Update, May 8: Midd-Earth: Shadow of War's final DLC, Desolation of Mordor, releases today.
The final DLC for Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is out today. Today also marks the permanent removal of microtransactions from the game.
Desire, competition, or addiction - why do we buy loot boxes?
The final DLC, Desolation of Mordor, sees players take control of human hero Baranor, and allows you to lead the human resistance against the Orc forces. There's also a free update to the base game, including improvements to the Nemesis system, and new Brutal difficulty which significantly improves damage dealt by enemies, and upgrades to the game's photo mode.
In a press release, Monolith and Warner Bros also announced that the ability to purchase Gold, the game's premium currenct, has been permanently removed. You'll be able to spend your leftover gold, and earn it through in-game challenges, until the market closes in July.
Original story, April 3: Middle-earth: Shadow of War developers Monolith have announced they will completely remove all microtransactions and loot boxes from the Tolkien-inspired title.
Monolith made the official announcement yesterday, revealing they will be releasing a series of free updates which will remove microtransactions from Shadow of War. The option to purchase gold will be removed on May 8. However, the permanent removal of gold, war chests, and the marketplace will not take place until July 17. If you have any gold remaining when the feature is removed, it will be converted into in-game items.
The developers explained that player feedback played a large part in their decision to remove microtransactions, and that giving players the option to buy items, rather than grind for them, could potentially be robbing them of a better game experience.
“The core promise of the Nemesis System is the ability to build relationships with your personal allies and enemies in a dynamic open world,” Monolith explained. “While purchasing Orcs in the market is more immediate and provides additional player options, we have come to realise 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.”
According to Monolith, microtransactions in Shadow of War will be removed “permanently” - never to be seen again. Similarly DICE removed Battlefront II’s microtransactions last year, after backlash from players. However, we always knew Battlefront II microtransactions would return after some adjustments, and they did - only a few weeks ago. Though loot boxes are no longer available for purchase, and the system is generally much better, there is still the option to buy items with real-money.
Monolith also revealed that, in addition to the removal of microtransactions, they will be updating the Shadow Wars section of the game’s campaign. This portion of the game will be “streamlined for a more cohesive experience", with new “narrative elements” being added. The developers also revealed we can look forward to more gameplay improvements in the future including Nemesis System updates, new player skins, skill tree additions, gear system upgrades, and progression updates.