I have been waiting for far too long to pick up a new mmo and I really hope something gets released in the next year that will rewrite this stale genre.
That said, TOR will probably have a huge following (bioware + starwars could sell a $100 box of poop to 10 million people). However, every new video/change/info/etc has made me less and less excited for the game. Only time will tell.
On the other hand, Guild Wars 2 has done exactly the opposite. Everything I have seen in the past year has been more positive than the thing before it. The game constantly turns is back on "traditional" mmo elements and puts a smarter and simpler system in place. They have also implemented lots of good features from other mmo's like war/rift publicquests/event, the personal storyline of an offline RPG, and plenty of standards like 5man dungeons and pvp modes.
Some of my favorite features include:
armor customization - dye system
standardized pvp environment - gear and stats are all equalized, no grinding for months to get competitive pvp gear. Just bring your build and your skill.
non-standardized pvp - three servers fight in a huge battle, bring your gear, no stat scaling here!
side kicking - scales other players to appropriate levels so you can always play with your friends
event scaling - did you miss out on a huge event meant for level 10's? You can't outlevel the content because the game will scale all players in the event to a reasonable level
attributes - damage, crit chance, armor, health. Thats it. Just four. No more respeccing every time you want to use a different weapon. Warrior are going to be very effective ranged characters as well as melee beasts. It never made sense to me for the "master of weapons class" to be so useless with bows.
weapon based skills - switching weapons and using different combos (shield + sword vs shield + mace) will change your skill bar. You get to pick from an undetermined number of skills in pre-determined slots. For example, you have a self heal slot (pick one of x) an elite skills slot (pick one of y), 2 basic damage slots (pick 2 of z), etc.
LINEAR level curve - once you get to an early level (I think 10) leveling is linear.
roll dodging - rolling uses energy (used for skills as well) but you can actively dodge attacks.
blocking - warriors in shield stand can stand in front of mages and block all incoming projectiles.
cross profession combos - If you shoot arrows through diseasecloud/fire/snow you get disease/firesnow/arrows. More to be revealed!
NO SUBSCRIPTION FEE
NO tank/heals/dps - there are NO spells you can use to target your allies in GW2 other than AOE's. Every class has a customizable strong self-healing spell and a weak AOE team heal. With no dedicated healers, you can't have one tank. All members of the party must take their turns taking and dealing damage while other members cycle out to heal.
discovery based crafting - think minecraft, but not quite. Crafting is heavily focused on weapon/armor modification so you don't end up with 100 rusty bronze swords. You just make addons for the gear you have from PVE. The devs have also claimed you will never need to make an item more than once unless you actually need it for your gear set.
I could really go on about this game. It looks awesome.
Edited by DayoftheGreek - 3/29/11 at 8:53am