Blizzard has decided to scrap its planned implementation of Team Deathmatch for Diablo III. Diablo III lead game director Jay Wilson explained why the company nixed the mode in a post on the official Diablo III site.
“In continuing to develop this mode, playtest it, and put it in front of other developers within the company, we've found that it falls short of our expectations for a high-quality Blizzard experience,” stated Wilson.
Wilson cited game depth and class balance as two problems which reared their ugly heads in Diablo III Team Deathmatch.
“Simply fighting each other with no other objectives or choices to make gets old relatively quickly. We've brought a lot of people in to try out Team Deathmatch and, while some found it entertaining, most of our testers didn't feel like it was something they'd want to do beyond a few hours. Without more varied objectives, or very lucrative rewards, few saw our current iteration as something they'd want spend a lot of time in,” wrote Wilson.
“Diablo III was designed to be a PvE-first kind of game, where we never compromised on player abilities in the name of future PvP balance. We want to be able to carry over as many of the crazy runes, items, and skills as possible, with their crazy effects, and alter them as little as possible. In a casual PvP mode, something equivalent to a WoW Battleground, this would be fine, but Team Deathmatch felt very hardcore, and it put a laser focus on class balance in a way that we didn't think would be good for the game as a whole.”
“Certainly, we've gotten a lot of benefits from the development of Team Deathmatch, especially in the areas of controls and combat model tuning, but at this point we don't believe it's the experience we feel it needs to be in order to ship, so we will be shelving it for now and exploring other options,” he added. “We are going back to the drawing board on a new replacement for Team Deathmatch, something that feels more appropriate for Diablo III. And as we stated previously, regardless of when we release it, it'll be a free addition to the game.”
Wilson said dueling will still be coming to Diablo III with patch 1.0.7, scheduled to be released “sometime after the new year”.