Okay; some bullet points for why GW2 is awesome.
- Everything you do gives you experience. Harvesting materials? Experience per whack of the axe, pick or sickle. Exploring? Experience for every area, Point of Interest, Waypoint, Vista, Skill point, etc. you find or otherwise complete. Clear a zone of 'things to do'? You get a Chestful of loot (3 items, 40 of <insert rare crafting material> and $$$ and 10% of the exp you need to hit nect level).
-Renown hearts and 'karma' merchants. You feel like a good guy for helping some down-on-his luck farmer clear his fields of wurms, and later you get a letter expressing his thanks, how his family hasn't eaten this well in months, and oh, here's some coin for all your trouble and help. Karma is the same thing; Instead of burning cash, you burn a little goodwill to get things from other people. Sometimes it might be something like a cool recipe (mmm, apple pie), or a crafting blueprint (mmm, giant sword made of bone and jagged edges), but you get the feeling of it being 'Hey, I did you a good turn, care to help me out' rather than 'Well, you did me good, but I'm charging you money for whatever you want'
-The ability to use /me emotes. If i say /me hugs his good friend <so-and-so> the game will declare in the chatlog '<My Character> hugs his good friend <Friend's character>'
- Each of the Five playable races all have unique architectural styles and attitudes; Humans, for example, have tall, thick walls and spires, with massive libraries, and districts that hearken back to the original nations in GW1; Divinity's Reach, the Human Capitol has each of its six districts architecturally-designed to be similar to Ascalon (Rurikton District), Kryta (Salma District), Elona (Ossan District), Cantha (Theatre District, sadly gobbled up in the Great Collapse) and so on, so each cultural representative of the race has something to remind them of ancestral homelands. You can also find a LOT of callbacks to Fan-favourite characters from GW1 in GW2's graveyards; for example, in Ebonhawke fortress, there's two graves side-by-side that any fan of GW1 would Cry at.
"Home at Last"
"The most steadfast of companions
he followed Nicholas to the ends of Tyria
-The cities FEEL Alive. I can spend over half an hour exploring Divinity's reach ~alone~ and not feel like I found all the nooks and crannies, plus it honestly feels like there's more people in Divinity's reach then there were in all the cities of Skyrim. Sure, most of them would only say 'hi there' if you talked with them, but that's more than most games, and especially most MMOs would do for you.
-Combat has a sense of ~weight~ to it. If you use a knockback attack on an enemy, they actually flail around as they try to avoid the knockback; a Centaur for example will be knocked onto his side, all four legs kicking futilely for a few moments until he pushes himself back up using his hands to get his feet back underneath himself. Larger enemies get knocked back less, and some enemies, such as Ettins, will still be on their feet after being knocked back, as the smallest ettin is around 4-6 feet taller than the largest Norn, and pretty much nothing but solid muscle.
-Combat forces you to learn to DODGE. Not in the 'press button, roll in <direction>' dodge, but in the 'Oh, enemy's charging a heavy hit, step back or move to the side' Sense.
This is a Very SMALL fraction of why I think GW2 is awesome.