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Shadow of War’s nemesis and levelling systems now have microtransactions

Back when Warner Bros was set to release Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, the publisher ran into a bit of a marketing blunder with its YouTube coverage policies. Now, it seems that the publisher is set to receive some backlash again, this time with Shadow of War, as WB has announced today that the game will have micro transactions tied into the nemesis system.

Shadow of War will include loot chests with different Orc followers, you will also be able to buy XP boosts to accelerate your levelling up. Shadow of War is a game that revolves around building yourself a loyal army of orcs to take down Sauron. However, if you have the cash, you could just skip that entirely by visiting “the market”. Warner Bros even tried to dress this whole thing up as a positive by putting together a livestream with some of the developers to “explore the in-game economy”.

So there are three forms of micro transaction in total in Shadow of War. Here is the breakdown:

  • Loot Chests: contains weapons/armour of varying rarity. Equipping and upgrading these weapons and armour enhance Talion’s character abilities. Loot Chests can also contain XP Boosts that help level up Talion faster.
  • War Chests: provides Orc followers of varying rarity to help forge a strong army. They can also contain Training Orders to level up and customise Orc followers.
  • XP Boosts are consumables that help level up Talion faster.

There will also be bundle packages that contain all three of these micro transactions together “at a great value”. These loot crates can be bought with in-game earned money called ‘Mirian’ which is obtained by hunting down ‘treasure orcs’ destroying gear or finding hidden stashes. Alternatively, you can just buy gold from the store and use that. You will receive gold in “small amounts” for participating in community challenges.

Here’s a quote from Warner Bros announcement on loot crates for Shadow of War: “An important aspect of the Nemesis System now comes in forging, customising and leading your own army of unique Orc followers against the fortresses of Mordor. There are different ways to do this, including dominating Orcs by exploring the vast open-world and encountering them as part of Orc society, or players can acquire Orcs and other items through the Market (in-game store).”

KitGuru Says: I’m usually more forgiving when it comes to micro transactions in games. However, pretty much everything about the way this was announced has annoyed me, from the way it was dressed up like a positive thing right down to the fact that it was forced into a game that by no means needed a loot crate system. It’s like Warner Bros took the nemesis system, the most praised and innovative mechanic from the original game, and just butchered it. 

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