So, after a lot of deliberation I finally decided to play a class in Age of Conan that I never touched during the beta - The Tempest of Set. Essentially, the ToS plays like a nuker with the ability to heal. I was skeptic at first, even toyed around with the Herald of Xotli some for a bit, but eventually I made my way back to the ToS and I don't think I'm going to stop again with him for quite some time.
The downside of the ToS at the start is that they're not particularly good at healing. Not at all. You get an early HoT that does something ridiculous like 2 HP every second for 17 seconds... but I have 200HP. So at the outset, I found myself relying more on my potions and resting between fights, and this is really the way it is for all healers in the beginning of Age of Conan. I remember exactly the same issues with the Bear Shaman. But then by about level 15 (roughly 6 hours into the game) suddenly it clicks in terms of healing. At 18 I have 3 HoTs and a Rez. I can pop those heals on my friend and I and watch as the health bars go up instead of down when fighting enemies.
Combine these healing abilities with my lightning AoE spells, my root, and my mez... and there's no touching me (even when solo-ing) unless I get swarmed. I've never played a healer that felt so strong and capable of playing alone so early on. It's a refreshing change of pace really. Something tells me Funcom wanted to make sure the healers in their game were actually fun to play, and because of the nature of the action-oriented combat and the pacing of the game in general... they certainly are.
There's just something very satisfying about seeing an enemy rife with elecricity as he convulses and turns blue then crumples to the grounds in a smoking heap. There's something more to it when you remember that you're not a mage, but a "priest" in a traditional sense. I can see myself providing a lot of support in PvP with my Crowd Control, and even holding my own with damage thanks to the power of the serpent god, Set.
Good stuff, Funcom. Good stuff, indeed.