Starting today, bounties will be doubled in Diablo III until the end of Season 21! Additionally, PTR testing timelines will be extended going forward so that the team can collect as much feedback as possible and make changes before patches go live.
The trials this season brings upon a new event for the community. Starting from 11am PT today and through the end of Season 21, all bounties will be doubled. What does this exactly entail? All Horadric Caches earned from bounties will be doubled. This means that each time you complete bounties in an Act, you will now receive two Horadric Caches as opposed to just one. Double the bounty rewards!
There are a few things to keep in mind with this effect:
The bonus cache does benefit from difficulty level; it is essentially as though you completed twice the bounties.
The rewards inside the Horadric Caches are otherwise unaffected; drop rates or the amount of individual rewards have not been altered.
The bonus cache earned from Challenge Rifts is not affected; this is a separate type of cache.
Check out our Game Guide for a list of bounty-exclusive Legendary items and more information on the Bounty system.
On top of this, we would like to note that we plan on extending PTR testing timelines prior to each new season going forward. This will result in a slightly extended season, and will allow for 2 weeks of PTR testing for the community along with an additional week for the team to implement and work feedback/changes in before the season begins. The intention here is to make sure we can apply as much feedback as possible from the community during these PTR timelines while also giving us a good amount of time to test these changes before they go live.
The community has been full of rumors and rumblings in regards to the recent updated trailer for Diablo: Immortal, which you can view below. We can see in the final scene of the trailer that Baal is back; however, we already knew that information. While there are plenty of new clips added into this trailer, the majority of the video is still the same footage as the original announcement from 2018. You can see the same tease of the Lord of Destruction from the older trailer, even the poor fallen and cultists caught in Baal's wrath.
Demons coming back to life is something we're all familiar with in Diablo games as their ability to resurrect has been well established in lore, but the process by which they return has never been fleshed out. At the end of Diablo II Baal had infused his soulstone into the essence of the Worldstone, corrupting it to a point that Tyrael decided the best course of action was to destroy the ancient artifact. Hunting down these corrupted shards of the Worldstone forms the basis of the story for Immortal and they will undoubtedly play a part in Baal's return.
We know from comments the developers made during BlizzCon 2018 that we will delve deeper into the machinations of how the Lords of Hell are resurrected, and that Skarn, one of Diablo's minions, is also looking to speed up the process of his lord's return through the shards of the Worldstone. I wouldn't be surprised to see other fan favorite characters in Immortal since the fates of Mephisto, Duriel, and Andariel are all unknown during this time period.
Baal's return does raise some interesting questions for the overall story of the franchise. We know that by the events of Diablo III Baal is dead, since his soul is captured in the Black Soulstone, and that if he were to still be alive it would cause a major disruption in Diablo's plans to steal the powers of the other Great Evils to become the Prime Evil. Could we receive help from Diablo's minions such as Adria during the game? Or could the Lord of Terror himself have a more direct hand in ensuring his brother, Baal, is dead? I look forward to the lore and world building that Immortal promises and how the game will expand our knowledge of the inner workings of Sanctuary, Hell, and beyond.
Q2 ATVI Earnings Call
Not much was mentioned for the Diablo franchise in this quarter's call, but there was a change in how Blizzard was framing the next testing phase for Diablo Immortal. In previous earnings calls, Blizzard had mentioned that Immortal was slated to begin regional testing "mid year", but now they're stating that the game will go into expanded company wide testing shortly. For more information on this, be sure to check out the Diablo: Immortal 2020 Mid-Year update from Lead Designer Wyatt Cheng
Later on in the Q&A section of the call there were some interesting points brought up about how they approached marketing for Call of Duty: Warzone by using limited marketing before the launch of the game, and ATVI is looking into expanding that kind of marketing practice to other Call of Duty titles. We've seen this kind of strategy put into practice for Immortal as well, since we've heard so little about the game since it was original announcement and subsequent backlash surrounding it.
When asked directly about the original plans for Immortal's regional testing, J. Allen Brack responded that at Blizzard they have a wide demographic of gamers that they'll be sourcing feedback from in their company wide testing, and that their goal is to deliver a deep and engaging RPG on mobile that will be authentic to the Diablo experience which will meet the expectations of core Diablo players. Brack also took the opportunity to discuss Diablo IV briefly, saying that development on that title was moving along well and that the team is motivated by the community's excitement around the quarterly development blogs.
It’s been a little while since you’ve heard from us, so we wanted check in and share an update on how development has been progressing for Diablo Immortal. We have seen many burning questions about the status of development on Diablo Immortal and rest assured, the team has been hard at work.
We have transitioned to working from home, the team is still making good progress, and we are delighted to be marching toward key development milestones. One of the most important milestones for every new game at Blizzard is the internal company playtest. Blizzard is full of passionate gamers with a diverse range of playstyles and gaming tastes—the internal company playtest allows the development team to access that deep well of feedback.
The Diablo Immortal team is eager to see how our Blizzard colleagues around the world experience our game. From the very first login to choosing a Legendary item to perfectly complement your build, we’ll be soliciting feedback to guide our decisions as we iterate on the game before it goes beyond Blizzard’s walls. In our quest to reimagine what is possible on mobile, we want to make sure the game delivers authentic Diablo combat with traditional Blizzard polish in a way that is natively intuitive on the platform.
Once our playtest concludes, the team will focus on working through the feedback. This milestone is crucial to our team because we want to ensure that Diablo Immortal is the best experience for our players when we’re ready to share it with the world. Getting the game into the hands of more of us at Blizzard is a major step toward getting it into yours.
Diablo Immortal is coming together, and we can’t wait to share more details about our ongoing testing and release plans as development progresses. On a personal note, I also wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support and patience. On behalf of the Diablo Immortal team, we are grateful that you have been on this journey with us so far and we appreciate all of the interest for our game. Know that the minions of hell are hard at work and we can’t wait to show you everything we’ve been doing when the time is right.
Earlier today, Reddit user /u/RandomMan00posted about some changes they had noticed on the Chinese Diablo Immortal website. The majority of the new videos that were linked in that Reddit post are updated intros for all of the announced playable classes in Immortal and are different from the ones currently shown on the Immortal websites from other regions. The updated intros for the Wizard, Monk, and Demon Hunter match the ones seen in the BlizzCon 2019 demo, but these videos were never shared online apart from the few live streams that were shown from the convention.
The intros for the Crusader and Necromancer are completely new, but that is because neither of these classes were playable at BlizzCon 2019 for the clips to be shown. The Barbarian intro is the most interesting of all as the while the animation and majority of the character model are exactly the same as the one from BlizzCon 2019 the face is completely different and the skin tone has changed, hinting at the possibility of character customization being included in the game.
Character customization has been a key feature that Blizzard has talked about for Diablo IV, but we've not heard any news about such a feature being included in Immortal. Character customization is a huge component of most RPGs and skins, tints, or other similar systems are prevalent across all genres of games nowadays, so adding in the feature for Immortal to allow players to make their characters unique is a welcomed addition. The timing of these updates are rather convenient ahead of the ChinaJoy gaming convention scheduled to start tomorrow, July 31st.
Ever since Blizzard's comments that Immortal would begin regional testing sometime "mid-year" the community has been filled with rumors and speculation on just when we'll get more news on the game and many are expecting to hear something from this weekend's convention. Looking ahead for other potential updates, there is another quarterly investor conference from ATVI schedule for August 4th and Blizzard will also be participating in the online gamescom show which takes place from August 27th - 30th.