Who was there: Various members of ArenaNet, including Eric Flannum and Colin Johanson.
What they talked about: This full-to-capacity panel revolved around ArenaNet's long-awaited massively multiplayer online role-playing game sequel, acting as a primer to give fans and newcomers and an idea of what to expect when Guild Wars 2 launches. The panelists discussed a number of different ways in which they are building a game that is meant to be played with others and how much more beneficial it will be when cooperating with friends or strangers in the long run.
While Guild Wars 2 does, in fact, have a single-player story campaign, the entire world changes based on the actions of the population. What happens in the world today may drastically change future events. Noticing that mission structures in other massively multiplayer online games would often have people competing against each other in order to complete the same objective, the developers decided missions should instead be cooperative and that everyone who is involved in any particular situation should be working with others to complete the task.
Mission difficulty will vary depending on the number of players involved. The term "dynamic" was used frequently to describe many functions within the game. On top of that, everyone who takes part in a particular mission or dungeon will earn participation points, regardless of what their function was. Be they healers, archers, or tank characters, every player will earn rewards for his or her efforts.
Regarding those rewards, gone are the loot drops that would often leave players with items that are useless to their characters. In their place, players will be rewarded with tokens that can then be redeemed for the items they want. Just like money, players can spend those tokens all at once or save them up and get the item that will really help their characters out.
Further discussion about the cooperative experience made mention that higher-level players will not have to create a new character in order to play with new players or friends. With the sidekicks system in place, higher-level characters will drop to a level matching their friends' levels, so they can still reap benefits and gain experience without having to develop a new character.
But the most interesting talk regarding dynamics dealt with the game's dungeons. One issue ArenaNet identified that plagued other MMO games was the reliance on "the trinity" of characters to complete a particular instance. If a team didn't contain the three--a tank, a healer, and a damage-per-second specialist--the likelihood of success was greatly reduced. In Guild Wars 2, the dungeons are being designed so that any group of five can tackle them and, in theory, complete them with little to no modification made to the party. Details regarding this were not too specific, but expect to hear more about this in the future.
Takeaway: Much of the panel was devoted to recapping previously announced facts instead of revealing new ones. And unfortunately there is still no word on when fans can expect the game to be released.