Diablo III: Team PvP Arenas Trailer

Blizzcon is a-happening, and the news is flowing. First up is a Team PvP arena announcement for Diablo III. Small scale maps that are tied into the wider world seem to be the order of the day, and it’s all, of course, going to be tied into Battlenet rankings systems with the attendant achievements for your, er, achievements. Video and full details below.

PvP (short for ‘player versus player’ combat) has had a storied history in the Diablo series. For Diablo III, we’ve decided to take it in a new direction to ensure that it’s deep, organized, frantic, and fun.

Diablo III’s PvP battles are fought in arenas spread out across the world of Sanctuary. These arenas aren’t random — they’re all unique, designed with differing amounts of terrain and cover. You participate in PvP using the character of your choice, with access to all of the gear and skills you’ve accumulated playing the game in single-player or cooperative mode.

You’ll learn many of the fundamentals of PvP (like how to avoid attacks or target specific foes) by playing the single-player game, but PvP differs in that it isn’t an ideal venue for gathering new weapons and armor. Your rewards for shedding blood in the arena are purer than that: bragging rights, the joy of sending friends old and new to their swift and inglorious deaths, and points that represent how far you’ve progressed on the path to fame and glory.

When you participate in ranked games (fights that pit two opposing teams of players against each other in ‘best of’ matches), you’ll earn points for advancement based on kills, accomplished objectives, wins, and other factors. Points lead to multiplayer achievements, titles, and more. Our system is focused on encouraging furious combat and multiplayer progression, not stringent competitive rankings, so you’ll earn points after every match and Battle.net matchmaking will pit you against similarly skilled opponents.

We’re also looking into other PvP game types that exist outside the ranking system, like 1-on-1 duels and mutually chosen team battles (for example, you and your friends could divide into two teams for an arena showdown). We’ll have more information on the availability of these game types in the future.

Our aim for Diablo III’s PvP is to set you up with dangerous, exciting gladiatorial matches, let you battle it out with other players at your own pace, and allow you to proudly display your rewards. We’ve added a robust system to remove the obstructions that may have kept you out of the action, so that you can focus on what really matters: answering the age-old question of ‘who would win in a fight’ — with a gauntlet to the face.


  1. Tetragrammaton says:

    I was excited about this a year ago. Not sure what has happened in the time since that has given me such an apathy toward the game. Perhaps it is the nagging realisation that this just wont be as good as dins curse.

    • WaveOfMutilation says:

      For me it’s been the realisation that Activision are likely to leave their mark on Diablo like they did on Starcraft with the Online Only play and no LAN.

    • Thants says:

      Starcraft 2 isn’t online only. You can play offline.

    • rocketman71 says:

      +1 to WaveOfMutilation. And Thants, you can only play SC2 single offline. But of course you know that already, you Blizz apologist :-P

      @Tetragrammaton: what has happened is that we’ve realized dickishness we are getting from Blizzard. Two years ago, I would have bought SC2 and D3 on release day. Hell, I’d have them preordered years before release day.

      After the LAN fuckup, the always online fuckup, the RealID fuckup, the custom map validation and only on our servers fuckup, the no crossregion play fuckup, the… well, there is no way in hell (pun intented) I’m buying a Blizz game.

  2. DJ Phantoon says:

    Oh good, now I have another reason to never buy this game.

    • Azradesh says:

      Because clearly this is something you HAVE to do if you buy the game. Also there’s nothing else in the game at all. /s

    • Flaringo says:

      It’s actually part of the game’s DRM. To play the game, you have to maintain a PVP skill rating of over 1500. If you drop below this number, your copy of the game will get deactivated.

    • Archonsod says:

      “Also there’s nothing else in the game at all.”

      Of course not. It’s Diablo.

    • Nesetalis says:

      strangely, i agree… the problem with PVP that blizzard has proven time and time again.. is PVP balance vs PVE balance.
      In wow, they fucked up classes repeatedly, trying to balance PVP while ignoring PVE.. changing perfectly balanced characters because they were over powered or under powered in PVP…

      any game like this needs to separate the PVP skillset from the PVE skillset, separate balance, stats, and mechanics means you can carefully balance each side of the game.. but blizzard still hasnt figured that out.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “any game like this needs to separate the PVP skillset from the PVE skillset, separate balance, stats, and mechanics means you can carefully balance each side of the game.. but blizzard still hasnt figured that out.”

