Datamining Shows PvP Coming in Reaper of Souls?

We’ve been doing out own datamining on that leaked pre-alpha version of Reaper of Souls and posting some of the most interesting images in our datamining gallery. There are some very interesting things to be seen, and while all the usual “might not make it into the final game” caveats apply, there’s some intriguing stuff related to a PvP or dueling system.

Thus far in the ongoing RoS datamining we’ve seen a lot of code strings about skills and new game modes and Paragon 2.0 and lots more, but if there have been any about PvP I didn’t see them. Yet in the images in the leaked RoS build, there are a two big pictures showing a ton of images for PvP Achievements. (Here cropped into 3 pics for easier display.)

You might have seen those previously, but these next two… {snip]

As observed in comments, these are not related to PvP but are displays of your character in the selection screen, just showing two skills as samples. So sad. But all the PvP achievements are still a thing…


Even though these aren’t indications that it’s coming soon, what I want, and have wanted since I first saw it at Blizzcon 2009, is a PvP system that’s based on player skill, where everyone has access to the same characters and same gear.

Here’s how it went when I pitched Wyatt Cheng and Josh Mosqueira on the premade character deathmatch thing during an interview a couple of months ago:

PVP! You guys said in a recent interview that you’re not working on any new PvP systems, even though it’s still in your thoughts, and Josh you said that people stop by your desk all the time and ask you about PvP.

Josh Mosqueira: Right.

Flux: Back in Blizzcon 2010 and 2011 there was a PvP demo in the Blizzcon demo. I loved it, I played it madly, if it was on right now I’d play it every night. During development you guys repeatedly said that ESports wouldn’t work with Diablo 3, that it couldn’t be balanced. And I can certainly see that with the existing characters, since there’s so much variety in skills and gear that it seems impossible to equalize.

But it seems like you could do an arcade style brawler that would fix that. Say there are 3 pre-made versions of each character, with gear and skills that players can’t change, and we just pick one and make teams and dive into the arena, just like an upgraded version of the wildly-popular PvP demo from past Blizzcons. It keeps records, it keeps scores, you’ve got ladders and rankings and the whole thing. That would be spectacular and awesome and can we see it in the next couple of months?

Josh Mosqueira: You’re right. We played that, at least I played those versions when I got here.

Flux: And they were awesome!

25:40 — Josh Mosqueira: But was it the right expression of PvP for Diablo? Something we really struggled with is, does it feel like Diablo when you’re not A: using your character that has all your cool items, and does it feel like Diablo in the fact that you’re not getting any items. I think everybody intrinsically gets the idea that a PvP mode in Diablo 3 should be really fun, and we’ve seen examples that in bursts it can be a lot of fun. So the questions is how do we make sure it feels like thematically… not just a side product, but part of the overall core fantasy of the game.

Flux: I think we might get into a debate about the perfect being the enemy of the good, in this case? The perfect system would be awesome, but if it doesn’t happen for five years, we could have a lot of fun in the meantime.

Josh Mosqueira: That’s funny since that’s one of the phrases I love saying. “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

I’ve been on the team in this position for a couple of months and there are a few things we’ve really been focusing on. But it our desire and Wyatt’s as well that we want to tackle this question. A few weeks ago someone came by my office with what I thought was a really cool proposal. So it is something we’re working on and come one day we’ll be able to give you guys an answer. Not the perfect answer, but the right answer.

Well, he didn’t say “No”…

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20 thoughts on “Datamining Shows PvP Coming in Reaper of Souls?

  1. Isnt that 2 “PVP” pics just the hero creation template. on your left when making a new char? looked pretty similar.

  2. From the interview posted here, it seems like the main problem that the Devs had with the arcade-style brawler PVP system was that it didn’t interact with the items game at all, and so felt disconnected from the rest of the experience. I have two suggestions that would help make that style of PVP feel connected without changing the basic functionality.

    1) Tournament play. Create a few forms of tournaments (off the top of my head, possible variations could be 1v1, 2v2, or free-for-all) for players to enter. Put items as prizes for high scores. For example, maybe the Grand Prize for 1st place is a random, guaranteed-perfect rolled Legendary. 2nd place gets to choose a Legendary and pick 1 stat for it to roll max value on (in addition to max damage/armor as a guaranteed value). 3rd and 4th each get random Legendaries with 1 stat fixed max roll, no guaranteed max damage/armor. Lower places receive regular random Legendaries, and the lowest scores receive multiple Golden Chests, which have a chance for Legendaries but will usually just contain rares.

