It ’ s very hard to shake the rust off if you played the first plot. It ’ s impossible if you didn ’ metric ton. And the game is not precisely forthcoming with tutorials, tips or hints. so let ’ mho talk through everything you need to remember ( or learn for the beginning time ) in Middle-earth : Shadow of War.
Premise and some lore
Both games take place during the 60-year cross between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. Bilbo ’ s safely back in the Shire with a glazed new ring in his pocketses, and his “ nephew ” ( first and/or second gear cousin once removed, technically ) Frodo is not yet even a flash in Drogo Baggins ’ eye ( there ’ sulfur however about 30 years to go for that ) .
You play as Talion, a human commando who was stationed at the Black Gate of Mordor. Things didn ’ triiodothyronine go great for Talion ( or his family ), and he wakes up dead before the beginning game even starts .
Talion is brought rear to not-quite-life by a ghost in a shared-body kind of situation. During Middle-earth : darkness of Mordor, we learn that the ghost is the Elf Lord Celebrimbor, the greatest Elven smith. Sauron ( who was calling himself Annatar at the time ) guided Celebrimbor to make the Rings of Power — “ Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the flip, seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of rock, nine for person Men, doomed to die. ” Celebrimbor has some guilt about the solid helping-the-Dark-Lord thing, so Talion and Celebrimbor team up to take on Sauron and his forces .
Talion ’ sulfur fighting art and Celebrimbor ’ south ghost abilities turn them into a formidable pair. They spent the first game murdering and/or mind-controlling Sauron ’ second servants in and around Mordor until they had a final confrontation with Sauron. ( spoiler : They don ’ thymine kill Sauron all the means. )
There ’ s a fortune more that happens in the first game — other characters and tie-ins and cameos — that we won ’ triiodothyronine make into here because they don ’ thymine truly impact what you need to know going into the second one .
Middle-earth : Shadow of War picks up soon after the end of Middle-earth : shadow of Mordor. Talion and Celebrimbor didn ’ triiodothyronine kill Sauron, but they did overcome some of his lackey. Talion convinces Celebrimbor to hang around and continue their buddy-cop report. Oh, and, in a move that will make the most hard-core tolkien fans ’ heads explode, Celebrimbor decided to forge a raw Ring of Power. That ’ mho where Middle-earth : Shadow of War begins .
Both Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War are Assassin ’ s Creed and Arkham series-inspired open-world action games. You run around, jumping and climbing and slicing your room through Sauron ’ south forces. Along the way, you ’ ll find new abilities, gear and pieces of the report ( and backstory ), pick up collectibles and consumable items. But stabbing orcs is the core gameplay .
In the first game, you learn Talion ’ sulfur abilities slowly. In the second bet on, you start with about all of them, and there are no tutorials. It ’ south intimidating to say the least. It ’ mho confounding to say the most .
For close quarters combat, Talion has two weapons : a sword and a dagger. For your purposes as a player, they ’ rhenium no different — they ’ re mapped to the lapp button, and he ’ ll use whichever one the context requires .
Talion ’ s besides got a spectral ( -ish ) bow. It ’ s not so much physical as it is tied to Celebrimbor ’ s residence in his body. There ’ mho a distribute he can do with it in the first game, but it ’ mho introduced relatively slowly in the second, so we ’ ll skim that for now .
Talion has a robust skill tree — there are 33 skills and 87 upgrades to those skills. Some of these will unlock as you progress through the campaign, and you can purchase the rest with the skill points you earn by doing assorted things or gaining enough XP to level up. Skills add options to Talion ’ s battle, raw ( charming ) ghost powers and add fresh creatures you can mind control. There ’ sulfur a draw going on hera, so check out our usher dedicated to Middle-earth : tail of War ’ randomness skill tree .
Unlike the first gear game, Middle-earth : shadow of War gives you a lot of control over your gear. You ’ ve got five pieces to worry about now : a sword, a dagger, a bow, armor and a hood .
sometimes, like when you defeat certain orc captains or collect all of the ithildin words in an area, a firearm of gearing will drop. ( We ’ ll lecture more about ithidian words below. ) They all have a pretty discrete icon, so you ’ ll know what it is. Each objet d’art of gear besides has a coloring material associated with its timbre and a stat. The stats are easy to understand. Each piece is associated with only one stat or ability, and higher numbers equal better gear, whether it ’ s melee attack for a sword or s tealth for a hood. The quality is a little more complex .
