WB and Monolith Studios have caught a lot of flak regarding microtransactions and loot boxes in the upcoming Middle-earth: Shadow of War. However, the game’s design director said they won’t be an important part of the game.
The game will have an in-game Market, that will sell orcs and other items that can be used to give a player a boost. Loot chests, XP boosts, war chests, and various bundles will also be available. The player can get gear, various followers (orcs) and XP bonuses that will boost Talion and his army. Orc followers can also be customized and levelled up via training orders that can be found in war chests.
In a recent interview, Roberts said the game was tested without loot boxes and microtransactions. He said the real-world economy and attendant features were turned off during the playtesting, and the game was balanced around an experience that is meant to be rewarding without players spending a dime (well, except the money they spent on buying the game and the DLCs, of course).
Roberts also stated that Shadow of War won’t have any difficulty spikes that are supposed to shepherd the players towards spending money on microtransactions. If the game truly is balanced to be played without paying any real money, then any purchases will truly be a personal choice of a player, whether they want a shortcut or a power boost in the game. Roberts clarified that he hopes that people will discover that microtransactions are ultimately unnecessary, when the game comes out, and that it can be enjoyed without any extra money being spent on it. The systems are tuned in such a way you don’t need to boost the normal speed of gathering resources.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is set to be released on October 10.