Tomb of Annihilation Preview: PVP Private Queue, Changes and Outlook

On the release day of “Tomb of Annihilation” we are going to shift focus towards a game mode eager for attention: PVP. Module 12 finally seems to bring updates, and hope, for all friends of competitive play. This article should serve as a rough overview of the coming and planned changes, but it can’t touch on all aspects in-depth unfortunately. If PVP indeed is revitalized, we’ll be definitely be covering a lot more from it though.

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Tomb of Annihilation Changes

Private PVP Queue

The module will launch with a major quality of life enhancement for all tiers of PVP. New private PVP queues allow to create PVP matches between pre-arranged teams. Both the Domination and Gauntlgrym maps are supported and you can even queue with fewer than 5 or 10 players per team. This suddenly opens up so many possibilities that it’s almost overwhelming. Not only do interested folks have a true 1vs1 arena now, but the community can also try different custom game modes. 3vs3 on a Domination map, Elimination mode or winning a match based on kills? A lot is possible!

Long-term this definitely opens up league play and it would be a blast if the game allowed to define custom rules for matches. Overall this is really a chance for the PVP community to grow again.

It should also help keeping those premades out of the casual queue although currently no rewards or leaderboard function is attached to the system, because the potential of abuse is obvious. Even though players reasoned to at least hand out minor rewards, I personally don’t think it’s a great idea.


Armor Penetration

The second big change is the one to Armor Penetration. Originally the PVP-only stat of Armor Pen Resist was removed from Tenacity, but after a mild outrage by the community (especially GWFs), the change got reverted. Now Armor Penetration is 50% effective in PVP.

GWF indeed seem to be mostly affected by this. They are one of the classes that heavily rely on DR% (and with it the ArPen Tenacity Resist). Plus they benefited from an bug related to Armor Penetration that led to more damage than intended. With that one being fixed as well, GWFs suddenly take more damage and dish out less, which isn’t really ideal. As this chart shows however, the wielder of the two-handed sword is not the only one getting the short end of the stick.

Piercing Damage


Interesting for TRs and HRs are the changes to piercing damage. It first and foremost respects Tenacity now, making it much less powerful in PVP. On the other hand all abilities fully benefit from buffs. As stated in the patch notes, “the net effect should be to make these powers less overwhelming in PVP, and much more useful in PVE”. And well, it seems to have done just that. While PVP already rips the class, PVE Rogues proactively try to prevent a quick nerf to their new gained power. Shadow of Demise however does indeed seem to “double-dip”, meaning it benefits from buffs and debuffs twice. So before Tricksters get too cocky, this will probably get fixed.

Planned Changes

Next to the mentioned changes above that will hit today, there’s an even greater list of features that the devs are currently working on. Most of it has only been briefly touched on and it’s uncertain when it will be released.

Class Balance

The major post about class balance by rgutscheradev can be found here. tl;dr: GF too strong, GWF too weak, but hard to balance because they rock in PVE. HR and TR being monitored because of the piercing changes.

Tenacity Rework

The next one is big as well. Tenacity will come off armor pieces and become an environmental stat. This has been brought up so many times by so many different players that I’m really glad it’s happening. It’s not entirely clear what PVP armor will get as replacement, but not having to farm a different armor set for PVP is a big step into the right direction. There’s still too many dependencies in terms of gear between PVP and PVE, that however is an issue for another day.


Fully potted PVP will eventually come to an end. The amount of buffs you can get using all possible pots is just insane and the devs are looking to rework the grouping so that you can only ever have a few active.

Permanent Solo Queue

Making the solo queue permanent is the plan long-term. Players however rightfully mentioned that sync queueing and kicking is still a major issue. The devs definitely need to look into that before making it a permanent feature or connect it to any competitive events.

Diminishing CC Returns

Control effects will have diminishing returns. Meaning if you hit a players with consecutive controls, they will be getting less and less effective. Currently it’s 75%/50%/25%. Perma-stuns should become much less likely, but this could also potentially kill any control viability in PVP.

Other Stuff

Random other stuff that’s being looked at include the leaderboard bug, general PVP rewards, the group stat boon, which is not working correctly, and stuff that procs off deflects. As you can see the list of issues in PVP is still long, but at least we’re having some sort of conversation again. The PVP private queue will definitely be able to help instantly and there’s some hope that the next changes might come as soon as Mod 12b. In the meantime have fun testing what’s already out there!

I’d also like to deliver a shoutout to rgutscheradev, who really kept coming back to the feedback threads and was an active part of the ongoing discussions there. Definitely feels like the dude is motivated to bring PVP to a better state.

How do you like the changes and the outlook for PVP? Have you tested your class on preview? Share your experience and 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.

3 thoughts on “Tomb of Annihilation Preview: PVP Private Queue, Changes and Outlook

  • July 25, 2017 at 11:57 am

    SoD doesnt double dip on buffs, only debuffs, and not doing so was the bug. Piercing damage wasnt taking advantage of debuffs, now it does so this is a bug fix, not a bug. It’s not gamebreaking either as TRs still do less damage than GFs and GWFs.

  • July 25, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    y thee other dps classes getting bitchy with the TR’s buff probably the same ppl who dont invite TR’s in their groups

  • July 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    The best thing you can do to your TR is delete.

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