So I played a few hours of Shadow of War last night. It’s not grindy and it doesn’t withhold drops in an attempt to get anyone to pay for boxes. I’m like level five and I’ve already collected 5k mirian (game money) and beaten up several epic orcs for their loot. I got killed once and now that jerk is going around bragging about it. His new title is the Tark Slayer.
If there was some attempt to lock gear or followers behind a paywall, I’d be pissed. But that is not what’s happening here and I’m mystified why so many people think it is. If you’re boycotting because you think the only way to have fun in this game is to buy lootboxes, I want to say you’re wrong.
Regarding the ending, from what I’ve read you get an ending after Act 3, after which the post game Shadow Wars begin. This is where Sauron’s army starts attacking you and you have to defend all the forts you’ve captured. The original Shadow of Mordor got complaints that there wasn’t anything to do with all these orcs you recruited, so this is what the dev decided to put in. If you think castle sieges with orcs are grindy bullshit, I’m not sure you’d enjoy any of Shadow of War’s gameplay.