Earlier this week, it was revealed that the highly-anticipated Middle Earth: Shadow of War will have loot boxes that can be bought with a premium currency called Gold and are set to contain gear, unique Orcs, and XP boosts. As usual, the inclusion of loot boxes in a game that would normally be offline-only has caused quite a rift in the gaming community, but Community Manager MonolithJared is attempting to calm down the fans.
According to the Monolith representative, Gold will not be a necessary part of the standard player's game. The currency, which can be purchased with real money, is there for those who want a quick boost to their Middle Earth: Shadow of War experience.
"Gold exists for users who want to speed up their army building process. There are people who appreciate having the option. We don’t want to restrict any players from playing our game. So we have the option for those that want a speedy option, and for those that choose to avoid it can do so without any negative impact on their game."
The title is reportedly balanced so that Gold is never needed throughout the Shadow of War story, a fact that will have many fans resolving to avoid the loot box system entirely. Getting an Orc from a war chest is the same as dominating one in-game, meaning that loot box users won't have access to any special content that standard players cannot get.
Legendary Orcs, which loot boxes may allow players to gain quickly, will be relatively rare in Shadow of War, though it's worth pointing out that the powerful enemies will become more common as the game progresses. In this way, the game remains balanced for those who are playing without using the game's online marketplace functions, as stronger Orcs will be needed to take on some of the title's epic villains.
When the Market was announced, players concluded that the game would require a constant internet connection to play thanks to a misleading comment by MonolithJared. Thankfully, the Community Manager has since clarified that only online features such as the Market will require players to connect to the internet.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War releases on October 10, 2017 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.