Guild Wars 2 is the first real sequel to the original Guild Wars series of games. The other "sequels" are more expansions rather than full blown sequels. "Eye of the North" required that you had completed one of three basic adventures, i.e. Prophecies, Nightfall or Factions. In the originals, you were only able to play the human race, but this is now expanded to five races which include the Charr, Asura, Norn and the Sylvari. It has a fantasy theme but unlike other games in the genre, there are no Dwarves or Elves, instead it makes up its own races. There is magic and dragons, especially as the antagonist is Zhaitan.
In the original games, multi-players could only meet when they in a town or in a group. In GW2, players can co-exist anywhere on the cotinent of Tyria. There are many mini-instances throughout the continent as part of the story line. These mini-instances can be entered solo or as part of a group.
There are inevitable comparisons between this game and World of Warcraft so lets address the differences. When people quest in GW2, anyone can join a quest, no need to join a party, you just go in and help kill whatever is needed to be killed. When the mission is complete, everyone who assisted in the mission gets the XP. How much XP you get depends on how much involved in the game you was. You can be rated in terms of either Gold, Silver or Bronze effort. There`s no need to pick up quests, every quest is an event that you get notified of when one begins and you are in range of that event. When the event begins, you can choose to fight or run. When you communicate with non-player characters, you watch a mini-movie conversation as you can see in the picture below, top right picture.
To get into dungeons, you need to be high, the lowest requirement for a dungeon is 30, Ascalonian Catacombs. Its high compared to Warcraft, where the lowest you can be is 12 and thats for Ragefire Chasm dungeon. The number of dungeons is low compared to Warcraft but depending on the success of the Guild Wars 2, more will be added, albeit for a small fee.
One big thing that is missing from Guild Wars 2 is mounts. There were no mounts in the first games either but having a mount does improve a game. Mounts help get from one place to another with ease. In the game, there are portals which allow easy acces to different parts of the world but they`re no real substitute to mounts. An addition to the game is the ability to swim underwater which you couldn`t do in the original. The graphics of a user swim are perfect, you couldn`t get better.
The best thing about the game is that you only pay for the game, not the gameplay. There is no monthly subscription to play. You will have to buy additional weapons and clothes eventually but you can probably avoid that for a long time before you need to.
You`re not limited to one server, you can freely transfer your characters from one server to another. There is no change unlike what Blizzard charges you for the pleasure.
When your items become damaged too much, they disappear leaving you somewhat looking as though you`re naked. Once you repair, the clothes come back. The picture below where the character is seemingly just wearing a nightdress, her clothes are in fact damaged.