Swords of Chult Preview: Random Queues

Judged by the participation in the feedback thread, the new random queues are the second hottest topic of Module 12b. And that has a reason, because the system is messing with the ADs that players are able to earn. The random queue is a sweeping change of how rough Astral Diamonds are being generated.

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Technicalities: What Changes?

Let’s first talk about the new system and what it actually does. Nowadays the first two dungeons, skirmishes and PVP matches generate extra ADs on any given day. That’s why players that are solely behind reaching their daily rough AD cap normally pick the fastest content, Epic Temple of the Spider and Epic Shoes of Tuern. You’ve surely seen those runs advertised as “2x ETOS/ESOT” or something like that. In a potent group players are able to get close to the 36k cap in about 30 minutes (seals, salvage and daily bonus).

Hello Random Queues

The devs have relocated the daily AD and daily seal bonuses (Cache of the Protector and such) to a so-called “random queue” system. It features five categories that contain several of the existing PVE dungeons, trials and skirmishes. By selecting one of the random queues, a group or player will be matched into a random run of that category. A character must meet the requirements of all consisting dungeons to enter a queue, and a party match the role requirements.

A major daily reward is attached to the first completion of each category, and minor ones for any repetition. Please look up the current bonuses in the official feedback thread as the values are still being adjusted. Additionally the system grants bonuses to roles that are currently underrepresented in the queue. Typically this should be tanks or healers. Groups also receive bonus AD when carrying a new player through a dungeon.

Outside random queues dungeon bosses and chests will still drop salvage and seals by the way. Only the daily incentives move to the new system.

The Random Queue Categories

The five new random queue categories are as follows:

  • Skirmish: all non-epic skirmishes
  • Dungeon: all non-epic leveling dungeons
  • Epic Dungeon: all epic dungeons and both epic skirmishes; except Tomb of the Nine Gods
  • Epic Trial: all epic and normal trials
  • Hero’s Accord: Tomb of the Nine Gods

The Hero’s Accord queue always includes the most difficult content in the game and rewards Refining Points and Seals of the Brave instead of ADs and Seals of the Protector like all the other ones.

Why You Should Love the Random Queues

The new system has some pretty distinct advantages and downsides. First of all, players need to run fewer dungeons to get the same amount of ADs. Completing two queues will net roughly the same bonus AD than your former 2x ETOS/ESOT farm. Especially lowbies can probably make more ADs overall by doing the skirmish and normal dungeon queue. I also like that finally all dungeons get a bonus seal reward. It was an integral part of my own dungeon reward system that I proposed a while back. It just makes sense.

Secondly, more characters will be able to get into and finish runs. Having to match the role requirements of one tank and one healer opens up spots for two additional DPS compared to the current meta of running with four support GF/DC/OPs. The Master of Flame buffer suddenly becomes a coveted “DPS” in random queue groups. The queue should fire faster when playing solo, the role bonuses make sure there’s always enough tanks and healers present, and a leaver penalty and new vote kick restrictions add incentives to finish rough runs. Additionally an account unlock for dungeons makes it easier for alts to enter queues.

The devs in the meantime get rid of a lot of dead group content. For daily ADs players obviously chose the fastest path so far, now the randomness gets adds a lot more variety to daily runs.

Why You Should Hate the Random Queues

Which brings to the negative aspects of the system. Because more randomness also means players can no longer control what they want to do, at least in terms of AD generation. If you’re solely after the daily bonuses, some dungeons are not very time efficient compared to the old system. If the content you get thrown into is painfully long, then having to run less of it for the same ADs still doesn’t help. Let’s say you hit Illusionist’s Gambit, a long leveling dungeon and Spellplague Caverns. Ouch! Even in a competent group that’s probably 45+ minutes whereas the former “2x ETOS/ESOT” farm only took 30. Granted, on other days you’ll get Tuern or Spider for a very quick daily gain. Why are ESOT and KR still in the “dungeon” queue by the way?

Since you can’t run within your super-buffer party, I’d still say it’s probably a slight nerf to high-end AD generation. Will players even fancy the “Epic Dungeon” queue if they can draw a blank? Or take the leaver penalty and switch toons? And what about Hero’s Accord T9G completions? I’m not sure groups will really take on the struggle to complete the dungeon with one tank and healer.

A Mixed Bag

Overall this makes it a mixed bag for the players. I think most should be able to profit, but the endgame folks are unnecessarily being limited in their effectiveness on multiple fronts. In their daily runs they are neither free to choose the fastest content nor the best group composition. It’s a bit hard to forecast how the system will develop on the live shard however. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

What’s your take on the random queues? Do you think you are going to profit or suffer from them? Share your thoughts 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.

8 thoughts on “Swords of Chult Preview: Random Queues

  • September 28, 2017 at 7:58 am

    “Granted, on other days you’ll get Tuern and Spider for a very quick and sizable daily gain.”

    Not if Tuern is considered an Epic Dungeon like it has been categorized forever, even though everybody knows it’s a Skirmish at heart. The screenshot you posted even lists it as a Dungeon…

  • September 28, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    You may also want to mention the discussion on the 4-hour cooldown timer on vote-kicking. Don’t like who you get thrown in with, vote wisely because the next guy may be much worse and you may be stuck with him. Freeloaders and bots rejoice! That’s really who benefits from this system.

