The Sylvari, a plant-based life form that resembles elves from other races.
The Norn, a race of shape-shifting barbarians of the frozen lands.
The Charr, large feline-like race, strong and pride-full.
The Asura, this small subterranean race is know for their intelligence and magic.
The Humans, an embattled race that has lost much of their own land to other races.
All five races will have access to all the different professions, mesmer, engineer, thief, guardian, necromancer, ranger, warrior, and elementalist. During character creation you also get to choose your own lore, by choosing specific events or deeds you can start with, which will have an impact on how your story plays out through out the game. All races start in their own home worlds within a shard. The active combat is going to make this game stand out in a big way. Unlike most MMO's the standard of standing there exchanging blows back and forth is not a huge part of this game. You will be able to dodge and roll away from enemies avoiding their attacks and block attacks with enemies if you have a shield equipped. Another awesome aspect of combat is the skill sets. Changing out weapons, say two handed sword for a short sword and shield, will change out the basic skills you can use. ArenaNet has also done away with the typical healer/tank/damage roles that many classes play in the typical MMO. In Guild Wars 2, every person will be self sufficient, meaning they will be able to tank, deal damage and apply self healing. Different skills, including healing skills can be setup as an auto-attack skill. All professions are self supporting. Team work will benefit players a great deal. For instance, if a player casts a wall of fire barrier for protection, then all ranged attacks passing through the wall will deal fire damage.
For PvP players, zone control battles will happen every two weeks according to ArenaNet. They have created PvP maps "as big as our models could handle." Their will be large 12 on 12 battles domination style. Every two weeks each Shard will face another in PvP battles.
As far as events go, questing will be fairly straight forward, however their will be zone-wide events. One instance being, if town in your area is under attack you can choose to help or ignore it. Later on though, the town will be over taken and you must help to take it back by battling the enemy back.
Guild wars 2 has been teasing gamers for over 5 years, finally we will be able to get our hands on it. GW2 will be free to play, after initial purchase of the game of course, continuing their successful business model of GW1. There will be no beta for the masses but there are plenty of videos out there. ArenaNet promises a 2012 release. Though no official release date is set, you can pre-order your copy now. I know I plan on it. Check out some of the videos here, and follow my blog and please check out my sponsors.