Middle-earth: Shadow of War is finally learning some lessons from contemporary games, and we are pretty happy to hear this time around. Last week, we found out that the game will feature loot box microtransactions, which wasn’t exactly positive. But today we’ve learned that the game has a ranked online mode like just about every other contemporary AAA release.
The new mode, called Social Conquest, will require players to chose one of their captured Nemesis Fortresses, outfit it with proper defenses, appoint an orc Overlord and accompanying captains, and then the game makes it available for attack by other players. This new mode has been compared to Metal Gear Solid 5‘s Forward Operating Base missions, for obvious reasons. Its basically an online tower defense mini-game within a game, much like the FOB missions.
As reported by Eurogamer, attacking in Social Conquest comes in two forms. Friendly conquests are dry runs – you’re not at any risk, but the rewards are comparatively small. In ranked mode, however, players will earn loot boxes (and currency to buy even more loot boxes because you can never have enough loot) upon victory. The catch to this is that any of your fellow orcs who die in a ranked conquest are lost forever, even in the main campaign. Which is just a tad rude, but I greatly approve.
Winning a conquest is a matter of skill and speed. The attacker needs to capture a series of points, before going on to kill the Overlord. The quicker you complete the assault, the higher your ranking. The higher your ranking, the better fortresses you can assault. Naturally, if you lose an assault, and that ranking goes down.
As pointed out in Eurogamer’s video on the subject, Social Conquests provide a way for developer Monolith to allow its biggest and most interesting new feature – the addition of custom fortresses – to be an essentially endless feature for players.
Shadow of War is also bringing back Shadow of Mordor’s Vendetta missions. The Vendetta missions in Mordor were pretty simple: an orc kills a fellow player’s version of hero Talion, you may be given the option to kill the murderer. It wasn’t exactly a complicated online game mode.
However, this time around the Vendetta missions are now more involved. Taking on a Vendetta mission will now transport you into the other player’s world and have you complete a generated mission, culminating in a duel. Complete this, and both you and the murderee are rewarded.
And if you have a loyal follower from the last game that you’d really like to make your Social Conquest overlord? Or perhaps you have a nemesis you just cannot live without? A new update for Shadow of Mordor will let you bring them into Shadow of War.
Shadow of War is out on October 10.