We recently received some PVP-specific news from Jay Wilson, but it wasn’t at all what we were hoping to hear. Here is the entirety of what Jay had to say:
“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.”
I can’t say I was entirely surprised to read this announcement since there hasn’t been any external PVP testing besides the Blizzcon demo. Not to mention, there have also been massive changes to many of the skills and runes (as well as the overall system) in the last couple of patches. And as Jay pointed out, this isn’t all bad news.
I have no doubt that the campaign and storyline are going to be amazing (part of the reason that they limited the beta to only the first part of act 1, avoiding spoilers). However, with PVP content being patched in sometime after release we can now use that time to enjoy the PVE content we’ll have available to us at launch. This also means that we’ll have more time to get our characters battle ready for the arena patch- helping ensure that we’ve got our ideal class leveled/geared up and rocking a great build.
Another interesting thing that Jay brings up is the “personal progression system”. We’ve heard a bit about these rewards previously but never much more than mentions of the possibility of PVP-specific titles, ranks, points (towards advancement in the system), banner decor, cosmetic options, and the potential of the reemergence of severed ears. Hopefully Jay’s reference to sharing more info in the future will come sooner rather than later.