I will begin with the fact that these statements are my opinions...
Game Play vs Beauty
I can understand that Funcom wanted to make a beautiful game. Personally, I would like an mmo with graphics above that of Warcraft. With that said, I will not sacrifice game play nor will I sacrifice the word massive, simply to cater to the visual crowd. I believe that over-instancing is a problem. Over-instancing takes the word massive out of mmo. The game simply becomes a multiplayer game.
Player VS Player
In no way does Conan resemble a PvP game. Forced leveling through PvE makes this game a PvE focused game that minors in PvP. Forcing people to PvE to attain max level, then creating PvP for end game, makes this a PvE game with the option to PvP. When there is no equipment gain through PvP, when there is no experience gain through PvP, this is not a PvP game.
I know some of you will moan " but there are PvP levels". 20 PvP levels vs 80 PvE levels is total nonsense. This in and of itself shows the game is PvE focused with minor PvP options.
In my opinion, AoC differs little from World of Warcraft. AoC is primarily a PvE Quest based game that dabbles in PvP. The melee system is a nice idea wrapped in the same old MMORPG package.