En garde, and whatnot. We lately learned that duelling was to arrive in Diablo 3 soon by way of apology for the scuttling of Diablo team deathmatch. How soon? Well. The update will hit the Public Test Realm imminently, and what hits the PTR soon slides over into the game proper. So: who wants to know how it works?
To duel another player, you’ll want to speak with Nek the Brawler at New Tristram’s inn. He’ll teleport you and your party to the Scorched Chapel - a new zone designed with PvP in mind. The Chapel features four different areas - the church, the graveyard, the river and the lake - and supports between two and four players in a free-for-all deathmatch. Death is never permanent in the Chapel, and merely sees players respawned in the same zone.
“Our intent is to provide players a safe, opt-in location where they can fight one another for bragging rights (or maybe science) without the potential for griefing as it existed in Diablo II,” says technical game designer and former Blizzard North-er Wyatt Cheng.
The mode features no score-keeping or rewards. It’s a simple system designed to be so, because - and Cheng paraphrases Michael Caine here - “some players just want to beat each other up”. While I don’t think that’s nearly as profound as I’d like it to be, duelling is the answer to that eternal question - ‘would my guy beat yours?’.
What else is coming in 1.0.7, then? Let’s see here. The Wizard will benefit from a damage buff to skills including Arcane Orb, Blizzard and Shock Pulse, while The Monk will gain a huge damage buff for all Spirit Spenders.
“One of the most common uses for Spirit is to recast Mantra of Conviction-Overawe for the 3 second bonus,” explains Cheng. “While this is totally legitimate, we want to provide alternate uses for your extra Spirit. As a result, we are greatly buffing all the damage-dealing Spirit Spenders to try and provide an alternate use for your Spirit.”
“Quality of life” improvements, meanwhile, come in two forms. Firstly, Blizzard are increasing item pickup radius by a small amount to reduce any frustration to be had in gold-hoovering. And secondly, the developers are removing the incrementing resurrection timer on consecutives deaths and replacing it with a consistent five-second wait.
A number of other significant changes due in 1.0.7 are also listed in Cheng’s blog post: namely the introduction of Hellfire Ring-type items outside of Infernal Machine, a new tier of gems, and Monster Power for public games. Cheng assures us that full patch notes will be available soon - and, of course, if you’re a PTR resident you’ll be able to give the major changes a spin in advance.
What say you to all this, then?