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Diablo fans got a nasty surprise on March 9 when lead game designer Jay Wilson announced that Diablo III’s PvP content will not be available until after the game is released.
“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,” Wilson said in an official statement on the official Diablo 3 website.
Although the Diablo series focuses on Player vs. Monster combat, there have always been fans who would rather slaughter each other instead of the minions of hell. Diablo II featured a ‘go hostile’ button that allowed a player to attack other players.
In many cases, this was used for consensual dueling, but there were also people who would unilaterally declare hostility (a practice known as Player Killing or PKing). Players who suddenly found themselves on the receiving end of a declaration of hostility often died because their characters were not properly configured for PvP play.
Diablo III was supposed to offer a more advanced PvP experience. Instead of fighting each other within the main game, PvP fans would be able to duel in special Arenas. Non-consensual PvP would also be a thing of the past. Players would only be able to fight each other within the confines of the Arena.
But instead of shipping with the game, PvP content will be patched in at some point after the game is released. Wilson attempted to placate disappointed fans by touting the awesomeness that is to come.
“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.”
Sadly, this is just the latest feature that has had to be jettisoned because of time constraints. Special fatality animations, the Mystic artisan, and now PvP have all been sacrificed or postponed in order to get the game out. But considering the game has been in development for over a decade, fans could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at Blizzard’s sudden need for speed.
Ironically, back in May 2010, a fan suggested that PvP content be delayed until after launch in order to speed things up. At the time, a Blizzard community manager rubbished the notion, assuring fans that implementing the PvP content would not delay the game’s release (!). But with any luck, this is one of the last hurdles, and we will soon be counting down the days until the Lord of Terror is released on the world once more.
Image Courtesy of http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/