Some highlights here.
My love affair with Guild Wars 2 started as early as the character creation screen. Long burned out on playing variants of mages, warriors, and rogues in MMORPGs, I gravitated to the Engineer, a support class of sorts that combines steampunk-inspired gadgetry and firearms with alchemical prowess. While the class' damage isn't where I'd prefer, I never tired of bombarding my magic or sword-wielding opponents with loads of buckshot or blasts from my rocket turret. I even liked the weapon setup -- combat abilities in Guild Wars 2 change according to which weapon you're using, which means that many classes constantly switch them out for greater effectiveness. Engineers are a little more steadfast. Using a rifle, for instance, allows me to cast a net that immobilizes my enemy; using a shield and a pistol allows me to let loose a devastating knockback. Combat still relies on lock-ons and tab targeting for the most part, but the ability to dodge attacks (by double-tapping the directional keys a la Age of Conan) and chase enemies while firing my pistol somehow made the combat more exciting than TERA's, which usually requires you to stand still to let loose a spell.
One place where players do get chatty is the world-vs-world battlegrounds, where entire servers battle each other for control of key points on a gigantic battlefield in the nebulous Mists. Even better, you can jump into these almost right after you've created your character. Participation was a little lackluster (likely due to the relatively small amount of players in the beta), but the excitement coming across from a full-scale battle in the wastes always leaves a good impression. This is more than mere player slaughter; world-vs-world PvP allows for full-blown sieges in which players build catapults and trebuchets to knock down the walls and gates of keeps, while players in those keeps can bombard their assailants with mortars and cannons. In feels much more like real medieval warfare than what we get in most fantasy-themed MMOs, and the rush of breaking down a gate and slaughtering a keep's inhabitants is one I'm looking forward to experiencing again at launch.
So far, however, 18 levels in, Guild Wars 2 looks like a contender that lives up to the hype. It's polished, too -- I only discovered one major bug during my entire weekend jaunt (in which none of the slaves I freed seem to care that I was freeing them), and my framerates only sagged among the player mobs at the Shadow Behemoth. I can't think of a single setting that I didn't find worthy of a screenshot, and I like the ways in which Guild Wars 2 styles itself as a game you can get something out of whether you spend 30 minutes or six hours in it. Does that means it's the prophesied WoW killer? Not necessarily, but its mechanics take the evolution of the genre in many logical directions, and that already puts Guild Wars 2 ahead of many of its competitors. Oh, and did I mention that Guild Wars 2 has no subscription fee? Wow.