      That is what they did in Starcraft 2. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did the same here.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      This is what has been implemented in Guild Wars, when it became obvious that PvP and PvE are fundamentaly different game styles and needed to be treated accordingly.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      During the D3 Q&A at Blizzcon they confirmed that skills would have separate stats for PvP and PvE.

  3. Freud says:

    Have they completely removed open world PvP with this?

    • Azradesh says:

      No idea, I don’t think anyone has said anything about this yet.

    • Lipwig says:

      That was my immediate thought when this topic first came up. There’s not a single mention of open world PVP, and by that I’m inclined to think that Blizzard has put it to the side in favour of WoW style arena matches. I’m pretty neutral here, I don’t bother playing WoW arena or Diablo open world PVP, but it does seem to, in this aspect, be moving in a certain direction.

  4. Tei says:

    This look very good, for a particular group of people. Blizzard knows his stuff, and is delivering. And the internet have another cesspoll…^H^H highly competitive community drama generating, and reading these drama will generate in us awe, fun, inspiration, /facepalm moments and also some admiration.

  5. Amun says:

    This goes against the Diablo aesthetic.

    • Thants says:

      I agree, this doesn’t have nearly enough rainbows.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      And unicorns. Dont forget the unicorns,

      In all seriousness though, Its a little sad that they leaned toward Hasbro rather than the Ian miller, but such is life.

  6. mandrill says:

    It saddens me that Bobby Kotick is such a ****, as it is his attitude which has turned me off anything produced by blizzard/activision. I will not be buying Diablo III, even though I have waited years for it.

    • Janxer says:

      Your loss. But really, who’s the biggest dick, the guy who is simply doing good business decisions, or the guy who refuses to buy a great game because the developers are associated with the business guy?

    • Furybrood says:

      Bobby Kotick has no say in the development of Blizzard products. People like you of course will never realize this. Ultimately Blizzard is still owned by the company that has owned them for a LONG time now. Do a little research, please.

    • fester says:

      No, it’s not his loss, it’s his gain. He stands by his principles AND saves $60 in the process. I realize that seeing other people act in a morally consistent manner may bother the consumer whore in you, but it’s time you got over it. (And maybe learned from people like him.)

    • rocketman71 says:

      @Janxer: Kotick is the biggest dick. And after him, whoever decided to drop LAN support from SC2 and D3.

  7. Lobotomist says:

    This will probably work for the game.

    But I notice lack of excitement. Both from me and the others.

    Starcraft 2 was probably best thing it should have be. But its hype died very fast.

    And Diablo 3 , the more they delay it , the less excited people get. Right now the sentiment is

    “The game will be good, but there are more exciting stuff on horizon”

    • Jesus says:

      “Starcraft 2 was probably best thing it should have be. But its hype died very fast. ”

      When exactly?

    • Thants says:

      By “hype died fast” do you mean that you stopped playing it? Because there’s still a ton of people playing and talking about it.

  8. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Well I will be buying it, even if it is a shit game, I know I have bought worse, and I mean, I love(d) Diablo 2 too much not too, I still have it installed and ready to go FYI

  9. Simon says:

    Oh good, another Blizzard game fucking ruined by Arena combat.

  10. pkt-zer0 says:

    Anyone care to explain why this is supposed to be a bad move, to those not in the know?

  11. Butler` says:

    As someone who loves wow arena, loved PvP in d2/lod, I can say this looks shit. I really hope it’s not, but it looks it.

    And what happened to the whole pve-centric, naturally over-powered nature of heros in Diablo? The feeling of being stupidly overpowered. I thought that was the whole ethos…

  12. Ignorant Texan says:

    In The Grim Darkness Of The Far Future…

    How did a WH40K:Retribution trailer make it into BlizzCon?

  13. Bluebreaker says:

    Well no wonder,
    the company that created Warcraft2, Starcraft, Diablo2 is long gone.

    • Thants says:

      What the hell are you talking about? Where did all theses trolls come from?

    • rocketman71 says:

      @Thants: We’re called PC gamers, and Blizzard used to care about us.

    • Thants says:

      Well, they’ve done a lot of stupid stuff lately, removing LAN, overly invasive controlling battle.net, all that. Fine, there’s plenty of legitimate stuff to complain about, but come on, complaining about them including an optional PvP arena mode in D3 is just grasping for reasons to be offended.

  14. bleeters says:

    Super. Small-team pvp arenas did wonders for World of Warcraft, after all.

    What’s that, they were God awful, horrendously unbalanced messes? Oh yes, I remember now.

  15. teo says:

    No open world PvP? Meh
    Do they really need to turn this into baby-WoW?

