No Diablo 3 PvP Before 2013: Is It A Disaster?

Disgruntled players who stopped playing Diablo 3 ages ago and wary consumers who avoided the game altogether may be surprised to learn that, seven months past release, the promised Players versus Player mode — which should have launched with the game — still hasn’t arrived. In a pre-release interview, Lead Designer Jay Wilson effectively stated that it would be “a disaster” if PvP did not release before the end of 2012, and yet, just today, a blog post by Wilson confirmed that we won’t see PvP until 2013. The question is; is this truly a disaster?

In March of 2012, Wilson officially announced that Diablo 3′s arena-based Team Deathmatch PvP mode, of which some incarnation was playable in past BlizzCons, would not launch with the game, but would rather release with a later patch. This news was one of the most alarming warning signs that led me to believe that Diablo 3 would fail to be the game we’d all waited ten years for.

Speaking with AusGamers a month later, Wilson was asked for a timeframe on the release of the PvP patch — a year? Six months? His reply left little room for misinterpretation:

“Oh for the PvP patch? For the PvP patch, we definitely… I would say, we want to get it out within months after release. I would say, if it showed up close to the end of the year, that would be… I would say, almost a disaster. So I don’t see it slipping out of this year at all, and I think it’ll be much sooner.”

In today’s blog post, Wilson delivered a verbose message — bordering on 1000 words — with little actual content. It can be summed up as follows: “Team Deathmatch is being shelved indefinitely because it just isn’t fun enough; dueling will be introduced in the next patch in 2013; Blizzard is starting over on a replacement for Team Deathmatch that may include PvE elements/rewards and objectives beyond killing other players.”

The axing of Diablo 3′s Team Deathmatch is a disappointment — it was a promised feature, one that many players were excitedly looking forward to and that many consumers expected to have available to them when they forked over $60 for the game. But is it a disaster?

No. It’s not a disaster. It isn’t even almost a disaster. The disaster already happened. It happened months ago. FEMA has already swooped in to provide assistance. Homes are being rebuilt. The worst is behind us. Diablo 3 has never been worse off than at launch, and the situation has slowly improved ever since. What’s most important now is that Blizzard takes its time and releases PvP when it’s ready — and not a moment sooner.

Did Blizzard take too long to axe Team Deathmatch? Yes. Was this over-hyped PvP blog a major sour note on which to end the year? Absolutely. Should dueling have been implemented long ago as we awaited the PvP arena? Without question. But the fact that Blizzard isn’t pushing out something they feel isn’t ready or up to par — as they did with D3 itself — is promising.

PvP is Diablo 3′s last shot at redemption. Dueling won’t suffice after the hype of a bigger, more elaborate form of PvP arena. If and when this PvP is released, its success or failure will determine the ultimate fate of the game. Take all the time you need, Blizzard. Everyone is watching and waiting to either cheer your triumph or heckle your defeat.

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5 Comments on No Diablo 3 PvP Before 2013: Is It A Disaster?

Row

On December 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I think that duelling will satisfy most of the players interested in PvP. In D2, people could go hostile and PK in normal games, they could make parties and do 4v4 team deathmatch-style fights, but in reality, most PvP that happened took the form of 1v1 duels, in a game with many players so they could take turns 1v1′ing each other. If Blizzard sets up duelling in D3 with easy game searching and player matching, I will be happy with that.

Whatever they add after that will mainly be interesting if it has some kind of rewards.

Kevin

On December 27, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Maybe they will be able to fix this in the future.

But yeah, the only thing Blizzard can worry about right now is CONTAINING said disaster that CJ mentioned.

Patches

On December 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm

In my case, Diablo 3 is indeed a disaster… And I wasn’t looking forward to the PvP part when I purchased it…

So you can guess this game is now shelved, probably forever…

So many other good games to spend my time, especially with the lots of discounts from Steam Holiday Sale, Humble bundle and such…

Kiri

On December 28, 2012 at 10:56 am

It’s almost as if this isn’t even the same company. For whatever reason the Diablo 3 team has continued to underwhelm and failed to really get anything right in the first try.

The game in its current state is so far from what was released both in skill and difficulty, that I still find it hard to believe it was released in the first place!

Honestly, I’m hoping for a tell-all lengthy article one day from a high level D3 team member who gives the scoop on where things went wrong internally and why the game has just had a really odd evolution (relative to other Blizzard franchises, D3 is still a highly successful game all things considered)

CJ Miozzi

On December 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

@Kiri:

That’s an excellent idea. We’ll work on trying to get that interview.