Middle-earth: Shadow Of War will be removing Gold, War Chests, and the Market from the game on July 17, 2018, according to an announcement on the game's official forums.
The sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor originally debuted in October of last year. Shadow of War has a healthy score of 80 on Metacritic and 82 on OpenCritic, although the game's Metacritic user score is much less than half that at 3.7. The reviews of the game on Steam were similarly positive, though they've recently been trending towards "Mixed" territory. One of the areas of contention in the game is the inclusion of microtransactions, a feature that was detailed by the developers not too long before its release. It seems that they've reconsidered their stance on the inclusion of these microtransactions. The developers have announced that they will be phasing them out in the coming months.
The ability to purchase Gold in-game will be removed on May 8, 2018. Following that, all Gold, War Chests, and the Market will be removed from the game on July 17, 2018. The reasoning for the removal is explained in an FAQ that details the exact nature of the changes that are coming:
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. Simply being aware that they are available for purchase reduces the immersion in the world and takes away from the challenge of building your personal army and your fortresses.After July 17, any leftover Gold in player accounts will be converted to a Gold Loot Chest at the rate of 150 Gold per chest. Any remaining balance under 150 Gold will be converted into a single additional Gold Loot Chest. Unused Gold Voucher codes can still be redeemed after July 17th and will be converted into these chests in a similar fashion. The ability to purchase War Chests will be removed entirely, although any unopened chests will still be on your account for you to open later. Loot Chests will similarly be unable to be purchased, although players will be able to earn them through Online Conquests and Online Vendettas in Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Lastly, the Daily Challenges will reward players with Legendary gear instead of Gold after July 17.
These changes to Middle-earth: Shadow of War will be coming to the game for all players as a free update. Aside from the removal of microtransactions, other changes will be coming to the game. The Shadow Wars portion of the campaign will be improved with new narrative elements and streamlined in other areas. Players who wish to continue with ongoing defense missions will still be able to take advantage of the game's Endless Siege content. More improvements to the game are on their way in the coming weeks and months including updates to the Nemesis system, skill tree additions, progression updates, and more. Be sure to read the post and the F.A.Q. for all the details, and check out our review to see our thoughts on the game.
What do you think of the removal of microtransactions from Middle-earth: Shadow of War? Do you think they should have been included in the game in the first place? Let us know in the comments below!