StrickenBiged

A quandry: should I buy Shadow of War after they remove the marketplace and re-balance the end-game?

19 posts in this topic

So last year I cancelled my pre-order and avoided buying Shadow of War after it became clear that the game was being pumped full of microtransactions (MTX), and that these would potentially spoil the game by making orcs and gear disposable, rather than something you genuinely wanted to invest in. 

 

For a bit of background, I loved the original Shadow of Mordor. Ok, it was a mediocre game in many respects, but the Nemesis system really made it stand out to me, and I relished the emergent stories that played out on the hierarchy screen each time you died. I enjoyed seeing my arch-rivals rise in power, and the feeling of finally being able to cut them down. It would be fair to say I was very hyped for the sequel, and it pained me somewhat to have to vote with my wallet because I refused to endorse the way WB games had decided to monetise the sequel. As I see it, if you object to this sort of monetisation it is not enough to just buy the game and then avoid the MTX, because your initial purchase of the base-game is still sending the message to the publisher that you will endorse whatever insidious 

 

So I was heartened to read last month that they will be removing the marketplace entirely and re-balancing the end-game with a target date of 17 July 2018. The blog post announcing the changes seems to be well thought out, and addresses the real criticisms that people had of the MTX implementation in this game - that it undermined the core of the Nemesis system - rather than a straw man (e.g. "gamers are entitled" or something like that).

 

Now, I'm considering picking up the game after 17 July 2018, once the marketplace has been removed for good. However there's still an amount of concern. If I were to do this, would it send the message that I endorse this sort of "we can release a deliberately MTX-messed-with game and patch it later" attitude from publishers? From their point of view, they could be thinking "we can use this strategy in the future to pick up the core fanbase's money at release, make some money from MTX in the meantime, before changing tact a year later and catching all the conscientious objectors' dollars", as a way of maximising revenue. That's a cynical way of looking at the situation, I realise that, but it could be a viable business strategy for maximising revenue from the release from the publisher's perspective.

 

Or, is it more important to reward developers and publishers for doing the "right" thing, even if it takes them almost a year to do it? Do you think this would encourage more developers and publishers to do the right thing from the outset?

 

I'll probably end up waiting for a re-review of the game, if any sites choose to run one after these changes are implemented, and make a decision then. But I'd welcome any thoughts on this quandry in the meantime. Thanks all.

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I already bought the game before I realised just how much the game was actually affected by it, it depressed me no end so I never played it but they already have my money. When this happens I fully intend to play it though, I loved Shadow of Mordor (and I only ever played the crappy PS3 port as well, just goes to show how much it resonated with me!)

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Unless you already bought it, don't play this game until many years have passed by. We don't want to encourage future behaviour comparable to the atrocities committed within this game. 

 

 

 

(or rent it from your local video rental store) 

Edited by Crispy78923
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Just now, MeteorHawk said:

before I realised just how much the game was actually affected by it

 

Just now, Crispy78923 said:

the atrocities committed

 

Wow, strong comments, was it really that bad? Many of the media reviews I read at the time said it was annoying, but didn't really focus on it. Perhaps I should have waited until after the changes to make this thread so that people who already had the game could give me a before/after comparison. 

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At the end of the day isn’t the goal of the publisher going to be to maximise the profits. Here’s an article I posted back in February that Activision Blizzard makes more money from microtransactions than selling games. Microtransactions aren’t likely to go anywhere any time soon with the amount of money they can generate. Voting with your wallet is one option but realistically you would need a very large number of people to vote with their wallet to make a noticeable difference (unless you really screw it up like EA and Star Wars Battlefront 2). In your case I would go for getting the game after MTXs are gone and the game has been re-balanced as the best option if you are 100% going to get it.

 

One of my biggest gripes with the gaming industry these days is games being announced with Season Passes when the game isn’t even out yet. I loved Shadow Of Mordor and will definitely be picking up Shadow Of War but I won’t do so until there is a complete edition including all DLC and it’s on sale.

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I actually thoght about this situation just about 5 minutes ago. And all I can do in this case is to quote @Elvick_ from another thread:

 

15 hours ago, Elvick_ said:

I personally like supporting when a company does things I like them to do. Otherwise, what incentive do they have to do the things I want them to do? If i don't support it, then I have no right to complain they don't do what I want.


I don't begrudge others for wanting to just outright stick it to a company though. Not my Money.

 

Although I don't think it applies in the thread he posted it in (About Metal Gear Survive fyi), I hardly can say anything against it in this case. I think this should be supported. If they continue to use this as a tactic to maximize revenue like you discribed in the OP it's not right and shouldn't be supported.

