Duelyst Forums

On The Spot Talk - Merged Queues


Am I missing something? The OP says they “merged” the queue but I only see ranked… Where does one find this “casual” option? They didn’t merge anything… they killed a game mode.

IMO… Unranked should be default… Every match is casual. If you want competitive play, you buy a ticket and play a bracket. At the end of the “season” the standings for the brackets are tallied. This is a)more competitive and b)helps regulate in-game currency. It also means, all of these unofficial side tournaments will likely be easier to organize, since there is already a bracket mechanism in play.

Whatever the case, I don’t care about rotations. I do think it helps to keep the meta on it’s toes but when the devs are going to “turbo-balance” high play cards, wtf is the point of a rotation?

In the part where they mention “floor players”, that’s because people play ladder for free stuff. If you implement my suggestion there will be no such thing.

You aren’t allowing players to play what they want because we want to play casual.

We are not doing exactly what we were doing before as casual players. Now, we’re being thrown into a perpetual competitive scene that has absolutely no barrier to entry and is set up to foster toxic behavior.

Popularity of styles seems like something that should happen or not on it’s own. If more people were migrating to casual but the devs or whoever, decided to kill that one because the other mode became less popular then obviously the modes themselves are not the problem.

Testing decks absolutely is impacted by this. Just this season, I was rank 12 and had a solid run at gold. I decided… don’t ask me why, that now would be a great time to see how an egg-based Magmar deck would play. I lost a few entire ranks trying to test that deck. Now it’s marginally tuned but frankly I got tired of hitting optimized decks from people doing their end of season laddering and losing horribly. I did switch over to my tuned decks and pulled back some of that rank but the whole situation has me put off from the game entirely.

The system does NOT put you against similarly ranked opponents. At rank 13 I was getting paired with gold players. Explain to me how that is what you mean? It is definitely not based on your W/L record.

The removal of a casual mode was a disaster in my eyes. Again, if you’re going to have drafts, I think competitive play should be set up exactly the same way and the default mode should be non-ranked matches. I know people will disagree because at the moment there is no barrier to entry but that lack of entry is part of the problem. If last 2 got a free ticket, orb, and cosmetic, and second round got 1 orb, I think a lot of people would be happy with this change. You could also offer promos and rotate the orbs, throw in a crate, whatever… but the point is, an open pool with no barrier is easily soured.


Thanks for taking the time to read that wall of text guys.

As I mentioned earlier

There’s not a single developer on the team who’s looking at our queues and saying “we only want one, ever” but we do have to heavily take into consideration things such as queue times and make adjustments to best fit a user’s experience.

Some Q&A

It’s true that the casual queue did allow for a lighter breath of freedom in deck “creativity” but that environment did not enforce the carefree nature at all; looking back at our first 4 weeks of feedback one of the top & most reoccurring complaints came from players matching up against higher division opponents playing S-Rank viable decks.

At this point the best I can say (as in, my views, not that of the other devs/company) is that we have to become the change we want to see. If we want to see more fun decks, play more fun decks and help mold the community into that mentality.


That is not an easy thing to do, as the highest reward often sought is the “VICTORY” screen after a match, which breeds its own circles of degeneracy (ex: well if I lose to DDOS but DDOS makes me win, I’ll play DDOS which in turns makes other players play DDOS decks and then no one has fun on the ladder! -vs- I’ll have fun and play what I want, take my losses as they come and hopefully my opponents are of the same mentality).

This has been occurring since open beta. Thankfully this as ‘rotten’ as our community has gotten (which to be honest is a grand relief) but I’d like to avoid any more grief when and wherever possible. After all, we’re a tight knit community and really friendly towards each other, last thing I want is for people to start holding grudges.


Honestly, that is what I want most of all rather than unranked queues or daily challenges, but it seems like some people are just hell bent on attacking each other all over the forums. I don’t understand why people are so pissed off about this to the point where this has to be the first time I’ve seen the forums community be toxic (since August 2017).

Everything to be said on the community’s and individual’s part has been said, hopefully this post will be enough to get people over it and we can get back to Doom support and nerfs to Shadow Watcher.


I’m hitting S-Rank viable decks in Silver… do I get to complain about that? It’s the same thing as casual right???

The most toxic behavior is not what you listed. A few of us laid out examples of the types of things we’ve been encountering in the patch note thread. People spamming friend requests to throw salt, people roping, having someone bottle you and just sit on lethal or trail you out when you’re at 2 health and they have board control. Emoticon spam while they sit on their timer when they realize you’re about to win. There’s numerous things showing up lately that I didn’t see at all when I first started playing.

