Twenty Sided's Shamus Young has put together another article contrasting Star Wars: The Old Republic, which he recently derided, with the soon-to-be-launched Guild Wars 2. Though the actual details on Guild Wars 2 are scarce, suffice it to say that Shamus thinks that breaking away from the World of Warcraft model that The Old Republic followed is responsible for producing an excellent MMO.
After a few hours with Guild Wars 2, I realize I'm very angry at EA / BioWare. I'm mad that they spent so much money. I'm mad that the end product looks so bland and soulless. I'm mad that they killed off Star Wars Galaxies. I'm mad that the internal development environment (and I have this on good authority from someone who worked there) was so dysfunctional. I'm mad that the Star Wars license was used with such carelessness. I'm mad at the lack of ambition. But most of all I'm mad because, if a few people had been doing their jobs, we could have gotten something really special for all that time and money. Without the prospect of shelling out monthly fees, Guild Wars 2 is looking tempting, especially for those who may not be interested in the usual MMO fare.
Even if you loved SWTOR (and I'm happy if you did) I can't think about how much better you would have loved it if there had been some sort of creative spark behind the thing beyond, (Let's make a WoW clone using a Star Wars license and make piles of cash!)
The streets aren't clogged with highlevel mounts. (No mounts.) You can teleport around almost at will without the game pissing away a bunch of time riding the gryphon, or the speeder bike, or the steed, or whatever names people give to their in-game bus. The game lets you level your character in the starting area you enjoy most, not where the designers say you have to.
You don't have to kill ten boars to get to the guy who will give you a quest to kill ten boars. If you kill ten things while you're near his property, it counts, and he mails you the reward. There's exploration based gameplay and XP, encouraging and rewarding players who love to run around ,see the sights, and try to figure out how to get on top of that one thing because wouldn't it be cool if you could? (And yes, you can!)