Only two months before the release of Diablo 3, Blizzard unceremoniously cut the planned PvP Arena system from the game, promising a patch at a later date. Nine months later, it appears Team Deathmatch is no closer to release.
Game director Jay Wilson said that dueling will come some time after the new year in patch 1.07, but the team is going back to the drawing board on Team Deathmatch. "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," he said, adding that depth and balance are key factors in the delay and need for a revamp.
Players have had a chance to play the mode at previous BlizzCons, and it was generally well received, but Wilson said internal testing revealed that the mode was probably not something people would continue to play in its current form, as they do in World of Warcraft's Battlegrounds. "For now, though, we're going to first be looking at new modes that play up to the strengths of the character classes, focus on objectives beyond just defeating other players, and possibly even integrate PvE elements and rewards," he said.
On the positive side, more news on the dueling patch should be forthcoming in the next few days.