Monolith Productions has come out and announced that it will be removing much-scorned content, like Gold and Loot Boxes from Middle-Earth: Shadow of War later this summer.
When Middle-Earth: Shadow of War was announced, there was a big discussion about its use of loot boxes. While when it landed they weren't as bad as some had thought, the fact that the Nemesis System had been hobbled at all by microtransactions was a big disappointment. Whereas the first game brought the system to us, the sequel felt like the series' calling card had been twisted to try and squeeze more money out of players. Obviously, that didn't go down great.
Well, rather surprisingly, the game is seeing a huge free update in the future which will do away with all of that. In a lengthy blog post, Monolith reveals that Gold, the purchasable currency, and War Chests, the game's loot boxes are being scrapped entirely. The developer acknowledged the problems with the current system saying:
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. In order to fully restore the core promise of the Nemesis System, we'll be permanently removing Gold, War Chests and the Market from Shadow of War.
Gold as a purchasable item will be removed on May 8, 2018, while the complete system overhaul that removes War Chests and Gold entirely will come July 17, 2018. To go along with this, on the same day, the game's lengthy and grind-y final chapter will "be improved with new narrative elements and streamlined for a more cohesive experience."
These sound like real improvements to the game that deal with some of its biggest problems. With these changed and removed, it will be interesting to see just how that game shapes up. It's a shame that it is coming so long after the game's release, but hopefully, these improvements can bring back old players and entice some new ones too. There is plenty to like about the game.