Here's the latest commented gameplay video of Guild Wars 2. Nice graphics, I think. Generally, a rather innovative game in a lot of ways, too. So I continue to plan to have a look into it when it is eventually released.
I won't say much about the gameplay, because the presentation was unable to tell me anything about how it feels to play GW2! Which leads me to what I want to say.
The commenter is a complete disaster. When you want to convince somebody about a product you don't compare yourself directly. You don't say "Isn't THIS awesome!? No other MMO does this!".
That's like saying: "I am richer than most guys you have ever met, which is why I am qualified to spend time with you this evening".
It's wrong for two reasons.
First, you want the audience to draw its own conclusions. To tell them what they have to think doesn't work. ... Unless you have the game magazine press in front of you and want to make it especially easy for them to "analyze" your product.
With customers that are not interested in writing about the game to make a living, but rather interested in playing the game, this just doesn't work.
Secondly, you want to behave as if extraordinary things are completely normal to you. To say "This really big dragon is actually one of our smaller ones", is like telling the job interview guy "Actually, I am even more awesome than I have just proven!".
Even ignoring the commenter, the whole presentation is set up the wrong way. I didn't get the feeling as if I were on some kind of adventure, instead I felt like a tourist and not really interested in anything. That's an inherent problem with current gameplay-presentations.
Generally, this kind of presentation is like showing one-minute-long snapshots of 20 different soccer games to prove to me how great soccer is at building tension.
Don't say what you want to prove, instead prove it! Or, at least, send an emotional message. Make me understand what playing Guild Wars 2 feels like.
Have a look at TV ads. For instance, if they want to sell you a car, they don't say "The new steering technology makes the car more dynamic. No other car company does it this way". Instead, they show you stuff like that*.
Now, you know that they are overexaggerating, of course. But they get an emotion across, instead of just bragging about it.
While a MMORPG TV ad should be similar to the linked one, a 45 minute presentation should, of course, be more truthful.
Current MMORPG presentations are set up as if by game designers for game designers, while cutting all the stuff game designers would actually be interested in.
The perfect MMORPG presentation feels as if your big brother plays this fascinating game that you don't really understand. Yet.
* Notice how this ad is about a succession of interesting decisions. More specifically, evading ground effects. Notice how you wonder how it will end. This curiosity makes you watch it until the end.
** Of course, if this ad were a MMORPG ad, the car would be showered in lightning effects and destroy the clouds with two-mile-long nuclear missiles that appear out of nowhere.