The devs tried a different approach and additionally filled a major request by introducing a test solo queue two weeks ago. How did it fare and what does the community say? We try to find out in this review!
PVP is finally being talked about again
First and foremost it’s good that the devs try to do things regarding PVP. It looked like the gamemode would eventually shake hands with the Foundry in the Fugue Plane, but apparently there’s hope. It’s baby steps anyway and one week of testing something is certainly better than nothing, although it doesn’t suddenly make PVP great again. The devs additionally announced some follow-up with another solo and possibly duo queue at some point. So there’s more to come.
An overall success
Most of the community welcomed the solo queue with open arms, because they generally expected more equal matches. One issue of the common PVP queue is the mix of premades and casual folks. Paired with an ELO system that doesn’t shy away from matching anybody in case it can’t find equal competition created the mess we have right now. A solo queue is a logical option to help here and it in case did. Through all tiers players reported better matches and more competition.
Especially the fact that more players tried out PVP or came back is encouraging. With a higher population a lot of issues within the matchmaking can entirely or at least partially be solved.
The overall positive reception doesn’t mean however that they were no issues. Next to the usual balancing stuff a specific issue of how the matchmaking works has frequently been brought up.
This is an interesting dilemma and might not be fixable short-term. The matchmaking indeed seems to build groups of five similar players and also respects friend and guild affiliations. BIS players sync queuing more likely ended up in the same team than against each other, which is not what most had hoped for. This could actually become a big problem going forward. Now that the cat is out the bag we are probably going to see more exploitation of the mechanic. There already have been teams that were far from random and it’s going to get worse. What matchmaking obviously should do is search for ten similar players and distribute them into two equal teams.
Another issue that popped up during the week of solo queue was vote kicking. Some players felt this might be exploited in a way that guilds and friends might vote kick players to get the replacement they want. That’s questionable though. Other comments we received doubted it’s viable and that the replacement is completely random. Vote kicking is a sensitive topic anyway. It’s probably needed in a format where random players (and bots) queue up together, but of course it’s bound to cause problems sometimes.
I personally would label the solo queue week a success. It’s not the savior of PVP, but you could actually experience how such a queue option could vastly improve the situation. The attached Leaderboard is a single players ranking and logic demands that only single players take part. By bringing back the Neverwinter Combat League or another reward system, PVP could become more attractive again.
The feedback on the forums has been overly positive and most players want the solo queue as permanent feature. I agree here as well, but I’d like to see another system for premades (lobby, team ranking) implemented at the same time. It takes pressure off the solo queue and fills another important need. But let’s take on step at a time and see with what the devs come up next. The future of PVP at least got a bit brighter with the event.
Next to the folks quoted in here I’d like to thank @clonkyo and our blog team for providing the opinions that were used in this article. Have anything to add? Share it in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.