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Top French Publication Says Diablo 4 Has Been Shown to Blizzard Employees

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Le Monde, one of France's most respected publications, said in a piece published yesterday (full content for subscribers only) about the layoffs at Blizzard Europe and that Diablo 4 was shown to Blizzard employees.

The article focuses mostly on the struggles at Blizzard Europe caused by the process of laying off 30% of the employees, which has apparently not been completed yet. Later in the article, the author starts explaining Blizzard's current situation, with most of its titles reaching the end of their lives or having not performed as expected. The following paragraph then follows about the future of the company.

Quote

Quid de l’avenir ? Les équipes de Blizzard Entertainment ont déjà eu le droit à une présentation du très attendu Diablo 4 et savent qu’un nouveau Overwatch est dans les tuyaux. Mais aucun ne sortira avant 2020, au mieux, et les salariés de Versailles ignorent s’ils en verront la couleur. « Activision Blizzard fera moins de bénéfices, mais fera quand même beaucoup de bénéfices », veut croire un vétéran.

This translates as:

What about the future? Teams at Blizzard Entertainment have already been presented with the long-awaited Diablo 4 and know that a new Overwatch game is in development. But neither of these two games will be released before 2020, at the very best, and employees at Versailles have no idea if they will still be around when they eventually release. « Activision Blizzard will be making less of a profit, but this will still amount to a lot of profit », says a veteran employee.

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It is rather disturbing when you read this article....as a fan and or loyal patron of any franchise you want the company to succeed, flourish, and create exceptional content.  However you also don't want to feel as if the final product you received has been 'slapped together' at the very last moment with a sense of disappointment for waiting on years for it to be released in the first place.

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22 minutes ago, Ragingwolf said:

It is rather disturbing when you read this article....as a fan and or loyal patron of any franchise you want the company to succeed, flourish, and create exceptional content.  However you also don't want to feel as if the final product you received has been 'slapped together' at the very last moment with a sense of disappointment for waiting on years for it to be released in the first place.

Just show blizz the freefolk sub on reddit to show what awaits for a hyped project with a disappointing end...

 

They could look at Blizz related threads too but that ones salty enough. (I agree, S8 was a rubbish ending, but no amount of moaning will fix that or make them redo it...)

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40 minutes ago, Ragingwolf said:

It is rather disturbing when you read this article....as a fan and or loyal patron of any franchise you want the company to succeed, flourish, and create exceptional content.  However you also don't want to feel as if the final product you received has been 'slapped together' at the very last moment with a sense of disappointment for waiting on years for it to be released in the first place.

Moral of the story: people refuse to be content.

*shrug*

 

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Blizzard used to wait years past the original "expected release date".     They held to the "wait until it's ready" in the face of everything.

And it worked.     Quality products take time and testing.  The moment they began trying to meet deadlines no matter the readiness or testing state of the product is when the real Blizzard Entertainment died.   

Edited by Migol
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was there any more information about how D4 looks like or what kind of systems (like for skills, attributes etc) it uses or the itemization it has?

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7 minutes ago, clueso said:

was there any more information about how D4 looks like or what kind of systems (like for skills, attributes etc) it uses or the itemization it has?

Sure not. But one can easily speculate that if Diablo 4 exists and will survive enough to be released, it will surely be cross-platform and will have microtransactions.

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1 hour ago, Ragingwolf said:

It is rather disturbing when you read this article....as a fan and or loyal patron of any franchise you want the company to succeed, flourish, and create exceptional content.  However you also don't want to feel as if the final product you received has been 'slapped together' at the very last moment with a sense of disappointment for waiting on years for it to be released in the first place.

What's more interesting is why they keep Diablo 4 still as a secret. It's important to note that they never officially named this "Diablo project" as "4". Perhaps it has something to do with them testing games from different genres. Apparently there were some cancelled projects, which makes me wonder if new Diablo is really the 4th, straight continuation and more of the same, or something else.

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It almost has to be a continuation as Diablo 3 left off storywise with Tyrion almost anointing the Nephalim as the new threat.

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4 hours ago, Migol said:

It almost has to be a continuation as Diablo 3 left off storywise with Tyrion almost anointing the Nephalim as the new threat.

But if us (the nephalem) have transcended to a power level matching archangels and prime evils (effectively the most powerful beings of the Diablo Universe), who can stop him/her? 

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44 minutes ago, VirgilvanDijk said:

Meh, not bothered by any ill Diablo 4 news. PoE is great and Baldur's Gate 4 is in the making.

Yet bothered enough to leave this comment. Anyway, I seriously doubt anyone is too excited for Diablo 4. If game releases of the past few years have taught us anything - that is not to get hyped by anything and expect at least playability.

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14 hours ago, Migol said:

Blizzard used to wait years past the original "expected release date". They held to the "wait until it's ready" in the face of everything.

And it worked. Quality products take time and testing.  The moment they began trying to meet deadlines no matter the readiness or testing state of the product is when the real Blizzard Entertainment died.   

Used to? Reports say they recently canceled a Starcraft FPS Shooter and completely rebooted Diablo 4 in 2016. Even Diablo: Immortal is taking longer to release than they initially anticipated. They're still shipping games when they're ready, or not at all.

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15 hours ago, Migol said:

Blizzard used to wait years past the original "expected release date".     They held to the "wait until it's ready" in the face of everything.

And it worked.     Quality products take time and testing.  The moment they began trying to meet deadlines no matter the readiness or testing state of the product is when the real Blizzard Entertainment died.   

They still don't hold onto deadlines and do as they used to. Diablo Immortal is delayed, other projects canceled. And the WarCraft 3 Reforged Beta, which was supposed to come during spring time, also got delayed.

IMHO the problem is the mix of two things. 
High demands from a community who just complains and is never thankful.
And the high popularity and quality of previous games which is always hard to surpass.

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3 minutes ago, Alkasar said:

They still don't hold onto deadlines and do as they used to. Diablo Immortal is delayed, other projects canceled. And the WarCraft 3 Reforged Beta, which was supposed to come during spring time, also got delayed.

IMHO the problem is the mix of two things. 
High demands from a community who just complains and is never thankful.
And the high popularity and quality of previous games which is always hard to surpass.

Although W3 Reforged is slated to release no later than end of december 2019, so they have to keep this date, since pre-orders are being sold (I think it makes them obliged to do so by law, they were never late in similar cases with WoW expansions).

Demands from community matter, but not as much when making decisions. People active on forums don't always represent what will sell. Best quite recent example was a backlash against void elf race on forums, yet by statistics they are the most played allied race on Alliance, surpassing even some vanilla ones. If "community" is to be believed, almost no one should be playing them.

Another issue is that they are trying to capitalise on current gold rush, whatever genre/mechanics are popular these days. That's why we are not going to see another RTS, "good enough" numbers are not good for company and it's share holders. They are aiming at numbers similar to top games like Fortnite as much as possible. In Blizzard's case, it's also Overwatch's "fault", when it exploded during first year, so this sets high expectations in the company, what should be considered successful. 

As for Diablo, there is going to be backlash anyway, especially from those hating on Diablo 3. Those who are expecting Diablo 2 with better graphics (because, according to them, Diablo 3 "failed"), are going to be disappointed and will keep complaining anyway.

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4 minutes ago, Arcling said:

As for Diablo, there is going to be backlash anyway, especially from those hating on Diablo 3. Those who are expecting Diablo 2 with better graphics (because, according to them, Diablo 3 "failed"), are going to be disappointed and will keep complaining anyway.

True. I have a friend who's really into Vanilla WoW and he's always into some new drama about WoW Classic being different and not what he wants. This is just neverending. It's actually funny since you brought up Fortnite. Fortnite Reddit was always incredibly whiny and bitchy about pretty much everything, and sometimes good new ideas from devs got buried or implemented but then removed only because the devs were listening to the most active minority they would abandon their own game design philosophy to fit.

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19 hours ago, Migol said:

It almost has to be a continuation as Diablo 3 left off storywise with Tyrion almost anointing the Nephalim as the new threat.

Wait, when did I miss the Nephalem trying to take Casterly Rock and Red Keep?

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18 hours ago, Alkasar said:

IMHO the problem is the mix of two things. 
High demands from a community who just complains and is never thankful.
And the high popularity and quality of previous games which is always hard to surpass.

YES, the community is at fault.

Like with Anthem!

It's only the community who isn't greatful that they are allowed to pay money. No, they even demand a good game in return.

How dare they???

"Give us your money and shut up"

 

Yes, there is a lot of complains, especially about formerly great companies like Bioware and Blizzard.

But why is this? Because the community is ungrateful? No. Because they expect games to be decent.

Blizzard-games still work great in the technical aspect. Gameflow is good, I've never played a Hack and Slay that can even remotely compare to Diablo in how fights / skills feel.
Starcraft 2 has very good gameplay.

However, technic is just one part of a game. Another one is the story. Storytelling, characters, dialogue, atmosphere.

