VIDEO Shadow of War: Microtransactions/Promo-Deals/Shady Charity

Discussion in 'Games' started by Outsourced, Sep 7, 2017.

Moderators: MarcusP2, The2ndQuest
  1. Outsourced Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2017
    star 4
    [IMG]

    Shadow of War is the sequel to 2014's critically acclaimed Shadow of Mordor, developed by Monolith and released by WB Interactive. The game looks to expand on many of the original's mechanics, such as the Nemesis system and the Orc army.

    Unfortunately, the game has run into several major speed-bumps on its road to release.


    As is typical with modern Triple A releases, Shadow of War will be introducing both a pseudo-multiplayer system where Orcs from the Single Player campaign are used to invade other player's fortresses, as well as micro-transactions using real-world currency. Players will be able to buy XP (Experience), as well as Orcs for use in the game via randomized chests. For obvious reasons, this poses an issue, as players who put money into the game will receive an inherent advantage over players who do not, on top of having bought a full price sixty dollar game.


    While the game, slated for an October 10th launch date, is still approaching on the horizon, players are able to buy Totino's brand products and use codes included to win in-game gold once the game launches. This is some incredibly cynical marketing, telling people to buy products to win virtual currency for a game that isn't released yet.

    Michael Forgey, a Producer on Shadow of War, recently lost his fight with cancer and died on March 3rd, 2017. In honor of him, the team at Monolith created a special DLC featuring a character based on Forgey known as Forgoth Orc-Slayer, with 3.50 of each sale going towards the family. However, several prominent Youtubers, specifically Jim Sterling and TotalBiscuit, noticed in the fine-print that this would only apply to 44 states in the United States, and not to any international territories. When asked about this, WB Interactive stated that they would not profit off of the DLC, but have failed to indicate where the rest of the money would go.

    I feel like this information needs to be disclosed to those who might be purchasing this game in the future, so they can be fully aware of what they're buying, and from whom.
  2. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Yeah, where's the other $1.50 going to?

    The amount of PR crapstorms that this game has very quickly accrued is really something, can't recall seeing anything like it before.

    I remain amazed that the loot box idea has taken off:

    Pay me £5 for a box
    What's in it?
    Buy it and find out
    You think I'm an idiot?

    But the whole 'charity DLC' is beyond the pale, it just looks so very bad, so much so I wonder if the game can even recover from it, on top of everything else it's mired itself in.

    It's going to be interesting to see how the game does and how consumers respond due to all this incredibly negative publicity.
    Outsourced likes this.
  3. Kynirin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2015
    star 1
    I wonder how badly this all reflects on the family, whether they are aware of this yet and how they are taking it. I'm sure they'd be happy to hear their husband and father is immortalised in a game he worked on by his friends. But what was intended as just that kind of a memorial has turned into something else, and all this extra baggage may feel like the whole gesture has become a bit tainted.

    It's not the first time Warner Bros is up to something questionable. Nor the first time with this game series either. It's pretty amazing how they just keep on mucking about like this.
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  4. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think it would have better, for the family, for them not to have done it the way they have. The last thing anyone needs when grieving is media attention.
    Kynirin likes this.
  5. darkspine10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2014
    star 5
    The micro transaction stuff is hardly new. Paying to win seems to be part and parcel of triple A titles these days. It's not like the game forces you to buy it to keep up though.
  6. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    To me there's a big difference between:

    Buy these specific soldiers for £10

    And

    Buy this box which might contain some soldiers you want for £10 but you have to pay first before opening the box.
    Chewgumma likes this.
  7. Blackhole E Snoke Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2016
    star 4
    There needs to be some proper regulations to stop this kind of thing. I stopped buying video games in 2013 when this kind of thing started getting really bad with pre-order bonuses, season passes, and pay to win micro transactions. The Witcher 3 being the only exception thanks to CD Project Red refusing to use these money grabbing strategies. I always wonder how many other people were pushed away from gaming by these things. I think this can't get much worse now. Lucky dip purchases? Asking people to buy pizzas to get bonuses in game?, Crooked charity DLC? That's appalling. Something big needs to happen in the gaming industry. A revolution.
    Last edited by Blackhole E Snoke, Sep 8, 2017
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  8. Outsourced Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2017
    star 4
    Hopefully, the success of games like Stardew Valley, Undertale, etc, will begin to shift the industry a bit. Show that things can be popular and successful without going money crazy.
    Blackhole E Snoke and Jedi Ben like this.
  9. Chewgumma Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2009
    star 7
    Storefront commission. Valve takes 30% from every sale on its storefront, and I believe the Playstation and Xbox marketplaces have similar percentages.

