Middle-Earth: Shadow of War has changed since the first iteration. There are micro-transactions, loot crates, and various other online annoyances for those of us that just want to play a fun game without all the external nonsense. Every time you open the pause menu, a new image greets the player — informing of a new feature that’s bound to grate on most player’s nerves — an entreaty to sign-up for the WBPlay Newsletter. For your cooperation, you’ll get a +3% permanent XP boost.
That’s incredibly annoying for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s an advertisement right there in the pause menu. It isn’t going to go away as long as you don’t sign-up, and when you do sign-up — well, what do you think the WBPlay Newsletter is? It’s all about finding new ways to sell you even more junk you (might) not really need. Those are the straight-up negatives, but let’s look at the positives here.
That +3% XP boost is (almost) completely useless. Same goes for the market XP Booster.
More Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor guides on Gameranx:
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War – What Are Gems? | Game Guide
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War – How To Unlock Mounts | Game Guide
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War – All Ithildin Door Puzzle Solutions | Game Guide
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War – All Web of Fate Tokens Cirith Ungol | Collectibles Guide
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War – How To Get Every Legendary Set | Collectibles Guide
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War – All Web of Fate Tokens Minas Ithil | Collectibles Guide
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – 10 Beginner Tips & Tricks | Game Guide
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Farming Legendary Gear | Collectibles Guide
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – How To Farm Mirian | XP Guide
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War – Every Edition Available | Game Guide
- Middle-Earth: Shadow of War – Unlock These Early Skills For A Better In-Game Experience
- Middle-Earth: Shadow of War – How To Get The True Ending | Act 4 Guide
Why The WBPlay XP Boost (And Market) Is Skippable
When you pause the game and scroll down you can get a message asking you to sign-up for the WB Play Newsletter. Doing so will unlock +3% permanent XP boost in-game. +3% doesn’t sound like much of a bonus, but after an entire game of questing, it’s going to feel significant — especially during the grueling post-game act.
If you’re not about sharing your e-mail address and info with WB, that’s totally cool too. The +3% XP boost is an okay boost, but it isn’t even remotely required. You can skip the XP Boost for three major reasons.
#1: Shadow of War Isn’t A Mobile Game, XP Is Plentiful
The permanent XP boost is clearly cribbed from mobile gaming. That landscape is littered with online-only games where you can only play for a limited amount of time. Those games use a variety of tricks to encourage unlocking boosts. Shadow of War doesn’t really have any of that. Sure, it’s a lengthy game, but most open-world games have an extended running time these days.
There’s no end to the ways you can earn XP. It isn’t limited, and getting it isn’t slow. In the early game, you’ll rapidly unlock levels, upgrades, and skills to make your Talion even better — even if some of the early abilities are really just basic quality-of-life features.
#2: There Are Lots Of Ways To Earn XP Fast
Speaking of XP, there are better ways to earn XP fast.
- You can unlock XP Boosters (2 hours) in the new market. Purchase chests for a random chance to get one.
- Or spend 100 Gold.
- XP Boosters double the XP you earn for a two-hour period. The two-hours runs directly after using the booster, so don’t turn off your game — if you get one and use it, it’s better to use it with a whole bunch of quests lined up and ready to go.
The XP Boosters are a nice way to double your progression rate, but once again — totally unnecessary. 50% XP Boosts are a whole lot better than 3%. [Even if those XP Boosters will increase your permanent +3% XP to +6% XP, it still isn’t really worth it.]
On top of that, you can just farm Orcs for XP. In Act 4, you can get rid of Captains in your army and start collecting Nemesis Quests. These optional quests give you about 1,000 XP per completion, and that doesn’t count the XP you earn for defeating the Captains. These are fast missions, they only take about 5 minutes to complete, and you can simply advance time after completing them all.
#3: It Just Isn’t That Difficult
The last point is probably the most important to remember. Shadow of War isn’t an especially difficult game. The Nemesis System can be pretty brutal at the start, but as you unlock powers, skills and upgrades, Talion becomes an unstoppable fighter that can blast through just about any opponents with ease.
The only truly challenging section is in Act 4, and even then it’s more important that you recruit high-level Orcs to your army. XP Boosters won’t help speed that up.
It’s all up to you to decide. If you’re got some extra change and want to spend real cash on XP Boosters or sign-up for the newsletter (I know I did, shamefully) — that’s your decision. Just remember that it isn’t the only decision before opening up your wallet.