Middle-earth: Shadow of War is learning some slightly unexpected lessons from contemporary gaming. Last week, we found out it features loot box microtransactions – today we discover it has a ranked online mode.
Social Conquest (as it is somewhat oxymoronically titled) will task players with choosing one of their captured Nemesis Fortresses, outfitting its defenses, appointing an orc Overlord and accompanying captains, then making it available for attack by online players. It’s not a far cry from Metal Gear Solid 5’s Forward Operating Bases, essentially.
As reported by Eurogamer, attacking in Social Conquest comes in two flavours. Friendly conquests are dry runs – you’re not at any risk, but the rewards are comparatively small. In ranked mode, however, players will earn loot boxes (and currency to buy yet more loot boxes) upon victory. The catch: any of your fellow orcs who die in a ranked conquest are lost forever, even in the main campaign.