Here’s What’s Wrong with Random Queues

Random queues remain the hot topic of the Neverwinter PVE world. Countless threads have complained about and bashed the system since its introduction. Quite a few players already lobby for quick changes to what they think is a lackluster approach on multiple fronts. Today I’d like to dig into the problems of the random queues before dishing out some ideas how to improve the system.

No More Dungeoneer Shards for Lowbies

At level 70, you no longer get separate quests for dungeons, but two for participating in the random queues. It’s one for the skirmish queue and a second for epic dungeons. This essentially means you need to have at least an item level of 10,000 to get your shards. It might seem like a low number, but small casual guilds that already have trouble progressing anyway certainly feel it.

Additionally the old system allowed banking quests and knocking them off over the weekend, which the new system does not.

Comment from discussion So, this is it?.

Random Queues Force Players into Content They Might Not Like

But not only low level characters find themselves locked out from certain content. The necessity to be eligible for all dungeons inside a queue raises a different problem that also affects endgame players. Some deliberately skipped Storm Kings Thunder because they didn’t like the concept. I recently ranked it as one of the worse modules partially because its grind factor was just insane.


Yo do however need the Fangbreaker Island and Svardborg unlocks to enter the epic dungeon and trial queue. In case you skipped the mod, that cuts a significant chunk of AD off your daily earnings. Granted, it would be weird if the devs hadn’t checked the numbers on SKT completions. If there was an issue with too less players having Mod 10 unlocked, they might have adjusted the system. Also from their point of view it’s not bad to add additional incentives to complete all campaigns. Thanks to account unlocks you at least only have to do it once.

It’s still questionable why the system doesn’t fit the players’ needs in some areas and unnecessarily excludes characters, even if it’s only a small portion of the population. Less flexibility always means less fun because you might feel forced to do a particular activity. It’s obviously better to reward the stuff that players are naturally doing anyway. I personally haven’t run into the mentioned issues with my characters, but I absolutely get why this isn’t a great concept.

Breaking the Natural Progression

Another effect of the random queue requirements is that they break the natural progression of the game. Normally as players move up the campaign tree, they’ll gradually unlock harder content. Now once you finally unlock the epic dungeon queue, you might end up in Fangbreaker Island in your very first run! The guidance that the somewhat linear dungeon system offered is totally gone. Granted, players can still use the normal queue and learn how to play there, but since all the rewards are in random queues now, the incentive to use them instead is that much higher.

Random queues also didn’t help in another area of problem for brand-new players. When they get into their first dungeon, chances are overwhelming that the rest of the party is running full-speed toward the boss for that quick AD. This exacerbates the problem that the first dungeons of your adventuring career are normally a horrible experience.

2x ETOS / 2x ESOT vs. Random Queues

In our guide we already mentioned that those that were rushing through 2x ETOS / 2x ESOT with many alts would see a sharp decline on ADs because that’s no longer as rewarding. Even if you have all queues unlocked, going through all of them on your casual 11,000 alt is no fun. Temple of Spider and Shores of Tuern were two quick dungeons that suited the AD grind perfectly. You could probably say it was a bit too easy to get to the daily limit, but random queues are too much of a shift in the opposite direction.

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FBI and mSP vs AD Generation

Your worst-case scenario if you’re just looking for ADs is getting queued into FBI and mSP. Those are the two longest dungeons in the epic queue and literally nobody wants them. I mean let’s be honest here. I think a little diversity on your daily runs can’t hurt. Running ETOS and ESOT all day can get boring, so I don’t mind the randomness. The problem is that FBI and mSP are not great dungeons to earn ADs, yet they are part of the regular daily routine. Rewards for these have been a challenge anyway. Players always felt they net too little for the time spend.

Now random queues multiply this issue. The argument of the devs that the dungeons also drop the latest gear is no longer relevant. So right now these are just painfully long dungeons in a random queue that probably most players use to generate ADs. That’s not ideal to say the least.

Campaign Keys

Not knowing what content you’re thrown into means you need more campaign keys to max out your runs. Although it’s not major, I think it’s an underestimated factor. Salvage from chests can be a substantial part of getting to the daily RAD cap and you don’t want to miss out there. So either you invest time for the additional key grind or you get less from your runs. This is truly a lose-lose.

