- Last Updated: Saturday, 22 April 2017 21:00
Shadow of War's Predator skills will let you become a very nasty orc murderer!
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Hello my dear beautiful bastards and welcome back to more Shadow of War news! Information keeps coming to us like an avalanche of beheaded orc bodies rolling down a hill. This particular avalanche is related to the Predator branch of the abilities that Talion has. It specifically refers to Talion's ability to manveuver around, stalk and murder the enemies in the game.
In order to get these skills, you'll need to level up as each level gives you a skill point. However, some of the skills will be locked behind particular side missions and characters that you meet.
The Predator branch has 6 skills and each skill has a set amount of child skills, we will call them augments. These augments can all be unlocked over time but you will be able to have only one active augment per each skill. They said this is to prevent being overpowered and to make sure to keep you active when it comes to build choice when faced against specific enemies. Changing the augments doesn't cost anything and there is no timer, you are able to do it whenever you need to.
Let's get onto the skills in detail, start with the Elven Agility.
As we all know, this is the skill that allows Talion to run faster by vaulting over objects. In Shadow of War, it has been extended to climbing which should allow you to move vertically just as fast as it is to do that horizontally. A button has been added which will let you spend a bit of Focus for a speed boost, eliminating the need to vault over objects to get it.
The developers mentioned 2 augments that it can have.
The Spectral Dash allows Talion to do a short range stealth dash, similar to the blink from Dishonored. It uses a set amount of Focus and the frequency of use is similar to the dodge roll that is already present in the first game. This ability is useful when you're pinned in the corner, it lets you dash behind enemies and reach the open space. However, you can't dash through walls and you can't dash while mounting a beast.
The second augment mentioned is the Silent Runner. It lets you sprint without being noticed. It is a passive augment that you can't activate or deativate, unless you change the active augment in the menu of course. It can't be used while mounted on beasts and it can't be shared among friendly orcs.
The developers mentioned many times that the size of the game has drastically increased so these upgrades make a lot of sense, you don't want to spend years walking around but I wonder how will they balance the beasts compared to the speedy movement. If speedy running is faster and easier than riding a beast to a location, how much will that affect the players' willingness to use beasts? I hope the beast riding will be fun enough so choosing the slower method of travel will be worth it.
The second skill we can take a look at is Brutalize.
This skill allows Talion to brutally stab an orc to death which will cause nearby orcs to freak out and flee.
The first augment mentioned is Terrorize and it is rather simple. Upgrading it will increase the number of orcs that freak out during the stabbage.
The second augment is a bit more interesting, the Unyielding Ferocity. It lets you fill up the Might bar with every stab. When the Might bar is filled up, you get the option of using a single execution which drains the bar completely. This will be the only way to get executions now, by stabbing orcs and filling up the Might bar.
The change to the way executions are earned has been brought to prevent the player from calculating when will they get the execution. Instead of knowing that after exactly 7 hits, you get an execution, now you must stabbity stab until the bar is full. Since there are plenty of ways to stab orcs, I feel like this is a good way of motivating the player to use abilities and combos.
When it comes to general Brutalize things, we know that captains will not freak out during a stabbage, ologs can be weakened by the stabbage and beasts can't be Brutalized.
The next skill is called the Poison Tendril.
This allows you to poison orcs from a distance, such as shooting a barrel and poisoning it without getting anywhere near it.
One of the augments is called the Bursting Toxin and it kills the poisoned orc which then turns his body into a poison explosive which then spreads to other orcs in the vicinity. It basically allows you to create a chain reaction of poisonous death and pain.
The Contagion augment causes the orcs to start fighting each other, it's rather simple.
The Proximity Trigger augment focuses more on distance rather than poisoning. It lets you set up automatic traps with caragor cages or hanging meat which get opened or dropped when an orc is close enough to them. It removes the need to use arrows to trigger them. You can still trigger them remotely using arrows but otherwise it is automatic when an orc is close to it.
In case you have gear that has the poison effect, then the poison abilities will still apply so cutting an orc with a poison sword while having the Bursting Toxin augment will result with him exploding and infecting the orcs near him.
It will be possible to summon poisonous spiders that will attack orcs and apply the effects of the active augment. The developer said the spiders are the size of beavers which is both cute and terrifying.
When it comes to poisoning beasts, apparently it will be very effective against both graugs and drakes since poison goes into the bloodstream directly which will weaken them with great efficiency.
The devs hinted at the possibility that orcs will be able to summon their own spiders against you and that orcs killed by poison may return as diseased and immune to poison. They said that their goal is to allow as many mixing and matching as it is possible so I'm fairly sure that we will see an insane amount of variety both when attacking and defending.
Next skill on the list is the Wraith Chain which is by far the coolest ability shown so far.
It lets Talion, or rather Celebrimbor, chain kill multiple orcs one after another. To actually use this skill, the initial kill needs to be done from stealth and you need Focus to keep the chain kills going.
One of the augments is called Shadow Blade and it makes the first kill in the chain free of cost.
The second augment is called Monster Hunter which lets you stealth attack beasts. I'm not entirely sure can you chain kill beasts but with this augment you will be able to sneak up to them at least. I mean it makes sense that you'd be able to chain kill them since this augment is a child skill of the Wraith Chain so it's only logical..
When using the Chain, you'll be able to pick which enemies you want to attack first so there is a certain strategic value in using it, in case you wish to get rid of enemies that are enraged by group fighting or those that are never gonna back off otherwise. You'll need to be careful though because Captains will stop the chain, unless it is their weakness. All of the chain kills are normal stealth kills and you can't use Brutalize within it. Remember that these are very fast stealth kills that won't be noticed by anyone so if you have enough Focus to chain all enemies in the area, it will all count as stealth kills.
The next skill is the Deadly Spectre which separates Talion and Celebrimbor and lets you attract the orc to the invisible shadow. Since Celebrimbor is only visible in the other world, the orc will not see him so it will let you change the patrolling path of an orc and completely avoid him without much waiting.
You will be able to kill the orc with the shadow if he is near enough. The killing can be upgraded to the Brutalize augment but since nobody will see the actual kill, its purpose will be mostly to fill up the Might bar. Despite the invisibility, nearby orcs will still be spooked because their fellow friend just dropped dead so that is a bit weird. Killing the orcs can be done through walls as well because Celebrimbor is a ghost after all but the range is limited of course, the orc will need to be right on the other side of the wall.
One of the augments for it is called Spirit Drain which lets you drain the orcs to get health back. It will also be possible to drain rats so the health regeneration method has been expanded from just plants to animals as well.
Another thing to mention is that the Spectre can't be used as a Wraith Chain, it has to start from Talion and once they are separated, the Chain is impossible to do.
The Predator branch has a sixth skill that wasn't mentioned and I have trouble figuring out what is means. I can only assume that it is some sort of a special legendary skill because stars usually represent special things and I'm too lazy to investigate further so if you happen to have any ideas about it, please do let me know in the comments below.
That would be all from the Predator branch that is certainly quite exciting. The more we know about the game, the more awesome it seems because as I stated before, everything about it is the same except for the fact that everything has been expanded. I've been asking the gods for years to brings us a good game with depth rather than a billion useless side missions and this might be it.
I will pray to the gods that the hype will not be futile and I hope you will too my friend.
Thank you for watching and make sure to discuss the game in the comments, I always like seeing intelligent and civil discussions there.
I have been Petard your glorious lord and may the blessings of Petardia eternally touch your butt.