After playing GW2 and had some chat with the original GW fan base, I learned quite a bit about GW1, and I must say, I am quite interested.
I heard GW1 had many features that is currently absent in GW2, mainly the horizontal progression.
These are the info I gathered about GW1, but I could be wrong:
1) It has a low level cap (20), suitable for leveling different toons and try out different builds (imo important for a horizontal progression game because trying out different builds is a big chunk of fun)
2) The statistical best gear is easy to obtain, but it requires some work/grind to get better looks (compared to GW2, where exotic gear is a PITA grind to get and statistically better than rare gear), unknown if you can/need to grind for stat trade offs.
3) There is still room for non-aesthetic horizontal progression after max level, mainly through unlocking more abilities (which I fear will not be in GW2's future content)
4) GW1 also features a lot more PvP modes, while right now the only two PvP modes in GW2 are conquest and zerg. They can be fun by themselves but I really want other modes of PvP too.
In fact GW2 has a high level cap (80), and currently it is very grindy to get the stat maxed out exotic gear, so trying out different toons and builds in PvE and WvW will be a pain, the progression becomes almost vertical (which I dislike) in some sense. On the other hand, what I heard about GW1 sounds like an ideal MMO for one like me, who is tired of the gear treadmill in WoW.
However I also got mixed report about how GW1 was just as grindy as current GW2's level 80 dungeons, when GW1 first came out, while some other GW1 players say there's a fundamental difference between GW1's grind when it first came out and current GW2's grind and say current GW2's grind is much worse.
So I need ... someone to explain what GW1 was like when it first launched?
I also wonder if GW2 will develop in the same way as GW1, become less and less grindy as content is released, and people can begin trying out different toons and builds, and introduce more horizontal progression options such as new ability kits (hard to do imo), which is currently lacking. Will it be worth the wait? Though even if it would, I still don't understand why they chose to go with this backward design.
I also heard that because of the high base stats, the difference between an exotic geared toon and a rare geared toon is only 5%. Ah, that is more like it. I still don't know why Anet would make it look like there's a big difference in gear that requires massive grind, though.