The Dueling Dev Blog says:
"Note that there is no special exclusivity or isolation from outside interference just because a duel has been agreed. Other players can interact with the combatants exactly as normal, providing that they are prepared to accept the normal Crimewatch consequences. (Interfering in a Limited Engagement via remote-assistance can net the assistor a Suspect flag, making him a global target)."I say officially because before it was something that the players had converted into a thing. Can flipping before had another side effect. The entire corporation could come in and dishonor the 1v1 without taking any penalty. The changes to crimewatch, as noted in the dev blog have made the can flipped 1v1's a dog pile on whomever flags as a suspect.
As I read through the comments in the thread I am surprised that people consider this dumbing down, a War of Warcraft feature and removing sand from the sandbox. 1v1s have always existed. The crimewatch changes actually removed them. Now they have returned.
I've never had a problem with 1v1 duels. I've just had a problem with people saying that they are the only acceptable way to fight and all other PvP was trash, etc, etc, etc. As long as others could still come up and interfere let people fight each other without flagging. Corporations do this all of the time. Game space exists where there is no flagging.
The thing I'd like to add is duel tracking. I don't mean on the level of public announcements. I mean that I want to hold someone to their honor as they gave it. I posted on the comments thread and I asked for a persistent notification or record of the duel. Kill mail notation would also be nice.
Corporations like my own (many of the pirate corporations) believe in honoring 1v1 combat if it is agreed upon. I have a story, buried somewhere earlier in the year, when someone challenged Ender to a 1v1 while we were in fleet. He had to jump into our fleet, because we were on a gate, and warp to Ender. We sat there and let him pass and waited until the fight was over. No one warped to them, no one offered assistance. We did kill a Tengu which was fun while we waited. We all made ISK that day because of it.
Respecting 1v1 fighting is important to some of us. It is a time of pilot skills. One of the fastest ways to receive scorn is to let people know that you betray agreed upon 1v1 fights. It will get you rejected from corporations and scorned by locals. I say agreed upon. If a fight starts as 1v1 and turns into Hot Drop O'clock by a third party, such is life.
At the end of the dev blog they speak of working so that it can apply to larger groups and entire fleets. As long as the fight never becomes an uninterruptible instance I'm all for that. If duels introduce high sec dwellers to ship loss and PvP they can say yes to in high sec it might help some people push themselves over the edge of their own fear.