Developer Monolith Productions has released a new update to Middle-Earth: Shadow of War which drastically revamps game progression and in-game economy, removing microtransactions and the in-game market-place entirely of their game. The update also addresses the late-game grind in the Shadow Wars.
Warner Bros. Games chose the worst time possible to jump on the lucrative microtransaction bandwagon when they released Shadow of War last year. It was around the time when seemingly the entire gaming community was at the ready with pitchforks, jumping at Electronic Arts’ throats for tarnishing Battlefront II’s gaming experience with a major focus on microtransactions.
It was only natural that gamers directed their animosity towards any publisher and game which implemented a similar “progression” mechanic. Shadow of War did get shredded by users who got angry for feeling forced into paying additional real money by a game design centered around a lot of grind. It was disheartening to see Shadow of War getting in this position after the excellent Shadow of Mordor showed that the awesome Lord of the Rings franchise finally got a new and successful entry in the game medium.
Even more so, since Shadow of War could be played without paying an extra dime, albeit introducing a good amount of grinding, but the damage was done already. Once a game gets a bad reputation, it’s tough for it to change that image. It seems Warner Bros. Games has understood it went too far with the changes in Shadow of War, and so developer Monolith Productions has been working on a patch to change the in-game progression and win the favor of its fans once again.
In their blog post, the developer details the significant update. The biggest changes are the removal of the Market and removing Orcs from Loot Boxes/chests. Players will now be able to purchase Orcs with the in-game currency Mirian. Chests still will give gear and Training Orders which will improve your Orcs but the drop rates will be better now.
The second big part of the patch are updates to Shadow Wars, the end-game portion which could become a serious grind previously. This has been addressed with a reduction in necessary missions.
So, it looks like Shadow of War has become the game players wanted from the start but it’s hard to tell whether the new update will be enough to breathe new life into the game after a whole year.