And here Blizzard fails horribly. The games are empty shells.
And the marketing department of Blizzrd should all be fired. How they handle every new thing in the last years is beyond description. They pump up bullshit and sell it to you like it is the greatest inventory ever. Diablo is the best example. Since years they talk big, how important Diablo is. What big projects they have. And then we get Darkening of Tristram. Which would MAY be acceptable if it would be a fan-made modification. Then we get Blizzcon and Diablo Immoral.
Hearthstone. They talk about the new solo adventure. How awesome it will be. How many possibilities. And as soon as you play it you realize: Absolutly no story, the possibilities are mathematically correct, but have next to no influence to your gameplay, bosses get repeated over and over and over again. And after wing 3 you have seen everything the adventure has to offer. More then once. More like thrice.
And you could spent 20 bucks for this!

Bioware has reached a point in which nothing is done well. Story is non existend or horrible. Gameplay is buggy and bad. In fact Anthem isn't even a "real" game, it is more like a beta with at least 50% of the content still missing. Sold for full price.


That's why the community - at least part of the community - is not satisfied. With Bioware most are unhappy. With Blizzard it is a little better.

 

If you take a look at companies that make great games you will realize that good work is received warmly by the community.

The Witcher 3 was an outstanding project. The game was awesome and both expansions were brilliant. Gamelay was good (however, personally I would have preferred a smaller world) AND the storytelling was fantastic. Great characters, important decisions, hard decisions.

XCOM - the new games in this franchise were fantastic and a new reference for turn-based strategy. Again, both games got great expansions. Not a cheap money-grab, no, there was a lot it added to the game.
Personally I preferred the first game, it was more difficult and you had much more of a feeling: *filtered*, I need much more money, because I need new weapons for my soldiers. I need to build my base. I need more fightercrafts. More, more, more. And money was always short.  The second game had this feeling way less. Still, it was a really good game.

Did the community whine about those games? Did it complain? No. Because the games were great.

 

Or look at smaller games like The Banner Saga. For less money then you could buy the horribly boring new hearthstone Adventure you can buy the first part of the Banner Saga. A fantastic game with great story and characters. The fighting-system is interesting, however in some aspects not absolutly perfect. But the world is so rich, it is so interesting and some moments can be heart-breaking.
Compared to that you just get *filtered* from Blizzard.

 

But yeah, it is only the community who is at fault. Sure...

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23 hours ago, WedgeAntilles said:

Yes, there is a lot of complains, especially about formerly great companies like Bioware and Blizzard.

Blizzard made the best games when they just did their thing. We didnt ask for Diablo 2 or Warcraft 2, they just made them. Pretty much like Nintendo still does it today and makes good games.

But these days not even Warcraft Reforged gets positive feedback. Nothing. It is just "Fix this.", "Change that", "You suck". And these senseless comments and feedbacks made WoW and Diablo3 into what they are. The major changes in those games started with demands on the Forums. Blizzards biggest mistake is that they listen too much, and the community has just become more toxic than the LoL community. Criticism is alright. But not what happens right now.

Edited by Alkasar

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5 hours ago, Alkasar said:

Blizzard made the best games when they just did their thing. We didnt ask for Diablo 2 or Warcraft 2, they just made them. Pretty much like Nintendo still does it today and makes good games.

WoW and D3 did a lot of things that were against the "community" (BfA still does). Hence why some praise Diablo 2. Nintendo... barely exists in many countries (I know, it must sound strange for people from these console-centric countries), especially those where PC is the dominant platform, so overall global community is smaller and less attention is being paid to it. Diablo 2 was released in a very different time, so you can't really compare it with modern games. Most people back then didn't have internet, so memories of it will always be better, as there was no influence from other people's opinions, whatever opinions existed, were heavily localized.

Edited by Arcling

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7 hours ago, Alkasar said:

Blizzard made the best games when they just did their thing. We didnt ask for Diablo 2 or Warcraft 2, they just made them. Pretty much like Nintendo still does it today and makes good games.

But these days not even Warcraft Reforged gets positive feedback. Nothing. It is just "Fix this.", "Change that", "You suck". And these senseless comments and feedbacks made WoW and Diablo3 into what they are. The major changes in those games started with demands on the Forums. Blizzards biggest mistake is that they listen too much, and the community has just become more toxic than the LoL community. Criticism is alright. But not what happens right now.

I am not with you.

Ok, maybe I do not spent enough time with "community" (whatever that is), but I am quite sure the community didn't ask for real-money auction house. Or no quests (remember some of the great side-quests in Diablo 2? Tower of the Baroness in Act 1 e.g.? Or some interesting quest-rewards?). Or a story that is to "fremdschämen" since act 3?

