Diablo 3 Won’t Launch With PvP
2 weeks ago, Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok briefly caused a minor freak-out after he posted a terse plea to the battle.net forums urging players to “lower those expectations” regarding Diablo 3. Comparing their work to the films of M. Night Shyamalan, he seemed to be laying the groundwork for Diablo 3 to simply be terrible. The community was rightly confused, and soon enough Bashiok posted that he had been misunderstood, that in fact he was just kidding. It’s possible he was telling the truth, but an announcement yesterday by Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson suggests there may have been more to Bashiok’s pleas than they’re letting on: Diablo 3 won’t launch with PvP.
As we’re counting down the days until we’re ready to announce a release date for Diablo III, we’ve come to realize that the PvP game and systems aren’t yet living up to our standards. Today, we wanted to let you know that we’ve made the difficult decision to hold back the PvP Arena system and release it in a patch following the game’s launch. After a lot of consideration and discussion, we ultimately felt that delaying the whole game purely for PvP would just be punishing to everyone who’s waiting to enjoy the campaign and core solo/co-op content, all of which is just about complete.
While we work on making sure PvP lives up to its full potential, we hope you’ll find some consolation in the fact that soon, you’ll be having a blast leveling characters, finding items, learning the classes, and perfecting builds…and that when the Arenas do arrive, you’ll be all the better prepared for battle.
When the PvP patch is ultimately ready, it will add multiple Arena maps with themed locations and layouts, PvP-centric achievements, and a matchmaking system that will help you and your team get into fairly matched games quickly and easily. We’ll also be adding a personal progression system that will reward you for successfully bashing in the other team’s skulls.
We know a lot of you are looking forward to PvP, and we’ll be focusing our post-launch efforts on making sure the Arenas are as brutal, bloody, fast-paced, and awesome as we know they can be. In the meantime, we’re in the process of putting the finishing touches on what we think is a truly epic campaign and co-op experience for launch.
We’ll have a lot more info to share on the PvP system in the future, and we look forward to the moment we can get the game into your hands.
Regardless of the spin they’re putting on this, this news is not good. Blizzard’s game releases have always been on a “when they’re ready” schedule, but this is the third time in a month that a huge component of Diablo 3 has just been scrapped. In January, companion pets were removed entirely, and at the end of February the rune system was changed into a clone of the skill level-up system. Blizzard has also laid off 600 employees; factor in the removal of PvP from the final release, and the weird obsession with sticking to a specific release date despite the fact that the company has never done business that way, one is forced to conclude that the company’s woes are fairly serious. It looks like D3 is being rushed out to make the shareholders happy. That might make their end of year finances look better, but it’s a recipe for a terrible game.