First on the dungeons. The video looks good.
I don't really like these over-the-top spell effects. Every character apparently is also a mage. But that's not worse than expected. ArenaNet tries to please all the players, but they don't seem to make the mistake WoW does and homogenize all difficulty. I do like that spells don't fly through players - but something tells me they are just positioning themselves well in the video.
Then underwater combat. Here's the video. First: I don't like underwater combat from a pure gameplay point of view. Never liked it. Then, I don't like that you can ignore water in MMORPGs. Wet clothes should have an impact. Well, it was obvious that GW2 isn't going to focus the simulation that much.
What I find utterly ridiculous is this:
Here at ArenaNet we don’t think breathing is fun. We figure that you have to breathe every day IRL (in real life), so why should you have to work to breathe in a game—even underwater?
You know what? Walking is also a bit boring. I have to do it in real life all the time! Here, at Nils' MMO Blog we think that people shouldn't have to walk in games, let alone run. Let them glide! How cool is that?
On the other hand, if this were Blizzard they had just added 10 minute breathing bars or just removed it. At ArenaNet they give you a breathing mask. That's what I was talking about recently: Adapt the simulation, if you want a different gameplay. That's one point for them; even though I have no idea where these masks come from, or where the underwater weapons come from.
I wonder whether you can live forever by being 'defeated', swim to the surface, reg, get down, be 'defeated', swim to surface ...
Summa summarum, GW2 does about as well as I expected it to do. What I don't like is that there is no tension in the combat. Oh, the character died? *yawn*