Diablo PvP – an E-Sport?

With the recent announcement that Blizzard would be removing PvP from the game’s launch, many people’s heads turned and caused controversy – thought it seemed that most are okay with it getting the initial axe before release. Amongst the controversy, theories had been thrown about as to why they would cut a dominant feature from the game – one of which pointed to making the Arena system much more robust and possibly to make it e-sport bound.

But what future can be speculated for PvP? Since its debut, fans have been ensured that PvP would never drive PvE. While some skills would be retooled for the DiabloWikiArena, the game would largely foster an imbalanced system – and they were okay with that.

It seems like that will no longer be the case, however. Bowser has recently pointed out an interview with the CEO of Major League Gaming (MLG), Sundance Di Giovanni, who alludes to why PvP was delayed for Diablo III. The delay, he purports, is to make it E-Sports ready.

Skipping to 1:14:30, you can can see the conversation that takes place on the matter.

As of yet, we are unsure of how this could affect its PvE counterpart. The world of E-Sport gaming largely revolves around balance, but there are ways to prevent PvP balances to affect PvE. Falling short from creating an entirely different game, tournaments can be held with pre-made characters similar to how World of Warcraft tournaments are held. PvP in-game would largely revolve around practice and a formal ranking system similar to Starcraft 2. As for balance, many skills will likely have a PvP counterpart as part of the previous design.

Personally, I welcome the delay to make the PvP as good as it possibly can be. But how good is good? And does creating a competitive scene make it good? Competitive PvP has never been a part of Diablo 2. While you could have competitive games, it never reached a sustainable audience for major league tournaments – nor was it ever meant to be. The major draw for me was the non-commitment of it and the easy-come easy-go nature of dueling games. Creating the infrastructure for a competitive scene could do a lot for Diablo 3 – both good and bad.

On the positive side, creating a sustainable and balanced league for an e-sport will provide longevity to the game while adding another stream of continuous revenue. It secures another stream of revenue, making it so the game will not be heavily relying on the DiabloWikiRMAH‘s success.

On the negative side, it can polarize the community and begin to encroach upon PvE players. As mentioned previously, we have been ensured that PvP will never drive PvE. Since its debut, developers had even poked fun at those who asked questions at Blizzcon ’11, which gained cheers from the fans. It seemed then that an e-sport would never hedge its way into the game… a thought that is now being put to question.

When it comes down to it, we’ve seen the Diablo 3 team flip-flop on issues since its announcement, so this doesn’t come entirely as a shock. Even so, how does the community feel about this new development for the PvP scene? Are you a pro E-sport player? Or are you vehemently against the possibility of PvP affecting PvE?

Thanks Nathan for the tip.

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44 thoughts on “Diablo PvP – an E-Sport?

  1. I want to see custom maps like in starcraft 2 but Diablo style! That would be the shiznit. Would love to see what game types and arenas people could come up with! Wishfull thinking, I live in dream land…I know, lol.

    More on topic, why would PVE have to be effected at all? Since they are seperate they could easily make it so that skills have totally different stats in the arena than in a PVE game. Balance problem solved!

       Hopefully that’s why they delayed PvP, to rework most skills for it without affecting the PvE version of the skill.

  2. Blizzard is proud of 23124 gazylion builds that you can have in D3 it will be balance nightmare and thats why I doubt pvp in d3 will be anything more than a fun activity. Sundace hinted it will be Blizzard game at MLG maybe Dota Sc2 or something… 

  3. As long as PvE skills are tweaked based on PvE, I don’t have a problem with PvP getting more love. I just have a feeling this won’t be the case, and we’ll see plenty of nerfs affect PvE because of whining about balance.

  4. PVP was always the end game for PVE in Diablo 2, but that was because there wasn’t a “legal” means to making MFing really worth it after a certain point…either you got all your characters decked out and quit, or pvp’d. After all, what was the point of decking yourself out more and more when every single monster in the game was easy as hell to kill no pun intended!

