After compiling all sorts of issues with random queues yesterday, I’d like to follow-up with some ideas on how to make life better for everyone. Let me start by saying that I personally think the idea of random queues isn’t all too bad. Neverwinter had lots of wasted dungeons that nobody would touch. So including them in the daily routine and giving players a little bit more diversity in their runs is a good approach. Additionally I still think most lowbies overall should have an easier time to get ADs. On sub-level 70s you only have to run one dungeon now to get the same ADs as before. Additionally the XP gain is substantial and offers a way to level up to 60 just using random queues.
Not Everything Is Bad
Also it’s undeniable that queues fire faster than before, which is probably a plus for most players. We tend to see the world through our “3k” glasses all too much. New players that might have switched from another MMO expect the queue system to work. Assume you are trying a game for the first time, queue for a dungeon and wait for 30 minutes. What would your initial reaction be? “Oh hey, probably stuff works differently around here” or “this game is so dead…” ? Neverwinter simply needs a functional pug queue based on how other games work.
This is admittedly a short list of “pros” versus the stuff we listed yesterday. But I think with some tweaks the random queues could actually fill their purpose for all tiers of players. So let’s work through my list of suggestions.
Fangbreaker Island and Master Spellplague to Hero’s Accord
In my opinion FBI and mSP are not dungeons that should be included in the daily AD routine. They were never designed for that purpose, which is why they are by far the worst thing that you can queue into. I personally don’t think they fit the Hero’s Accord too well either. But if the devs absolutely want to have all content featured in the system, I could live with them there. Otherwise I’d just exclude them altogether.
Because here’s the thing: Think about under what circumstances do you queue into FBI and mSP today? AD is probably not on the list. I didn’t mind running them on characters that were adequately geared, because they do net more salvage and some other stuff. But in random queues they exclude too many players, either because they can’t or don’t want to run them.
You can make the same case for Master Svardborg by the way. It’s the worst thing to run inside the trial queue and people probably only enter it when they specifically want to go after the marks.
Add Rewards to Hero’s Accord
I literally don’t know why you would run Hero’s Accord. The rewards are crap, even if mSVA, mSP and FBI would be included. What you should do is at least double the end chest rewards when using random queues.
Move Dungeon Unlocks in Campaigns
With random queues, the dungeon unlocks in campaigns should be moved so that they can be completed right at the start. That way players that do not like campaigns and want to skip them at least only have to compile enough currency to unlock the dungeons that they need for the queues. I know this messes with the story, but it’s not like the game is super meticulous in that regard anyway. The dungeon reworks messed with several story lines already.
I see why you would exclude the latest campaign, but there’s no point for older ones.
Add More Stronghold Quests
This one is pretty straight forward. Add shard quests inside Strongholds for the normal dungeon queue and trials. That way players can always at least complete one to help out guild progression. If you’re scared that players might be able to get too many shards per day, you could simply require them to complete any random queue.
Make an Universal Dungeon Chest Key
This is something I proposed a loooooong time ago (twice actually) and it’s more valid than ever. With random queues, the dungeon key system is just broke. You almost have to farm every single key, because you never know what content you’ll get. So you either invest more time or might lose out on salvage in your runs. It’s a lose-lose. Let’s make one key for skirmishes, one for epic dungeons, one for trials and one for Hero’s Accord. If you’re concerned that players might rack up too many keys from older campaigns, you could very well switch the type of key for Hero’s Accord with each module. Currently that would be the Chultan Key for example.
You could also go with a layered approach in which keys open every chest up their own module. That way you could use M11 keys for all content except Tomb of the Nine Gods and Merchant Prince’s Folly etc.
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Switch AD Rewards for Epic and Normal Dungeon Queue
The normal dungeon queue handing out more rewards than the epic one doesn’t make much sense. High-end players are swarming the queue and disturb the dungeon experience of those that might enter for the first time. Instead of getting a solid run-through, level 70s just rush through the end. I don’t think switching rewards will get rid of that issues completely, but it’s a start.
Make First-Timers Aware What They Are Getting Into
Handing out bonus AD if the group features a first-timer is a nice idea. But I don’t think most players care enough. You take the extra AD in case, but it’s not like you would pay more attention or guide a newbie through a dungeon. I think it’s important to realize that random queues are AD generation first. So first-timers in the queue window have to be made aware that they are entering farm content. If you want to go with a group to get to know the dungeon, random queues are the wrong place for that.
What I would do is relocate the new player bonus to the normal queue, and make it much more substantial. That way guildies and friends can still help out each other and get a nice reward, but it happens outside the craziness of the random queue.
I think these set of changes would improve the quality of play for everyone. People that farm for ADs can now conveniently queue for normal dungeons, epic dungeons, skirmishes and trials without having to deal with the hardest content. Moving up the ranks from normal to epic dungeons to Hero’s Accord also is closer to the natural progression, although it’s still not perfect.
The proposed system would also separate new players from the AD farm, which is important in my eyes. Both worlds don’t work well together even with the new player bonus.
Do you agree with my suggestions or do you have other ideas how to tweak random queues? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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