Warner Bros has announced that microtransactions will be coming to Middle-earth: Shadow of War in the form of loot crates. Lovely.

The addition of loot crates often leaves players split. While they’re often frowned upon, they’re usually harmless when all they offer is cosmetic items such as hats or outfits. It’s when these boxes offer ways to beat the game, or “pay-to-win”, that things get a little tricky.

The latest game to join the ranks is Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the upcoming sequel from Warner Bros, that’s set to bring back the famed Nemesis system from the first game, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

In Shadow of War, a brand new market will be available to players where they can spend in-game currency, Mirian and Gold. The former can only be acquired by killing orcs, destroying weapons, and finding stashes, whereas Gold on the other hand is awarded in small amounts at specific times, as well as for participating in challenges. Oh, and it can be purchased with actual cash.

Gold, is the game’s premium currency which can be used to purchase crates! In these crates you’ll be earning yourself gear or unique orcs for your army which can help you “save time”.

According to Warner Bros:

“Gold merely allows you to get your hands on them immediately, cutting down some of the additional time that would have been spent winning more battles, tracking nemeses, completing quests and assaulting fortresses.”

Basically, if you can’t be arsed to actually play the game, you can pay to push things along a little quicker. So Gold gives players an advantage in the game, right?

According to Warner Bros:

“No, Gold does not give you any advantage over other players. A player who invests enough time can progress the same amount and have access to the same content as a player who purchases Gold. Gold is not required to progress or advance in the game at all.”

The only advantage is that a player who’s been playing the game for fifteen minutes can have the same gear and content as someone who’s played the game for fifteen hours.

That’s nice.

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