There are four gear tiers — common ( white ), rare ( scandalmongering ), epic ( orange ) and legendary ( purple ). You can ’ metric ton upgrade common gear .
You can upgrade rare and better gear. When you beginning pick it up, you ’ ll see a mini-quest under the stat asking you to perform some undertaking. In the case above, you can see that we have poison one enemy to unlock the promote. Once we do that, we ’ ll be able to spend some mirian, and Celebrimbor will upgrade the armor .
You can only upgrade rare ( yellow ) and epic ( orange ) gear once. Legendary ( purple ) gear has ( a lot ) hard quests, but you can upgrade it multiple times .
You can destroy gear that you no longer want or need and turn it into mirian ( cash ) .
You can fit each of the five categories of gear with a gem .
You ’ ll pick up gems equitable like you pick up mirian and gear as you murder your way across the world. In your inventory menu, you ’ ll have to spend 1,000 mirian to unlock the jewel time slot on each class of gearing, but you only have to do this once, and gems remain in home even when you swap out or destroy gearing .
There are three types of gems : Potency/Warrior ( damage-increasing ), Vitality/Life ( health-increasing ) and Wealth ( mirian-increasing ) .
In each of those categories, there are five qualities of gems of increasing potency : basic ( they don ’ t have a qualifier ) gems, carved, polished, refined and perfect. For example, a basic warrior jewel will increase a weapon ’ s wrong by 10 percentage, while a arrant warrior jewel will increase it by 30. Celebrimbor can combine and reforge three gems of equal quality into a single muffin of the next-best quality .
once you start picking up gems, you ’ re going to spend a meaning total of meter managing gems .
There are four types of collectibles in Middle-earth : shadow of War.
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In the beginning bet on, finding artifacts restored pieces of Celebrimbor ’ sulfur memory. In the second, finding l ost artifacts will give you a moment of lore or backstory and, when you collect all of them in an sphere, a skill point. ( The skill point is the important part there. )
In Middle-earth lore, ithildin is a specific type of mithril. The “ talk acquaintance and enter ” doors into Moria that the company goes through were made out of ithildin. In the Middle-earth : shadow of War, they ’ rhenium hidden and inconspicuous elfin words that you find and collect to open a door to some actually good gear. You should always do the ithildin collectibles .
spoiler : Shelob ’ sulfur in this crippled. It happens in the first base five minutes, so it ’ s not truly a spoiler, though. Throughout the areas you explore, you ’ ll find Shelob’s memories, which are called The Web of Fate. These are little lore and backstory tidbits that you pick up that will reward you with s kill p oints .
The last one is not in truth a collectible, but it fits here anyhow. Shadows of the Past Quests are mini-missions or challenges based on Celebrimbor ’ sulfur memories. They ’ re kind of the closest matter that Middle-earth : shadow of War has to tutorials. In each one, you ’ ll have to do a specific thing or use a specific skill to accomplish a goal. In fact, you ’ ll comment that a lot of them are locked until you purchase the needed skill in your skill tree. You ’ re graded ( bronze, silver or gold ) on your performance, so the rewards vary, but you ’ ll get m irian ( money ), s kill p oints and g ems .
In both of the Middle-earth games, enemies are not permanently confined to their roles as either leaders or lackeys. They ’ rhenium singular, procedurally generate individuals .
For all their individuality, your enemies — the orcs, at least — inactive fall into those two categories of leaders ( captains ) and lackeys ( grunts ). Grunts are sword fodder. Sure, some of them get shields or javelins, but they ’ re still all subordinate and ( relatively ) faint .
If a grunt manages to kill you, however, he ’ ll get a promotion to captain, gain some feel and horizontal surface up on his own. And he ’ ll remember you. Captains are a far more unplayful foe, so we ’ ll give them their own department below. This whole system of procedurally-generated enemies, their hierarchy and the machinations therein is called the Nemesis System .
intend of the Nemesis System as your adversary ’ second sour in a board game. On your turn, you kill a bunch of the captains in an area ’ mho orc army ranks. Your turn ends when you die ( or when you choose to advance fourth dimension at a firm travel location ). On your “ opposition ’ mho ” bend, new orcs are promoted into those revoke positions and others advance up the hierarchy. These promoted orcs become captains .
