I got into the closed beta early on and there was a strict NDA about talking about it, so the info here is a little old. It is old because after playing the beta, there was absolutely no way I was going to spend any money on that game.
There were some new things that I had not seen in an MMO before. First, there was no “true” leveling system with talent trees or skill trees. Gaining experience from killing things and completing missions gave you ability points and skill points. With abilities you can obviously get new abilities or upgrade existing abilities and with the skill points you could upgrade your pistol skills and such.
It also makes very sure that there is not a complete linear path the way World of Warcraft is. Example: In WoW you would go to the next town to get your next set of quests. That is sort of the way TSW works, but not quite. There are no intuitive “paths.” This makes it hard to figure out where you are supposed to be for your level. Oh, that’s the other thing: There are no levels. So you have very little idea whether something is way too easy or way too hard for you. I found my self running around, one-shotting baddies whilst doing quests in my log, so I ran someplace else to find more quests. After being pounded into the ground a couple of times, I realized that there is a tiny dot next to the targets name that changes color depending on the difficulty of the target. That dot is smaller than the favicon on the tab of your browser. Nowhere in any tutorial did it say this.
There is a story in this game. Having recently played SWTOR, I am biased as to what “movie-style” dialogue scenes are supposed to look like, but TSW looked terrible during all of the dialogue. I also instantly did not care about the story. When I learned that I could not spacebar through the way I could in SWTOR, I actually tried to pay attention. It was disjointed and seemed like I was walking into episode 9 on season two of a complex drama for the first time. After that, I alt-tabbed for the unskippable cut scenes and dialogue. The tutorials were terrible. Usually I can spacebar through tutorials because everything makes a good deal of sense. Not this game. It is so different and poorly explained that I had zero clue what I was doing for a while.
The modern day settings were pretty cool though. There’s something about killing zombies in a park surrounded by lovely town houses that really hits the spot.