Guest Article: The Perfect PVP World


We all want something different in PVP. Some of us love and play solely for it, while others have never and will never fight anything other than AI. Others PVP to pass time when they?re burnt out from endless PVE. Other than my long stint with EQ2, for the past ten or so years I?ve been playing games for PVP.

I?ve heard it many times before: PVP in Diablo II was an afterthought that?s inconsequential, boring, and poorly created. While I concede that the overall organization of PVP is rather poor and meaningless, Diablo 2 PVP is fun and very addicting. It kept me awake through many nights and made me reroll dozens of characters. It?s something beyond PVE, another level of competition.

But I, like most gamers, of course want more and expect more from Diablo III. I expect layers of greatness miles thick.

First and foremost it comes down to ensuring every class is viable and fun not only in PVE, but in PVP as well. Diablo II originally failed in this. Horribly, and for reasons I will not delve into as I mentioned most of them in my previous PvP articles that everyone should read. It may change your life.

Viability is capable only through class balancing. If the Wizard is far and away better than the other four Diablo III classes, PVP will not be very fun. We?ll see a bunch of Wizards throwing pink beams and balls of flaming magma at each other. The novelty will wear off when everyone realizes that the other characters cannot compete, that everyone is playing the game in the same exact way. Granted, this is a worse-case scenario, but anything is possible. As most of us know, balancing for PVP is one of the most difficult challenges for game designers. Certain spells and combinations that may be perfect in PvM will be overpowered and require patches to fix in PvP. We must give Blizzard time. Patience, says I.

Don?t get me wrong. I enjoy dueling with weaker characters as well—there’s more satisfaction when I kill an overpowered class—but getting repeatedly owned can and does get old. That said, every class should not be equal in every way. I would hate that and find it horribly boring; that sort of lack of diversity has killed the PvP in many other games that had potential to be good.

Simply, skills like teleport that give an obvious and unavoidable advantage need to go. Items like ?Exile? that only Paladins can use also need to go. Class items are cool, but if you make one extremely powerful, make them all extremely powerful. Where?s my uber Necromancer-only runeword? Oh wait?

On the topic of items, they should give a noticeable advantage in PVP and PVE. In terms of PVP, I prefer player-skill being the most important aspect, but that?s difficult to implement in anything other than First Person Shooters that require twitch reflexes. Diablo II came really close, as PVP is fast-paced and requires a fair amount of concentration and knowledge.

After player-skill comes items. If you?re one of those people who hates that some items are extremely hard to find and require weeks and months of fighting and exploring to acquire, you probably will not like me. I advocate extremely rare items, as they give hardcore players something to do and separate the guys who play fifty hours a week, from those who play ten. I?m closer to the ten hour guys, so I?m not trying to tailor the game for me. A noticeable separation is important in PVP; we need items to break apart the masses.

Should a level 85 Barbarian with decent gear be able to kill a level 85 Barbarian with godly gear if the decently geared guy has much more skill. Yes, but he needs to work for it. Granted, some match-ups will always favor one side, but that?s just how life and games work. In boxing, the boxer with the longer reach usually has the advantage. It?s common sense that we will probably see in Diablo III. A Barbarian with naturally higher resists has a better chance of defeating an FOH Paladin.

Like I said, we all want something different. I have tons of ideas for PVP that I?m sure Blizzard does not care about, but hopefully I?ll see a few of my wishes and wants. All I want is a perfect game with perfect PVP that keeps me satisfied for at least a decade or two. That?s really not much to ask.

—Sepi


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  1. Regarding that guy, another internet nutso.

    Regarding PvP undesired by both parties involved and MF, I would personally be happy if they left out these two things. D2 was awesome, but there are still some horrible parts to prune for improvement – and these were two of them. Old does not always been better! …or worse!

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