Interview Analysis - PvP

Over the next several days, we'll be running articles on this interview with Jay Wilson. We thought that the amount of information would be too much to cram into one article, thus you can expect us to explore a new facet of the video every few days.

We hope you enjoy it.

Article Two - Player vs Player

Take a moment to think back upon Diablo II. Remember PvP?
Remember how horrendously incomplete it was?

Players were left with few goals or aims in PvP, aside from killing the other guy. There were vast amounts of exploits that could be used (PK'ing easily the most notorious of the bunch), leaving PvP feeling rushed and incomplete. Sure, it still fulfilled the function of killing other players, but outside of the feeling of killing some other guy, players had no real reason to play PvP.

It seems the boys at Blizzard are learning from their mistakes, choosing to give PvP much more thought in Diablo III than the previous titles.

Official Blizzard Quote:

We do have plans for PvP but we haven't announced anything yet, so we're not talking about it at this time. But we'll announce something in the not too distant future.

Of course this is not much to go on, but the fact that they're tight lipped about PvP leaves me thinking that something big is planned. What it turns out to be however, it up for debate. These days, most online games both support and encourage PvP through in-game rewards. New weapons in FPS games, decals and portraits in Starcraft II, even customized titles in games like Guild Wars are all some of the ways other games have rewarded players for dominating in PvP. We have to consider though, would any of these work in Diablo III?

It really all depends on how organized PvP is, and what is involves. If PvP simply pits two players against each other, I wouldn't doubt an ante system being incorporated into the game, so players may lay bets on their success. If PvP pits teams or clans against each other, titles or gold would be a suitable reward for dominance. If there are occasional tournaments held by Blizzard or special PvP events, then shiny new weapons and armor would undoubtedly be given to the victor. If Blizzard is to leave players with nothing but bragging rights as their reward, PvP will have a tough time winning over the majority of the PvE demographic. With specific rewards not obtained anywhere else, we may finally see many normally PvE players sticking their feet into the waters of PvP play.

With this in mind, the bridge between PvE and PvP should be clear. In Diablo II, all public games were open to griefers and PKers at all times. To look at other games once more, titles such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars have safeguards in place to prevent the killing of players who wish to enjoy the PvE game, but still give PvP players their own slice of the game to call their own. Thus, something along the lines of "PvP Zones", or an arena would do Diablo III well.

We can also look at Blizzard's other titles for a hint on where PvP play may be going. As we all know, World of Warcraft is nearly built around PvP play. Of course this model would not work with Diablo III, but as suggested before, we may see smaller versions of raids in the form of clan vs clan play. With Blizzard's intentions of adding clan support to Battle Net 2.0 in the future, this may become a reality.

All in all though, we still hardly know anything about what is being planned for PvP. All we have at this point is speculation, but at least we can rest easily knowing that there are more ambitious plans for PvP than nothing but a hostile button.


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