 

However, for now I'd give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

J

Edited by Stardew Shelly
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7 minutes ago, StrickenBiged said:

 

 

Wow, strong comments, was it really that bad? Many of the media reviews I read at the time said it was annoying, but didn't really focus on it. Perhaps I should have waited until after the changes to make this thread so that people who already had the game could give me a before/after comparison. 

The important thing is, they voluntarily sacrificed gameplay (in this case, literally the main selling point of the series) in order to scam their costumes and Middle Earth fans. In order to prevent such things from being done in the future, we must blacklist any and all games with these practices so they realise these crimes aren't tolerated. Alas, I know this won't happen any time soon 😞 .

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Meh, I platinumed the game when it came out and I never even touched the marketplace other than for the one trophy that required assigning an order. That said, it is obvious that the marketplace can have an impact on the game. The whole game is kind of balanced around you having orcs fighting by your side, and it obviously helps if they are of legendary quality.

 

Honestly, I think they are removing the marketplace because it wasn't making them money anyway. To an ordinary dudebro gamer who enjoys buying FUT packs and time saver gems, the special orcs you get are too complicated. They don't have numerical stats assigned to indicate which orc is better, but you have to do the thinking yourself by figuring which nemesis perk combinations kick ass and which don't. Basically even if you buy a pack of cool orcs, you don't instantly know which one of them kicks ass.

 

What I'm saying is, the product they were selling wasn't very good, which is why I think it wasn't selling very well. This combined with the backlash towards lootboxes gives them a good opportunity to get some positive PR by removing them, without losing considerable profits. So it may not be WB doing the "right" thing morally, but them doing the "right" thing business-wise.

 

Anyway, I would recommend you buy the game if you want to play it. If you liked the first game, there's a chance you'll find at least 50% of SoW enjoyable. I personally got fed up with how they over-emphasised the nemesis system. The first game still had fun batman-esque combat where you occasionally stumbled upon some puzzles presented by invulnerabilities. Shadow of War on the other hand constantly throws immune crap at you, which for me made the combat really annoying. The last 20% of the game I wasn't even doing any fighting, just letting my orcs kill other orcs while I ran around making sure that I don't get killed by some random crap.

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7 minutes ago, FilmFanatic said:

I won’t do so until there is a complete edition including all DLC

 

Sounds like a good idea, and reasonable to assume that this will happen as WB has a history of releasing GOTY editions down the line. 

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1 hour ago, Stardew Shelly said:

I actually thoght about this situation just about 5 minutes ago. And all I can do in this case is to quote @Elvick_ from another thread:

 

 

Although I don't think it applies in the thread he posted it in (About Metal Gear Survive fyi), I hardly can say anything against it in this case. I think this should be supported. If they continue to use this as a tactic to maximize revenue like you discribed in the OP it's not right and shouldn't be supported.

 

However, for now I'd give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

J

Anything taken out of context makes less sense. It makes sense in the context of the way the thread was going.

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2 hours ago, StrickenBiged said:

So last year I cancelled my pre-order and avoided buying Shadow of War after it became clear that the game was being pumped full of microtransactions (MTX), and that these would potentially spoil the game by making orcs and gear disposable, rather than something you genuinely wanted to invest in. 

 

For a bit of background, I loved the original Shadow of Mordor. Ok, it was a mediocre game in many respects, but the Nemesis system really made it stand out to me, and I relished the emergent stories that played out on the hierarchy screen each time you died. I enjoyed seeing my arch-rivals rise in power, and the feeling of finally being able to cut them down. It would be fair to say I was very hyped for the sequel, and it pained me somewhat to have to vote with my wallet because I refused to endorse the way WB games had decided to monetise the sequel. As I see it, if you object to this sort of monetisation it is not enough to just buy the game and then avoid the MTX, because your initial purchase of the base-game is still sending the message to the publisher that you will endorse whatever insidious 

 

So I was heartened to read last month that they will be removing the marketplace entirely and re-balancing the end-game with a target date of 17 July 2018. The blog post announcing the changes seems to be well thought out, and addresses the real criticisms that people had of the MTX implementation in this game - that it undermined the core of the Nemesis system - rather than a straw man (e.g. "gamers are entitled" or something like that).

 

Now, I'm considering picking up the game after 17 July 2018, once the marketplace has been removed for good. However there's still an amount of concern. If I were to do this, would it send the message that I endorse this sort of "we can release a deliberately MTX-messed-with game and patch it later" attitude from publishers? From their point of view, they could be thinking "we can use this strategy in the future to pick up the core fanbase's money at release, make some money from MTX in the meantime, before changing tact a year later and catching all the conscientious objectors' dollars", as a way of maximising revenue. That's a cynical way of looking at the situation, I realise that, but it could be a viable business strategy for maximising revenue from the release from the publisher's perspective.

 

Or, is it more important to reward developers and publishers for doing the "right" thing, even if it takes them almost a year to do it? Do you think this would encourage more developers and publishers to do the right thing from the outset?

