The Shadow Wars are what you’ll encounter as the endgame of Shadow of War: a series of increasingly complicated sieges presented to you with a reward at the end.
Here on this page we’ll give you an overview of how The Shadow Wars works, plus our tips and advice for getting through the long process involved and, of course, how to get the true ending in Shadow of War as a result.
For lots more tips and advice like this, check out our main Shadow of War guide and walkthrough hub, which will walk you through every step of the game.
Digital Foundry takes a look at Shadow of War.
Shadow Wars Ending Explained: How to Unlock the True Shadow of War Ending
The main story may be over, then, but that’s not the end of the game: the completion of your task and the true end of the game now await you, but getting there will take a lot of work.
The ending of Shadow Wars consists of 20 sieges in which you will be tasked with defending your fortresses against invaders multiple times, with each invading force being tougher than the last. This will require you to recruit armies of a comparable level and upgrade your strengths with defensive measures, a process that requires an element of grinding; Check out our XP and leveling guide for more information.
Sieges are divided into 10 stages, and in each stage you will be tasked with defending specific fortresses:
- Cirith Ungol
- Cirith Ungol and Núrnen
- Seregost and Gorgoroth
- Núrnen and Seregost
- Núrnen, Cirith Ungol and Gorgoroth
- Cirith Ungol, Seregost and Gorgoroth
- The four of them.
Upon completing stage 10, you will be rewarded with a “many years later” scene, after which you can continue exploring the world and participating in online conquests. That’s basically it as far as rewards go, but this is the “true ending” you may have heard people talk about.
How to complete the Shadow Wars
Since the Shadow Wars take a long time to progress (and play out in a fairly linear fashion), there’s little we can do to guide you through each of them. But we can Give you some tips to overcome them as quickly as possible.
Recruit an army
Since the Orcs under your command cannot exceed your own level, you will have to put in some effort to raise your level to match that of your opponent. To check what you’ll need, head to the siege mission marker in the attacked region and begin; This will open a screen showing your attacker’s strength and the upgrades he is using, and will show the ranks of the Orcs in your own army.
Do you need more help? Our Shadow of War guide and walkthrough gives you an overview of everything you need, but if you need anything in particular, we have pages on Shadow of War Fortress Sieges, how to earn Mirian in Shadow of War, a guide on how to import your Nemesis and Follower to Shadow of War, collectible guides such as how to get all Shadow of War legendary weapon and armor sets, a list of lost artifacts and Web of Fate locations, and Ithildin Door and Shadows of the Past poem solutions, plus how to get XP in Shadow of War to overcome the complicated ending of Shadow Wars and get the true ending. Finally, Shadow of War army building and the best skills and how to earn skill points are explained.
Above each side is a figure giving the overall score, which gives an indication of your chances of success, but don’t rely on it entirely: if any of your armies are significantly outnumbered by any of the opponents, there is a high probability They get kills easily and a single high-level Orc on your attackers’ side can wipe out half your troops, reducing your chances of victory to almost zero.
For this reason, we suggest making sure your highest level Orc is no more than one or two levels behind the opponent; In the screenshot above, the numbers suggest we would achieve victory, but Orc 57 on the enemy side picked apart three of our defenders very quickly, and 56 finished the job. Many Orcs died to bring you that screenshot…
In addition to level requirements, it is important to choose your Orcs wisely. If the opposing army has several Warchiefs that deal Curse damage, you should avoid employing anyone who is weak to deal Curse damage, if they have several that are weak to shooting, you will want to recruit some Orcs that have firearms, if they have an Olog. or two you will need to bring your own, etc.
Improving your strength
Another important factor is choosing defensive upgrades for your fortress: pay close attention to what your enemy is using and choose an appropriate response; For example, if they seem weak to fire, use some fiery siege beasts and drakes.
It’s also vital that you complete the Fighting Pits: Champions Nemesis mission in a region before starting the siege, as it unlocks the last slot in your defensive lineup. Not only will this give you one more Captain in your ranks, but it will also allow you to deploy a minefield outside your stronghold that can seriously slow down the initial wave.
While these will vary depending on your choice of fortifications, your army, the enemy force (plus an element of luck), so far we have found the following strategy to be the most reliable:
- As soon as the siege begins, use a Shadow Strike to get close to the Captain commanding the first wave; If he’s on foot, we suggest targeting an Orc a little in front of him, and if he’s mounted, focus on the Caragor. .
- Eliminate the Captain as quickly as possible. If you can kill him before your walls break, the next wave is much simpler.
- The next wave of captains usually approach from one side of the fortress. If your walls are still intact, Shadow Strike as close to them as you can and try to attack them outside. If the walls have been broken, you will have to enter quickly; If you can, try to stop them before they reach a checkpoint.
- By the final wave, your walls will almost certainly have fallen. You will also be faced with the decision of whether to deal with the casualties on your side or focus on achieving victory as quickly as possible. It’s hard to recommend one over the other: keeping your troops alive gives you more backup if things start to go wrong and will keep them loyal once the fight is over, but it will also distract you from your main objectives. We’ve tended to err on the side of letting them die if they’re more than a few seconds away, on the grounds that you’ll probably replace them the next time you need to defend this region anyway.
- Keep an eye on your checkpoints – missing one will result in another enemy Captain to deal with!
(If you follow this strategy, be careful about using spiked walls in your defenses: it keeps the enemy out, but also prevents you from getting back in, so if you’re in trouble you’ll have nowhere to turn.)
In case of failure
Finally, it is worth noting that if you fail to defend your fortress, you have two tasks ahead of you: rescue the Overlord and retake the fortress.
Rescue missions are similar to the “kill enemy captain, rescue captives” missions you’ll have done during the main story, and retaking your fortress is normal, although if things went that wrong you’ll probably have to rebuild your fortress. . Army more or less from scratch.