:p I'm on year 6...so I'm way ahead of you guys. lol
It's been out here for 22 hours. Of which I have spent 5 playing.
I've spent five hours playing, and I'm unhappy with my character. I'm probably making a new one. Which causes more problems. I can't see myself playing anything but a warrior, that's just who I am. I'd like to be a tank, but they feel really weak, bordering on useless. Two-handed weapons, on the other hand, are powerful and intimidating, but not really what I want to play, you know, deep in my heart. This is messed up.
Combat needed improvement, yes, but I feel they may have gone too far. The worst part is how everything is an AoE attack with knockback, and enemies burst into bloody fountains when you kill them. They've officially sacrificed too much realism.
Edit: For the sake of balance, let me point out some of the things I like about the game. Also, I may seem highly critical, but DA:O disappointed me at first, too. It took a while before I genuinely started liking it.
Anyway. The good stuff. Characters, for one thing, are far more interesting than in DA:O. Both appearance-wise ( having a generic-looking character in your party is no fun ) and personality-wise ( these are characters, not real people, so they sort of need more extreme personalities to be ... interesting ).
Like I said, they've also changed a lot of the races and such. I'm loving the new Qunari. Seriously, those are some badass warriors, unlike the portly, gray-skinned humans from DA:O.
I'll have to wait and see how the story progresses, but so far ... well, I haven't gotten far at all, so it's hard to say, but it does feel plausible and personal, at least, and that's something.