with the smaller (Group vs Group)type of PvP, I'm guessing it will be possible to setup a friendly game of PvP with ~10 people you know from multiple servers, all joining together for some violent bonding.
A GvG game list... perhaps possible to host your own? oO
Some Youtube vids: