Although it won’t be available at launch, Blizzard plans to introduce the PvP Arena at some point later on. So far, the PvP Arena is the only form of PvP that Blizzard has announced for Diablo 3. There will be no more “going hostile” in games, but what about dueling?
Will player dueling be available in Diablo 3?
Update: Dueling has recently been announced and will be arriving in Patch 1.0.7. Check out this post for more info on the upcoming dueling zone in Diablo 3…The Scorched Chapel.
It sounds like there will be some sort of system introduced that will allow players to duel one another, but that may be a ways off. The very first form of PvP that will be brought to Diablo 3 is the PvP Arena — there will be no dueling available prior to that, and it may be some time after the PvP Arena arrives that duels will be implemented.
In a recent forum post, Bashiok stated that duels may be introduced in the PvP Arena system in the form of a “custom match” – where players could 1v1, 1v2, 1v3 and so on… It sounds like they want to keep all forms of PvP strictly in the arena, probably so that the PvE’ers won’t be continually harassed by PvP’ers challenging them constantly while they’re in town.
Here’s Bashiok’s post in reference to the possibility of dueling, how it may be implemented, and when…
Quote from Bashiok
The person was specifically asking if we could implement duels so they have something to do before the PvP patch arrives. And so I said ‘no plans for duels’, which out of context is quite misleading. What I should have said was ‘no plans for any PvP before the PvP patch’.
We’re open to the idea of custom PvP matches, which would allow for duels in the arenas. There are a lot of decisions before we can get there, but on the design philosophy front we don’t have anything against practice duels or other custom matches (1v4?), as long as they can’t be used for progression. It’ll just come down to implementation and what we’re able to pull off in a timely manner. (Source)
It’s promising to know that 1v1 will likely be available, but it sounds like all of those “custom match” types will be strictly for fun. What I gleaned from his post is that there will be no achievements associated with any of the custom match gameplay.
I think it would be nice if 1v1 were an official arena bracket, but it’s tough to say how balanced it will be. I suppose multiple arena layouts could solve some of that problem, though. There may end up being one or two classes that are dominant in 1v1, but varying arena scenarios could level that playing field – with some favoring melee over ranged and vice-versa.
Here’s another follow-up post from Bashiok, in which he emphasizes the “fun” element of PvP play in Diablo 3, and why Blizzard does not intend to make PvP competitive in D3 – especially the custom matches.
Quote from Bashiok
While we’re talking about PvP it’s probably worth reminding everyone that what we’re targeting is a very loose and ‘for fun’ system. Imagine clicking a button, being matched up against another team of equal skill and gear, and win or lose you move forward (although faster if you win) on a personal progression system that gives you some cosmetic recognition as you go. There won’t be ladders or leagues, we have no intent to expose team ratings, and very likely nothing besides a win/loss record to track performance etc. etc. etc. Anyone who has tried it at BlizzCon knows the PvP in Diablo III is a blast, but I’ve seen some people start to get ideas that it’s going to be an eSport, and that’s just not something we’re targeting – for the sake of our goals in the single player/co-op experience.
It’s one reason custom matches can make some people nervous, because it means players can start setting up their own games in attempts to create a more competitive system. Or just complaining their 1v1 duels aren’t balanced. When that happens people start demanding the sacrifice of PvE, “I need more mobility/stuns/dps”, separate systems with different abilities, and on and on. I think if there were one good argument against duels and custom games, it would be the players themselves. 🙂 (Source)
This post serves to further illustrate why Blizzard has no plans to make PvP competitive in Diablo 3, as it would be too difficult to balance, and would sacrifice the enjoyment of PvE play.