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Age of Conan delay explained

Game director wades in.

Funcom game director Gaute Godager has issued an open letter to the Age of Conan forum explaining exactly why the game was put back five months.

It's all down to the complexity of the combos, apparently, which beta testers were finding hard to come to terms with. So you'll now be able to have as many combos available as you want, and set them off using a clickable hotkey - although sequential moves will have to performed by certain manoeuvres.

Your hotbar will now also be one big affair, not separated like before. And used combos will have strike-through effects overlaid, so you know exactly what you're up to.

Class specialisation will be trimmed a little, too, because spell casters only need three paths rather than five - so they'll have two removed.

All of this has given Funcom the opportunity to speed up combat and enhance the action elements like positioning and directions, as less of us will be tripping over ourselves trying to get to grips with combat now.

"Why does this take five months? To make it we must go through every combo in the game, reassign keys, make icons, etc.," said Gaute Godager.

"To make it does not take five months. We should be done around Christmas. We wanted the five months to make sure we could make another iteration if feedback was as still less than stellar. We wanted a solid buffer."

For Funcom it is all part of what beta testing is about - listening to you lot. And don't panic, the changes are far from watering down the game to appeal to a more mass market.

"We are not changing the vision - it stays the same. [It's] not dumber, less deep, or less complex - just less convoluted," continued Godager. "Funcom's 'problem' has never been dumbed-down anything."

Head over to our first impressions of Age of Conan to see what we thought of it.

Age of Conan is due for release on PC on 25th March 2008, followed by an Xbox 360 version at a later date.