This is admittedly quite a list of small and bigger issues with random queues. But a little tweak here and there could actually help a lot. In the next days I’ll be posting a follow-up with ideas how to improve the system and make everyone’s life easier. In the meantime make sure to share your struggles with and general opinion on the random queue in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

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j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

3 thoughts on “Here’s What’s Wrong with Random Queues

  • November 2, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Another problem with random queues is that they ruin the dungeon running experience for new players, for example as evidenced here

    The long-term success of the game depends on new players discovering it and loving the experience. This is a Dungeons & Dragons game.

    When they get into their first dungeon, chances are overwhelming that the rest of the party is running full-speed toward the boss for that quick almost 10K AD (significantly more queue reward than running the more challenging queues, much faster to complete).

    When they get to their first dragon (usually in Neverdeath Graveyard), they might not even get off a rotation before the beast falls.

    An excellent medium-to-long-term solution is to fix level scaling so that geared toons can have an enjoyable run through leveling content. Presently, the random queue system exacerbates the problem that brand-new players have a horrible experience in their first dungeons.

  • November 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    The forced role distribution also impairs group formation and prevents some players from playing with their friends who play the same tanking or healing class as their only character. Random Queue compounds this by ignoring hybrid and non-standard role builds (e.g., Conquerors GFs as DPS, Righteous DCs as DPS, Templocks as Healers). They can easily remedy this by allowing players to choose the role they are filling. If players abuse this by choosing a role they can’t actually fulfill, for example choosing a role solely for the role AD bonus, they risk being kicked by their party. This would require flags indicating who is filling which role, though this could be accomplished in the queue tab without having to import any actual graphics to the game. It would also help queues fire faster. Why do I have to wait around for a healer when that templock in the queue right now heals a lot better than the likely DC who may queue at some point in the future?

    The Abandon Instance feature takes too long to become available and shouldn’t incur a 4-hour cooldown. 15 mins should be reduced to 5 minutes. Why do players who know they can’t complete content face a penalty of having to wait 15 minutes or sacrificing a group member to the leaver penalty?

    The Vote Kick feature should be immediately available as the 4-hour cooldown timer is enough to deter abuse (though I think this should be reduced to 2-hours). Nothing worse than getting into a dungeon, such as elol, and finding that one of your group members has been afk since zoning in and having to wait for the timer to expire so you can vote the person out so you can proceed through a boss portal (they could also avoid this by removing the requirement of waiting for the group to assemble to proceed to the boss, which would vastly increase the rate of completion of the leveling dungeons). Vote kick could also be amended to remove any cooldown if everyone in the party concurred on a vote, but keep it if only a simple majority concurred.

    The Leaver Penalty should be reduced to 15 minutes (I personally think it should be 5 minutes) or match whatever the abandon instance flag is. That gives a member who doesn’t want to run particular content for whatever reason (e.g., phobia, lack of campaign keys, personal dislike of that instance’s graphics) an option of leaving without forcing the rest of the group to wait around or to use their abandon instance option.

    My overall experience is that I see a lot of freeloading and bots. A tanking character should not do 3x the combined damage of the rest of the group, particularly if no “new player” bonus is available and the relative ILs of those present is similar. I’m sadly thrilled when I see people actually participating. I’ve done two runs where people I’ve never met before put me on follow and made no attacks the entire instance run. I was tempted to dump them over the side of some gorge, but didn’t want to deal with a harassment complaint later. Language barriers remain an impediment to coordination and can lead to some frustration when you try to explain fight mechanics (e.g., don’t kill the Thoons). Bots persist and can often be spotted running repeatedly into the same obstacle that their script doesn’t account for. Unfortunately, you have to wait 5 minutes to do anything with these folks and you only get one Vote every 4 hours. Reporting them appears to be the only option, but that doesn’t provide immediate relief for the run and I feel bad reporting someone for what is an honest language issue, but it’s hard to know when those are real. Maybe they could add a language feature to random queue to help highlight when language may be an obstacle.

  • November 3, 2017 at 2:05 am

    For leveling dungeons I ask if the party want to speedrun or not. If they choose to not speedrun I stay back and use only my at-will power.

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