    2) Instead of tournament play (or in addition to it), add a ranking system to the games where you win points based on your wins/losses, and how well you did in battle. Possible include separate modes for time-based vs. lives-based, like the Smash Bros. variants have (I don’t play many fighting games, so if there are better examples than that, please substitute them). Add in a shop at which you can ‘cash in’ your PVP points, to trade them in for items, such as the kinds of stuff I mentioned above in 1). Make sure that the prizes are sufficiently awesome, but that the truly great ones cost a lot of points. The rewards should contain things like perfectly-rolled Legendaries and Marquis gems, but the cost on them should be insane (i.e. something that you work towards for months, playing nothing but PVP and saving all of the points just to attain). For bonus points, the shop could also contain in-game boosts or specialties. For example, you could use PVP points to buy +EXP% boost for a certain amount of time (similar to the way League of Legends does it), or you could buy a skin change for a certain skill rune or item effect (i.e. retro Sorceress skin for female Wizard, or a skin to make the demon summoned by Maximus look like D2’s Diablo rather than a generic demon).

    Both of these options would help to link the item-finding D3 campaign and the PVP system, while providing a lot of fun. Also, both versions favor the skilled, while not being completely unrewarding for those without skill. For example, the minimum reward for a tournament could be a single Golden Chest, so even if you did horribly, you could still get something usable. Meanwhile, the shop in the other system would ideally offer many different things, at reasonable prices on the lower-end things. For example, a guaranteed perfect-rolled specific Legendary might cost as many points to buy as you could get in 6 months, but a regular specific Legendary might only cost as much as you could get in a week. Also, with different ideas for skins and character themes and specialty items (like the Collector’s Edition Wings), there would be a lot of fun little lower-level purchases which would not improve one’s potency within the game, but would make you look a lot cooler. Since they are already bringing back some Sorceress skills, there might be people who would want to make a retro-Sorceress, for example. These kind of fun little ‘flavor upgrades’ allows there to be a ‘loser’s bracket’ of purchases while still providing a lot of entertainment for the kind of people into that sort of thing. I know that I personally would go wild over the D2 Diablo-as-Maximus demon idea; I don’t use Maximus now, as I don’t think it’s efficient for me, but I would definitely use it just for Rule-of-Cool factor if I had that.

    I think that ideas like this are a good way to incorporate the item game into the kind of Brawler-style PVP that debuted at Blizzcon 2009 and 2010. Back then, I was just starting to get into League of Legends (I play a lot more now), and I thought that it would be cool if Diablo had something like that, as Diablo has a lot more choice in terms of abilites than League or Dota (where you’re stuck with the 4 abilities your champion has). Overall, I share Flux’ enthusiasm for seeing that kind of PVP again, and I think that either/both of my ideas could be a good way of integrating the item-game into PVP without having to change any of the things that made that style of PVP fun and interesting in the first place.

    • There’s a lot of good stuff here but it’s basically a completely separate, different game at that point. If something like this were to happen, I’d expect it to be in the second expansion, and as the only new content in said expansion.

      It’s basically a whole extra game.

      Not that I’d complain at all, just sayin’.

  3. I think you are pushing your idea of “premade characters for PVP” a bit too far. The templates has nothing to do with PVP at all. It is probably a redesign for character creation UI.

    Now, I also don’t think that the premade character option for PVP is not a good idea. It stands no reason on why the developers would painstakingly spend their resources for this if players can just very well use their own characters for PVP.

    If you are worried about getting squashed by overgeared players, then grind some more! Isn’t that the driving force of D2 PVP? “I need to get stronger items so I can show off.” Aside from the fact that Blizzard had already declared that D3 isn’t going to be an E-sport, the premade setting is pointless.

    Lest we forget the simplest solution to the balance problem: matchmaking. Players who has roughly the same value/strength of gear/plevel can only fight each other. No need for your premade bullsheat.

    • I personally have no real interest in PVP. I generally don’t like PVP, and I only really play League because my friends play it, and I live in China now, so I can’t see my friends in person.

      Also, the part about PVP being premade characters is totally Flux’ idea, not mine; I merely responded to the thread based on what he wrote. I’ll quote the relevant lines beneath; it’s part of the interview he had with the Devs:

      “But it seems like you could do an arcade style brawler that would fix that. Say there are 3 pre-made versions of each character, with gear and skills that players can’t change, and we just pick one and make teams and dive into the arena, just like an upgraded version of the wildly-popular PvP demo from past Blizzcons. It keeps records, it keeps scores, you’ve got ladders and rankings and the whole thing. That would be spectacular and awesome and can we see it in the next couple of months?”

