An all-new gameplay mode has been revealed for Middle-earth: Shadow of War that ties into the game’s new focus on online functionality. Conquest is a new asynchronous multiplayer mode allowing players to customize their very own fortress and then upload it for other players to siege. Other players can then mount an assault along with their own team of orc followers, earning currency in a victory that can be spent on the new loot boxes in Shadow of War.
The concept of Conquest mode should be extremely appealing to players. While additional information regarding the creation of forts and defenses is required for a better understanding of that aspect of the mode, the assaulting side sounds unique. Players will be able to mount increasingly difficult content created by players, which seemingly offers a well of content without any additional effort by the developer. For players of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor who ran into the game’s difficulty ceiling, that kind of challenge is very interesting.
But the depth of the Conquest mode doesn’t end there. Middle-earth: Shadow of War Conquest mode will be split into Friendly and Ranked categories. Friendly is as its name implies, with no risk, no leaderboards, and likely fewer rewards as consequence.
Ranked is something else entirely. Not only will Ranked Conquest have its leaderboards, but it also features permanent death for the assaulting player’s orc followers. It seems that a defender’s orcs will be fine, perhaps to encourage players to customize and upload fun forts, but that might be incorrect.
This news regarding potential permanent death for orc followers is especially interesting knowing that Middle-earth: Shadow of War is going to offer premium loot boxes that feature orc followers of different rarities. Imagine spending real money, acquiring a rare and valuable orc, and then losing it in Conquest. Or imagine feeling like you need stronger followers to be competitive in Conquest and the only way acquire them is to spend real money on loot boxes.
Speaking of asynchronous gameplay, it has also been confirmed that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s Vendettas will be returning. If a friend dies to an orc, players will be able to avenge them by completing a task and then facing off against the orc themselves.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War releases October 10, 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.