    Even then, scalping a tiny profit from the DLC wouldn't be the worst problem in the industry right now. The main problem is that if you reside in one of the exempted states, or don't live in the USA, the content that is being sold as a charity drive will entirely profit WB. I don't know if there's any laws preventing sales from these regions going towards Michael Forgey's family, but there's nothing stopping WB from donating those profits to region specific cancer charities.


    Even if the content within the lootboxes aren't providing a pay to win advantage the system still feeds off of the same psychological triggers that makes gambling a dangerous hobby. You're spending small amounts of money for a throw of the dice, hoping you get a 'valuable' prize.

    However, unlike gambling, loot boxes aren't covered by gambling laws. So while they have just as toxic an effect on the human psyche as a blackjack table or roulette wheel, the games industry can force them into almost any game with no backlash from the appropriate authorities. This includes games where the contents of loot boxes can be sold on for real monetary value, like weapon skins in Counter Strike: Global Operations.
  10. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Thanks C for the info.
  11. Chewgumma Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2009
    star 7
    I just got a like that reminded me this thread existed, so I'm going to bump it with an update on the charity DLC. It's now free, with WB Interactive claiming that all purchases were meant to go to charity, and that the disclaimer clearly stating donations would only be made from certain regions, and the PR person who confirmed it on twitter, were merely just consumer confusion about the issue. After trying to guilt potential customers they revealed they would just make a large, one time donation towards Forgey's family instead.

    Why they didn't just do that and avoid the whole PR disaster, I don't have the foggiest idea, but at least that issue was resolved.

    Now the game is "just" mired in cross promotion and a loot box system that several reviewers have said is basically required to see the true ending of the game.
    Jedi Ben and Outsourced like this.
  12. bluealien1 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2015
    star 1
    And this is why i am against the loot box system in just about any game.I do play one game that is still in beta and it's Gwent(makers of the witcher games) and in about 30 minutes of playing i can grind a loot box(barrel) without trouble.Why,oh why do games have to go for the pocket and not the heart/mind like gwent?It's fun,it's simple and you only have to play a little to get a lot of enjoyment out of it.Battlefront 2 and this game shows just how far people are willing to go before they throw their hands up and say no.Now,Battlefront 2 is not out yet but it is in beta and beta shows that to grind one loot box it can take hours.So he is a simple test for people wanting to buy/play a game with lootbox,how many can you get in one hour with out buying?If you can grind out some then the game is good.If not then it is bad.
    bluealien1 threw 6-faced die for: hope for better game devs Total: 26
  13. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Well, I didn't see that coming! Two of the big review sites gave Shadow of War's loot box system both barrels:

    https://www.polygon.com/2017/10/5/16428308/middle-earth-shadow-of-war-review


    https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/middle-earth-shadow-of-war-review/1900-6416783/


    This is pleasantly surprising. Though I suspect the game will still make a lot of money, some of its systems could sufficiently sour players to deter them from future purchases.
    Chewgumma likes this.
  14. Chewgumma Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2009
    star 7
    It's such a crying shame, because I was excited for this game. Shadows of Mordor was a solid title. Mechanically it felt like an Assassin's Creed game that was actually fun, and the nemesis system was unique and endearing. I was excited for a sequel that built on those bones.

    I even have a copy sat ready to play. But I just can't bring myself to open the packaging and actually delve into it, because the loot box system seems to infest the game in the worst ways possible.
    Last edited by Chewgumma, Oct 10, 2017
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  15. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Absolutely. I wasn't a fan of the first game but lots of people were and this should have been a fail-proof game.

    I can't recall any similar case where a game inflicted so many PR crapstorms upon itself in the immediate months leading up to the all-important launch window.
  16. LloydChristmas Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    lol did my creeping get this bumped

    I was so excited for this too. Super casual gamer nowadays but the first one was so damn fun that I threw myself into it. Tore my ACL this summer and was actually counting down the days to dig into this.

