After about 3 months in the beta, and extensive time spent with 4 of the 12 classes (Herald of Xotli, Bear Shaman, Assassin, and Dark Templar) I think I'm for sure going to go with the Herald of Xotli as my main. Let me explain why this is "news" in Bildo's world.
I never play mages. I usually hate their squishy nature and the glass-cannon effect that comes along with it.
But the HoX is far too cool of a class to pass up. Fire and brimstone and a bid of demonic possession are all the tools I need to convince me that it's the kind of experience that's right at home in Hyboria. The only downside is that it means I'll have to play a Stygian... bleh. I've always been partial to Cimmerians as they're the more Nordic flavored people. Stygians are the Egyptian-esque people in Howard's world. Not that this is a bad thing, in fact their armor, weapons, and scenery are among the prettiest in the game, but they're just not my bag aesthetically.
If I can, I'll be the palest Stygian out there, and the one with the reddest hair.
There's just something about the HoX's skillset... right from the beginning you're lighting people on fire, spewing flames from your mouth, and turning into a demonic essence of the god Xotli and causing fire damage to all around you (for a brief period of time). I've also seen some of the feats and skills later in the game (and since I work for TTH I can post about this I believe). There's a skill later on that actually spawns a volcano nearby the enemy and proceeds to burn them to death. There's a giant pillar of flame that if it kills an enemy leaves behind a burning corpse that does AoE damage to other enemies in the area.
I mean... it's just so cool, and to top it all off the HoX isn't really a sit-back-and-fire type of caster. He may wear lighter armor, but that doesn't stop him from getting up close and personal with a 2-handed sword and slicing and dicing his foes. Throw in the every 2 minutes demonic form (the casting time of which can be negated with feats later in the leveling process) and you've got one hell of a fun class to play in my book. It's what a WoW rogue would be like if you gave him the powers of the Human Torch and took away his sneakier abilities.
I can't wait.
On another note, it looks like Funcom will be changing the Open Beta client to an All-PvP-Fest on the 10th, and they'll be auto-leveling the level 13 players to 20 and putting them in their respective hubs to begin the mayhem. Here's the rundown:
Funcom has announced that on May 10th they will be transforming the entire Open Beta for Age of Conan into PvP MAYHEM, while at the same time giving testers access to all that Hyboria has to offer! They will take down their servers for a short period to change the rule-set to Free For All PvP. Here are further details:
All servers become PvP servers. You can kill each other - no level restrictions on killing or getting killed, but you cannot PvP in the major cities.
All level 13 characters becomes level 20. Their inventory is wiped, but they have -tons of money and really nice equipment suitable for level 20s. Shopping bonanza!
You have access to ALL zones and ALL levels after level 20!
You will be zoned to your Race's Hub. (Cimmerians:Conarch Village, Aquillonians:Old Tarantia and Stygians:Khemi!)
We will get back with detailed information on the exact time it starts on the official Open Beta forums at IGN, as well as on the Age of Conan forums and community site.
Sounds like a buttload of fun for the PvP folks, but not exactly my cup of tea, nor other fellow "carebears". I'll pass on that part of the OB. Hopefully the Closed Beta will remain as normal so I can still compile class info this weekend for the TTH Guides.
EDIT: I'd also assume that this patch to Open PvP and level 20s will be bringing the client up to a more stable version, but don't quote me on that. It's wishful thinking on my part.
EDIT2: They don't really have anything to hide, but methinks making the servers FFA PvP is a way to limit the leveling process for players so they don't get too high up and then not buy the game because they played to 80 in a week... though I suspect some still will.