Shadow Of War completes removal of loot boxes and microtransactions | Gaming

Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War – brighter times ahead

Warner Bros. has made good on its promise to remove all the microtransactions and change the end-game in their Middle-earth epic.

Judging by how things were going last year many expected loot boxes to turn into one of the most divisive issues in gaming, as even single-player-only games started to use and abuse them.

But then Star Wars: Battlefront II happened, where EA’s greed was so great that it turned gamers completely against the concept and suddenly loot boxes became a liability and not a cash cow.

Even so, it was still a surprise when Warner announced that Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War – another game heavily criticised for the way it used loot boxes – would be dropping them entirely.

They did that back in April though, when they warned that the patch banishing everything to the outer void wouldn’t be ready until July. But now that time has come.

Shadow Of War has purged itself of microtransactions

The update completely removes the market and microtransactions, so you can no longer buy orcs for your army using real money.

But what’s most interesting is that Warner has revamped the end-game, which is being streamlined to include new narration from Shelob, the Witch-king, and Dark Talion. Plus, you can now earn Nazgûl masks which give you the ability to raise the dead, curse enemies, and summon more powerful monsters.

In the original version of the game it was obvious that the end-game had been made artificially difficult, requiring hours of repetitive gameplay, in order to encourage the use of microtransactions as a short cut.

That was the most reprehensible part of the game as far as we were concerned and to see it changed in this way is very encouraging.

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The update also brings other changes unrelated to microtransactions, with an increase in level caps and bigger experience point rewards for completing missions. There’s also new prestige skills and the ability to upgrade gear by using in-game currency.

Overall, there are now more legendary orcs in the game and more ways to get training orders. You also get a few new player skins for Celebrimbor, Dark Eltariel, and Baranor.

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