That were some big points - and the horrible story btw is why I discouraged several friends from buying Diablo 3. Personally I played it a lot, because the combat-mechanic works great. But if you are not that into hack and slay and you want a game with good story and awesome atomsphere - then Diablo 3 is just horrible.

In other parts I do not get the critic, I am with you there. The possibilities to change skills is a MUST HAVE IMO. I do not get the crying in this.

But if you take a look at the last 3 years: the Darkening of Tristram Event, Blizzcon 2018 - are you really surprised about the rage?

 

Never played WoW, can't say anything about it.

 

Blizzard games just lack what they had in earlier years. Heart and soul. They are only a polished shiny big of nothing. But at least the game-meachanics still work great. That's much more then can be said about Bioware e.g. That's why I'd still rate Blizzard as maybe 5 or even 6 from 10. But that's a long fall from 9 or even 10 out of 10.

 

And please do not say that this is just because "everything was better earlier on" - I named several games from the last years that are awesome. Some of them from small companies. Or even free to play!

X Com. The Witcher. LIfe is Strange. The Banner Saga. Doki Doki Literature Club (absolutly amazing!). Gone Home. This war of mine.

There are still lots of games that are awesome. That touch you deeply emotional. That are amazing. That are "perfect".

But those games are not from Ubisoft, EA, Bioware. Or from Blizzard. And 15 years ago if you made of list of amazing games nearly everyone had games from Lucas Arts, Blizzard and / or Bioware in this list. That you can now make a list of the best 20 games in the last 5 years and there isn't a single game from those companies - that makes me sad and sometimes angry.

Edited by Guest

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13 hours ago, WedgeAntilles said:

And please do not say that this is just because "everything was better earlier on" - I named several games from the last years that are awesome. Some of them from small companies. Or even free to play!

X Com. The Witcher. LIfe is Strange. The Banner Saga. Doki Doki Literature Club (absolutly amazing!). Gone Home. This war of mine.

There are still lots of games that are awesome. That touch you deeply emotional. That are amazing. That are "perfect".

But those games are not from Ubisoft, EA, Bioware. Or from Blizzard. And 15 years ago if you made of list of amazing games nearly everyone had games from Lucas Arts, Blizzard and / or Bioware in this list. That you can now make a list of the best 20 games in the last 5 years and there isn't a single game from those companies - that makes me sad and sometimes angry.

I have played computer games for so many years. (Do not guess my age - but there was no screen on the first computer I tried . And you had to use carboard cards with holes in them to input the program).

X Com. The Wicher and "This war of mine" are so full of stories. Have played them again and again.

Loved Heroes. Hated what Ubisoft did with the series in the end. Loved EAs Genarals (and Red Alert and Command & Conquer) (lets not discuss EA)

Really loved Total Annihilation from Cave Dog. (Actually also like Ubers Planetary Annihilation)

Really really love Dawn of War (still play the Ultimate Apocalypse Mod)

All these games have story AND game play. (PA is a bit low on story :-))

Some of the first versions of them are from a time when you needed to carry 150 kg of computer hardware to a single location and use 2 - 3 hours to connect them together to get 6 people to play in network.

 

Now you can play Heartstone on your mobile while riding the train. And have just as much fun.

I am happy that there still are companies that make AAA games that are "fantastic" games for people like me.

But as WedgeAntilles says it is not the same companies any more. Most of the big ones do not target people like me.

I believe Blizzard makes god games. Some of them I like a lot some of them not so much. Some of them I like for the story (Starcraft I and II). Some for the gameplay  - Sorry but I keep comming back to Heartstone. I find it too addictive - even if Blizzard manipulate the meta with nerfs to make more money - oh sorry - was that a standard community remark? 🙂 

I pay for those of Blizzards games I find good. If Blizzard do not make money (yes - I know they make good money)  they have no reason to make more of the same type of games.

But I am affraid that when King can make so many money on Candy Crush. It makes less sense for Blizzard to invest programming time in good stories. There are so many people with mobile phones

But I do hope they will continue with the stories.     

    

Edited by PanPan

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On 6/22/2019 at 6:36 AM, Stan said:

Used to? Reports say they recently canceled a Starcraft FPS Shooter and completely rebooted Diablo 4 in 2016. Even Diablo: Immortal is taking longer to release than they initially anticipated. They're still shipping games when they're ready, or not at all.