    Instead I'm off crutches and all this news came out and...idk if it's even worth the time now?

    @Chewgumma open up the package and tell us if it is!
  17. darkspine10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2014
    star 5
    As someone who's actually started playing the game, so far the loot boxes haven't made much difference at all. If you're decent at the gameplay, you probably won't need them. I mean, it's not like this is the first game to ever use microtransactions.

    ACIV Black Flag had mircotransactions that literally unlock the collectables for you, and it didn't hurt that game in the slightest.
  18. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    Difference is these microtransactions unlock items that unbalance multiplayer gaming, which I don't think has been done before.

    At the same time, the criticism of both Shadow of War and Battlefront II, is they are tilted towards you having to use the paid route, which is new.

    If a microtransaction is viewed as only affecting single-player and is optional, then fine. But tilting the game to favour that route isn't on nor is mucking around with multiplayer. From what I can tell, it was the case microtransactions on games like Overwatch gave you various cosmetic options but didn't up your firepower or armour, which BF2 is doing.

    And loot boxes are bloody gambling, but by calling them 'loot boxes' games are sidestepping all gambling regulation, including the prohibition on targeting kids!
    Chewgumma and LloydChristmas like this.
  19. darkspine10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2014
    star 5
    The multiplayer aspect has so far not involved any direct encounters with players, the vendetta mode doesn't change in the slightest depending on the other player's stats, and the social conquests seems like they won't be much different than the offline conquests, only with going up against other player's followers (I haven't reached a point to unlock those yet). Even then, both are completely optional and can be avoided entirely.
  20. LloydChristmas Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    Okay so has anyone played this and had FUN though? Anyone? Bueller?
  21. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    It's generally accepted, even in those two reviews I posted, that the game is a lot of fun!

    @darkspine10

    Be interesting to know how you find the endgame section, as that's what was being objected to most. Given the size of the game it's probably going to take you a while to get there though!

    SW:BF2 and M:SoW have sort of combined in my perception, but yes, the former has rendered the latter in a more positive light.
    LloydChristmas likes this.
  22. darkspine10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2014
    star 5
    Yeah, I'll see how it goes. Though my ability to even buy loot crates with the in-game currency is limited, due to my terrible wi-fi. ;)
    Last edited by darkspine10, Oct 12, 2017
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  23. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    [face_laugh] Well, that's one way to avoid temptation!
    darkspine10 likes this.
  24. Chewgumma Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2009
    star 7

    I've cracked it open, I've played it and, to be honest, I don't think I'm going to finish it.

    The game opens fine, even if it feels a little dry. The Market and lootboxes don't really take over in the early game, which is basically the exact same thing as the first act from the last game. You're even told that most of the lootbox options aren't available until act II, which is where I feel the problems start to seep in. The big fort sieges that the game spent a large amount of time selling the audience on requires high level orcs to pull off, and you can only have orcs that are your level or below. This is where the game slows to an absolute crawl, making you grind for experience and orcs to recruit. In my opinion the whole mechanic feels like it's been balanced around the lootbox system, and I can already see why the end game has been described as a chore.
  25. darkspine10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2014
    star 5
    I weirdly have had the opposite problem so far. Getting orcs for your army is the enjoyable part to me, while the fort sieges so far have always felt a tad shallow and easy, at least until the overlord battle. It's fun hunting down orcs, thinning the enemies ranks while bolstering my own forces.

    I haven't really had to grind for xp at all, I'm level 38 at the moment, and I haven't gone out of my way to search out xp so far, I've just been playing the story and some side missions for outposts and Celebrimbor stuff. I now have more skill points than I need, as you can specialise your abilities, so all I've got left to purchase is alternate upgrades for skills, where the upgrade I have is already perfectly fine.

    I bought some lootboxes with the in-game currency once (it's practically all the in-game currency is for once you've bought all the gem slots), and I was able to open 3 of them due to my connection issues. I haven't opened any since, as I've been getting enough enemy drops to keep me slowly increasing in level.

    My overall completion is at 66%, so there is still the endgame to see.
    Last edited by darkspine10, Oct 15, 2017
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