      Personally, I’m probably not going to play PVP in D3, just like I didn’t do PVP in D2, so I don’t really care one way or another. However, in this case, the idea prompt was ‘premade characters PVP: how to make it work,” so I put in a few ideas about how to make it work.

      Also, to reply to Ivan E, yeah, I agree it would be a lot of work. It was a few ideas for making that kind of style work, but it was also largely Magical Christmasland. It would be nice to have it, but I seriously doubt it will be coming. Still, gotta push out new ideas. Maybe the whole idea is too much work and too hard to pull off, but some elements might be workable into something more reasonable.

  4. I think there should definitely be a pvp system where we all get to use the items we find, that should be definite. We want to show off our characters with the loot we have found and builds we’ve made around it. Think about how unique our characters can be with some of the new affixes we’ve seen so far, builds or play styles that would not be possible with out some of these legendary affixes, if we just make it so everyone has basic stats even across the board then we get none of the uniqueness that the legendary’s bring which in my opinion would make it a lot more fun. So I think we should be able to have a PvP system where we use the items we find. I think a good match making system can figure out to match you against someone that is evenly as geared as you once the MMR’s are sorted through.

    They also said they don’t want it to feel like some side product. I’m not 100% sure what hes alluding but I’d say the brawling system currently is exactly that just some random side product that was tossed in.

    Obviously they want PvP to be a big part of the game. They need to add lots of competitive ranking systems, such as ladders, 1v1’s 2v2 3v3 4v4 5v5 and FFA. Reward the winning teams with loot obviously.

    The PvP will need some extra obstacles to be interesting too such as throwing in a random monster that attacks both teams like a champion pack or elite or even have random goblins spawn. Throw in some obstacles on the map its self such as spikes, lava, fire, freezing mechanics, poison.

    Really I don’t see what else there needs to be. I think they will announce PvP at blizzcon. They’ve certainly showed they can say one thing one month and the opposite the next month (auction house removal)

  5. I think this team’s biggest problem since day -4015 is that they’re going for PERFECT. The WoW development team tosses stuff on a PTR or even into a content patch, gathers feedback, and adjusts. Josh is saying, “Well, we don’t THINK people will like this, so not yet!” Let us decide. If the last year and a half has proven anything, it’s that Diablo fans will let Blizzard know what they do and don’t like. That’s for sure.

    I LOVE the idea of an arcade style premade PVP arena, with tournaments and gear rewards. That’s not any different than team 5’s Hearthstone arena – you get a random deck, fight as long as you can, and get rewards at the end. Yeah, it’s a little bit strange to win cards you’re not actually using in the arena, but it’s a fun idea.

  6. ” that they’re going for PERFECT”

    Experience suggests otherwise, the problem is more in the area of setting up unrealistic expectations, then failing on delivery, like for example “competitive pvp has to use ‘pve’ items”, “the competitive and for fun pvp has to be one thing” or “potions have to recover health instantly AND be stackable in large quantities” (hence cooldowns).

    Its nothing new, we had(have) “all classes have to be within x% dps of eachother” or “if noone makes a mistake, the pvp match should go on forever” in wow.

  7. They need to get PvP out soon. Jay Wilson posted the worst, most pathetic “blog” update ever about PvP, then “stepped down” the next fracking day. I mean, total and utter incompetence on one of the best reasons to even find gear in the first place.

    And I’m sick and tired of this utter myopia about gear, gear, and more gear. What good is this gear you guys are so fetishistic about if you can’t do anything w/ it? You can’t trade it (easily) anymore, you can’t sell it, you can’t PvP w/ it, there aren’t any raids, heroic or otherwise, to try and conquer. There’s just the same damn crap over and over and over again, a treadmill to nowhere. PvP, in one, simple stroke, gives that gear some real meaning. Getting gear becomes a means to an end, an edge against your friends and friendly enemies, and hopefully your obnoxious enemies, as well. So basically, they’ll never do PvP if you can’t get loot from it, b/c LOOT IS THE ONLY REASON TO PLAY THE GAME EVER, AMIRITE?

  8. Wasn’t PvP supposed to come out by the end of last year? Or the end of this year?
    It better be good, or else it won’t be worth the wait. Just like Duke Nukem Forever

  9. As someone who has never play any PvP, nor has any interest in doing so, I think the idea of equally skilled and equipped characters fighting each other, either individually or in teams, is the way to go. Then it comes down to the skill of the combatants not their luck in finding the right equipment.

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