    I’m really not sure why they devoted resources to screw up a system that actually worked relatively well and provided new players a way to get through the 6K-11K IL hump. I’ll only be queueing with pre-mades from my guild/alliance/friends list so it may not change much for me. I’m not gambling with my time, which I actually value more than the bonus AD/frustration of carrying/teaching some unknown individual who I may never see or interact with again. Sadly, I’d do that with ETOS/ESOTx2 because both are relatively painless to carry folks through. MSP not so much.

    Why you should hate it should include that the role assignment is made by class (partial exception for OPs) rather than spec (i.e., you get to play how they see your class, not how you designed your class). It will slow down party formation of friends because you’re bound by the group distribution requirement unless you’re willing to forego the AD bonus (e.g., you and your friend both play DCs, too bad, one of you has to change classes if you want to random queue together). You can’t use random queue to have an established tank/healer train a beginner one (won’t meet group distribution) so those beginner tanks you get thrown in with will just have to figure it out on their own. It may simplify things for DCs cause they won’t have to figure out who is running which encounters, but it may force people to realize that not all DCs can heal and not all GFs can tank (and they shouldn’t be forced to if they have a viable alternative spec/play style).

    • September 29, 2017 at 1:16 am

      Thanks! We’ve added the kick vote hint to the post.

  • September 29, 2017 at 1:16 am

    I love carrying smaller players so this looks like a fun idea to me.

    As for ad generation I do believe you still get seals if you don’t queue for the dungeons under random queue scenario so you still have that option it will maybe just take you a bit longer. This looks like a win-win. They had to do something for mid and entry level players since all content the last year was just aimed at end game.

    I take it their theory was as we get stronger the endgame content will become appropriate for mid level. The problem with that is it is just not worth running old end game content for a midlevel player. take FBI. you get a peridot for that run the vornin blood and gear drops are now useless … meaning the dungeon is useless for mid game and yet again no content for mid gamers.

    I am a mid level player (my mains are between 13k and 14k) so I am looking at this from our point of view. we got 2 campaigns this year 1 had a 1 mission a day content and the other 1 day a week content. This means we need to keep ourselves occupied in dungeons. Problem is the only dungeons we are strong enough are the basic tier 2 dungeon that we have been playing for years…. this cause players to leave the game. mid level players need some attention as there are more of them than end gamers and neglecting them/us is seriously hurting the game.

    P.S. I do get to run all content due to some awesome alliance members, but not all are as fortunate to have 2 end gamers willing to carry a week team through TO9G/MSVA/FBI/MSP. I tend to only do this endgame stuff 1 time as I do not like being a burden on these awesome alliance members.

    • September 29, 2017 at 6:07 am

      The new system does little to help entry-level players because it forces them to utilize leveling dungeons for AD generation until they hit 11K+ IL and unlock all the epic dungeons. Thus, they can choose between using Random Queue for bonus AD or Private Queue for gear/salvage (they don’t get both like they do now). The change is a net loss in ‘AD generation/time played’ for them, though hopefully the changes to the refinement system will speed them through the hump so they can actually start getting into the epic dungeon queue system, but that will then flood that queue with bare minimums who when RNG throws them into MSP/FBI they may realize they just aren’t ready for it. FBI will at least benefit from the removal of VB requirements for Relic gear that has also been proposed for next patch so maybe there is a hope they can actually finish it. Thus, the benefit for entry-level players is the refinement system change, not the Random Queue change. If there is a category that may benefit, it is the un-guilded level 70 who doesn’t know any better and blindly clicks queues hoping to get in and who rarely got in under the old system. Unfortunately, it is hard to distinguish this category from the bots.

      It does little to help mid-level players. You’ll still be doing all the same dungeons you are doing now, though they are separately revamping the loot drops for MSP, which are long overdue and is independent of the Random Queue system. T9G remains in a separate queue. I’m having a hard time imagining the glutton for punishment tank or healer that will use Random Queue for T9G without a pre-made (which given the reduction of buffs and bonding nerf will likely be even more strict on minimum IL) that actually has a hope of completing the dungeon after the changes next patch. More people will likely get in, but more runs will fail. If repeatedly failing T9G is how you want to enjoy new content, non-pre-made Random Queue may be the way to go. Maybe they will eventually scale T9G’s difficulty back, but that would be a shame IMHO because it currently feels about right in terms of difficulty.

      The system only works if tanks and healers queue and queue with gaps for DPS to fill. If the DPS population still far exceeds tanks and healers (which with more alts and bots able to use the system will likely be the case), there will still be a wait. It also doesn’t guarantee the quality of the tanks and healers that will be queueing (again, bots and alts who will likely exceed the quantity of quality tanks and healers, which will remain finite and who are more likely to join pre-mades) so there is a separate risk in completion.

      I’m curious to see how the new system actually plays out, but that’s largely because I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the obvious pitfalls are somehow being factored in by the folks behind the curtain…that or they just don’t care and want to proceed ahead regardless of player feedback.

  • September 29, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Can someone explain to me – I will earn seals of the brave only in RQ or I will be able to get primal armor with private que ToNG? Also does private ques still drop equipment from chests so we can salvage it?

    • September 29, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Only the daily incentives are changing. The boss and chest drops of dungeons remain unchanged. So you can still get seals and salvage in your private group, just no longer daily ADs and extra seals.

  • October 31, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Let’s take this Bullshit back to Mod 1.

    You want to run Epic Cloak Tower in a Random Queue to get AD?


    You are not yet capable of completing Castle Never.

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