Hello there! I am a 15 year long Diablo player that enjoys keeping up with fan sites and pod casts daily. I would like to share my idea for a solution for a gaping hole in the Diablo experience: PVP.
After keeping up with the heated topic of PVP for years from both the developer and player side, one thing is abundantly clear, a simple arena based PVP mode is nearly unattainable. The game and skills are simply not made for a direct PVP environment. So instead of trying to adapt the game to something it's not, let's try to adapt what we consider PVP so it is aligned with a system already in place. We get a beautiful thing referred to PvPvE.
CONCEPT The basic concept of this PvPvE game mode is fantastically simple: Kill monsters that in turn try to kill the enemy team. Each team goes through a series of one minute rounds. Each round the team kills mobs who drop souls (and loot of course). Normal mobs drop 1 soul and elites drop 20 souls. If a player dies during this phase, there is a 10 second resurrect timer and the team loses 30% of the souls the player had picked up.
At the end of the round, Malthael comes in and "reaps" the souls (BOOM lore tie in) and every monster that was killed by one team, spawns and rushes toward the enemy team. The number of souls collected also power up a grave golem "boss" who is very tough to kill (souls adjust the health and damage the boss spawns with). If each team survives, the next round begins and the monsters have x% health and do y% more damage (think current MP steps). The grave golum gets an additional affix each round (immune cold, arcane, reflect damage, etc) with the goal of after 10 rounds, he becomes unstoppable. If a player dies during this phase, he/she stays dead until the next round begins. If your entire team dies, the game is over and you use.
Game mechanics should be balanced so that most matches last between 5-7 rounds with terrible teams losing around 2 and uber teams struggling to outlast the other team at 9. 10 is just to make sure the game actually ends.
Direct player contact is never experienced (and therefore skill balancing is minimal), yet a direct "tug of war" theme is ever present.
This mode draws on several tried and true elements experienced in other games:
Starcraft Brood Wars:
A custom map called Overmind Defense was the true inspiration. Two teams would gather resources and build units. They would then send the units to a teleporter which would turn the units into a NPC controlled area that would rush the other teams base. First base to crumble loses. See here for the map layout: http://cdn.nibbits.com/media/screenshots/130/287/preview.jpg
WoW Gothik the Harvester:
This fight helps illustrates the idea of killing monsters who in turn try to kill someone else. (Que Diablo should stay away from WoW crying)
Heroes of the Storm:
Recently the developer match on Haunted Mines has sparked the idea of users killing things to power a "boss" who goes after the enemy team. Same mechanics are used in my game mode. (Kudos to Blizz for the idea)
MATCH MAKING AND REWARDS Match making would at first be based on your paragon level, simple as that. Your MMR would then work toward a thousand point scale, and adjust similar to arena matches in WoW. The number of wins, not your MMR depicts what transmog items you get (no stats, simply bad *** looks). There would be different seasons spaced out every 6-10 months to keep things fresh. Items still drop in games from monsters, just like the normal games and experience is still earned.
CLOSING COMMENTS If you've made it this far, I thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, for I have taken time to sit and type them out. These have all been my humble suggestions, and I'm sure people who are way smarter than me can take the concept even farther. I feel like Diablo is the most hyped/disappointed/charming/frustrating/satisfying/hopeless game I've ever played, and I love it. I'm excited for what the new management has brought to the game, and I wish it nothing but continued success so I can be here checking blue posts another 15 years from now.