Some general questions...
1) Was there anything noteworthy that we, the lowly public, have not been privy too yet?
2) What impressed you the most?
3) How does the Beta version "feel"?
4) Has combat changed in anyway?
I'm assuming all of these questions are kosher, if they're not I apologize.
1) Well I did get to see the pets they were talking about. Available were a Balloon, a Mammet, and a Chocobo chick. They're fun, I hope there are quests/FATE battles to gain them as rewards, perhaps collectables?
I could write so much on this but since I'm planning an article, I'll make you wait for the rest unless you want to know about some feature specifically
2) The atmosphere (this could probably answer #3 as well). Everything feels more alive. The camps are full of NPC's who are talking and doing things, and the camps themselves are bigger and better. I got to run around Uld'ah and Limsa Lominsa's countryside, and while they weren't finished yet, they were just leaps and bounds from where 1.0 left off. You get this sense of a living, breathing realm rather than the sort of 2 dimensional feel it had before. They had things like night and day working (Seems to be about a 70 minute day), which helped that feel as well.
4) This is something I wanted to write about more in depth, but it is definately different. You saw in the alpha videos that there is now a cool down timer system in place. For solo work it makes the battles faster, but my worry was with party play. I got to do The Thousand Maws of Toto Rak with the community team (Pinurabi, Bayohne, and Rukkirii), and the combat really worked well for that, especially with larger monsters. Strategy is definitely required, it's not a zerg rush kind of thing at all. You actually have to be aware of not only the boss himself but the environment around him as well. It was really fun, I'll have more detail in my writeup.