Like many MMORPGs, when you create characters in Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, you can use different classes, or character archetypes. Some of the more common classes in MMORPGs are Paladin, Fighter, Priest, etc. In Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, the classes are based on actual characters or classes created from Robert E. Howard and other writers’ work in the Conan universe.
There are four archetypes of characters – Mages, Soldiers, Priests and Rogues. Basically, these are equal to black magicians, fighters/Paladins, clerics and rogues respectively. You don’t get any classes until about level 5. Until this point, you play as one of those four archetypes. Mages can use magic (obviously), Priests call upon the powers of deities from either Cimmeria, Aquilonia or Stygia, Soldiers kill stuff and Rogues act as thief-like characters.
After you hit level 5, you can then choose your class. Each archetype has three classes to choose from. Mages can become Demonologists, which work with summoning demons and other forces but risk having their own life force/mana drained from spellcasting, a Herald of Xotli, who can transform themselves and act as both warriors and magic-casters, or a Necromancer, which can wake the dead and use them to act as an undead army. The Herald of Xotli class is only available to Stygian characters, as in the Conan stories the Stygians worshipped the deity Xotli.
Priests can be Bear Shamans, Priests of Mitra or Tempests of Set. Unlike most other classes in the game, this one is dependent on your nationality. Cimmerians are very much into the whole nature aspect, so they can use Bear Shamans as a class. They’re almost like Barbarians. Priests of Mitra are your standard healing type characters, and they’re for Aquilonians. They generally don’t have a lot in the way of attack. Tempests of Set are for Stygians, and they can use black magic and call down the powers of Set, the snake god. The Priest archetype is a little more focused on physical action than the Mage.
Soldier…this is the archetype most people will likely pick when they play the game, because the Conan series is known for its brutal swordplay and overall violence. The three classes of the Soldier archetype are Dark Templar, Conqueror and Guardian. They all have the ability to utterly destroy pretty much anything you could possibly throw at them, Dark Templars are the evil or dark ones (hence the name) who use black magic to aid them. Conquerors are your mid-range ones that give a lot of charisma to surrounding units in battle, and Guardians are the ultimate in defense, somewhat like Paladins in other MMORPGs. Guardians have no magic, so are at a slight disadvantage there when compared to Dark Templars.
The Rogue archetype is composed of Barbarians (the obvious example here being Conan himself) Assassins are the first; they’re your basic thieves and murderers. Barbarians are your, well, barbarian class, and the rangers are long-ranged fighters who use bows, thrown weapons and short weapons, but can fight in-close.