Guardian: The Guardian is the tank of tanks; a heavily-armoured warrior designed for group defence. It can pair one-handed weapons with a shield, or use a polearm to attack multiple enemies at once. In offensive terms, it makes interesting use of Age of Conan's unique combat system, with attacks that deplete stamina (the resource for physical attacks) or create vulnerabilities in enemies' shielding. Shield guardians specialise in soaking up damage, while polearm-bearers are expert at taking down multiple enemies with huge knock-back strikes. Tanking can be more dynamic and fun in Age of Conan than many other MMOs, and the Guardian will always be in demand for groups.
Dark Templar: An evil blend of plate-armoured warrior and magic-user - a sort of bad Paladin - the Dark Templar is one of Age of Conan's many interesting hybrid classes. Wearing shields and one-handed weapons, the Dark Templar can leech health from enemies for limited healing spells, and even convert damage dealt into health top-ups. If that sounds overpowered, note that many of the Templar's abilities also have damaging side-effects. Bizarrely, it will also gain buffs from damage dealt to members of its group. This class will need careful balancing from Funcom to work, but for students of the unusual, it's probably the most interesting experiment in the game.
Conqueror: Rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the most able solo classes in the game, the Conqueror is a powerful all-round front-line fighter situated somewhere between Guardian and Barbarian, and quite similar to Lord of the Rings Online's Captain when in a group. It wears heavy armour but no shields, and can dual-wield, but just as important as its melee attacks is its range of commanding auras that boost groups of allies, and detract from enemies' power. If you want to deal more direct damage than a pure tank, but want the security of plenty of armour and hit points, the Conqueror is a fine choice.
Priest of Mitra: The Priest of Mitra is the stereotypical healer, a through-and-through good guy with the strongest healing spells in the game. You can expect to be the primary healer in any group you join, and to be in demand with other players, but you won't get any melee combos. However, armour and weapon choices aren't as limited as you might expect, and the Priest of Mitra has some interesting offensive spells, notably a powerful knock-back that will allow it to hold enemies off or push them into the path of tanks and damage-dealers. Funcom has worked hard to make the core healer a less limited option than it is in many games, to good effect.
Tempest of Set: This slightly evil Stygian class has the broadest range of equipment options of the priests: light armour, shields, and a good selection of weapons and talismans. Don't mistake it for a tough fighter, though, with its limited amount of health and lack of combos. This is the class to choose if you don't believe healers necessarily have to be whitebread good guys, and want to mix powerful mage-style magical damage with healing abilities (but be warned, it is somewhat compromised at both). Expect to be surrounding yourself with enemies and then killing them en masse with spells over an area of effect, rather than actually fighting them, or casting at them from a distance.
Bear Shaman: This is the most unconventional healer in Age of Conan - in fact, it's one of the most unconventional classes in the game. It's not really a caster at all; wearing medium armour and using melee combos, the Bear Shaman is a front-line fighter which can buff allies and heal them strongly over time - and later on, resurrect them - rather than one that needs to stand back to cast spells. Tree-huggers will enjoy its strong alignment with nature, and ability to summon bears late in the game. It's the best-suited healer to Age of Conan's style of play, but be warned, it's still not an easy one to level. The Shaman is very weak in the early stages and has an incredibly limited choice of weapons - two-handed clubs and ranged weapons only. However, for a chance to simultaneously play a support role and enjoy the game's melee combat in full, it's got to be worth persevering with the inconvenience.