Microtransactions have now been completely removed from Middle-earth: Shadow of War following the Desolation of Mordor Story Expansion DLC. The Market, War Chests and Gold are all going to be permanently taken out of the game in due course.
Ever since the game launched back in September last year, Shadow of War has been surrounded by negative impressions left by its microtransaction system. 7 months after release, the developers, Monolith Productions, have taken action.
Shadow of War’s rare currency, Gold, is not available to buy with real money anymore and will be totally phased out soon. Gold is used to buy War Chests, loot boxes which have a chance to drop Legendary Orc followers, among other items, in the Market. All Gold will now be exclusively earned from completing in-game challenges.
The endgame in Shadow of War is aided by having a strong line-up of these Legendary Orcs. You could previously either grind for them via regular gameplay or spend money on War Chests. Now the only way to get them is through genuine play time.
Monolith confessed the reasons why they took this action last month in a blog post: ‘‘While purchasing Orcs in the Market is more immediate and provides additional player options, we have come to realize that providing this choice risked undermining the heart of our game, the Nemesis System. It allows you to miss out on the awesome player stories you would have otherwise created, and it compromises those same stories even if you don’t buy anything. Simply being aware that they are available for purchase reduces the immersion in the world and takes away from the challenge of building your personal army and your fortresses.’’
The Market will be available until July 17th before closing for good. Players’ unspent Gold will be automatically converted into other items when the Market permanently closes.
The Desolation of Mordor DLC offers an Expansion to the game’s story. You can now play as Baranor, Captain of the fallen city of Minas Ithil. A new Region has been added along with new gear, enemies, allies and more. It’s available for £15.99/$19.99 on its own or with the Story Expansion Pass.
Free content has also been included for every Middle-earth: Shadow of War owner. Enhancements have been made to the Nemesis System, Overlords now have access to Bodyguards which function like the ones Warchiefs can have. A new ‘‘Brutal’’ difficulty has been introduced, and several general gameplay improvements have been made. See the full patch notes here.