Some new information on crafting (simplified) and this quote on the VO:
In Origins, you were a nameless, voiceless hero, but in DA2, you are the silky-toned Hawke, a change that may be jarring to those who favored Origins's old school approach to characterization. Which, as Laidlaw tells it, is not that many players. "People generally hated the silent protagonist," he says, but that wasn't the only reason to adopt a main character who could speak for themselves; Having the hero stand stoically while drama erupted all around them "seemed to be doing a disservice to the storytelling." Recognizing that responding to an impassioned speech from Leliana by choosing a sentence from a menu lacked a certain vitality, the Dragon Age team decided to borrow a page from their colleagues across the hall.
Cheers for posting that. I thought it sounded promising when it started talking about there are "no chosen ones, no pawns of prophecy - just people doing the best they can on any given day." Sounds great. But then it goes right on to say "Hakwe became the Champion of Kirkwall and changed the world."
And really off-putting to me personally " That story, told in flashback by the dwarf Varric as he's interrogated by the determined Cassandra, is what will play out during your adventures." Nothing makes me groan or put me into an immediate state of boredom with a game than if it's played in flashback.
And the pace of combat has been ramped up? Are they kidding? I thought Origins combat was way too fast and unforgiving. I had to constantly pause to assess how the fight was going, and if I wanted to move a certain party member out of the fray by the time I'd taken control of them and ran a few meters out of the way everyone else was dead. It was that fast.