I've heard the fears... regular MMO players won't understand why Guild Wars 2 changed the conventions, and why it's better (or at least good). So... here's a thread so we can practice explaining it. I mean, it's one thing to understand it, especially from the point of view of a GW player, but it's another entirely to explain it to someone who plays standard MMOs or even doesn't play games.
I also want to see some people posting the devil's advocate here. Go ahead, but remember, have fun with it.
Here's my take...
I remember asking what was so fun about endgame instances in WoW, seeing as I would probably not get to play them myself. The standard reply was that they are challenging, and moreover, that the challenge was everything you have to pay attention. You have to do your rotation (jargon for 123 key punching), but you also had to get out of the fire on the ground or react to what the boss does.
Get out of the fire on the ground...
You might say then that the whole combat system in GW2 is based around the best part of the combat system in WoW. I mean, if you want ground-based effects, Guild Wars will have DoT's, but also health regeneration, weapon buffs, protective bubbles, temporary impassable walls. So, it's what you liked in WoW, but a lot more of it! And it's everywhere... expect that in persistant areas, in PvP, in dungeons, in missions, because it's central to the combat system.
React to what the boss does...
Reacting to what the foes do is part of standard foe AI. Remember the centaurs that lift their shield, then charge? That means get out of the way... but this is not an end boss, it's a regular foe. The same with tree monsters that knock you away with a powerful but slow strike. Also, there's a lot more littered bosses everywhere. Remember the big dragon you keep seeing in fan videos? Well, you meet him in the middle of the game, in a persistent area. That's right... you're walking along minding your own business and OMG big chicken falls from the sky! I bet he's got a few special moves that you need to know how to counter.
In short, ANet is taking the stuff people love most in MMOs, and putting them everywhere, not just in endgame bosses.