You say that, but they're trying to get WoW expansions and various games preordered with a qualifying "To be released on or before _____".      And boy howdee, some of those have -not- been well received, BFA is just the clearest example to date.    

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11 hours ago, PanPan said:

Loved Heroes. Hated what Ubisoft did with the series in the end. Loved EAs Genarals (and Red Alert and Command & Conquer) (lets not discuss EA)

 

Oh yeah, Heroes 5 was such an awesome game! Both AddOns were great too and I played them three times.

I was excited about Heroes 6, but what a disappointment. Story wasn't even bad and some of the Dynasty-features were fun - but WHY did they have to destroy the AI completly? Sure, AI in Heroes was never great. But it was good enough to have fun with it.

In Heroes 6 I had several huge battles (laying siege to a town) - with the enemy outnumbering me drastically. But I had more ranged units. And the AI just did nothing with the melee units. After 2 rounds I had eleminated his ranged units - and the enemy just waited behind the walls until he was destroyed 20 turns later.

The AddOn I bought for 5? bucks or something like that. Whole Heroes 6 was such a disappointment after Heroes 5.

And Heroes 7? After Heroes 6 I was sceptical - and unfortunatly completly right. Bug disaster. Boring game. I played it 2? years later, after I got it as full version (without add on) from a computer magazine.

From buying the full price + 2 full price add ons (heroes 5) I decended to full price + extremly cheap add on + didn't bother to buy it at all (Heroes 7).

They completly *filtered* a franchise that made several sucessfull games that had a good, caring and enthusiastic community. (Sure, it was never a game that made several hundred millions - but it netted the developers some good money.)

 

And C&C is a crime too. I loved the first C&C, it was a revolution for RTS. Before you played Dune 2 - which was a good game, don't get me wrong. But you had to select each unit, you had no mechanic to select more then one unit....

C&C was a very interesting setting, great story and interesting characters. Great cut-scenes too. Still remember the one on an GDI Carrier and a reporter tells about the GDI flying attacks against Nod. Awesome.

Over the years there were some really good games, some quite "insane" games (like Red Alert) that were "crazy" but very fun to play.

And C&C Generals established a new setting. Not the crazy Red Alert, not GDI vs NOD but a more realistic terror-setting.

A great game. And the last C&C game that was high quality.

Everything that came later got worse and worse. Cain had be an interesting character, in C&C 3 he became a laughing stock. They completly forgot how to tell a story, how to make the story interesting and not something you pity. Similar to Blizzard.

And today? C&C is dead, sucessfully killed.

Maybe it will be revived someday. May hopes are very slow.

 

Like I said: It makes me said. And angry.

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On 6/22/2019 at 11:48 AM, Kuarinofu said:

Yet bothered enough to leave this comment. Anyway, I seriously doubt anyone is too excited for Diablo 4. If game releases of the past few years have taught us anything - that is not to get hyped by anything and expect at least playability.

Your first sentence makes little sense to me. You presume that I do not care about the diablo franchise which is not true. Anyway, there are potential grounds to get excited if they actually listen to the community and deliver a game with good lore and mechanics closer to the original games. They certainly have examples of the same genre that puts smiles on peoples faces. Nobody wants Diablo 4 to be a Diablo 3 clone with prettier graphics. Now we wait and enjoy the fruits of other developers that seem to spark excitement. Blizzard can turn this around, but we will have to see how it pans out.

