As far as I can see it isn't WHFRP as we know it and love it. One thing I like most about wh is that combat is so dangerous - it makes people think and avoid it where possible. Is that the same for this game? Is this game as realistic? (What they did with criticals makes me doubt it to be honest.) So I think I will prefer 2e as an RPG (and hope to be proved wrong).
However: If this is the only way that we'll get great new source material and adventures released then fair enough. At the moment my most likely approach will be to get 3E and look at what improvements they have made then reverse engineer them into 2E.
So, good points: Maybe it'll keep the world alive and mean that they release new stuff for it. Maybe it'll have great adventure ideas. (I still take a lot of 1E stuff, and even some of the more 'intellectual' (i.e. less combat oriented) ideas from things like 3E D&D.
Bad points: As it stands it looks like a cross between WHFRP and descent (skill, feat cards anyone?). E.g. the character sheet seems a little in your face in my opinion. Maybe it's just the way we play but combat is rare, and we definitely have no need to constantly refer to the character sheets (most of the important stats are on the DM cheat-sheet anyway - for quick reference without asking the players). Is it just me or is this overkill? How often do you need to refer to your character sheets in play? How often do you resort to combat? (In DnD combat was very common - but the WHFRP focus on story is why we play it - for combat we go DnD anyway.)
My main question is: Is what we love about WHFRP, and the only reason we play this instead of other systems, still there in 3E? (My bad suspicion is not.) Basically it's that the focus is on role-play, story and not combat. (Most of the demo seemed to be about simplifying it for people who can't use a pen (i.e. fill in a character sheet) or adding combat options (e.g. stance) - which wasn't promising.)
What I'll do depends on the price in the UK. If it's reasonable (e.g. buying online) then I'll probably get the basic set and see whether it's worth taking things from to put back into 2E, and see whether the theme is still sensible. If it still has the WHFRP feel then I may even give it a go.
I'll also probably get any expansions that don't just mirror the 2E material - useful source material and interesting adventure ideas to utilise is never a bad thing, and if the only way they will release them is under a new version then it's something I'll have to live with.
What I would like to know from people is:
Why do you play 2E?
What do you like about it?
How often do you have combats?
How often do you need to refer to the character sheets?
Then I'll know whether I'm just the odd one out.
My worry is that 3E is designed on a falacy - to promote roleplay you need more rules to aid. I'd suggest that the converse is the case in my experience.
I actually prefer 2E to 1E. I thought the rules were better and more streamlined/consistent. I'm definitely not afraid to change and my immediate thoughts on hearing of a new version were actually positive. Until I saw the videos I love descent (especially for 2 players where 1 takes 4 heroes, and have all the boxes). I love WHFRP (and have virtually all the books). But for different reasons and they are very different games (e.g. plentiful combat vs little combat and lots of RP and problem solving/intrigue) and serve different purposes. Why hybridise?