Lead designer Jay Wilson said in a post on Battle.net that the PvP Arena system will arrive in a post-release patch.
“As we’re counting down the days until we’re ready to announce a release date for Diablo III, we’ve come to realize that the PvP game and systems aren’t yet living up to our standards,” he said.
“Today, we wanted to let you know that we’ve made the difficult decision to hold back the PvP Arena system and release it in a patch following the game’s launch. After a lot of consideration and discussion, we ultimately felt that delaying the whole game purely for PvP would just be punishing to everyone who’s waiting to enjoy the campaign and core solo/co-op content, all of which is just about complete.”
Blizzard said the PvP patch will add multiple Arena maps with themed locations and layouts, PvP-centric achievements, and a quick and easy matchmaking system. “We’ll also be adding a personal progression system that will reward you for successfully bashing in the other team’s skulls,” Wilson added.
“We know a lot of you are looking forward to PvP, and we’ll be focusing our post-launch efforts on making sure the Arenas are as brutal, bloody, fast-paced, and awesome as we know they can be. In the meantime, we’re in the process of putting the finishing touches on what we think is a truly epic campaign and co-op experience for launch.”
There’s been no official confirmation of a Diablo 3 launch date yet, although Amazon recently listed it for release on April 17.