Shadow Of War’s Online Content Includes Ranked Keep Invasions

Asynchronous Multiplayer Is Better Than Nothing
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Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Middle-earth: Shadow of War WB / Monolith

New details on the asynchronous multiplayer content featured in Middle-earth: Shadow of War is out this week, following a recent press trip to Monolith Productions’ Seattle-area HQ. It may not be exactly what some fans were hoping for (or expecting) but it does sound like the studio has devised a pair of online modes that should keep Shadow of War entertaining long after we’ve completed the next chapter of Talion and Celebrimbor’s story.

Eurogamer was recently shown an early build of Shadow of War that highlighted both of the game’s online offerings. The first, Social Conquests, seems like a pretty natural extension of the fortress assaults that will be a linchpin of the Shadow of War experience. In Social Conquest, players can choose one of the many fortresses they’ve captured, staff it with their best orcs and install their most powerful warchief. Players can then raid the keeps of other Shadow of War fans, with varying rewards (and consequences) based on the queue they’re in.

Joining the the “friendly” queue is pretty low stakes. You’ll get a chance to clear the fort, and some free loot if you succeed, but the host doesn’t lose the orcs killed by Talion. Things are different in ranked, though. Any orcs killed during the raid remain dead, and must be replaced by the owner of the keep. The raiding player will gradually see their assault rating improve as they continue to overthrow players’ fortresses.

If Social Conquest doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you might be happy to hear Vendettas will also return in this year’s Shadow of Mordor sequel. The mode remains largely unchanged in Shadow of War, letting you summon orc captains who’ve slain other SoW players from your friends list, but the Mordor sequel does slightly expand the system. Players will now be asked to complete an objective, which usually involves killing orcs, before challenging the summoned orc.

For an early look at Middle-earth: Shadow of War, check out the 33-minute gameplay video released earlier this month. Then head down to the comments section and let us know what you think of the online content we’ll see in Shadow of War when the game debuts in October.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The game debuts Oct. 10.

Be sure to check back with Player.One and follow Scott on Twitter for additional Middle-earth: Shadow of War news in 2017 and however long Monolith supports Shadow of War after launch.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Shadow Of War Players Will Tell Better Stories Than The Game
And the next chapter of Talion and Celebrimbor’s story was pretty underwhelming. But the stories people tell about their Nemesis encounters, which are more chaotic than ever before, will undoubtedly shape public opinion more than any criticism Shadow of War garners along the way.
  • Nemesis system does an even better job of letting players witness and tell unique, action-driven stories
  • Most of the narrative content is just plain boring
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