One ring to rule them a- 404 connectivity error.
Shadow of War has not had a good weekend, as far as optics and news go- the news first broke out that the game, a single player game, will have loot crates via microtransactions. This is an egregious practice to begin with in multiplayer games, but it is absolutely unacceptable in single player titles. Yesterday, some sites also began to report that the game will necessitate an always online connection to be played, in spite of its status as a single player game, because of the inclusion of these loot crates.
Naturally, this was not news that went down well with anyone- always online gaming is one of the few things that the gaming audience simply does not seem to stand for, especially for single player games. The fact that it was apparently being shoehorned into the game to enable a loot box system no one asked for seemed to be the final straw for everybody.
However, it seems like it was a misunderstanding that was the culprit here, on the part of the websites that broke the news first. While Shadow of War will in fact have loot boxes and microtransactions (and while I fully believe that is something detestable that needs to be spoken out against), it seems as though the game will not require online connectivity to be played, only needing you to be online to redeem your loot boxes, which has been confirmed by Monolith’s community manager MonolithJared.
So if you do want to play Shadow of War, I mean, more power to you, and you can do it- you’ll only be supporting one bad practice, instead of two. The loot boxes are entirely optional, but I believe their inclusion in a single player game is a slippery slope we don’t want to go down- but that’s my opinion, and you, of course, are free to disagree. Shadow of War launches in October on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.