I know people are saying these forums are bad, and maybe there’s some snark and condescending attitudes (especially from gold and above talking to silver like we are inconsequential). All of that aside, there is a helpful and friendly element here. There seems to be almost no community policing on insults though and people become bolder and bolder with how far they go with their jabs.

Anyway, for everything you’ve said, the big takeaway I’m getting is:
“This is the change, either live with it or buh-bye”. It’s obvious that people who prefer casual are just flat out of luck… Just please… stop trying to convince us what we’re left with is the same thing. We’re not dumb… and it’s not the same.


This is an interesting perspective but not at all a viable one. Duelyst is a F2P game and in order to maintain that aspect of the game, players need some sort of “income” in order to sustain and grow their collections.

Having an entrance fee to gain rewards (akin to Gauntlet) puts up a pseudo paywall which can serve to dissuade players from trying the game altogether (if the only means to naturally grow your collection is to spend the same income you would use to acquire packs/orbs).

Gauntlet serves a niche function in that many community members can use their talents to reach high winrates to go “infinite” and accumulate rewards. We’re also too late into development for Duelyst to completely redo our Rank system in a blink of an eye for what is considered solid by the majority of players from across various CCGs (this isn’t a “Duelyst” exclusive method).

Keep in mind that the goal for this merged queue was to provide the most flexibility possible for our current playerbase, not to limit it. Having the main queue become completely casual actually segregates and disbands anyone who was looking to play competitively since they will no longer have an outlet to play on (because there is no platform for them to test their skills and gain rewards based on their standings). This is the opposite for players who were playing casually and cared not for rewards or ranks, which they can still do in a ranked queue.

(Once again excuse my bluntness, but if you didn’t care about season rewards or ranked because you only played Casual, then it doesn’t matter if you join Ranked because you can do the exact same thing, except there’s a little number at the end of the month that gives you rewards).

I understand your frustration about facing opponents who strive to win on the ladder, that is going to happen regardless of what queue you join (as mentioned before, one of the highest motivating factors for playings games is to win, typically that means playing the best/top tier deck you can assemble).

What I meant is that these players will naturally reach higher echelons of play throughout the season (as they continue to acquire wins and progress through the ladder) while you can remain content on whatever Rank you desire (since if you were aiming to be a casual player, this number “does not exist” to you). Over time, this will create a barrier between the top end players (those who strive to reach S-Rank and prove their mettle) and players who aren’t rigorously grinding matches but instead are just having fun.

As mentioned in the OP, we are aware this does inconvenience several groups of players (I’ve listed three, but there are more) and this change is not intended to be a perfect end-all-be-all solution.


We already deliver bans (temporary and permanent) to individuals who partake in the actions you describe. We have no need to explicitly mention these things because these infractions are few in quantity (and thankfully so).


You mean like promoting and encouraging decks Out Of the Meta ?
© “Sounds good, doesn’t work.” ™
And trust me, I gave a try.
(yeah, was October 2016, I’m trying for almost 2 years now)

There is always a point where you end up being chain raped by the meta. Because “fun” will never be enough when opposed to “victory”, and for one excentric guy playing goofy decks, there will always be 10 others happy to grind a chevron destroying him. I’ve been both, and with Unranked (and Rift, and Frostfire) I really enjoyed playing far far away from the Ladder :wink:


Gold is what I was meaning when I said pay to enter bracket… The same as with draft.
You say it’s not viable but it’s exactly how other online CCGs handle their lobby (well, one of the ways).

There’s presently a poll going and more than half of the community (at least here in the forums) wants casual play.

How can you possibly believe that removing a game mode increased flexibility? Ladder/Ranked is still just that. Yeah, the card pool grew… okay… that would happen with releases. What you say segregates and disbands’ the competitive playerbase is exactly what happened to us.

I have decks that I play in ranked. They are tested and tuned and I know them inside and out. If I want to sit down and pick up some rank, I know I can rely on those. I have decks that are interesting ideas but not reliable. I have decks that are in development. Not having a testing environment means most people are encouraged to play decks that are posted here as “S-Rank” decks… which kills flexibility and innovation. Moreover, the income you mentioned that is used to grow our collections? That comes from dailies primarily, and for me a lot of time, that forces me to play a specific faction, which I might not have a balanced/competitive deck for. Rank isn’t my primary motivator but if I can squeeze into gold or higher, as I have done in the past, then a)more free stuff and b)yay… Sometimes, it’s fun to just play a casual game… one that allows exploratory play and growth… right now it’s just ranked and that choice is gone. If you… as the community manager can’t empathize with that, I really sincerely don’t know what your job here is.

