Shadow of War expansion Desolation of Mordor out now

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Middle-earth: Shadow of War Desolation of Mordor is the most nonsensical sequence of words I have typed in some time. Yes, this is the second expansion for the popular orc dating simulator set in the land of Lord of the Rings, featuring two brothers who love to fight sand and all the animals that live in the sand. It’s out now, and a free update alongside the expansion also brings the first of those loot box rollbacks promised by Monolith.

First, here’s the description for Desolation of Mordor, in which I have replaced every Proper Noun with one of my own creation.

Play as Biddlepump, the Jester of the Casino from Mouldy Incel, and travel deep behind enemy lines in the Eastern Doldrums of Muckboot and raise an Eidelweiss Army to open a new front in the Shark War. Rendezvous with Tabitha, the epic Duckbilled Platypus who traveled deep into the Desalination of Muckboot pursuing the legendary Bubsy. Biddlepump is an exceptional Collaborator with new Skulls and Arguments to lead his men into battle against the Shark forces.

It’s really about Baranor, the captain you meet early in the main game. He’s a the focus of a new story mode following his adventure through the eastern deserts. Lacking the magical skills of ghostman Talion, he instead gets a grappling hook and a parachute, among other abilities. There are also side missions featuring that one Dwarf from before, human bodyguards to recruit and who will fight alongside you, and the whole new sandy region of Lithlad, complete with “were-wyrms”.

Now, the loot crate nonsense. Remember when Monolith came out of their office, sadly fidgeting with their hat, and admitted it was silly to release the game with loot boxes? They said they’d be stripping all that stuff out within a few months? Well, let the stripping commence. An update released along with the expansion has “permanently removed” the ability to buy gold, the currency once used to buy loot boxes. Although “players will still be able to spend Gold and receive Gold via in-game challenges up until the Market closes permanently on July 17,” say the patch notes.

The orc slapper’s first expansion, Blade of Galadriel, followed Elven murder fan Eltariel. It’s unclear if Desolation will be the final story-focused expansion for the game, but if you love sand and large annelids, you can get it on Steam for £15.99/$19.99.

14 Comments

  1. dontnormally says:

    > the Market closes permanently on July 17

    I shall look into picking this up after then, then.

  2. suibhne says:

    This ended up as my Most Disappointing Game of 2017. After the first 20 hours, everything felt the same, everywhere. It was just a matter of chasing more icons and performing the same actions over and over, for what promised to be another 20+ hours. I have no doubt a lot of players get genuine enjoyment from the game’s sytems, but it wore out its welcome pretty quickly and I uninstalled without regret.

    The current Monolith is clearly a capable studio. I hope they’re moving onto something more interesting for their next project.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Too bad. I like the setting but keep hearing bad things about the game esp. the grinding.

  3. Someoldguy says:

    A parachute? Sand worms? Good grief. Someone hook a dynamo up to JRR, he’ll be spinning fast enough to illuminate Oxfordshire.

    • Gomer_Pyle says:

      I guess SoM is supposed to be set in some alternate timeline, just like The Hobbit movies …

    • mitrovarr says:

      There was actually a mention of ancient, nameless things that gnawed the Earth under Moria and produced tunnels. So giant worms are not actually such a stretch.

      • lglethal says:

        Yep, we call them Dwarves… :P

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Tolkien was clever enough to hint at many things and leave them unexplained without having everything spoiled in a wiki.
        That made the world seem bigger and mysterious.
        “Were-worms” he mentioned? Oh well let’s have dune-sandworms all over the desert. That’s as unsubtle as it gets.

  4. Kingseeker Camargo says:

    I’m more interested in knowing how does the game work with the loot boxes removed; specifically, how grindy is now that famously grindy last bit of the game.

    The stories about that section are what kept me from buying it so far. Even the stories that tried to sugar coat that part still made it sound like the kind of busywork I’d rather stay away from.

    • plebman182 says:

      Yeah I felt the same, I cannot remember if it was this website or another that wrote an article refuting that the end was a huge grind.

      In it they described all these overly convoluted steps to combat the grind, that just came across as being just as grindy, just grindy in a different less obvious way.

    • Nelyeth says:

      The devs have said they would rework the last section from the ground up to make it much more accessible. They have promised “more narrative elements” and “a streamlined experience”, though the old missions will still be playable as optional content.

      They’ve also said they’d improve the base game a bit with “Nemesis System updates, new player skins, skill tree additions, gear system upgrades and progression updates”.

  5. lglethal says:

    Why does every desert have to have giant Worms? Come on people, its a frigging desert. Deserts are filled to the brim with things that are poisonous, spiky, fast and deadly. Snakes, scorpions, thorny devils (ok they’re not poisonous but god they look cool), vultures, crocs, and so on. And the best you can come up with is a frigging worm. Hand in your writers badge and return to the back of the queue…

  6. kud13 says:

    Once they phase out the lootbox, the game bundle can go on the Fanatical wish list.

    It’ll be 50% off for the lot come the winter holiday season

  7. Ham Solo says:

    Why didn’t the market close up already? Ow right, they’re trying to cash in as long as they can. Bugger off, Shadow of War.