Warner Brothers have apparently decided to remove microtransactions from Middle-earth: Shadow of War. The Market is gone, and they’ve rebalanced the game to work without it. They’ve simplified the Shadow Wars endgame, and added options to the Garrison menu instead of the Market.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the next game to jump onto the bandwagon of removing microtransactions after backlash in a new update. The difference is, unlike Battlefront II, Warner Brothers waited almost a whole year to get rid of theirs. In case you don’t remember, Shadow of War basically blocked off the Nemesis system, a key feature from Shadow of Mordor, behind loot boxes. So, instead of building meaningful relationships with your orc enemies and allies, they turned them into basically gambling prizes. And they turned the end game, Shadow Wars, into a grindy slog to mak those loot boxes even more appealing.
So, what exactly does the new update do? First of all, the dreaded Market is completely gone. Instead, you can access everything from the Garrison menu. Plus, you can spend all of the Gold you have on regular Loot Chests. Second, they’ve reduced the number of stages and missions to complete the Shadow Wars epilogue. Completing it will earn you different pieces of gear, and you’ll get said gear automatically if you’ve already completed Shadow Wars. Lastly, you can now level up to 80, while enemy orcs can reach level 85. There are new Prestige Skills, and new skins: Celebrimbor and Dark Eltariel.
Now, this is not all that the new update adds. It’s a massive wall of text, and there’s a lot to get through. Over half of it is a slew of various bug fixes and other improvements and balancing. We’re not going to get into all of the details; if you want to check out the full patch notes, you can head over to the Shadow of War forum.