    Still don’t like the artstyle btw

  16. Solcry says:

    Wow. What a bunch of whiners.

    I loved D2 the short time I played it, and D3 looks suitable awesome as well. This kind of reminded me of Bloodline Champions, which is a pretty fun game (though no need to play it if I have D3 as well). It doesn’t say anything about removing the open world PVP – no need to jump to conclusions there.

    And I have absolutely no idea how people have the impression Kotick did this – since when does the CEO have game design powers?

    • fester says:

      Whining about “whiners”, you sir, are a class act.

      Last time I checked, I wasn’t obligated to buy everything Blizzard releases, so if there’s something I dislike about one of their games, I’m going to skip it and…*gasp*…maybe leave a comment about it on an Internet forum.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Oh great, it’s the WoW forums all over again.

  17. kompatriot says:

    Why are there so many self important whiners on the internet?

    “*Sniff* the game isn’t exactly what I want *sniff* and there’s this minor imperfection which any ordinary person wouldn’t be bothered by *sniff* and because of this reckless unsupported assumption *sniff* this game is the vile result of what happens when art is perverted by capitalism *sniff*.”

    • kompatriot says:

      … in retrospect, this is a highly ironic statement.

    • Anonymousity says:

      Oh my god someone wrote their opinion of a game that was slightly disparaging, then suggested they wouldn’t buy it. Is the only opinion people are allowed to voice on the internet about computer games openly positive? Maybe reviewers should only have positive opinions of games also.

  18. stahlwerk says:

    This looks very bland. I liked Diablo and Diablo 2, but after the colourfulness of Torchlight, this game looks very SERIOUS DARK. And that minimalist Arena reminds me of the training rooms in dungeon keeper.

    On the other hand: Did you spot the chicken (at 1:21, right half of the frame)? What is it doing in this game? Why did the chicken cross the arena?

  19. Furybrood says:

    The responses to this are hilarious.

    “PvP arenas are ruining D3.”

    Did shit PvP ruin D2?


    So how are arenas worse?

    Yeah, I know, gamers aren’t the most intelligent of people. It is what it is.

  20. The Right To Arm Bears says:

    So, I’ve never played WoW. I never played D2 open-world PVP. Heck, I haven’t even played SC2. I’m completely ignorant of any/all issues related to this subject. BUT. I have an idea, and I wonder what the universe thinks about it. If it’s tough to do class balance for PVE vs PVP classes, why not just completely separate them? Your PVE characters don’t get used for PVP, but their levels and gear etc contribute to your overall ranking score, as well as your win-loss record or whatever it is they track, which determines the amount of points you have at the beginning of a PVP match to spend tricking out a whatever you want. Say, for example, you’re 1:1 W:L (in PVP), you have a level 35 demon hunter, and that equates your “spend points” to 1000. At the beginning of a PVP match you decide to purchase a demon hunter for 250 points, or a barbarian for 500 (or whatever the balance issues make it work out to be), then you have the remaining points to purchase skills, spells, attributes, axes of +5 head-chopping, etc. Divide up teams and get chopping. PVP matches happen between people with a more or less equal number of spend points. Terrible idea? Since you’re not acquiring permanent gear anyway, why not let the kids play with whatever class/gear/skills they want to try out in PVP?

  21. DK says:

    “The responses to this are hilarious.
    “PvP arenas are ruining D3.”
    Did shit PvP ruin D2?
    So how are arenas worse?”

    Simple really – instead of looking at the game they made ages ago for precedent you look at the games they made recently. The last RPG they made they royally messed up by balancing a primarily PvE game for PvP.

    • fester says:

      Exactly. You can almost tell who has played WoW and who hasn’t. We have seen first hand what Blizzard does to character classes inside a PVP-Arena game, and it’s a total clusterfuck.

    • Thants says:

      You could look at the last game they made, in which they balanced the singleplayer and multiplayer completely separate.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “The last RPG they made they royally messed up by balancing a primarily PvE game for PvP.”

      “They” being the WoW team, which may well be completely separate from the D3 team? And making a significantly different type of game anyway?

  22. Rane2k says:

    I remember an article on the Escapist, where Rob Pardo (VP of game design at Blizzard) specifically mentions the PVP Arenas as one of the biggest mistakes they did in WoW, so they are aware of the problems (and hopefully don´t repeat them).

  23. cassus says:

    How long do you think it takes before they add resilience stat to gear, and only award that gear to the top 5% of the gamers so they can pwn people even harder? Blizzard + Decisions regarding PvP balance and fairness = Legendarily retarded.