http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/08/07/middle-earth-shadow-of-war-has-a-ranked-online-mode-now By Joe Skrebels Middle-earth: Shadow of War is learning some slightly unexpected lessons from contemporary gaming. Last week, we found out it features loot box microtransactions - today we discover it has a ranked online mode. Social Conquest (as it is somewhat oxymoronically titled) will task players with choosing one of their captured Nemesis Fortresses, outfitting its defenses, appointing an orc Overlord and accompanying captains, then making it available for attack by online players. It's not a far cry from Metal Gear Solid 5's Forward Operating Bases, essentially. Shadow of War: Using Wild Drakes to Assault a Fortress 06:33 As reported by Eurogamer, attacking in Social Conquest comes in two flavours. Friendly conquests are dry runs - you're not at any risk, but the rewards are comparatively small. In ranked mode, however, players will earn loot boxes (and currency to buy yet more loot boxes) upon victory. The catch: any of your fellow orcs who die in a ranked conquest are lost forever, even in the main campaign. Winning a conquest is a matter of skill and speed. The attacker needs to capture a series of points, before going on to kill the Overlord. The quicker you complete the assault, the higher your ranking. The higher your ranking, the better fortresses you can assault. Lose an assault, and that ranking goes down. As pointed out in Eurogamer's video on the subject, Social Conquests provide a way for developer Monolith to allow its biggest and most interesting new feature - the addition of custom fortresses - to be an essentially endless feature for players. Shadow of War: Mounting a Graug, Climbing Towers, and Smashing Puny Enemies Gameplay 12:35 Shadow of War also brings back Shadow of Mordor's own online offering, Vendetta missions. If an orc kills a fellow player's version of hero Talion, you may be given the option to kill the murderer. Vendettas are now more involved however - taking one on will now transport you into the other player's world and have you complete a generated mission, culminating in a duel. Complete this, and both you and the murderee are rewarded. Got a loyal follower from the last game that you'd really like to make your Social Conquest overlord? There's an update for that. And it's not long until we get to try all of this out - Shadow of War is out on October 10.