Shadow of War has loot boxes, and it's safe to say a lot of players are upset with them. So, it perhaps comes as little surprise to see the community do its utmost to combat the controversial system.
First up, players have found that if you decline Shadow of War's terms of service, it forces you to play offline and rids the game of its controversial Market. Thus, no loot boxes.
GeekCulturePodcast flagged this trick up (via NeoGAF), and we've verified it works on Xbox One (it's a little strange in that you have to hit "accept" either way to decline, but making sure to leave the checkbox unselected forces the prompt). Here's the warning you get if you opt out of publisher Warner Bros.'s terms:
And here's the message you get if, once you've opted out, you try to access the store while playing the game:
It's worth noting that this only works when starting the game with a fresh account. You can't opt-out of the terms once you've opted in.
Now, playing without loot boxes, or the Market, doesn't all of a sudden rebalance the game, but playing offline does turn Shadow of War into an old-fashioned single-player experience, which I'm sure some will quite fancy.
Secondly - and potentially more worrying for Warner Bros. - some players are using cheats to buy as many loot boxes as they like in the PC version of Shadow of War.
GeekCulturePodcast reported players are using a cheat to obtain as much Mirian (one of the in-game currencies) as they want.
Again, there's a caveat here. Mirian is not Shadow of War's premium currency, and the silver tier of loot boxes it's used to buy do not reward legendary uruks or gear. You get those from crates you need to buy with gold, the premium currency.
Still, with unlimited Mirian you can amass a powerful army and all the gear you'll need to get on with the game. Essentially, this cheat makes Shadow of War's endgame grind obsolete.
With loot boxes the current video game hot topic, it's no surprise to see players try to avoid them altogether, scrub them from their game or use cheats to mess with publisher systems. But players are particularly vociferous in their complaints when microtransactions are seemingly crow-barred into full-price single-player games, such as Shadow of War.
Eurogamer investigated the issue of whether loot boxes as gambling in an in-depth report published yesterday. As part of that report, Warner Bros. declined to comment.
But we did speak to a Monolith developer about loot boxes ahead of Shadow of War's release. Design director Bob Roberts said the Market was added to the game to give players a choice.
"It's there, from my perspective, for people who are protective of their spare time and scared when a massive game comes along that they're not getting to see the full experience."