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So who's excited for this? I was pretty unsure about it, but having watched VaatiVidya's gameplay videos, it looks really good (though do bear in mind that his videos feature an annoying amount of shilling for Gamestop).
Apparently it's more accessible without being easier - fast travel available from the beginning, encouraged to go anywhere from the beginning rather than following a particular route like in the previous game, crafting has been streamlined somewhat etc. Combat looks to have been changed to be more punishing though, as you no longer have invincibility during ripostes/backstabs like you did in the first game, and the backstab window is a lot narrower, meaning fighting other players should be less about rolling around hoping to be first to backstab. Dying causes your maximum HP to decrease, with enough deaths reducing it to a minimum of 50%. Reversing hollowing restores it to 100%. I quite like that, as it's a return to the soul form thing in Demon's Souls but slightly less harsh. Also the game allegedly has a less awful framerate.
Couple of reservations though. I worry that it'll be just more of the same, and the areas I've seen described don't seem too dissimilar from those in the first game. There's even a Blighttown/Valley Of Defilement type area with poisonous mist, which is bad because they were the worst levels of their respective games.
So what builds are people planning? The stats have changed a lot, so that might take some getting used to. http://darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com/Stats