One does not simply respect consumers: Shadow of War will have paid content

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Sons of PC! Of PlayStation! My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of gamers fails, when we forsake our friends and buy shitty additional content, but it is not this day. An hour of lootboxes and shattered wallets, when the age of common sense comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, fans of consumer respect! 

Come not between corporate greed and its prey, Shadow of War will be featuring paid content to help you minimise time spent in the game, because that’s what all video games should be striving for, right?

An official statement from Monolith reveals this dubious plan, and the attempt at justifying it is rather pathetic, especially in an era where gamers aren’t so easily duped into shelling out cash to get the most out of a full price game they just purchased… for money.

Unsurprisingly the paid content here will be lootboxes, which no doubt will add a level of gambling to the game as you shell out cash to only get the same shitty orcs for your army, leaving the fire wielding instant-win orcs to a one in a million shot. This isn’t just cosmetics at play here like other AAA titles with their loot systems, we’re talking XP and faction strength.

Just like Tolkien envisioned.

You can dress up a turd in a tuxedo with all the buzzwords you want, but this is still a piece of shit getting a premium piece of clothing all moist with poo juice. Here’s said turd in all its glory:

“Loot Chests contain Gear (weapons and armor) of varying rarity. Equipping and upgrading these weapons and armor enhance Talion’s character abilities. Loot Chests can also contain XP Boosts that help level up Talion faster.

  • War Chests provide Orc followers of varying rarity to help forge a strong army. They can also contain Training Orders to level up and customize Orc followers.
  • XP Boosts are consumables that help level up Talion faster.
  • Bundles package up Loot Chests, War Chests and Boosts together at a great value.”

Monolith stress that all items can be unlocked in-game through natural progression, which raises the question of why would you want to buy them at all? Well Monolith are actually doing you a super sweet solid by letting you save time playing the game you just bought if you give them more money. As of yet the price of gold has not been set, but whether it’s a Hobbit’s weight in Mithril or not, it still sucks.

“By simply engaging with the world and playing through Middle-earth: Shadow of War, you earn items like Gear for Talion and unique Orcs for your army. These are the same items that are found in the Market within Loot Chests and War Chests. Gold merely allows you to get your hands on them immediately, cutting down some of the additional time that would have been spent winning more battles, tracking nemeses, completing quests and assaulting fortresses.”

The key part of that particular statement is “cutting down some of the additional time.” This makes me think the game will be padded with content that you need to grind through to progress, therefore making the purchasing of said items feel necessary to some of the less patient gamers out there. Which then loops back into the lootbox system, where you’re essentially rolling dice to make the most of your purchases.

It’s hard to not be infuriated by this, especially considering how great Shadow of Mordor was. Never forget, the unblinking eye of corporate greed is always watching.

Shadow of War is due for release October 10 on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Give Charlie money to summarise this article for you on Twitter @clbraith and don’t forget to follow @load_screen and like us on Facebook.


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