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Pick a fight: Diablo III finally adds PvP combat in 1.07 patch

Diablo III Patch 1.07 preview

In the run up to the release of Diablo III, players hoped against hope that the game would recapture the magic of Diablo II while also adding a number of modern accoutrements. The latter effort was a success, and Diablo III features a number of clever, innovative features. However, it does not feature one of Diablo II’s most beloved aspects: player versus player combat (despite the fact that we’ve been promised PvP battles in Diablo III since before it hit store shelves).

In usual Blizzard style, Diablo III’s PvP combat has been missing from the game so far not due to negligence, but instead because Blizzard Entertainment is intensely strict about its “it’s done when it’s done” design mantra. The company has made enough money from massive hits like World of Warcraft and the StarCraft franchise that publishers (read: Blizzard parent company Activision) no longer give the firm strict deadlines, and instead rely on Blizzard’s development chops to eventually deliver content that will inevitably attract millions of gamers. This has been a successful strategy for all of Blizzard’s modern releases to date, and thus it should come as little surprise that the company is taking its sweet time in rolling out Diablo III’s PvP gameplay options.

Fortunately, it seems we won’t have to wait much longer. This morning Blizzard unveiled a preview of Diablo III’s upcoming 1.07 patch, which includes player versus player combat. Have a look at the pertinent details:

How it Works:

  • To duel another player, you’ll need to speak with Nek the Brawler at the inn in New Tristram
  • Speaking with Nek will take you and your party to the Scorched Chapel, a new zone designed specifically for player combat
  • This zone has custom geometry and features four different areas: the church, the graveyard, the river, and the lake
  • Dueling currently supports up to four players in a Free-For-All format, which means you can battle your friends either one-on-one, three-player FFA, or a full four-player FFA
In case player versus player fighting isn’t your cup of tea, Blizzard’s preview also includes coverage of all of the patch’s other features. These include a number of changes to both player abilities and the behavior of Diablo III’s demonic enemies, but also alter a few minor elements, such as expanding a player’s loot radius. If you’re a fan of the game, consider it recommended reading.
As for when you’ll be able to download the 1.07 patch, that’s still up in the air. Blizzard claims that the patch will appear on Diablo III’s Public Test Realm servers shortly, and barring any catastrophes we predict that it should be available to the public shortly after that. Once Blizzard’s representatives offer up further information on the patch or when it might see its official debut, we’ll bring that to you.

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