- Last Updated: Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:41
Hello my dear beautiful bastards and welcome to the first news video for Middle Earth Shadow of War. The gods of Petardia asked me to become a collector of information regarding this game in these coming months so you can expect to see all sorts of news about it until the moment it comes out.
Monolith had a livestream the other day where they talked a lot about the game so I decided to summarize those two hours and let you know what can you expect. Please keep in mind that everything I ever say in these news videos will always come directly from the developers, their twitter, quoted interviews and possibly email correspondence. I usually make shit up in my videos but that won't happen here to prevent confusion.
I'm gonna try to make the information as fluid as possible, linking topics one after another so you can have an easier time digesting it. I'd like this video to make you feel like after you eat a nice chicken salad rather than a can of Pringles and 2 liters of coke.
When it comes to the story, it simply continues a bit after the end of Shadow of Mordor. Apparently Talion and Celebrimbor spent months crafting the new ring of power so that is the explanation as to what was happening in between the two games. The crafted ring of power is used to expand the wraith powers and skills that we can have in the game. There is a set number of main skills with a skill tree that branches into different types of sub-skills. Supposedly, you're also allowed to customize the skills but that is a bit unclear as of yet. The developer said there are more than 100 skills in the game now and that it is possible to run faster and have double jump due to the increased size of the world.
The expanded powers include new weapons, combat moves and wraith abilities that are mostly a part of the skill tree. Celebrimbor can now use the hammer and spear as weapons so everything we saw in the gameplay trailer is actually in the game and playable, including the usage of the spear while mounting a creature.
The creatures have been expanded as well, we have seen a glimpse of a balrog and the drake, both of which are in the game. We didn't see Talion riding a Balrog but the developer confirmed it is a game asset which means we will likely be able to ride it at some point. The drake can be ridden and what is especially impressive, it can be ridden within an entire open world region, not just the fortress sieges.
The game will feature multiple regions, each one of them bigger than each region in Shadow of Mordor but bigger doesn't necessarily mean larger in size. They will be bigger in terms of density and verticality. There will be more orc villages, mountains, caves, outposts and general activity across the entire region. The drakes can't be ridden across the regions so you'll need to get off, walk to the other region and find another drake within the other region.
Finding another creature is possible and shouldn't be too difficult. The world will be filled with wild creatures of all types and the appearance and traits of the creatures will depend on the environment you are located in. The environments will vary depending on both location and the orc tribe that owns the fortress in that region.
We can expect to see 7 different orc tribes in the game. Terror, mechanical, feral, mystic, dark, marauder and warmonger. Each tribe has a different set of gear, traits and behavior which will affect the entire region. The way orcs behave, what they wear and the decorations you will see in regions will change as soon as the fortress overlord changes so even if you explore the entire region, you will end up seeing something completely different in case an overlord from a different tribe takes the fortress over.
When it comes to taking over fortresses, we've seen a fair amount already from the gameplay trailer but there are more details that can affect the way you approach the fortresses.
As we already know, each region has a fortress which is ultimately a boss battle to conquer that particular part of the map and everything you do in the open world within that region concludes its purpose with that fortress siege. In Shadow of Mordor, you could recruit orcs and bend them to your will but then you had nothing to do with them so now the fortresses give you that additional meaning that lacked in the first game.
Conquering the fortress is not a simple task and you'll have several different methods of doing so. You can infiltrate with several friendly orcs, you can assassinate the warchiefs located with it or you can collect as many warchiefs of your own as you can and assault it directly.
It will also be possible to recruit siege beasts that will fire projectiles towards the fortress so the catapulting can come from both sides.
It is important to keep an eye on the type of fortress it is and which defenses it has because then you can recruit specific warchiefs that have a resistance to the defenses of that particular fortress.
All of the orcs have their own class, they can be assassins, tricksters, tanks or commanders and as time passes they can get upgraded to elite and legendary status. Aside from classes, they have their personalities, traits, rivalries and blood brothers. The clothes that they wear, the dialogue that they use and the things they do all depends on their existing story and relationships with other orcs in the world. The goal of the developers is to never let you meet two orcs that are the same so you can expect to see so many different stories and types of orcs depending on your playthrough.
One big difference compared to the first game is a new type of orc, the Olog-hai. They are basically super trolls that are bigger and tougher than others but the same rules apply to them. They have classes, traits, personalities and their behavior will change depending on your actions.
