When loot boxes were first revealed for Middle-earth: Shadow of War
, many players criticised developer Monolith Productions and publisher Warner Bros. for adding microtransactions to the experience. While players could complete the game without them, they offered the chance for others to reduce the amount of time needed to do this. However, Monolith has been listening to the feedback of players and will be making changes to the game in July via a series of free updates, one of which will be to remove microtransactions from the game completely. They'll also be updating the Shadow Wars section of the game, alongside other gameplay improvements.
The ability to purchase Orcs from the in-game market meant that players could instantly access more gameplay options. The problem was that this also meant that players missed out on the benefits of the Nemesis System, where players could create their own army and fortresses while creating stories that were personal to them. To bring back the meaning of the Nemesis System, Monolith will be completely removing Gold, War Chests and the Market. Players will no longer be able to purchase Gold with real money, nor will they be able to get Orc Followers in War Chests once this has happened.
May 8th will be when the ability to purchase Gold is removed. Players who have unused Gold will have until July 17th to be able to spend it — on this date, Gold, War Chests and the Market will all be permanently removed. If you have unused Gold when the removals take place, it will be converted to "in-game items".
In addition to the above, the Shadow Wars section of the campaign will get new narrative elements and will be streamlined. The Endless Siege update that was released in November will continue to be available despite these changes. Other gameplay improvements include "Nemesis System updates, new player skins, skill tree additions, gear system upgrades and progression updates".
More details on the above updates have been promised "in future build notes", but we do know that everything detailed above will arrive on July 17th.