WB Games has announced the permanent removal of microtransactions from Middle Earth: Shadow of War. The game's gold virtual currency and market has drawn serious criticism in the past six months and the developers have finally decided to do something about it.
"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."
The WB Games official announcement goes on to say that the update process will begin on May 8, 2018 when players will no longer be able to purchase gold with real-world money and end on July 17, 2018 when the market will officially be closed to players. Players who still have gold must spend it before July 17 to avoid conversion into gold loot chests. Unassigned Followers, unopened chests, unused Boosts and unused Training orders will continue to be available in the Garrison after July 17.
Here is the full official statement from WB Games:
Why are Gold and the Market being removed from Shadow of War?
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. 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. This means the option to purchase Gold with real-world money and the ability to gain Orc Followers from War Chests will be removed.
When will Gold and the Market be removed from the game?
Gold will no longer be available for purchase with real-world money beginning on May 8, 2018. Players will still be able to spend Gold and receive Gold via in-game challenges up until the Market closes permanently on July 17, 2018.
Are there plans to add Gold or the Market back into the game in the future?
No, these are permanent changes to the game.
Will players still be able to spend Mirian on in-game items through the Market?
Players will be able to spend Mirian in the Market until it permanently closes beginning on July 17.
Will players still be able to earn and spend Mirian in the game?
Yes, Mirian will continue to be used to unlock gem slots and increase fortress defenses. We will also be adding the ability use Mirian to acquire Training Orders or upgrade a piece of older gear to your current level, as well as spend gems to reroll gear stats.
What will happen to unused Gold when the Market is permanently closed?
Any remaining Gold will be converted to Gold Loot Chests beginning on July 17. Each 150 in Gold will be converted to one Gold Loot Chest, with any balance under 150 Gold being converted to a single Gold Loot Chest. The contents of Gold Loot Chests will remain unchanged.
Can Gold voucher codes still be used after the Market is permanently closed?
Gold vouchers redeemed on or after July 17, when the Market closes, will be converted into Gold Loot Chests. Gold vouchers redeemed before July 17 can be used normally.
Will these game updates change how players can recruit Orcs?
There will now be more ways to recruit and upgrade Orcs, including recruitment during Online Conquests and Online Vendettas, as well as having more Legendary Orcs present in the game.
Will players still be able to purchase or earn War Chests?
No, the ability to purchase or earn War Chests will be removed from the game when the Market permanently closes beginning on July 17. However, all unopened War Chests that a player has obtained will still be available in the Garrison.
Will players still be able to earn or purchase Loot Chests?
The ability to purchase Loot Chests will be removed from the game when the Market permanently closes beginning on July 17. However, Loot Chests can still be earned in-game through Online Conquests and Online Vendettas. Loot Chest contents will remain unchanged.
How are the in-game chest rewards going to change going forward?
Online Conquests and Online Vendettas will continue to award Loot Chests. Online Fight Pits will continue to award Training Orders through chests. Community Challenges will award chests. Spoils of War chests will now contain Training Orders instead of Orcs, including a guaranteed Legendary Training Order.
Will the Garrison remain in the game?
Yes, unassigned Followers, unopened chests, unused Boosts and unused Training orders will continue to be available in the Garrison.
Will weekly Market updates continue to be released until the Market is closed?
The Market will continue to update as normal until May 1. On May 1, the Market will still be available, but no longer feature any new content or promotions. The Market will be permanently closed beginning on July 17.
Will Daily Challenges continue to reward players with Gold?
Gold will continue to be available as a reward for Daily Challenges until the Market is permanently closed on July 17. After that date, challenges that awarded Gold will now award Legendary gear.
How can Gold be used between now and July 17?
Players can continue to purchase items in the Market with Gold until the Market is permanently closed on July 17.
What will happen to unopened chests that have already been purchased when the Market is closed?
After the Market is permanently closed on July 17, all unopened chests will continue to be available for use in the Garrison
What will happen to items in the Garrison once the Market is closed?
Nothing will change. All Orcs and in-game items that were in the Garrison prior to the Market closure will continue to be available after the Market is closed.
Why is the Shadow Wars portion of the game being changed?
With the addition of the Endless Siege mode, we are now able to streamline the Shadow Wars and add a number of improvements to the presentation, along with new narrative elements to provide a more cohesive experience.
When will the Shadow Wars updates be implemented?
The Shadow Wars updates will be available on July 17, along with other game updates.
What will happen to players who have already started the Shadow Wars when the update goes live?
For players who have already started the Shadow Wars, it will restart upon receiving the update. For players who have already completed the Shadow Wars, it will remain completed. For players who have yet to begin the Shadow Wars, the new version will be available when they arrive at that point in the game.
What other game updates are being planned?
We will be incorporating many gameplay improvements that will be detailed in future build notes, including Nemesis System updates, new player skins, skill tree additions, gear system upgrades and progression updates.
Will these changes be implemented in all regions?
Yes, all game updates will be available in all regions and platforms globally.
This is huge news for a game that Shacknews reviewed very favorably. Will this update in microtransaction policy get you back into Shadow of War? Let us know in the comments section.
Asif Khan posted a new article, Shadow of War Microtransactions Will Be Permanently Removed
Good riddance to bad transactions.
"We've made as much money off of these microtrancactions as we think we can so now we're going to remove them so it looks like we care about our customers"
I look forward to picking this game after they've had some time to tweak it.
"And now we can put out the GOTY version so patient people can get everything you got, but for only $20"
Guess I'm waiting to play it till July.
I'm not sure what the big deal was... you could only get ORCs at the same level that your character was. You couldn't cheat and buy higher end ORCs (same with weapons and armor). You have to play to level up your character. All buying ORCs did was save you the time from having to go Dominate them yourself. At the end of the game, you could dominate ORCs in seconds. It wasn't a challenge anymore and was more of a grind. Having the chests made it easier to build out your army. With that being said, I never ran out of gold from just playing the game. I never was tempted or needed to spend real money of the chests.
It wasn't a big deal at all. I don't think most of the people complaining about it actually played the game because if they did they would have had the same experience you did.
The issue people had is that the game's constant reminding of the ability to buy loot boxes/etc. rather than grind for better chances was breaking the immersion of the game. It made it clear that they wanted you to spend money for MTX throughout the game, and so was considered more obtrusive and obnoxious.
It did not have the problems that SWB2 had, which effectively was pay-to-win loot box problems before they revamped it.
Who are these people that buy game progression?