I don't want to get involved in the argument, but I just wanted to bring up a couple of points on these specifically:
You can not purchase every Proficiency or Talent. By the time you reach max level you'll only be able to buy about 1/2 the talents and 1/3 the proficiencies. You'll have to try out the other combinations on future playthroughs. That also excludes the customization you get based on the loot you pick up, and there are a *lot* of different stats you can find on gear. I feel pretty strongly that our level of customization meets or exceeds other games in the genre.
I would say that 15-20 hours is a conservative estimate. We have had developers (who know the game!) take longer than that to complete the game. Again, time estimates are just that, estimates. I wouldn't get too worked up over it.
Ok from what I understood there are 9 abilities per character. Are those the talents you are referring to? I think some of the misunderstanding is from the terminology.
From my knowledge there are 9 abilities that each class has, each having 2 trees of 5 proficiency points.
I gathered that we are able to get all 9 abilities, and spend 30 points (one per each level) on the proficiency points.
What my quote should have read is, You can max all your abilities (have all 9). And that all characters will have all of those 9 abilities.
"Eventually, you'll have access to 9 abilities - three for each stance, including defense - and each Ability comes with a pair of proficiencies that refine it."
Am I wrong to assume we will be able to have all (max) abilities?
Think of it this way:
An Ability is something your character can "do" and is directly mapped to a button. You get 9 abilities and will unlock all of them over the course of the game, though you will choose the order you buy them in.
A Proficiency is a buff to an Ability. Sometimes proficiencies change the fundamental usage of an ability - for instance, Anjali's Aura of Immolation can be a heavy damage AoE or a very low damage, heavy healing AoE buff depending on how you spend proficiency points. Think of these as customizing abilities.
Each ability has two different proficiencies. You can put multiple ranks into any proficiency, but you can spend a maximum of 5 points total, split however you want, on a single ability. So you can buy 5 in the first, 0 in the second, half and half, or all in the second - whatever you want - but you can't max out both proficiencies for any one ability.
In addition to only being able to spend 5 points on any one ability, you only get 30 Proficiency points total. So - assuming you spend your points maxing out abilities and don't spread them around - you can only max out 6 abilities on any given playthrough. You can also choose to spread your points around, which is certainly a viable strategy depending on the abilities and character build you're making.
In addition to all of this, there are also 10 talents for each character, and each one of those has 5 ranks. You only get 30 points to spend, so you have to make choices as to what you want and don't want, based on your play style.
Thanks for the info Nathaniel. This sounds awesome! I hate games that allow you to unlock everything in one playthrough and don't really allow you to specialize. (i'm looking at you Fable). This way we can build different characters on multiple playthroughs and they will play verry different from one another. I like it.