 

I'll probably end up waiting for a re-review of the game, if any sites choose to run one after these changes are implemented, and make a decision then. But I'd welcome any thoughts on this quandry in the meantime. Thanks all.

 

It is difficult to tell what they will take away from this.  The optimist in my thinks that if sales go up after that date, they will think that they need to temper the microtransactions in the future to increase sales, but the pessimist in me agrees with your concern.

 

If you are concerned about giving the developer money, but still want to play the game, wouldn't buying it used be a potential solution?

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2 hours ago, StrickenBiged said:

 

 

Wow, strong comments, was it really that bad? Many of the media reviews I read at the time said it was annoying, but didn't really focus on it. Perhaps I should have waited until after the changes to make this thread so that people who already had the game could give me a before/after comparison. 

 

In short, no, coming from someone who plated the game when it first came out. After the initial uninformed outrage the media didn't focus on it because at the end of the day it wasn't a big deal. The lootboxes aren't just unnecessary to finish the game, they are outright useless. Your orcs will be severely outleved by the attackers in the final act either way, and being legendary won't help them too much in any scenario. At the same time, at that point in the game you can roflstomp all enemies regardless. It is an annoyance because it's a boring grind to get the true ending of the game, yes. But this is a common sight nowadays, as unfortunate as that is, and the only reason people are still talking about this is the existence of the marketplace.

 

Let me re-iterate, literally the only reason to ever buy a lootbox is if you want to seriously participate in the online portion of the game, and I mean way beyond what the trophy list forces you to. At that point, you might as well consider it playing an entirely different game.

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This is the point where I say that it's less of a problem with the game, and more an opportunity for people to champion the cause.  Everything I've read and heard from people who have actually played the darn thing is that the game is fine... but it's the posterchild for two things.  One, microtransactions in a (primarily) single player game... which is taboo (but fair criticism in most cases).  And two, people jumping on the hate train without actually being informed about the thing they hate (unfair in any case).

 

People are ok with that though.  Because they're angry, and bored.

Edited by Dreakon13
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3 hours ago, StrickenBiged said:

I'll probably end up waiting for a re-review of the game, if any sites choose to run one after these changes are implemented, and make a decision then. But I'd welcome any thoughts on this quandry in the meantime. Thanks all.

This is pretty much it.

You have waited this long, so a few more weeks or months won't really matter. With lootboxes being the hot topic that they are, Kotaku and Polygon will surely have articles about how the game will have changed. And if they don't, countless Youtubers will make videos about it.

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just like Mordor I am waiting on the inevitable GotY/Complete edition. I will say the game was not bad (Gamefly is great) you can tell they focused more on the Nemsis this time but the game feels more like an upgrade (or a side grade) than an actual sequel. Still will buy a copy when or they release a complete edition like Mordor

 

This is good to know  glad I saw this post

3 hours ago, FilmFanatic said:

One of my biggest gripes with the gaming industry these days is games being announced with Season Passes when the game isn’t even out yet. I loved Shadow Of Mordor and will definitely be picking up Shadow Of War but I won’t do so until there is a complete edition including all DLC and it’s on sale.

completely agree here, it is almost like they are intentionally holding back content just to nickel and dime customers. I have gotten to where I either wait about a year to get a game, research to see if there is no "dlc" (Dragon Quest 11 and Vampyr) outside of generic pre-order bonuses or just buy used if it is a game (Sword Art games) that wont get a complete edition.

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51 minutes ago, Sir_Bee said:

wouldn't buying it used be a potential solution?

 

It would. TBH I rarely buy used unless I am trading something in at a store that doesn't stock new games - where possible I take the view that if I want to play a game then I want some of my money to go back to the people who made it. Consequently, I completely forgot about this option on this occasion, but it might give me a handy escape from the quandry. 

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I played this game when it first came out, nd I absolutely loved it. During my playthrough, I never once felt compelled to purchase any sort of mictotransactions. Even the ending, being super grindy, I never once wanted to get mictotransactions. However, being a fan of Shadow of Mordor and all things Middle Earth,I believe I was much more lenient to this games glaring flaws, so maybe it's best not to trust my opinion. 

Anyway, I suggest you either get a used copy now (so that the developers won't get money) or get a new version after reviews have come out for the updated version. 

Edited by TerminatarMnA
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On 16.5.2018 at 11:32 AM, StrickenBiged said:

I'll probably end up waiting for a re-review of the game, if any sites choose to run one after these changes are implemented, and make a decision then. But I'd welcome any thoughts on this quandry in the meantime. Thanks all.

It's been a good while since microstransaction have been removed. Looking at your profile, the only shadows you have encountered are of the colossi and of the beast, but not of war. 😅

Have you ever found a re-review of the modified version?

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