  5. my idea of D3-PvP:
    i would pay 500 to play this!
    two teams vs each other: both get the same dungeon and who beats it first moves up in a ladder (like SC)
    with 100+ different dungeons (x 10 (?) different monster types for each) and a good amount of balancedness this would be incredible fun.
    there also could be a “endless dungeon”-tower-defense kind of competition: who dies first! 
    the winner could get a small mf-buff or something.    

  6. E-Sport in a game that will be not balanced for PvP and with item selling? What did those guys smoked? I want it!!

  7. I am VEHEMENTLY against PvP balance affecting PvE. The two types of play should never even be in the same game IMO, as balancing one is completely different from balancing the other. If they stick to their guns with the “PvP will have abilities be different than their PvE counterparts” then that is fine; they are essentially two separate games at that point. But when PvP balance and PvE balance are included in the same game, that is when decisions are made for one that ruin the other.

  8. The idea of pre-made chars for PVP is ridiculous. The ultimate reward system is building an awesome char with bad ass gear and killing another player with it.

    When I was playing D2 nearly everyone I encountered in PVE was leveling a char or MFing for PVP. PVP extended D2’s life more than anything regardless of how imbalanced it was. 

    I’m all for nerfing certain skills in PVP mode but you absolutely should have to build that char, I won’t duel with someone else’s build. 

  9. NO. This is profoundly misguided.

    They will never achieve any tolerable level of balance across the board for PvP; there’s way too much variety in equipment and skills and runes, etc.  And it’s inexcusable that they’re denying their customers the pvp experience out of some pie-in-the-sky, maybe-someday-balanced esports goal. 

    What they can (and should) balance for an esport is a special tournament version of the game, where the PvP chars would be pre-made, like those in the Blizzcon Arena demos. The e-sports version of D3 pvp would involve pre-made chars that had some variety allowed (say you’ve got several different versions of each class to choose from, with different skills and gear.) These would then be tweaked and balanced through extensive testing, with balance fixes to specific skills, speeds, defenses, etc.

    That could create a great esports system, but it’s a long term project and should have zero bearing on the full, FFA version of PvP that should be included in launch. In fact, that player-evolved PvP would be a great tester for the esports version, as the devs would see what equipment, skills, builds, teams, etc worked best together, in infinitely more detailed testing than some handful of internal devs could ever manage.

    • Misguided? I’m not sure if you’re referring to my article or comments. I think the first thing I said in my exposition was that they’ll probably make the tournaments like WoW. (pre-made characters)

      • I don’t think he’s referring to the positions you take in the article or any of the comments in particular, but rather the general idea of trying to make D3 PvP e-sports viable, which is the main topic here.

        • I speak of the whole concept of delaying/excluding pvp at launch in order to save it for some future esports perfection that will never come.

    • I could see pre-made characters being a viable way to have Diablo 3 tournaments, with set teams of pre-made characters that would have to be played in rotation. Gear and skills would have to be set in place, and the players on each team would divide up the characters available amongst themselves. This would be a lot of work on Blizzard’s part, but it could create a “balanced” experience for a tournament. Shouldn’t really be part of the core game though, I’d say.

  10. Hey just a few things i want to ADD you 1st off your websites advertisements are annoying as fuck they keep moving my screen around (on the main page its up and down) (this page its left and right right being the center of the screen) moving like crazy making it hard to read something… may want to look into that very hard to focus…

    Back on topic Alright Personaly i think balancing pvp and pve wont be that big of an issue As long as they balance the stuns for pvp and leave them the same in pve And a few other things will need tweeking but if they just keep it so that in arenas skills act differently It wont be such a big problem. Also the pvp On a pro level will up there Rmah income I bet and not only that more streams and advertisment for more people to buy it.

    • they might as well all play the same class, then the balancing issue should have been overcome, shouldn’t it? 😛

  11. Are games like MTG balanced in the way most people are expecting an e-sport D3 PVP to be? Why can’t it be about who can come up with the most powerful team comp, gear set, and skill build mixed in with high level tactics and strategy? I think that would be pretty cool.. but would probably drive up prices for items similar to MTG a lot. I don’t play competitively but I heard competitive decks cost hundreds of dollars. This seems interesting to me.. any thoughts? What does balance for PVP mean anyways?

