Middle-Earth: Shadow of War [PC, PS4, XBone]

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Jez
 
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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Jez » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:04 pm

I'm mopping up the bits round Nurnen the usual shelob gondory poetry stuff. but mostly done. Have collected a fine bunch to lead the army in the assault. Dinged level 23 and the guys i have leading are all about 23 also. Some of them are real badasses. Gonna be fun.

However it's got to wait 2 weeks as I'm away training in Kent and Yorkshire. Shite bags.

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Snowy » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:32 pm

I too put together a mighty horde, then zapped through the actual assault in 2 minutes flat - was a bit of an anticlimax but I suspect the 'real' conquests will be somewhat harder :)
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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Snowy » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:51 pm

So there are lower level fortresses - I was trying to take Gorgoroth - great band but hard as nails zone :lol:

Back in one of the earlier zones which now has meatier bosses and a fortress to take out.
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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Jez » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:34 pm

Well I'm well away from my pc now in deepest darkest Kent so I'll be jealously reading this thread and your exploits snowy.

Surprised more here haven't got this. It's really quite good.

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Snowy » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:38 am

Yes surprises me too - open world fatigue PW-ites? Going for AC Origins instead?

I had a funny one last night. I had just moved to an area on a par with my own level, and hunted out a captain to turn, to start to build my forces in the region. I had just started to fight, and was having to do a lot of hit and fade attacks as I was taking a fair bit of damage from the orcs that came charging in to support. Do some damage, kill a few supporting orcs, scarper over some structures and drain an archer or two to add them to my own side while replenishing my health.

Anyhow, I was quite comfortable that I was going to win the fight, when the screen spun to show a new captain joining the fray, a huge troll with a poisoned club. The balance of power had just shifted to the orcs again... The fight continued, and my hit and fade approach continued to allow me to stay alive, flitting from the offensive to the defensive. At one point I lured both captains and a goodly number of grunts close to some stacked barrels of grog, so I put an elf-shot into them, sending the whole thing up in flames. I have a legendary armour that massively reduces fire damage that I take, so being in the middle of conflagrations is not a huge hardship and works well for me as a crowd control tactic.

At least, it usually does. No sooner had the kegs exploded than another captain appears (ambush attacks happen in the new game, so you will not always see them coming). He held me up by the throat and roared at me for smashing his kegs of booze, telling me just what he was going to do as a result. He then slammed me off the floor a few times for good measure.

Three captains. No wait, here is number four! Another one joins the fray. This is looking a bit worrying!

The second captain I had engaged had taken the brunt of the barrels exploding, and was showing as 'broken'. I vaulted a few grunts, freezing them by doing so and thus reducing some of the incoming blows, and after a couple of failed attempts converted the broken captain, adding him to my ranks and telling him to stay and fight. He may die but at least I will have some help!

I continued battling, breaking the first captain I had engaged. I was just moving in to dominate his will as well when my newly converted poison-club merchant brained him. Ah well, a crummy bit of common armour instead of a captain on my side - them's the breaks. I flicked to the army screen and sent Billy the Poisoner off to spy on a warchief, and hopped back into my scrap.

I battered down the health of one of the remaining two captains, only to reach the half-way point and have his blood-brother appear to help him. What? Nobody told me he had one of those :D Back up to three then. I dominated one of the blood brothers and sent him packing, then killed another captain, before battling the last. I was now stood on a tiny section of roof, just enough space for me to manoeuvre and fight, along with the last captain. I dominated him, and his recently dominated blood brother took exception, betrayed me, and re-appeared ready to avenge his brother.

"But, he is still alive... he was going to fight with you" muttered a now slightly-out-of-breath Talion the Ranger. Actually this is more true than even Talion knew, as my intent had been to pit the two blood brothers against one another in the fighting pits. Best laid plans right?

I killed the betraying blood brother, which promptly caused the other newly turned blood brother to also betray me. By the end of the fight, from five captains I had only managed to recruit one to the cause. All the others lay in pieces. On the flip side, none had killed me, so it could have been worse!
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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Sly Boots » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:21 am

Snowy wrote:Yes surprises me too - open world fatigue PW-ites? Going for AC Origins instead?


I just didn't really ever click with the first one, didn't hold my attention long enough to master the controls properly, and then every time I tried to come back to it thereafter it was harder still to get into it.
My face is tired.

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby katarn » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:36 am

I bounced off the first game too - and it's still sitting on my Steam list for games I must play one day to try & get my money's worth. Until I do that I can't really justify buying the sequel, even though I'm sure it's pretty decent.

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Mantis » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:42 am

Open world fatigue, lootbox shenanigans and just a general lack of taste for a sequel that doesn't look like it has done anything to spice up the core mechanics of the game at all.

Considering the general feeling that people were bored of the first one by the time they got to the second map, I'm surprised you guys are lapping this one up so much. There's only so many times I could watch the animation of Talion lopping off an orcs head, and it did not extend to a 30 hour game, let alone a sequel!

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby DjchunKfunK » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:49 am

Yes surprises me too - open world fatigue PW-ites? Going for AC Origins instead?


Getting Wolfenstein and Mario this month. I'll probably pick this up some way down the line, but in terms of open world games AC Origins does interest me more.
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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Snowy » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:11 pm

I kinda get where you are coming from, both Dave and Alan. I found that the original built such a complex control mechanism over time that remembering precisely which tortuous combination of commands was needed was a chore, indeed many of the abilities I tended not to use simply through overload. I also stopped shortly after the second map opened up, although I think this was probably due to something else distracting me away from it as much as from having seen all I wanted to see. That said, I got 35 hours enjoyment from the original, and sufficient time has passed that I once again had the appetite.