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      Thank you for contacting Blizzard Entertainment Customer Support! I'm Game Master Draechsam and I'll be looking into this for you today.
      I see that you are having an issue with being unable to loot your Mythic+ cache at the end of a Atal run due to Rezan glitching. After investigating your claim, it would seem that there is aren't any reports of this having a bug. At least, nothing has been discovered yet. 
      If you would please submit an in-game bug report with any information related to your inability to loot the chest due to credit not being earned, this would greatly be appreciated and it would help us gather the information we need. To cover all our bases here, I've gone ahead and shot up a report myself. Even though I've gone and done that, it's extremely important due to the fact that this report you send gives way more information than my own. The system actually takes a snapshot of what is going on in the game, including things that we on our end can not see such as buffs and debuffs. The more information, the better.  We've set up forums that our Quality Assurance department uses to track ongoing issues. You can reach them by using the following page:
       I completely get how frustrating this can be, especially when you've done this before with no issues. I honestly wish there was more I could do for you at moment, but right now it's in the hand's of the developers and when they can fix this issue. I know they are actively working on a patches to get fixes for issues like this out as fast as they can. As the previous Game Master mentioned, we're unable to generate the loot that would be received from a Mythic+ cache. 
      I understand this may not be what you were hoping to hear, but I’m glad I was able to clear things up. I do hope you have a good rest of your day.
      not fixed
      Specialist Game Master Endrivenna here, hope the day's treating you well so far despite all the crazy going in the world the last several months.
      We're sadly unable to step in and see about manually being able to bypass this and see what might have dropped and who might have won what possible item, but hopefully things will be fixed up asap! 
      As a fellow player, I understand that when you log into game, you would rather spend your time playing the game rather than report issues such as this. I wanted to thank you for reaching out to us and reporting this. I can certainly understand this extremely frustrating to you, as well as others that might have run into this.
      My goal as a Game Master and a fellow player is to ensure the best quality service possible. I hope that you will continue to reach out to us if you have any other concerns in the future. We are always here to assist our valued players, such as yourself, with whatever problems they encounter. Thanks again for taking the time to reach out to us.
      If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to let us know, and I do hope the rest of your day goes well.
      ok you say you want to help yet all u said was i want to help read the original ticket  give me an avenue of how to get it resolved.
      sincerely  a 14 year player who has sustained your company who is highly annoyed
      Game Master Denvorer here to assist you today and I hope your day is going excellent.
      I apologize for any frustrations this situation has caused.  I completely understand that you were doing a Mythic + with a group and killed one of the bosses in there, but it was not registering that you killed that boss which resulted in that timer for that run to expire.
      We do try our best to help our fans when we can however, there are cases that we are not able to help and assist since we do not have the log data in order to verify what exactly happened and also our tools may have technical limitations that may prevent us from assisting.  In this case here, we can see the Mythic + run and the bosses that were killed, but we are unable to verify if the timer in that Mythic + had already expired nor can we verify what loot may have been provided in those chest at the end of the time nor are we able to adjust or change a players Mythic keystone.  Unfortunately, we aren't able to randomly give out loot to our fans based on what was reported here since we must have evidence through our logs to allow us to show to our Dev team why we provided the loot this way.
      Because of this, we aren't able to do much outside of suggest to submit a bug report to our QA and Dev team on the forums to let them know what you have recently experienced in that dungeon so they can check and make sure that killing Rezan in that dungeon is giving the proper credit to our fans.  You are so far the first to report his happening to us, but I will make sure to report it to the appropriate people on our end in case we receive anymore contacts that this is happening.
      Thank you for your time and I hope the rest of your day is enjoyable.
      still not answered to my satisfaction
      Account Action: Warning
      Offense: Violation of Customer Support Interaction Policy
      The account listed above has continued to ticket in appealing our decision on a matter. At this time, we must ask you to adhere to the outcome we have provided. Continued contacts regarding this situation will not receive a response and may result in severe penalties for this account.
      We understand that accidents and mistakes can result in gameplay behavior that isn’t perceived as ideal. Customer Service as a whole, from individual Game Masters to global directors, do everything in our power to deliver an ideal experience. However, as with every job, there are policies and procedures in place to ensure we’re upholding the intended game design. Many of us are avid players of our products as well, and understand why you’re asking for a different outcome.
      We would like to make it clear that the resolution you’ve received will be the only one we can offer as a business. While we understand, and welcome, additional contacts that further clarify a situation, there comes a point where the outcome we’re providing is the correct one for us as a game studio. At this point in time, we’d like to make it clear that we will not be able to offer a different solution.
      Continuing to submit tickets appealing this decision may result in penalties being applied to your account, up to and including account termination. For more information, please review the Battle.net End User License Agreement.
    • By Starym
      The remaster-bait continues, as we have another 4K 60 FPS upscaled Diablo 2 video, but this time much more extensive, as the first one was only the first 15 minutes of the game. We see the sorceress go through all 4 of the base game's acts (and poke around vendors in act 5, just to get us teased). It's looking damn good and, as many community members have mentioned, this is pretty much what they'd want out of a remaster, just more modern graphics with maybe a touch of quality of life improvements, like the stash sizes.
      The rumors on Diablo 2: Resurrected have died down quite a bit, as many of the venues players were expecting it to be announced at have come and gone, and the original rumor claim of the game being released by the end of 2020 is looking less and less likely, unless Blizzard pull a masterstroke and announce AND release the game on the same day! We can but hope.
      Source.

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      Diablo 2 E3 Trailer and LoD Intro Upscaled to 4K and 8K
      Diablo 2 LoD Final Cinematic 8K Remaster
    • By Stan
      Activision Blizzard Chief Financial Officer Dennis Durkin said the popularity of Call of Duty Mobile proves that the company is heading the right direction developing games for mobile, and he is optimistic about the future of Diablo Immortal too.
      When asked about how Diablo Immortal might be impacted by CoD Mobile, Dennis Durkin said that the company is just starting with porting favorite titles to mobile and that CoD Mobile was a great start, which proves how popular mobile games can be.
      He then added that mobile helps drive greater reach, engagement, and player investment across all their franchises.
      Don't forget to read the full PC Gamer article.
      Activision Blizzard plans to start playtesting Diablo Immortal internally in the coming weeks, which means the game is likely in the pre-Alpha state.
    • By Starym
      It's time for some financials, as the second quarter of 2020 gets a look! As expected, the impact of the global pandemic and stay at home orders increased player interest in WoW, as its reach and engagement grew once again. Interest in the Shadowlands was also high, with many new pre-orders, and franchise engagement is the highest this decade for a pre-expansion period. Meanwhile, Blizzard overall had the same amount of monthly active users as in the first quarter.
      Blizzard Financial Report (source)
      Blizzard
      Blizzard had 32 million MAUsD in the second quarter. World of Warcraft® reach and engagement once again increased sequentially, as shelter-at-home conditions further boosted the franchise’s strong trajectory. The Shadowlands expansion saw an enthusiastic response from players in its public testing, with pre-sales accelerating even further ahead of its release in the fourth quarter. Franchise engagement is the highest in a decade at this point ahead of an expansion. Hearthstone®’s Ashes of OutlandTM expansion launched alongside a new hero class, as the expanded team continued to accelerate the pace of innovative content in the franchise. Overwatch® engagement grew year-over-year, including among returning players. As for Activision, as you'd expect, Call of Duty: Warzone was very successful, reaching 75 million players to date. The conference call that goes with these reports will happen later today, and we'll keep an eye out if we get some new information out of it as well.
      Full Report (source)
      SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 4, 2020-- Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced record second-quarter 2020 results.
      “Our mission to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment has never been more meaningful,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “Our 400 million players continue to experience fun, joy and accomplishment through our games. Our record engagement resulted in greater revenue and earnings per share than previously forecast. While economic uncertainty could have an impact on our near-term results, the initiatives that drove our growth for the first half of the year should also provide the foundation for long-term growth.”
      Financial Metrics
       
      Q2
      (in millions, except EPS)
      2020
      Prior Outlook*
      2019
      GAAP Net Revenues
      $1,932
      $1,690
      $1,396
      Impact of GAAP deferralsA
      $146
      ($15)
      ($189)
       
       
       
       
      GAAP EPS
      $0.75
      $0.54
      $0.43
      Non-GAAP EPS
      $0.81
      $0.64
      $0.53
      Impact of GAAP deferralsA
      $0.16
      $0.01
      ($0.15)
       
       
       
        * Prior outlook was provided by the company on May 5, 2020 in its earnings release.
      For the quarter ended June 30, 2020, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were $1.93 billion, as compared with $1.40 billion for the second quarter of 2019. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were $1.59 billion, as compared with $1.09 billion for the second quarter of 2019. GAAP operating margin was 39%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.75, as compared with $0.43 for the second quarter of 2019.
      For the quarter ended June 30, 2020, on a non-GAAP basis, Activision Blizzard’s operating margin was 42% and earnings per diluted share were $0.81, as compared with $0.53 for the second quarter of 2019.
      For the quarter ended June 30, 2020, operating cash flow was $768 million. For the trailing twelve-month period, operating cash flow was $2.14 billion.
      Please refer to the tables at the back of this press release for a reconciliation of the company’s GAAP and non-GAAP results.
      Operating Metrics
      For the quarter ended June 30, 2020, Activision Blizzard’s net bookingsB were $2.08 billion, as compared with $1.21 billion for the second quarter of 2019. Net bookingsB from digital channels were $1.82 billion, as compared with $1.01 billion for the second quarter of 2019. In-game net bookingsC were $1.37 billion, as compared with $778 million for the second quarter of 2019.
      For the quarter ended June 30, 2020, overall Activision Blizzard Monthly Active Users (MAUs)D were 428 million.
      Selected Business Highlights
      Activision Blizzard exceeded its second quarter outlook. Strong execution against our three strategic growth drivers of expanding audience reach, engagement and player investment enabled us to serve fantastic experiences to an enlarged gaming audience, against a backdrop of demand tailwinds from shelter-at-home. Each of our key franchises delivered better-than-expected results, with growth led by the Call of Duty® franchise following the launch of WarzoneTM. The increased investment and successful initiatives that fueled the strong second quarter results position us to continue delighting our global communities, and to deliver sustained greater financial performance.
      Activision
      Activision had 125 million MAUsD in the second quarter. Call of Duty: Warzone has reached over 75 million players to date. In the first full quarter since Warzone launched, hours played in the Modern Warfare® universe increased eight-fold year-over-year, driven by both existing and new players. Modern Warfare added more players outside of a launch quarter to the premium Call of Duty experience than ever before, with the majority coming through upgrades from Warzone. On PC, life-to-date consumption for Modern Warfare is more than double that of the prior title. Call of Duty in-game net bookingsC more than doubled quarter-over-quarter and were around five times higher than the year-ago quarter, reaching a new quarterly record. Call of Duty Mobile saw strong sequential growth in engagement and player investment, benefiting from both shelter-in-place tailwinds and the team’s ongoing work to further optimize gameplay, monthly seasonal content and the in-game economy. The game climbed the top-grossing charts in US app stores1, with each of the three seasons in Q2 generating more net bookingsB per day than the prior. Blizzard
      Blizzard had 32 million MAUsD in the second quarter. World of Warcraft® reach and engagement once again increased sequentially, as shelter-at-home conditions further boosted the franchise’s strong trajectory. The Shadowlands expansion saw an enthusiastic response from players in its public testing, with pre-sales accelerating even further ahead of its release in the fourth quarter. Franchise engagement is the highest in a decade at this point ahead of an expansion. Hearthstone®’s Ashes of OutlandTM expansion launched alongside a new hero class, as the expanded team continued to accelerate the pace of innovative content in the franchise. Overwatch® engagement grew year-over-year, including among returning players. King
      King had 271 million MAUsD in the second quarter. King delivered strong increases in reach and engagement amidst shelter-at-home conditions at the start of the quarter. While these tailwinds moderated in the second half of the quarter, MAUsD remained higher year-over-year, driven by the Candy CrushTM franchise. Candy Crush franchise MAUsD grew by a double-digit percentage year-over-year. Payer conversion grew year-over-year and Candy Crush was once again the top-grossing franchise in the U.S. mobile app stores.1 King announced it will be bringing Activision’s beloved CrashTM franchise to the mobile platform with Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!TM, an ambitious new take on the runner category with deep social and resource management elements. Advertising net bookingsB grew strongly year-over-year, accelerating through the quarter even against the backdrop of ongoing headwinds in the digital advertising sector. Company Outlook
      Our business continues to experience strong momentum, even as tailwinds from shelter-in-place moderate in certain parts of the world. In the second half of the year, we expect to launch major new content into key franchises with meaningfully larger audiences than we have seen previously, creating the opportunity for strong financial performance. The full extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, operations, and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that we are not able to fully predict at this time, and we remain mindful of risks and uncertainties related to global economic weakness, rising unemployment, pressures on the retail channel, pricing and other potential factors. We continue to believe we are being prudent in our guidance to account for these risks, and see the potential for overperformance if these risks do not materialize. Overall, even with this backdrop, we are raising our outlook for net revenues, net bookings and EPS for the year, more than passing through the Q2 outperformance.
      (in millions, except EPS)
      GAAP
      Outlook
      Non-GAAP
      Outlook
      Impact of GAAP
      deferralsA
      CY 2020
       
       
       
      Net Revenues
      $7,275
      $7,275
      $350
      EPS
      $2.46
      $2.87
      $0.18
      Fully Diluted Shares
      780
      780
       
       
       
       
       
      Q3 2020
       
       
       
      Net Revenues
      $1,800
      $1,800
      ($150)
      EPS
      $0.64
      $0.75
      ($0.15)
      Fully Diluted Shares
      780
      780
       
      Net bookingsB are expected to be $7.625 billion for 2020 and $1.650 billion for the third quarter of 2020.
      Capital Allocation
      The company paid a cash dividend of $0.41 per common share, up 11% year-over-year, on May 6, 2020 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 15, 2020. Cash payments totaled $316 million.
      Conference Call
      Today at 4:30 p.m. EDT, Activision Blizzard’s management will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the company’s results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 and management’s outlook for the remainder of the calendar year. The company welcomes all members of the financial and media communities and other interested parties to visit https://investor.activision.com to listen to the conference call via live Webcast or to listen to the call live by dialing into 866-777-2509 in the U.S. We encourage participants to pre-register for the conference call using the following link http://dpregister.com/10145881. A replay of the call will also be available after the call's conclusion and archived for one year at https://investor.activision.com/events.cfm.
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