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Brawling is a form of consensual PvP combat. In a brawl each character consents to engage in head to head combat. Brawls can be one on one or may take place in duelling games, which are FFA (free for all) battles with multiple characters engaged at once.

Brawling was introduced Patch 1.0.7 on the Patch Test Realm released in January 2013. During its testing, based on community feedback, it was changed from Duelling to Brawling to better reflect the nature of the fight.[1]

While the system we designed for 1.0.7 was developed in order to give players a fun way to beat each other up in Diablo III, we've come to realize that "dueling" wasn’t the best name for it. Sure, it allows players to pummel, stomp, immolate, and hex fellow Nephalem (over and over again, if they so choose), but it's not a traditional one-on-one duel. It’s something much more wild and open-ended, where you can engage in 3-person and even 4-person free-for-all skirmishes with few restrictions. The system is all about letting players fight for the sake of fighting—you don’t need to worry about objectives, rewards, or scoring, and that’s exactly what we love about it. But again, that’s not really dueling; it’s brawling!

There's a lot of power in a name, and we think that the idea of a brawl more accurately describes the system we created.

Brawling is not PK

Brawling is not the same thing as Player Killing, since PKing is about sneak attacks and non-consensual PvP.

Diablo III does not allow Player Killing.

Brawling Rules

Regular PvP players generally adhere to a list of (informal, largely unwritten) rules. These are generally lists of banned practices, or buggy items that must not be used since they convey an unfair or unbeatable advantage. What is on and off this ever-changing list is not known to outsiders. It's therefore a good idea to read some duelling forums or talk to other players before a fight, to be sure of the ground rules.

Generally speaking, drinking potions or using shrines is not allowed. Originally people used a lot of absorption and damage reduction gear, but that is now often limited.

Most serious duellists in Diablo II kept several sets of spare equipment in their stash, and could change into different outfits depending on the class and build of the character they were duelling.

Duelling in Diablo II

Duelling is not specifically supported in Diablo II. There were no arena game types or special duelling ladders, so players who duelled did it strictly for fun, or word of mouth prestige.

In Diablo II, duels were customarily fought in areas that were cleared of monsters. Which character builds were most effective varied a great deal between patches, and there was seldom any "best" character, since there was too much variety in strengths and weaknesses. Rock-paper-scissors was the way of it, though some rocks were necessarily heavier than others.

A recent guest article on discussed how duelling has evolved over time Diablo II, and it's a useful read if you want a more historical perspective.


  1. Name change from deulling to brawling - Lylirra, Community Manager , 09/02/2013