Leveling: There are 3 different ways to level.
There is PvE experience which allows you to gain PvE levels. There are 40 PvE levels. You will find that it is quite easy, compared to other MMO's, to level in PvE, this is intentional. There is a HUGE emphasis on making the game "fun". PvE levels allow you to "buy"(Really cheap, there is no big coin need to buy PvE skills) skills and abilities. There is also special PvE skills and abilities that you gain depending upon which tree you pick to specialize in.(Each class has three different trees to specialize in) Always buy all PvE skills/abilities that you can, since there is no hurt in having them.
There is PvP experience, which allows you to gain PvP levels, this is called "Renown". There is a total of 80 PvP levels. PvP levels allow you to gain a few new skills, abilities, or attributes, depending on where you place your Renown points. You get 1 point for each Renown level you gain.
There is also "Influence" experience. This is separate from Renown and PvE experience. This is limited to a PQ area.(PQ = Public Quest) When you first start out there is only one PQ in the very lobie area. As you move up in levels and explore more of the world you will find other PQ's. There are three levels for each PQ, each level allows you to pick an item that you want. In the lobie areas the items are not that big of a deal, however after you hit about level ten, you will start finding PQ's that reward blue items, these are very decent! When you take part in a PQ, after the PQ is complete there will be a dice roll for loot. The more you contribute to the PQ the larger bonus you get to the roll. The top players get extra loot that they make pick from the end PQ treasure chest. Understand that after you hit the third level you get to pick a level one item, a level two item, and a level three item. If you only complete the first level, you can only pick a level one item from the NPC. After you reach level three of a PQ there is really NO reason to continue doing that areas PQ(s), as it is time to move on.(You cannot keep getting items after you pick that level's item)
Crafting: There was very limited crafting content in the closed/open/preview gameplay. This was also intentional in that the Devs did not want to give a lot of game info away. The crafting that was in the game is very easy and self explained in the "Tomb of Knowledge" think of this as an in game encyclopedia. I will give one example of a crafting skill. You can grow your own "seeds"(These drop from mobs, and some can also be purchased from merchants to get you started) You get a separate window to grow your own seeds. To start out with, you can only grow one seed at a time, however later, with levels, you will be able to grow up to four at a time. You can add water, a nutrient, and soil to give your plant a better chance to grow into something else besides a weed. After your plant grows you "loot" it. From this you can buy a vial and mix a potion. There are quite a few different potions you can make. There is even a tutorial to show you how to do this. This is not a long drawn out process, to just grow a seed takes a very short time.(Adding water, soil or a nutrient shortens this time.)
Gear: No you are not going to spends hours camping ANYTHING! Gear drops are common and you do get some trash loot that will give you more then enough coin to buy levels and items. Since you do NOT have to PvE at all in the game there are "Renown Gear Merchants". These merchants have average to awesome gear that you can buy pretty cheap, however you have to be a certain PvE level AND a certain PvP level to get them. The better the gear, the higher the level needed to buy the items. They do scale very well to your current level. With no problem at all I was fully geared out in "greens" by level ten on all classes. You will also be able to loot off enemy dead players in PvP! This does NOT come out of their inventory, however the vast majority of items are greens or better. So ALWAYS loot in PvP if you see the "sparklies" around an enemy dead player.
Areas: What if you are an orc and have a dark elf friend? From the very start of the game it will take you less then ten minutes to go join a friend in another area.(You need a very small amount of coin to "buy" a ride.) All the quests in all the areas can be completed by any race/class. Also do note that travel time is not some 30 minute trip on a flying mount, it takes about twelve seconds to fly to a new area.
I know that all this info sounds a little overwhelming, however you will catch on very quickly and you will see that the game was really designed to be FUN. Like PvP, then go PvP'ing. Tired of PvP'ing, go to a PQ and get some phat loot. Tired of PvP and PQ's go do PvE quests. Tired of PvP, PQ's and PvE questing, go do some crafting. So far in WAR I have never become bored, as I can always find something to do that is fun, and I say this having leveled over 160 times!