Monolith published a lengthy post on its forum recently, updating players on the status of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. In its latest post, Monolith announced an end to the game’s microtransaction system in addition to a series of upcoming free additions for players. Shadow of War‘s loot box system was criticized when the game first launched, as it allowed players to essentially buy allied orcs as opposed to playing the game and winning them over through actual gameplay. Now, it seems as though Monolith agrees with that assessment.
“We’ve been listening to your feedback and continue to update and improve the experience,” Monolith wrote in its post. “The core promise of the Nemesis System is the ability to build relationships with your personal allies and enemies in a dynamic open world. 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.”
As a result, gold, war chests, and the market are being permanently removed from Shadow of War, along with the ability to buy gold with real money, and unlock orc allies through war chests. Monolith will be giving players with outstanding gold a set amount of time to use it, after which it will be converted into items for use in the game. “Additionally, we’ll be updating the Shadow Wars section of the campaign, where players defend their fortresses against Sauron’s repeated counter-attacks,” Monolith continued. “This portion of the game will be improved with new narrative elements and streamlined for a more cohesive experience.”
Monolith will continue updating the game through a series of gameplay improvements which include Nemesis System updates, new player skins, skill tree additions, gear system upgrades and progression updates. These updates will be detailed further soon, and all of them are going to be free for players.
The ability to buy gold will be removed on May 8, 2018, while gold, war chests, and the market are being removed entirely on July 17. For more information, you can check out the accompanying FAQ that Monolith posted to the forum.