  12. I love Diablo – not Blizzard – and if Diablo 3’s PvE gets hammered by some stupid PvP balancing, I’ll be very quick to drop the game completely.

  13. “e-sport” has become such a meaningless buzzword. People will watch videos of your game on YouTube whether there’s competitive PvP or not, it doesn’t matter. The only money to be made is possibly a couple people getting money off of YouTube’s partner program.

    • I absolutely am with you. I’ve been a strong advocate for fixing the hostility system rather than removing it. A simple delay- be it 10 or 30 seconds-after hostility is declared and before it takes effect would pretty much prevent all hostility griefing.

  14. I lost all interest in PvP when I heard that there would be HC PvP without permanent death. Now I honestly don’t care if PvP is ever added.

  15. I don’t think it’s clear enough that this article is speculation. If D3 does become an e-sport then it’ll be because the game is so popular that people will demand it. And if the e-sport is implemented as PvP then it’ll be done with changed skills and items which aren’t random, same as WoW.
    I’d like to see PvE become an e-sport, since that’s what the series is all about. I can’t imagine how that might work in D3, but I could imagine it in D2:
    – Everyone uses the LoD cheat code to start in A5 with a naked level 30 character.
    – Set a goal which is attainable in 20 minutes, like kill Andariel or Diablo.
    – No parties allowed. Whoever gets quest credit, wins.
    – After 10 minutes allow the use of the hostile switch!
    Players would spend the first few minutes spreading out, since they can’t all farm the same area. Then once everyone’s got a weapon and has figured out what the map looks like, enable pvp!

  16. Diablo 3 was and will never be build for e-sport. Some games are MADE to be e-sport games, sc2. Some wasnt made for esport and still makes it other are e-sport made and fails. Its kinda sad seeing more and more games go for the esport side of things, its good PR for your game but…

  17. Why Even talk about a separate game or limit CC and stun locks??
    Here is a revolutionary idea why not just have a separate skill tree that is only active during PvP sessions? I LOVE PvP but i also sympathise with those who have no interest in dealing with it as well.

    Special tournament edition ❓ there is no reason that they cannot simply tweak the skills to allow for balance during PvP.

    I was an avid PvP fan during D2 glory days and also spent to many hours in WoW’s arenas. This is an issue that has plagued that system since it’s inception. As the game evolves so do the items that augment the skills that blend both styles of play, and ultimately one eclipses the other.

    Just have separate skill trees plain and simple.

  18. Meh, not worried about PvE, I’m not sure why they would sacrifice PvE integrity for a completely seperate PvP game. Now if hostile was still available I might say differently…

  19. I really hope blizzard will include a spectator mode in the new pvp patch. That would truely be a giant leap towards becoming an e-sport, because then there will have to be a competitive edge in the pvp for it to be entertaining, and that only happen if it´s balanced in some way.

  20. I think PVP was a necessity during D2 days because players never really had a proper “end-game”. I guess it is of human nature to strive to be the best by beating other players, which is fine for me. I just don’t think that a PVP Arena is the solution though.

    Players should be able to compete with other players, but not by killing them. The e-sport nature should still be PVE based. Like a beat-the-clock game to see which team can kill the boss the fastest, or who can defend their base the longest from incredibly hard waves of monsters, etc.

    I am all for e-sport. I just don’t want it to be purely about “I owned your face with my axe” kind of thing. We can have the satisfaction of showing off and bragging rights with PVE. I believe if they can figure out a great competitive endgame, there wouldn’t be a need for killing other players. Just something to use the fruits of our MF.

  21. Absolutely impossible fora PvP from a loot-oriented game with thousands of possibilities to be a legitimate esport. It will surely be tons of fun and competitive in a way, but there are allot of pieces missing, also the developers have said multiple times that it will not be like that.

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