“The development team has been working really hard on the features, content, and systems for PvP in Diablo III […]”
“Our original intent with PvP for Diablo III was to provide more formal support for the dueling community that existed in Diablo II.”
“We want to be able to carry over as many of the crazy runes, items, and skills as possible, […], but Team Deathmatch felt very hardcore, and it put a laser focus on class balance in a way that we didn’t think would be good for the game as a whole.”
“First and foremost, if our original goal was to support dueling, then we’re not achieving that goal very well if we don’t actually give players a way to duel in-game.”
“But as I mentioned before, we are going back to the drawing board on a new replacement for Team Deathmatch, something that feels more appropriate for Diablo III.”
They gave you a way to duel, and a place to do it, which is, in every way, more than was EVER implemented in Diablo 2. PvP in Diablo 3 didn’t fail because of Blizzard, it failed because absolutely no significant portion of the playerbase was interested in it because (shock!) the ARPG genre is fundamentally PvE in nature and the PvP crowd, as always, has an outsized belief in both their own importance and the popularity of their preferred playstyle, unless you can point to a single other game in the genre besides Diablo 2 that ever has had even a modicum of a PvP scene.
D2 has a hostility flag system and special rules/settings for PK death/looting with an in-game token (ears). D3 prohibits PvP in every zone except one with special (non-)rules. But regardless of which implementation was “bigger” or took more work, in terms of end-result D2 undeniably “did more with less”.
Anything that uses the “RPG” moniker have always had a foundation on “PvE”, but sometimes they have PvP too and it’s great. Why shouldn’t they? We should have a reason besides “that’s how it’s always done”. You don’t know how many people bought D3 primarily to PvP. How many bought it to casually PvP. And how many weren’t really serious, but still disappointed knowing that there will be no spectacle to be had, watching the best PvPers compete. It doesn’t have to be a “preferred playstyle” for players to feel its absence. PvP makes a great point for end-game, gives more weight to character progress, more things to do. Seems like a matter of course to me.
How many of these other games have a modicum of any scene, PvP or otherwise. Do we really have such a big sample size? Apparently PoE’s PvP isn’t great, but does that prove conclusively that “ARPG PvP” is fundamentally flawed and a waste of time? I can only decide that for myself and my time. But I bet PoE devs think otherwise!