In a move that most likely surprises no one at this point, Blizzard has shelved development of the Deathmatch PvP mode in Diablo III. The much talked about feature garnered a lot of excitement from players pre-launch, but months later it still does not exist in game. Lead Designer Jay Wilson gave an update on the official site, telling players that the Deahmatch mode was not performing up to Blizzard standards, and that the system was being shelved while other ideas were developed for Diablo III PvP.
“Putting people into an arena and letting them hurl fireballs and swing crazy-ass swords at one another always has an element of fun to it. I imagine it’s no surprise to anyone reading this blog that people like battling each other in video games, so if you had the chance to play our Team Deathmatch at one of the BlizzCons where we featured it you might not understand why we’d say that we don’t feel the current mode is good enough.”
Wilson goes on to cite class balance issues due to the PvE focus of the game, and problems incorporating all the different runes which change the effects of abilities from PvE into a PvP system. Sounds like they are having the same problems with PvP as every PvE game ever.
Although the team Deathmatch feature is currently shelved, Dueling is making its way into Diablo III in patch 1.0.7 which is currently scheduled for release sometime after the new year. The dev team says it is going to brainstorm new iterations of team PvP, but if I was a betting man, I’d say you’ve probably seen the last of any potential team PvP in D3.