Betrayal will be a reasonably important aspect of the game as well. Betrayal will always come from personal reasons so if you kill their blood brother or if you don't promote them after they helped you, you can expect an orc to betray you but they won't do it randomly. They will wait for the best moment and then betray you. Overlords and bodyguards are able to betray you as well.
When conquering a fortress, you don't really need to kill its overlord, they will be recruitable just as any other orc, the only thing to consider is the level of the orc. If their level is too high, you won't be able to fully dominate them and you'll need to shame them to lower the level which will allow you to bend them to your will properly. You can also shun them then shame them and repeat the process several times. Doing this can be a problem because your actions can turn the orc into a lunatic who will increase in power and potentially bring you even more problems than before. As opposed to Shadow of Mordor, in Shadow of War all of your actions can have consequences within the world so everything you do will matter, or at least thats what it looks like is going to be the case.
Aside from making them crazy, you can also train your warchiefs in preparation of the fortress siege. Training will include fighting in pits, hunting and recruiting gangs. As your warchief levels up through training they are able to create their own groups of warriors so when you call them to be a part of the siege, they will bring their entire group as well which will increase your chances of victory.
It is also possible to make them your bodyguard, which allows you to summon them at any moment in case you need assistance. I'm not sure how do they level up as bodyguards, the developer didn't talk much about it but they are able to betray you as well so it would probably be wise to make sure to keep them happy and refrain from killing their family members.
Having friendly orcs nearby can also result with them simply invading your battle and helping you defeat whoever you're fighting. These moments will not be scripted and they purely depend on the real world location of the orcs and your relationship with them. If they invade a fight where the enemy is stronger than them, they will likely die but luckily, orcs can cheat death and always come back. If you let them die, they might come back as an enemy and want you dead so you can get betrayed by the undead version of them.
Once you set up an overlord within a fortress, there will always be a risk of betrayal which will result with the fortress being lost immediately, or at least thats what I think. I do not believe this is fully confirmed yet but it does seem to make sense.
Another way to lose a fortress is to simply lose the battle when orcs attempt to retake it. It is important to build up the defenses and the fort level but you can also synergize the warchiefs within it with the defenses that you decide to build.
Combining a warchief that gets enraged from poison with a bunch of poison traps will increase your chances of defending the fortress dramatically. It will also be possible to build the hellfire canon as a later skill upgrade. Destroying it will always result with a real drake coming out of it.
I mentioned earlier that the overlord and the tribe of the overlord affects the entire region. This will be particularly noticable if you actually lose it after you already conquered it. You will end up with new sidemissions, outposts and watchtowers that will need to be cleared again. The developer hinted that the frequency of the orc attacks will increase once you beat the main story and that it will be rare before that because they don't want you to worry about constantly defending fortresses while trying to pass the story missions.
Speaking of the story, the game itself will start with the siege at Minas Ithil and we will be able to fight alongside the humans and defend it. They didn't reveal anything else regarding that battle but I suspect we will lose and be forced to flee since Minas Ithil was actually lost and became Minas Morgul.
They mentioned Sauron, the Witch King and the Nazgul. Apparently we will come face to face with all of them within the story of the game but they will not and cannot appear randomly in the open world.
The expansion of the open world isn't the only thing thats coming to the game. The rpg system has also been expanded with new ways of upgrading your gear.
It is possible to visually customize Talions armor as well as the hood and cape. The rune system has been changed and now you'll able to collect gems and place them in slots for each type of gear that you own. Encountering elite and legendary enemies will give you an opportunity to get very strong new gear because killing them will always result with elite and legendary items. I mentioned it before but each tribe within the game will have a legendary armor set so collecting that through various challenges will probably be a fun little side mission of your own, especially if you want to make your entire world filled with one specific tribe. Having their armor set only seems logical.
When it comes to multiplayer, the developer hinted that the vendetta system from Shadow of Mordor is probably going to exist and be expanded further but their main focus is the single player experience.
And finally, we can definitely expect Talion to have his beard back, the naked face in the alpha version is not final.
This is more or less everything we know so far and I have to be honest, I simply can't wait to see more. The nemesis system seems to be expanded to the point where every playthrough will be wildly different from the previous one. I don't even know what to be concerned about because the first game was great and this one seems to be simply making it bigger. Perhaps the system will become so big that it will cause issues and inconsistencies with the orcs but so far, it all seems quite promising and I hope you will stick around until we find out more details about the game.
Thanks for watching and make sure to let me know what part of Shadow of War interests you the most, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.
I have been Petard your glorious lord and may the blessings of Petardia eternally touch your butt.