The thing that really resonated in the first was the nemesis system. I remember the one orc that caned my arse time after time, rising to dizzying heights in the enemies ranks and who would show up at all the wrong moments (from my perspective). When I finally killed him, it was such a visceral rush. He returned a couple of times from 'death', until the glorious moment when I finally popped his head from his shoulders, finally consigning him to the grave permanently. That one, randomly generated orc, who through what happened directly as a result of my playing became the defining memory of the whole game.

This is also what keeps me coming back to the sequel. It is partially you as the player anthropomorphising the orcs that show up as characters, partially the game weaving them into your experience. This time around there are more enemy types, more triggers and interactions, more context to those interactions.

The game does still have a complex control system, although much slicker than it was before. The skill tree is an abomination and both could and should have been slimmed down, although that said, it does allow you to create a 'build' that suits your play-style while not railroading you - you can change your equipped skill-specialisations (each core skill is yours once unlocked but then has 2-3 modifiers that can also be bought with skill points - these can be swapped around at will).

In a lot of ways it is more of the same, so anyone not sold on the first may not get on with the second. It does do a lot of building though, taking the core elements from the first and weaving you a more engaging sandbox in which to play, while building the meta-narrative for your game directly through the Nemesis system.

I read an article in RPS recently which expressed surprise that, in an age where any original game concept is immediately purloined and baked into others titles, why we have not seen any other takes on the Nemesis system - it was a piece that I strongly agreed with, as it is such a strong tool for personalising your experiences within the game.

Oh, and Dave: Loot boxes. Put them from your mind. There is no earthly reason why anyone would pay money for them. I will wager that will be the lowest earning in-game transaction since horse-armour. Everything you can get from them you get by playing, so the mechanism they have created is basically you can pay money to not play the game. Utterly baffling, and to be completely ignored as a factor for or against.
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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Mantis » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:06 pm

I think the reason I got bored of the first game, and the nemesis system, is that it didn't really work properly for me because I found the game to be laughably easy. I slaughtered every enemy I came across and only ever really experienced them coming back for subsequent fights when I decided to toy with them and let a few live.

And from what I understand of the loot boxes, the top tier unlocks and characters can only be found in the premium crates, and as you get further towards the endgame the need to grind away at them increases dramatically. Not 100% on that piece of information though so would be interested in hearing how true it is when either of you get more towards the end.

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Jez » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:28 pm

Not playing it at moment with being away but I agree with what snowy says above.

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Prey » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:17 am

Snowy wrote:Yes surprises me too - open world fatigue PW-ites? Going for AC Origins instead?


The game had the worst possible release date for me personally just mere weeks before AC Origins was set to arrive and with now only ten days until it does I know I won't be playing it now until perhaps even next year given my track record with open world games. You will be glad to know however that my son is lapping it up and comes to me now on almost a daily basis with wonderful stories of his continued adventures. I think he's played about 20 - 30 hours of it already.

Whilst I am here I had to post this article from PC GAMER I read on my phone yesterday while watching Brandon playing the game...

Let me begin by warning that for the rest of the piece I will be relaxing our usual rules regarding bad language. I am doing so to tell you that Mozû the Blight is a motherfucker. I first meet this orc captain, and absolute scumbag, as part of the Arena quest in Minas Ithril. Mozû is the final opponent, and from his dialogue I think he's actually an undefeated nemesis enemy imported from my Shadow of Mordor save file, which would at least explain his insane smorgasboard of resistances and abilities. These are what makes Mozû such an asshole to fight.


Once there, it's probably only five minutes before the prick turns up. "Ranger! Didn't think you could escape, did you? I've followed you for miles…" Holy shit, this guy. Let me enjoy my videogame! I go to bed livid, wondering if Mozû is out there online terrorizing anyone else as part of the game's vendetta missions. Perhaps we could form a support society.


http://www.pcgamer.com/fuck-this-one-particular-orc/

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Jez » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:20 am

Mantis. I was like you with the first game the nemesis system barely registered to me because I smashed everyone. This time though I have a few fuckers that have beaten me a few times. In the end I've beat them and added them to my army where they have become very effective for me. It's led me to cherry pick a few grunts and let them beat me a few times and help them in other battles then turn them if they develop some interesting traits. I then send them to the Arena and power level them against targets i want eliminated.

It's a better system this time plus there is a difficulty scale if it's too easy for you. Im playing on middle difficulty at moment.

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Re: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Postby Snowy » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:39 pm

Mantis wrote:And from what I understand of the loot boxes, the top tier unlocks and characters can only be found in the premium crates, and as you get further towards the endgame the need to grind away at them increases dramatically. Not 100% on that piece of information though so would be interested in hearing how true it is when either of you get more towards the end.


From several reviews I have read, the game effectively finishes, then tacks on a mission for you to go back through all your fortresses recapturing them and defending them, despite the story having completed, with no reason given.

This sounds to me like something quickly hammered on to support the addition of loot-boxes.

Some reviews said that they had plenty of Mirian, the in-game currency, which allowed them to complete this section. Others said that the trick was to not even contest the capture of the forts, as retaking them was far more enjoyable.

For me, if I make it through capturing everything in the game once around I will be surprised (my record for completing games is atrocious) and even then, the moment I get a whiff of grind then unless that grind is the most fun I could be having, the game will be dropped like a stone.
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