In its continuing quest to release Diablo III sometime before the rabid fanbase burns the building down, Blizzard has decided to drop the game's player-versus-player arena combat feature for release, adding it into the game via patch at a later date.
Diablo III maestro Jay Wilson made the announcement earlier today via the Diablo III website, explaining that the game's PVP systems weren't living up to Blizzard standards. Rather than hold back the game's release until the feature was ready for general consumption, the feature has been held back for further tuning.
While we work on making sure PvP lives up to its full potential, we hope you'll find some consolation in the fact that soon, you'll be having a blast leveling characters, finding items, learning the classes, and perfecting builds…and that when the Arenas do arrive, you'll be all the better prepared for battle.
The up side to this is, of course, we'll be getting our hands on Diablo III single-player and co-op much sooner.
The down side? I was really looking forward to the PVP in Diablo III. In fact, I don't think the phrase "really looking forward to the PVP" has ever crossed my lips before now.
Perhaps it's all for the best.
When the PvP patch is ultimately ready, it will add multiple Arena maps with themed locations and layouts, PvP-centric achievements, and a matchmaking system that will help you and your team get into fairly matched games quickly and easily. We'll also be adding a personal progression system that will reward you for successfully bashing in the other team's skulls.
We know a lot of you are looking forward to PvP, and we'll be focusing our post-launch efforts on making sure the Arenas are as brutal, bloody, fast-paced, and awesome as we know they can be. In the meantime, we're in the process of putting the finishing touches on what we think is a truly epic campaign and co-op experience for launch.
At least we'll get plenty of practice, right?