Among the captains, there ’ south besides constant infighting happening. Captains challenge each other in events like camp raids and executions. The triumphant orc will increase in ability while the loser will normally die ( and consequently open up a point in the ranks for a grunt to be promoted ). These power plays show up on your map as orange, neck and neck icons. You can insert yourself into these Nemesis Missions to influence their outcomes, advancing sealed captains ( like ones you control ) or just taking advantage of the distraction to kill two captains at once .
You ’ ll see a abbreviated cutscene whenever you die that shows you these behind-the-scenes movements and hierarchy changes .
The captains in the orc army are quite a moment different from the grunts. They have an honorific after their appoint, fancier armor and a long list of strengths, abilities, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Killing a captain, while unmanageable, will get you more XP and better gear .
There are eight kinds details about Captains, broken into strengths and weaknesses .
- STRENGTHS: Immunities (things that have no effect on them), Hates (things that make them Enraged and very aggressive), Class Traits (extra abilities due to their class) and Bonuses (like gangs or mounts).
- WEAKNESSES: Mortal Weaknesses (things that deal lots of damage or one-shot them or things that will immediately make them flee), Vulnerabilities (things that do extra damage), Dazed By (things that make them Dazed) and Hints (which are just helpful hints about ways to defeat this Captain).
You get all of this information by gaining intel, which we ’ ll talk about in the next section .
When a master kills you, he becomes a Vendetta Mission of the “ He killed you, go kill him binding ” assortment. Killing these captains earns you even better gear than killing a regular master .
There are besides epic and legendary captains. These are extra-tough orcs, with extra strengths and bonuses, but they ’ ll devolve epic and legendary gear .
Because captains get a bunch of strengths and weaknesses, it helps a lot to know about them before you take them on. ( It ’ s not necessary, but it indisputable helps. ) While you wander the earth, you ’ ll be able to find i ntel. You ’ ll find some as notes on tables in orc camps. You ’ get other intel after interrogating w orms ( orcs that know things ) .
Both kinds of intel are marked with the lapp icon your map and minimap. It ’ s an angular, k chevron-plus-hurricane-symbol icon — it ’ s the alone greens icon, so it ’ south easily to spot .
When you get intel, you can choose one of the captains in the sphere to learn about. You ’ ll perplex to see all of these strengths and traits — things like Enraged by Stealth ( meaning that stealth attacks will make them super aggressive ), Poison Weapon ( meaning that his weapons can poison you, which deals extra damage and makes avoiding attacks more unmanageable ), or Beast Fodder ( meaning he takes extra damage from beast attacks ). You can then use all of this data ( and there ’ s a lot of it ) to plan your attack .
There ’ s not in truth any on-line dally in Middle-earth : shadow of War per selenium, but there are ways for you to interact with early players. When a captain kills another musician, you ’ ll be able to take on an Online Vendetta Mission to avenge their death .
These missions have their own orange, crossed-swords icon on your map. When you travel to their world ( which basically fair means into their version of the Nemesis System ) and defeat their killer, you ’ ll earn a loot chest ( see below in market ) and some Spoils of War. Spoils of War is like XP for vendettas. Every 1,000 Spoils of War points will earn you a Spoils of War Chest ( see below ) .
The irregular way to interact with other players doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate open up until many, many hours into the game. The Shadow War take the fortress mechanic that you explore at the end of Act 2 and turns it into an ongoing challenge among players. Once you control a fortress, you can spend time and money upgrading its defenses and the army defending it. other players can then attack your fortress and test their abilities against those of your orc army. And you can do the same to their fortresses .
These fortress sieges are a bang-up way to get ongoing contented out of the bet on, a well as gain Spoils of War and loot chests.
Market (and microtransactions)
The marketplace is where you go to purchase and open chests. You can earn chests by doing certain tasks ( like the Online Vendetta Missions above ). You can besides purchase them with m irian ( which you earn in-game ) or g old ( which you purchase with real-world money ) .
There are three types of Chests. Loot Chests give you gear and/or XP-boosting consumables. War Chests give you Followers, Spoils of War-boosting consumables and Follower Training Orders ( things to improve your Followers ). Spoils of War Chests are especial War Chests with better followers inside .
For an in-depth expression at what ’ s deserving buying and whether your should spend real money, see our Middle-earth : shadow of War Market and microtransactions guide .