You just said that one of the reasons for making the change was complaints about S-rank decks… you also mentioned floor players. Yet, here you are trying to convince me that my point was invalid, when you yourself outlined the problem. You also said to be the change we want to see…

As I said, that poll… it shows that the majority of players support casual play. It’s not an inconvenience, you nuked the version of Duelyst we played. It’s not an end-all, be-all solution… it is a “here’s half the game you had before” solution. I don’t understand why that’s hard to grasp. I sincerely want to know if this is the final word though or can we expect some kind of change “down the road” to bring the casual mode back?

I mentioned the toxic behavior because you were seemingly saying that those minor annoying behaviors were the depth of the things players encounter playing YOUR game. Again, as community manager, seeing a comment like that makes it seem like you’re pretty out of touch with issues encountered by your playerbase.

Every single response you issued was simply to either just tell me I’m wrong or acknowledge that what I said was accurate. Nothing you’ve done or said offers anything other than confirmation that you guys are aware that more than half of your playerbase is unhappy with this change. I’m not angry, I am frustrated. Being able to keep 2 aspects of gameplay was helpful and managed my expectations of what a gaming session might entail. It also made previous purchasing decisions easier as it seemed like decisions were being made with players like me in mind. That seems to not be the case and honestly I’m regretting having spent money on this game at this point. So there’s that. Either way, I’m going on hiatus, maybe something will change while I’m gone.


@lordmantis I really hate to be like this but it sounds like you’re just being difficult with me now to be… difficult? I already answered these questions :frowning:


I’m sorry, I was looking for clarification and to be frank, nothing I’ve read here from you indicates that there’s anything in the messaging other than a “deal with it” kind of takeaway. Is there a situation or circumstance in which some variation of unranked may return? Ultimately that’s the only question that matters and I honestly didn’t see that addressed here anywhere.

As to, maybe the tone? It’s largely because everything we’ve seen out of you guys in response to this has been… non-plussed. I bought products for a game. You removed what I perceived the game to be. I’m pissed. If you bought DLC for Street Fighter and they removed online vs mode… when that’s the way you play it… wouldn’t you be pissed?
EDIT: For the record… I wasn’t angry before but I am now…


Sure thing buddy, so let me reiterate the following points

And I think most importantly

At this very moment in time, we believe it is in Duelyst’s best interests to maintain a single queue for the several reasons/issues described in the above posts (not just the ones I highlighted in this one). This isn’t something we are content with, as there are many flaws that we have acknowledged with the current system.

(The obvious and best solution would be to just have both a Ranked and a Casual queue up).

One of the biggest showstoppers we’re currently having with that is that both queues are not being properly supported by the playerbase; there are not enough players joining both modes to sustain a healthy queue time. As such, we have to take actions to maintain the best interests of all Duelyst players (and thus why we have to merge the queues again until a better solution presents itself).

(Such as one mentioned in the patch notes - those are things worth investigating)


I really enjoy this game and I’m just happy to be able to continue playing it in any form.

I realize this was a very difficult decision on CPG’s part, and some people are bound to take it personally, but I recognize it as a necessary evil so Duelyst can continue to succeed as a game. Because if it stops succeeding, it’ll be gone forever.

Thanks for posting in this topic and being willing to broach the subject with players, even when inevitably faced with strong and angry opinions. Most companies wouldn’t even go this far, just post patch notes and leave the players arguing and speculating in the dark. So, this is appreciated.

That’s pretty much all I have to say.


So if there is an increase of players, unranked queue could be added back?

Possibly with a “coming soon” mobile release, etc.


To begin, this topic makes me very happy. The openness, honesty, and integrity shown in this topic is exactly everything I like to see. Thank you @ThanatosNoa and all CPG staff involved (both in the making of this topic or for having hands on the state of the game).

I agree with essentially all of the points provided and I do believe merging the queues into just ladder games was a wise decision. As much as I loved the casual queue and I wanted it for so long, I knew before it was ever a thing that it would take a large toll on the game’s health. Although I’m sad to see it go, I’m glad CPG gave us the casual mode when they believed it could work and I’m glad they have the integrity and are conscientious enough to remove it when deemed necessary.

On a personal note, my reasons for playing the casual queue are kinda different. Due to difficulties managing my own anxiety, it is very difficult for me to play modes that have any sort of competitiveness to them (or success-based rewards). While it is still entirely possible for me to play on the ladder (as I did before casual queue even existed), it is painful and difficult for me to acclimate to the perceived environment. It’s reasons like this I never touch any modes that have a rank tied to them, even if I’m good at the game. League of Legends, Overwatch and more, I cannot play their ranked modes due to this anxiety and forever play in unranked queues.

