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Author Topic: Middle-earth: Shadow of War  (Read 14922 times)

Jacob/Lee

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Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« on: April 18, 2017, 07:47:05 pm »

The Shadow of Mordor thread is a bit old and died years ago. Its sequel, Shadow of War, was announced months ago, but we don't have a thread yet?

For those who don't know: Shadow of Mordor was a game set in the Lord of the Rings universe about a human ranger called Talion who was killed in a raid by Sauron's forces and brought back to life by Celebrimbor (yes, that Celebrimbor). It has combat and parkour similar to Assassin's Creed but focused on a dynamic mechanic (called the Nemesis System) wherein unique orc captains would populate a hit list available to the player and engage in different events to either kill off rivals or make themselves stronger. It was a unique mechanic that raised the game into a better position among its contemporaries and was fun and engaging, despite the liberties the game takes with Tolkien's lore. Timeline-wise, it took place between the events of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.

It's gone from sneaky-peaky butchering of orcs to outright warfare at this point, like the domination mechanic is being turned into a whole game. A few notes about the game (not all differences and points are included here, of course):

Here's some links:

Release is slated for August 22, 2017 October 10, 2017. Available for Xbox One, Project Scorpio, Windows 10 PC (Windows Store and Steam), PlayStation4 and PlayStation4 Pro.

I'm interested to see more about how the game expands upon the setting and mechanics that were introduced in the first game. Generally I don't buy new games, but this is one I'm definitely more likely to if I like what they're doing. The combat system that these kinds of games use is not something I particularly like, but the rest of the game made up for it.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 04:16:25 pm by Jacob/Lee »
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Neonivek

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 07:52:15 pm »

DEFINATELY interested in this game

If the trailers aren't a bunch of lies this game will be awesome!
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Donuts

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 08:05:44 pm »

I really wanna see this become a great thing and not just "AC + Betmin with a mildly more polished Nemesis system", so I'll keep an eye out and hope for the best.
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Nighthawk

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 08:08:32 pm »

Honestly, the footage we've seen so far kind of worries me. I'll admit I know very little about how game development actually progresses, but the gameplay they've shown looks... pretty unpolished. I'm also extremely leery of any game that has three different preorder options 4 months before the game is released.

All that said, if they actually deliver and make a game that expands what worked in Shadow of Mordor, I think it could be fantastic.
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Neonivek

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 08:11:32 pm »

Honestly, the footage we've seen so far kind of worries me. I'll admit I know very little about how game development actually progresses, but the gameplay they've shown looks... pretty unpolished. I'm also extremely leery of any game that has three different preorder options 4 months before the game is released.

All that said, if they actually deliver and make a game that expands what worked in Shadow of Mordor, I think it could be fantastic.

Funny enough... None of the DLC matters

Two of them unlock a single tribe of Orcs.

Two of them unlock COMPLETELY UNRELATED STORY CONTENT that has no effect on the main game. Did you remember this in the first game? You know the stuff! A Non-canon game where you played a "What if Calibrimbor beat Sauron" and another where you fight beasts... you know... that totally fun and not tedious side quest in the main game extended to several more missions.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 08:13:57 pm by Neonivek »
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Jacob/Lee

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 08:17:57 pm »

Honestly, the footage we've seen so far kind of worries me. I'll admit I know very little about how game development actually progresses, but the gameplay they've shown looks... pretty unpolished. I'm also extremely leery of any game that has three different preorder options 4 months before the game is released.

All that said, if they actually deliver and make a game that expands what worked in Shadow of Mordor, I think it could be fantastic.
Pre-order bonuses with more bells and whistles than a steam-powered locomotive factory seem par for the course with new releases. The obvious rough edges that appear in the gameplay footage we've seen gives me hope that they're not super-staged trailers designed to push as many units as possible at launch. Still, I'd recommend waiting a few days after release to see some reviews from critics and let's players first, especially if you're worried that Monolith is going to drop the ball on this one.

E: Updated OP with release platforms, added links to the livestream clips (dated April 13 at the latest, March 10 at the earliest) on the Shadow of War channel.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 08:44:28 pm by Jacob/Lee »
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Naxza

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2017, 08:38:39 pm »

To whomever it may interest, if you never played Shadow of Mordor, Bundlestars has the game and its DLC together as a steam key for a whole five bucks. It's not a bad time to play catch-up.

OzyTheSage

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2017, 08:57:13 pm »

If they can just make a better Shadow of Mordor then I'd be happy. I really liked the first game despite not playing it until a few years after release. It wasn't really difficult though, and all my deaths can either be attributed to confusing "press X" button prompts (Xbox vs. PS button location memory) or to purposefully getting killed to raise the level of the Uruks. Hopefully they've found a way to make things a little more challenging.

At the very least it seems they've tried to take the captain mechanic and turn it up to 11. Someone from a video stream put it best I feel: what Borderlands (and Diablo) did with weapon drops, Shadow of Mordor did with captains (unique enemies), and it seems they're trying to do that with the strongholds you assault in the new game, at least to an extent.

Anyways, as with all pre-orders, the only real kind of incentive that interests me is a discount. I rarely give a damn about bonus content or art books. Right now the best option is to hold on to your money until a few patches/bugfixes and reliable reviews.

