Sylph Lord: The current Sylph Lord is Sakuya. She won the most recent election with 80% of the total vote. Her beauty is not the sole derivative of her popularity; she’s also a regarded swordsman, often making it to the final rounds during tournament duels. This, along with her personality contribute to her popularity. When taken into accounts pure numerical stats, she doesn’t stand out too much.
Sword Mechanics: Do keep in mind, Kirito’s not breaking the system by doing so much damage. As we know, damage is calculated by weapon type, speed of attack, and precision. Kirito effortlessly excels at the last two due to his experience from Sword Art Online.
Dual Wield: Unlike Sword Art Online, dual wielding is a cosmopolitan possibility in ALO. There are still features that prevent a player from dual wielding, but, the hindrance of use derives from its difficulty, rather than from the system. In Sword Art Online, the majority of the attacks were system-assisted; after a while, the player would eventually learn to control the sword on his or her own accord. In ALO, the system assistance isn’t as blatant; so, using dual swords is difficult. Lyfa commented on the difficulty in not only manipulating both swords at once, but at having them work in sync. [Imagine writing out a new letter of the alphabet. In Sword Art Online, another hand incessantly guides you in writing out this letter. After a while, you eventually learn how to write out this new letter. In ALO, you were never given the opportunity to be physically assisted in writing out this particular letter; there wasn’t something holding your hand as you went over the features of the letter. In this analogy, Kirito’s essentially writing out the new letter that he was conditioned to do in SAO].
ALO/SAO Combat Disparity: This direct quote covers this subject matter fairly well.
“In general, fighting in ALO was a graceless brandishing of weapons at close-range or a mindless reliance on magic without even a hint of skill in long-range combat. Defense and evasion were techniques performed only by very experienced, long-time players, things like face-to-face, high-skill combat could only be seen at the final rounds at fighting tournaments.”
In Sword Art Online, players were focused much more on defense than they were on offense. There were very few practical applications of ranged combat, so the majority of the combat was at melee range. We can see this “overbearing” safety approach in accordance with the SAO mantra of clearing, which dictates for the player to be ~5-10 levels above the floor that they attempt [Compare the strategies of ALO to SAO; in SAO, players switched, or they alternated the role of tank in order to heal gradually with the aid of potions, in ALO, tanks charge from the front, and mages mindlessly support from the back].
Money: SAO and ALO share a similar system; some items transfer other, and others do not. Yui transferred over, the majority of his specialized gear did not [Which makes sense; ALO’s gear system is tailored towards specific races, SAO is more linear], his money also transferred over [which makes sense; in MMORPGs, money isn’t an item, it’s on a category of its own; logically, it makes sense for broad values to transfer over, but not specific entities].
We saw a little bit of foreshadowing with this; when Lyfa and Kirito went sword shopping, he never asked for money. It would be impossible for the average starter to afford a decent weapon.
There wasn’t a lot of “hard” development this episode; not a lot of characterization, simply plot progressions. Dialogue was minimal, the episode centered primarily around action. It’s a nice break from the consecutive episodes of character development. I’d suggest reading the author’s concluding notes. I included both Volume 1 & 2 in addition to 3.