Welcome to Neverwinter ! You're going to make your character, your avatar in the game, the figure that will adventure everywhere on Faërun with you.
Before anything, I'm warning you that you'll play your character for hundreds, if not thousand, of hours. There is lots of content in the game. It doesn't take long to level up to the maximum level, but it takes months to complete all of the campaigns in the game. Almost all of the content is accessible to casual players. There are only a couple of very end game dungeons and trials which require much more time to reach. Reaching the top is totally possible without spending money, but it takes time and spending your resources wisely. If you are set on becoming one of the bests, keep in mind that progression is a slow but steady process. You'll get there eventually.
With that in mind, here is my second warning : things change. It is an mmorpg, and there's new content added to the game at least twice a year. The game gets balanced regularly. Classes change, items change, what's considered best at one point will be considered the worst later and vice-versa. But everything is viable. You do not need a specific character to be able to beat stuff. You just need to be good enough, to have the proper gear, to balance your stats properly, and to know the mechanics.
So, all things considered, do not play a character with the "best class" or the "best race". Play a character you will enjoy the most. Make a character that looks good to you. And play a class with the gameplay you enjoy the most. If you want to play the "best" character possible, by the time you reach endgame, it will become the "worst". And whatever is considered "worst" is still quite viable. There are many good players playing the "worst class" who are actually way better than other players playing the "best" one. Understanding the game makes much more of a difference than anything else.
Your character's race makes little difference, but every race has small bonuses in certain areas. There are races which are better for Damage Dealers, and races which are better for Tanks or Healers (the difference is tiny). Look at the following page if you want to make a choice based on their bonuses :
There are premium races. Many of them can be unlocked by buying them with premium currency (which can be obtained within the game). Few of them can only be bought with real money. And a couple of them were unlocked during events (with or without paying premium currency, depending on the race).
Male or Female makes no difference at all.
This is where your most important choice is. Do you want to play a Tank, a Healer, or a Damage Dealer ? All of the classes have access to 2 paragons (at level 30), with different powers and specializations. You can change paragon whenever you want thanks to loadouts (you get 2 loadouts for free). Most of the classes have access to 2 different roles. So you will not be stuck into being a Healer or a Tank. And leveling will never be an issue, whatever your class is. To pick the class that is the best for you, you can look at this page :
Alright, now we are getting into the technical stuff. Depending on the Race you picked, you will be able to put a couple of points in your Ability Scores. To pick the proper Ability Scores, depending on the main role you want to have, look at this page :
Ability Scores give quite small bonuses. So, do not worry if you messed up or if your Race does not give you very interesting bonuses. But the points you distribute during character creation cannot be changed easily, contrarily to the points you gain while leveling, so pick them wisely !
Okay, so, hum, have fun, and see you in an hour !
This is the backstory of your character. It doesn't make any difference gameplay-wise. So, pick whatever feels closer to your feelings.
Just like your Origin, the Deity you pick will not change anything gameplay-wise. But their icon will be displayed on your screen at all times. And, starting at level 10, you'll be able to invoke your Deity multiple times a day for a few bonuses and special currency. There is a cooldown on the invocation, and to be able to see better when you can invoke your Deity again, I suggest picking a Deity with a colorful icon. But it's only a suggestion, and whichever you pick will work just fine. There is a cooldown displayed anyway.
All you need now is a proper name !
I wish you a good adventure ! Sergent Knox will take care of you, but if you want to learn more about the game mechanics or get a better Leveling experience, feel free to come back here to read more, after spending some good time in the game ! Enjoy !