Man of Paper

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2017, 10:14:41 pm »

I like that they aren't just settling in back to Shadow of Mordor. The Nemesis System was unique and innovative enough that I don't think any game I've played since has even tried to duplicate it. If they can build off of that mechanic in a positive direction (or even laterally, as long as there's something new to it), then I think this game will top a lot of charts without having to hand anyone an envelope full of cash. If it goes from Assassin's Creed in Middle Earth to something more akin to Mount & Blade+Total War in Middle Earth then I think that's perfectly fine.

I'm also a bitch for anything that writes itself a unique narrative.

Can't wait for people to shit on anything new they think of trying though.

And that gameplay walkthrough mmmmmmmm

EDIT: I mean seriously, I was more interested in what was going on than I am with most things I watch.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 10:16:22 pm by Man of Paper »
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kilakan

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 10:20:33 pm »

pretty hyped, that is all.
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Jacob/Lee

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 10:41:46 pm »

I'm watching some of the livestreams now. Some bits from part 5 (because 2-4 don't tell much):
  • The player can assign followers as bodyguards, which allows them to be called in at any time in the open world.
  • Kicking followers out of important spots (such as the overlord of your holdings) makes them dislike you and more likely to betray you.
  • Drakes can be ridden around the open world if you find one.
  • Gems (gear modding items) can either buff yourself (like runes in Shadow of Mordor) or buff your followers/armies. Some skills also allow this.
  • Captured fortresses can be upgraded/customized.
  • Late-game skills allow the summoning of caragor, graug, or drakes.
  • The player can send their officers on missions, including targeting each other; one specific example given was making two of your orcs fight to the death to make one of them stronger.
  • The identities and stories of the Nazgul will be expanded on in this game, as they are major antagonists in the plot.

Neonivek

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 10:42:52 pm »

Ohh and also for people who found the game too easy... there WILL be a Hard Mode!

How hard that is... is beyond me... I wouldn't be surprised if it is like... "slightly more difficult" but they did say it would change the AI and how aggressive they are and wouldn't be a straight up health and damage upgrade.
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Covenant

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 10:57:00 pm »

It's unlikely, but I'm hoping they use the names of the Nazgul from Angband. So, Adunphel the Quiet, Dwar the Dog Lord, etc.
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nenjin

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 11:37:38 pm »

My body is ready.

Sort of.

I mean, I picked up SoM long after the hype and I expected the Nemesis system to be amazing....it was good. The aesthetic details were all nice touches. It produced some pretty entertaining moments.

But mostly I felt frustrated trying to interact with it, and a lot of the novelty of manipulating it quickly got old when you grokked how the formula worked. I actually just put another 20 hours in when the big trailer for Shadow of War dropped. And it's still frustrating sometimes trying to manipulate the Nemesis system. Oh that's a cool orc captain, I'll brand him....DOH, a branded goon just finished him off. Rinse, repeat, pass time.....blargh. The difficulty was definitely an issue, and I lack the care to spend 80 hours building the greatest nemesis ever just so he can be immune to 90% of my attacks.

So Shadow of War.....I'm a leeeeetle skeptical. A lot of that trailer reeked of scripting, from the dragon vs. Graug fight to the sniper ambush to damn near the entire boss fight. I know they're like 'totally unique every time' but I have a hard time believing they've magically perfected procedurally generated boss mechanics. I expect more like 10 or 20 hard coded kinds of boss fights with some palette, setting and dialog swaps. To be honest I'm a little sick of the marketing speak on this. "Every player will face a totally unique boss" in reality is "every player will fight a guy with a random name, some random traits and, if you play long enough, you'll hear the same dialog lines used eventually." 

For all that I'm still excited...but the more I watched the trailer, the less impressed I became. The UI looks basic, like a place holder. Even at 1080p playback things looked pretty muddy and the textures on many guys looks way, way simpler than it did in SoM. The detail simply isn't there anymore (maybe because they plan to have 5x as many orcs on the screen as in SoM.) They're recycling a ton of animations from SoM but somehow they look rushed here, rather than exquisite like they were in SoM. The preorders are ridiculous, as usual.

And there's vastly more content than before. You fight in Gondor, various other fortresses....but you know what? SoM was largely compromised of scattered groups of orcs standing around for you to murder, and Assassin's Creed style collectathons and mission prompts was the only true content in the game. Other than the cutscenes and most of the animal/beast shit, very little felt "designed" so much as "sprayed" across the map in SoM. So when they're saying there's going to 10x the amount of shit to see and do as in SoM....part of me questions what quality all of this will be, or if it will be more seriously repetitive content that, story aside, the Nemesis system is the only thing saved SoM from being just "average."

The RPG leveling and gear in SoW will certainly probably get me to play more of it, and the choosing an appropriate difficulty instead of trying to allow a difficulty level to evolve from how you play will probably keep an edge on the game that SoM lacked after just 10 or so hours.

So while I initially got hyped, my hype thrusters are cooling. I'm still debating whether I'll get it at release or put it off for 6 months. I'll probably at least read a few reviews first. I've only put maybe 50 hours into SoM, and that puts it firmly in my "ok" basket of games judging by its playtime. It's a game I remember fondly but one I struggled to make myself come back to.

And I just can't shake the nagging suspicion that they're promising more depth than they're actually going to deliver. The trailer was almost too cinematic and flowing for me to believe that all just naturally occurs.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 11:48:24 pm by nenjin »
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Neonivek

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2017, 11:43:08 pm »

Quote
I lack the care to spend 80 hours building the greatest nemesis ever just so he can be immune to 90% of my attacks.

Trust me... it doesn't take that long... Just get the threat ability and they will be MOSTLY all the way to max power...
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