Regardless, I will continue to play Duelyst. I enjoy this game. I will shoulder my own problems and continue to play at my own pace (even if slowed at times :slight_smile: ).


I second this motion.

Can we all just stop whining about fair cards and neccessary mechanics for one godamn second and not derail a topic completely unrelated to such complaints?

On topic however,
I really appreciate that you took the time @ThanatosNoa to explain this topic to everyone and answer everyones questions.


Hey, @ThanatosNoa, good to hear from you. Thanks for sharing this perspective.

A few questions/comments from my side:

  1. Did you consider giving refunds to players who disenchanted their Shimzar cards because they were only interested in the Standard format?
  2. Rotation was presented as a fundamental change to ensure the health of Duelyst on the long term. How do you plan to deal with this in the future?
  3. As nice as your comment was, it doesn’t add much. Basically, you reverted the game to its original state and asked people to deal with it by working on their psychology. This formula doesn’t sound successful: players expect features rather than to adapt to the game. I’m not aware of any CCG on the market which lacks unranked play and removing it was a bad move in terms of marketing. I understand the urgency behind your choice, but other solutions to push ranked play could have been tested, because you don’t know the real reasons why Ranked was not played. For instance, why didn’t you try to implement a big balance patch - including buffs - in Standard, more or less as you did on the merged queues, to push underplayed factions and downtone overly played factions? You implemented both balance changes and queue merging at the same time, so you don’t know which was the working solution to stabilise the game…


This was the main pull of unlimited for me and the reason I spent more time in it than ranked.

This doesn’t really matter though when you can just concede early against a meta deck with no punishment.

I agree with this. Give us the option to queue but not risk losing rank. Sure, we will still have to play against meta decks half the time but at least then we could just concede against them early with no punishment, or test new decks against the meta without losing rank.


People have been discussing about playing against meta decks and I agree: playing against them all the time can be quite boring. However, the unrotation combined with frequent-enough balance patches presents a possible solution to this: buffing underplayed archetypes through new expansions. With an ever-expanding cardpool, I dream of a time where there might be 10-15 “meta” decks, instead of the usual 2-4 you see most often. Of course there will always come up stuff like old Saurian Finality or old Shadow Nova, but with nerfs the biggest abusers can always be dealt with.

Incoming the rotation defenders, but please stick to the main topic of ladder vs casual format instead of just writing walls of text on why rotation is the one true way of building digital ccgs :slight_smile:


I would like to make a tentative suggestion. Offering an option to simply turn off displaying a ranking for either player at the start and end of the game. A lot of the stress and aggravation for casual players comes from either seeing your opponents rank or your own. In fact this option could be on by default for new players. I suppose players would still see their rank if they opened their profile. At some point new players who are performing well could get a one time notification to turn on visible ranking. I understand this doesn’t address all of the issues raised and has some downside in transparency but I think it would give casual players a more healthy experience.


I love your blunt not-so-blunt talks. Thanks Thanatos. I, for one, support these decisions.


Alright I’m back so I guess it’s time for Day 2

Hey tsevech, unfortunately, I can’t answer any of these questions due to the things I listed before I started any of the talks (those being)

  1. Refunds have nothing to do with queue merge
  2. As mentioned, can’t talk about pros/cons of having rotations (or not)
  3. As a community manager, I have very limited insight into how/why things are balanced the way they are. I can not, do not, and have not had my hands in big balance patches and to speak on the behalf of my team members runs the risk that I may say something out of line and misconstrue their actual intentions. The only knowledge I am giving are whatever the team feels they can entrust in me that’s currently relevant (Duelyst does operate under rapid iteration cycles, meaning what’s “important” today may be obsolete tomorrow). (That being said, maybe I can have another “on the spot talk” about those changes if one of those guys wants to join me?)

Just wanted to recognize this as “yes, Ranked anxiety is a real thing” and one of the reasons that Gauntlet no longer displays Ranks&Ribbons. We had considered in the past to implement a toggle feature to hide information by default (with the understanding that by the majority of new users no one would ever turn it on). There was also the idea of hiding just Ribbons until a player acquired one themselves (since players will multiple hundreds of wins is a big scary impression, despite the absolute possibility that the user is a “silver tier” player with many years of play). (Amongst all the matchmaking quirks, ribbons seems to be the most common “WTF why am I matched against this” response thread we see on Reddit)

I guess my rambling here is “we know.” We’re still monitoring how these changes affect the current state of the game and will make adjustments as necessary (when and where appropriate solutions present themselves).