Middle-earth: Shadow of War is removing all traces of microtransactions in today’s latest title update. The 1.18 feature update also adds a variety of new features and bug fixes to the RPG. The market section of the game will be replaced with a new Garrison menu that stores all the Orcs you’ve unlocked via gameplay in the Online Vendettas and Ranked Conquest modes.
At this point, we’re all well aware of the ongoing controversies in the games industry around MTX and loot boxes, and we’re all glad to see one more of these idiotic systems go bye-bye. It’s only a matter of time until another game with the kind of predatory monetization that Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars Battlefront II were plagued by comes about, so this whole song and dance will repeat many more times over the coming year, assuming my cynicism holds true.
But back to Middle-earth: Shadow of War. There have been other changes made to the game to try and wipe the slate clean. For example, players can now spend Mirian on training, upgrades, and customization for your army. Shadow of War‘s endgame Act IV has also been streamlined, with Shadow Wars renamed to Epilogue which now features narration by Shelob, the Witch-king, and Dark Talion.
A new item set called Masks of the Nazgul can be earned by playing through the epilogue, which grant buffs, allow you to summon allies, and even allow you to resurrect fallen comrades.
Level caps for enemies are being raised, and rewards are being balanced to make the game more challenging, but XP buffs will expedite leveling to an extreme degree. There’s several bug fixes in this update to address some issues with quests and performance.
The devs have also added new skins for various characters that can be equipped if that’s your thing.
Check out the full patch notes on Steam.