Shadow Of War’s Awful Game Breaking Glitch

Shadow of War reviews 5

Middle-earth: Shadow Of War had a tempestuous time before release, with controversy over its commemorative Forthog DLC and the microtransaction policy it employed, but the problems have not ended there.

Gamers (myself included on the PS4) are reporting that during the final act of the game (which we will not spoil here) the vaunted Nemesis system is breaking and the orc hierarchy that governs each area’s population of chieftains is instead displaying [INVALID STRING ID] in the place of Orcs and their stats.

Players who try to take a mission involving these missing enemies find themselves completing the required objective to draw out the orc fruitlessly, the mission continuing endlessly until players manually exit the mission where it remains unresolved.

Where this breaks Shadow Of War comes when assaulting fortresses during the late game phase, where these invisible orcs seemingly don’t even allow the main story missions to finish loading at all. The loading goes on infinitely and completely stops players from progressing, essentially making the save useless for anything but grinding out levels and gear towards no end goal. For a AAA release that, despite its controversies and missteps prior to release, is sensationally fun to play, this issue is a growing concern.

Shadow of War
The offending glitch in action.

On WB Games’ own support site, the issue cropped up as early as 11/10, with the problem incorrectly listed as ‘solved’ with gamers still finding no reliable workaround to this at the date of writing (30/10). There are some anecdotal comments of players able to supplant the offending non-orcs by dying multiple times or trying several in-game techniques to resolve the issue but nothing concrete has come of it. I personally have tried every option I can conceive of to fix my own version of the same problem, to no avail.

Reddit has some supposed success stories, with gamers claiming that they let their entire roster of dominated Orcs in the area be killed off, passing time forward constantly, died themselves multiple times, and sometimes the newly promoted enemy Orcs duel and ‘kill’ the [INVALID STRING ID] warchiefs gumming up the fortress. As of the time of writing, it hasn’t been confirmed.

When I myself submitted a comprehensive bug complaint through WB Games Support along with screenshots and descriptions of the actions that preceded the issue this was their response:

“We value your report and have passed it along to the Shadow of War team. While the game team does review all bug reports we are unable to respond to them individually and your ticket has been closed”

Hopefully, this means Monolith is already aware and are diligently working in-house to fix the issue with an upcoming patch or workaround.

Other small issues are also prevalent throughout the game (PS4 version in this case), such as characters not speaking during cutscenes or fortress slots being able to be purchased endlessly for no benefit while still depleting your in-game currency. It’s a testament to how good the game itself is that all these issues still haven’t dissuaded me personally from enjoying the game. If anything, it’s only made me want them to be fixed so I can get back in there and re-start lopping off heads.

Unfortunately though, until this issue is resolved a significant number of players are caught up in an unsolved problem that breaks an otherwise stellar experience.

– 50 Best Games of 2017

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