I, for one, really liked the pawn system. Then again, I really didn't have a significant point in which any of my pawns felt useless or exceedingly dumb. (I also didn't have super high expectations when I went in, either. Most of the time I'd just revive them when they went down and leave them to their devices.)
Given how absolutely shaky Dragon's Dogma already is in terms of framerate issues and a lot of shit going down on the screen, I can't fathom having two, three, or four players all going batshit insane in a room. I get that people want a Monster Hunter game in North America, but that shit already happened, remember? That one on the Wii? I bet that worked out real well for them.
But yeah, it's probably the same reason why Skyrim doesn't have multiplayer: it's a lot of time and resources to spend on something that might be a bit busted in the end, when that time and resources could have been used to flesh out the game world. And even then, Dragon's Dogma has a great late-to-end game, but man that middle bit is pretty fucked.
I know a couple people took a poke at AVWW when it came out. Arcen has already rolled into AVWW 2 with a significant facelift and revamped gameplay. If you own the first game on steam, you automatically have the sequel and can install and play the beta for AVWW 2.
I'm only an hour or two into things right now, but it certainly seems a lot tighter. I'd say the general aesthetic is more widely appealing, too, but the art style of the first game didn't bug me as much as it did others. There does seem to be less resource gathering and crafting right now, but that might change later. I like that the combat is a lot more streamlined and I'm generally okay with the removal of mouse controls. It seems a lot closer to the metroidvania/roguelike thing they had in mind before.