Blue on Balancing PvP and PvE Separately


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.

On the note of balancing PvE and PvP separately you guys talked about a little bit, it’s something we want to largely avoid. I’m actually sort of confused where that info came from (I know you guys didn’t just make it up I’ve seen it elsewhere). Somehow I feel like it’s my fault, but maybe it was talked about at BlizzCon. We do have the ability to keep separate functionality, but we want to try to avoid big differences that make it feel like two different games when you play PvE and PvP.

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/DiabloWikichampion/DiabloWikiboss DiabloWikimonsters. 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:

…one of the goals is to make sure that PvP never effects PvE game balance. it’s why we have the Arena. We’ll never nerf a PvE skill for PvP.

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 DiabloWikiSlow Time, or attacks like DiabloWikiBlizzard or DiabloWikiAcid 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?

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  1. I think that this video was really informative. It shows that Blizzard is right in wanting to vary the environment’s colors. It also shows that when we say ‘darker’ we mean the dungeons. That looked horrible outside in the desert. I think people want darker environments possibly so they can feel a little frightened when playing the game. Maybe its more fun that way for them. Maybe they are extremely hardcore and they just like the super dark and evil stuff. Whatever it is, I think that (as seen in the video) the music will make a crap ton of difference. Right now, we’ve been watching vids with no music at all. Blizzard is gonna have kick butt music to complement this kick butt game and the visuals. That will truly set the tone and give everyone what they want. Think about it.

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