Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures Preview has written up their own hands-on preview of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, based on what they saw of the game at this year's GDC.
Once you've created your dream barbarian (and really, who hasn't dreamt of wearing a loin cloth and wielding a sword?), you'll wash up on the shores ready to begin your story in single player mode. This isn't to say you won't be online, quite the contrary; you'll simply spend your first 20 levels or so learning to play the game, exploring the game world, understand the lore, and absorbing the game systems in an area that is free of PvP, people begging for handouts and annoying spam. I hope you may be getting that I like this idea. This also means that should this character not be your character of choice, you can simply choose another and no one will be the wiser. The only drawback I see to the system is you lose those precious first few hours of bonding with friends/new friends in a game. But, to enter a multi-player world with an understanding and as a character you intend to play I think, will more than compensate.