Blizzard has decided to halt development of Diablo III’s planned Team Deathmatch mode.
Diablo III lead game director Jay Wilson explained the reasons behind the decisions. Simply put, after developing the mode and playtesting it, the team “found that it falls short of our expectations for a high-quality Blizzard experience.”
According to Wilson, most playtesters were interested in the mode at the beginning but then got bored with it after a few play hours.
“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,” he blogged.
The design team also found it nearly impossible to achieve the perfect class balance required for Team Deathmatch gameplay.
“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,” admitted Wilson. “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.”