Blizzard had previously mentioned the possibility of balancing the PvP (Arena) and PvE sections of the game separately, and lots of fans had taken that concept to heart. The main benefit (in theory) is that the developers wouldn’t have to nerf a skill in PvE just because it was overpowered in PvP, or vice versa. This has been an issue in WoW, where the PvP and PvE portions of the game are not balanced independently, and skills have been changed across the board, often to the annoyance of players who don’t play the PvP portions of the game at all.
While the D3 devs *can* balance the two sections of the game independently, apparently they’re hoping not to do so, or do to very little of that, judging from what Bashiok said about it today.
One area where things work differently, and we think it’s ok, is in the case of CC, like stuns, snares, slows, etc. The duration of these skills is fairly significantly reduced when used against players, however, that same reduction in effectiveness is also see in the PvE game when it comes to unique/champion/boss monsters. So, it’s not only a jarring difference, it’s also actually experienced in PvE.
Bottom line is we’ll have to wait and see but, as I said, it’s something we have the ability to do if needed but would prefer to largely avoid. I just didn’t want anyone to think that we’re actively balancing them completely independently as that’s not accurate.
…Ah, yes, it’s the first question that was asked at the open Q&A. Well that was easy to find!
So, yeah he’s specifically stating we don’t want to impact PvE by balancing PvP. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be designed completely independently or each other, though. I don’t know, it’s one of those things we’ll have to wait and see how it pans out in more serious balance testing closer to release.
Jay Wilson’s comment from that Q&A was fairly sweeping, and drew some audience applause. Click to the wiki article if you want to read more of the transcript, or you can just watch the whole panel via the embedded movies. Here’s a partial quote:
It seems like Bashiok’s comment today is more about keeping the game understandable and predictable, than about balance issues. They don’t mind having the CC (Crowd Control) skills work differently in PvP than PvE, because there it’s only a difference in duration or style. The devs clearly think they can balance the other skills to work in both game modes without many/any changes.
How workable does that seem to you guys? I’d assume other D3 skills will have to vary in PvP as well, at least in duration. Large AoE effect skills like Slow Time, or attacks like Blizzard or Acid Cloud seem like they’d be overpowered, in the narrow confines of the Arena. Anyone with a lot of WoW PvP experience want to comment on how the two game modes have collided there?