Diablo III fans waiting patiently for Blizzard to introduce Player vs. Player into the popular PC game may have to wait indefinitely. When Blizzard revealed the upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion pack earlier this week, the PvP feature wasn't mentioned, but rather Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials. Now game director Josh Mosqueira is indicating that there are three major hurdles that need to be overcome before the highly-requested feature will see the light of day.
When asked about PvP this week during Gamescom, Mosqueira said it's a tricky question to answer. However he first pointed out the issue centering on the team dedicated to PvP development: it's rather small, and the rest of the Diablo III gang is currently banging out the Reaper of Souls expansion pack. Thus, the progression of PvP functionality is understandably slow until more developers can be assigned to the project.
Unfortunately, the next hurdle resides within the game's core design itself. "In Diablo, the core mechanics are really built around one character fighting scores of monsters, right? There’s a lot of control, a lot of AOE, and some of that stuff starts to not necessarily break down, but it starts to fray at the edges when you’re actually now focused on two people, or four people,” Mosqueira said.
The third hurdle centers on when PvP should be enabled. The Diablo III team is currently debating on whether this feature should be unlocked once the characters has knocked Diablo out of the High Heavens, or opened up to all characters at all levels.
Will PvP become another canceled gameplay mode? Former game director Jay Wilson revealed back in January that the highly-anticipated team deathmatch mode would not be added to Diablo III due to the feature falling short of the team's expectations. More to the point, throwing players into an arena to kill each other just didn't provide enough of a long-lasting appeal.
"Most of our testers didn’t feel like it was something they’d want to do beyond a few hours," he said. "Without more varied objectives, or very lucrative rewards, few saw our current iteration as something they’d want spend a lot of time in."
"Certainly, we've gotten a lot of benefits from the development of Team Deathmatch, especially in the areas of controls and combat model tuning, but at this point we don't believe it's the experience we feel it needs to be in order to ship, so we will be shelving it for now and exploring other options," he added.
Wilson said that Diablo III was designed to be a PvE-first kind of game, where the team never compromised on player abilities in the name of future PvP balance. However in a casual PvP mode similar to WoW Battleground, the team would be able to carry over most of the runes, items and skills – along with their "crazy" effects -- with very little modification. Team Deathmatch just felt too hardcore.