Diablo III Hands-On - Player-Versus-Player Arena

BlizzCon 2010: Put your skills to the test in this new competitive mode for Diablo III.

The announcement of Diablo III’s demon hunter class wasn’t the only new feature revealed at this year’s BlizzCon. Blizzard also took the wraps off a player-versus-player mode that pits teams of three players against each other in a confined arena. We jumped into a match that originally pitted a team of two witch doctors and a wizard against a team of a barbarian and a witch doctor--all equipped with a couple of special skills and abilities. We selected the barbarian, spawned into the arena, and discovered just how chaotic this mode can be.

What becomes immediately apparent is how functioning as a team and adopting a complementary strategy between classes is quite important. As a barbarian, our first inclination was to run immediately toward the enemy team and inflict as much damage on its players as possible, letting the witch doctor focus on individual opposing players that strayed from their pack. The problem with this was that barbarians get absolutely obliterated before they even get close enough to do any serious damage. The leap attack can help close the distance a little more quickly, but if you whiff, then you basically jump right into a trap where the witch doctor can cast horrify and then the wizard can blast you with disintegrate.

The other issue with this particular combination of classes on our team was with the design of the arena itself. Pits made it easy for classes with numerous projectile attacks to take a step back and chip away at classes that had no long-distance answer. With the pillars, barbarians could run behind them to seek cover and wait, but members of the other team knew better than to pursue, yelling “Play defensive!”

So with our team continually getting decimated, two of us decided to even the odds a little by selecting the wizard class and having our third player stick with the witch doctor. This made an enormous difference, as we were able to hold back more often and take defensive positions while still inflicting damage. We also developed a strategy where one wizard would run in and cast meteor to get members of the opposing team out of their defensive positions in case they were being stubborn. The action still got pretty messy anytime both teams met near the middle of the arena, but it usually only lasted for a few seconds before the teams separated and regrouped.

After playing dozens of matches, it was great to see how both teams continually evolved their strategies. But it will be interesting to see how this mode changes when players can use characters that are specialized in a specific way and what sort of team combinations will sprout out of that. Still, the PVP arena offers plenty of fast-paced action with matches that only last for several or so minutes, so the competitive set should feel right at home.

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33 comments
arruu2000
arruu2000

humm.. This game is not looking good. I have a bad feeling about it.. just as I had with DNForever and DungeonSiege 3. It seems there won´t be much char customization.. just a few skills, bad weapon design... All the ingredientes needed for an awkard action rpg. I hope they prove me wrong!

thr3
thr3

this is only a rumor but it says they might release Q4 2011 and might be on consoles as well

trotromiel
trotromiel

@ JohnisGodd and all? what are you, holden cauldfield? xD

rasputin177
rasputin177

once i get this game i will not "need" anything else for a long time.

vadagar1
vadagar1

@ross1001 take your time and hurry up???!! contradiction computational overload. error error .......*head explodes* hehe just messing with yah hope they take their time but not too much time XD.

mclarke81
mclarke81

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ross1001
ross1001

I've been dreaming about this game! Blizzard please take your time and hurry up!

swmdwn
swmdwn

mr. Blizzard, when is this thing going to be released?

Decardcain
Decardcain

11/11/11 =33 against 666 the release day...20 years after the last events... 666/33=20... lord of terror corrupt... tyrael himshelf... and the heavens shall tremple...

vadagar1
vadagar1

hope the game is hard to play like diablo 1 :P overall it looks very promising, not interested in arena to be honest but its a nice addition, makes a much more balanced game, and balance = challenge = more fun overall.

GiulianoGS
GiulianoGS

Everything that comes out about Diablo III seems perfect... I'm expecting to much from this game, I just hope it does not let me down...

kaeyny
kaeyny

hope i can't finish this game in 24hours..Lets see what did blizzard improve on this diablo III and hope the result will not disappoint us for taking so long construct this amazing game.

JohnisGodd
JohnisGodd

All the arena needs now is some sort of fame system associated with killls. Don;t get me wronng, stealing everyone's gold and ears was fun and all. But I kinda want a little more recognition.

Delroc
Delroc

if it takes years to make a amazing game i'm cool with that, quality over quantity. i'm actually glad we still have companies like blizzard that care about releasing a good product.

amiman23
amiman23

Quite frankly I'm losing enthusiasm and interest. Torchlight is a distant memory and they made that game based on the excitement of Diablo 3. Are they just using it for tax write offs? Get off your asses and release the damn thing alright already!

Exorte
Exorte

@Hjindee yea, but no word on the release date, soo.... Anyways this year blizzcon will have 1000 random attendant get a free diablo 3 beta key, that alone shows Diablo3 is in far far away land, because normally all people that attend Blizzcon gets one.

Payback7
Payback7

Can't wait for this - bring on the RPG LAN's!!!! :) WWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Pete5506
Pete5506

I cant wait for this game even if I have to wait another 5 years

NotoriusGlaedr
NotoriusGlaedr

Like Seriously , I feel like blizzard is Cockteasing me, i just wanna play this already XP

Hjindee
Hjindee

Jay Wilson said at a interview at BlizzCon - The beta will start up 6 months before release of Diablo 3

ecs33
ecs33

If I sign up for the beta using my crappy work computer for a rig, will I be able to install it on my gaming desktop? ;)

Vlaimir_Lem86
Vlaimir_Lem86

Announce a release date already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lightwarrior179
lightwarrior179

Structure arena-based PvP sounds like a perfect addition to the already amazing Diablo multiplayer formula. All we want from Blizzard now is to announce a definite release date for this. :D

Hakud0ushi
Hakud0ushi

The game deserves all the time spent in the making. Perfect.

Exorte
Exorte

@ Suisser Judging from the things they reveal in the panel, no. They still have a ton of work in front of them. For example, they have like 16 different color of dye, and they are going to hand pick what the color conbin look good. Then the skill rune all have unique skill effect because they found everyone only use the skill rune that have unique look. There are 24 skill per class and 5 rune for each skill, resulting 120 skill effect per cass. Then there are 7 rank of runes and unknown number of rank for skills.

FuriousHamst3r
FuriousHamst3r

No chance for an announcement of the release date, keeps the Diablo franchise fans on the edge.

Decrate
Decrate

i am getting too excited.. diablo 3.. arenas.. omg..

_Yosh_
_Yosh_

Do not tempt me!

Suisser
Suisser

Do you think that they might surprise us with a date for release.

Madrak_Arakeen
Madrak_Arakeen

Now, that's great. Structured PvP. No more griefers needing to ambush players in the field to get their PvP groove on. That is a relief.

Torff
Torff

Can't wait to try out the Diablo III :)