Diablo 3's planned Team Deathmatch update has been scrapped, Blizzard game director Jay Wilson has revealed.
In a PvP update posted on December 27, Wilson wrote: "Of course, our goal has been to release our Team Deathmatch mode as soon as possible, but we don't want to put anything out there before it's ready. Right now, Team Deathmatch isn't yet where we want it to be, so I want to provide some insight into where we are at in the development process."
He continued: "Our original intent with PvP for Diablo III was to provide more formal support for the duelling community that existed in Diablo II. We wanted to give players some kind of structure that would not only make it easier for you to duel with one another, but also allow you to have duels that were team-based. This is how our Team Deathmatch mode emerged, and it's been instrumental in making a lot of improvements to Diablo III. But 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."
"Certainly, we've gotten a lot of benefits from the development of Team Deathmatch, especially in the areas of controls and combat model tuning, 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."
Whilst Team Deathmatch is no longer on the table, player duelling will be introduced very soon as part of patch 1.0.7.
In regards to a replacement for Team Deathmatch, Wilson says it's back to the drawing board.
"Team Deathmatch provided us with the foundation that we needed and served us well. Hell, it may even still be added in some form in the future. 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.
"While we don't have any further information to share right now about our plans for additional PvP modes, we really look forward to posting more about duelling in the next few days."