Age of Conan has received some criticism for its world design-choice in using zoning and instancing technology, but in all honesty, a world with Age of Conan's look, feel, sights, and sounds could not be accomplished using the standard seamless world design found in other MMORPGs. Sure, other games might look pretty, but graphically, Age of Conan blows its competitors out of the water, and we're still waiting to see DX10! What's that you say? "Zones are so limiting, though" If it works for City of Heroes/Villains, it can work for Age of Conan too. But throw in the grandeur that you would find in Funcom's Hyboria, and instantly all those thoughts about zoning, loading screens, instancing, etc., will simply float away, and when you're trudging through squelching knee-deep mud puddles, wading through waist-high shrubs, watching the trees, bushes, and grass wave in the wind, watching the rain make perfect droplets on the ground beneath you, listening to snow crunch underneath your foot-steps, and finally, paying close attention to birds flying across the skies in the distance and other forms of wildlife doing what nature commands them to, I can assure you, you will appreciate the design-choices Funcom have made with their Hyboria. Age of Conan may be the game to change your mind about zoning and instancing technology if you so vehemently despise it, or, at the very least, give you the verve you need to endure the occasional loading screen, but not that the loading screens are there for very long anyway (just make sure you can match or better Age of Conan's system requirements).
One of Age of Conan's main strengths lies in its quest content and design. Whether you are a lone-wolf, a team-player, or a cog in a lean, mean raiding machine, Funcom has gone to great lengths to ensure that there's something for you to do in their Hyboria, and when you've done it all (or at least think you have), there's the end-game content! High-end level raids, sieging, city-building, PvP, crafting; it's all there on offer, and with the Age of Conan development team dividing into two teams post-release (a "live" team, and an expansion team), Hyboria is set to get bigger and bigger and unremittingly offer the player more and more.
Should you be excited about Age of Conan? You certainly should be! The surface has only been scratched in this WarCry preview, but with May 20 (May 17 for pre-order head-start eager beavers) only a dozen or so sleeps away, you're going to experience it all for yourself quite soon anyway. If you're still not convinced or are still unsure about the whole Age of Conan thing, then find a friend with a spare Collector's Edition buddy-key handy, and come release, give it a go and sink yourself in Funcom's Hyboria.
For Funcom, creating Age of Conan has been a labour of love, and that is devastatingly obvious in the fruits they have beared in this Crom-tastic game!