Diablo IV’s first season kicks off on July 20, and it’s called Season of the Malignant. Blizzard revealed a new trailer along with details of the content update in a livestream today.
Season of the Malignant introduces a new questline set after the main campaign in which Malignant Monsters, born from Lilith’s corruption, are terrorizing Sanctuary. It’s up to you and a former priest named Cormond to locate and eradicate the source of this blight.
Killing these creatures lets players harness their corrupted hearts to transform into new powers. Up to 30 new Malignant abilities are borne from these monsters, and this power can be imbued into Rings and Amulets. This update also introduces a new boss in the form of Varshan the Consumed. Players can also earn six new Unique items and seven Legendary aspects. Additionally, you can gain a Mastery title and a Scroll of Amnesia granting a free reset for the Skill Tree and Paragon Board.
Players begin by creating a new seasonal character. New characters begin at Level 1, but players retain all Renown progress, Altars of Lilith benefits, and unlocked mounts. When the season ends, all characters are placed in the Eternal Realm, which allows permanent access to them. However, seasonal features, such as the Malignant Hearts you collect from fallen monsters, will disappear once the event concludes. The season lets experienced players try out new builds/classes, with Blizzard promising that the season’s features offer new ways to customize heroes. Newcomers can also explore the seasonal realms while still playing the main campaign.
The Season Journey unfolds over multiple chapters, and completing objectives within these chapters, alongside simply playing the game, earns Favor that progresses the battle pass. The 90-tiered pass includes 27 free tiers where every player can earn Season Boosts to hasten progression. The 63-tier paid Premium track includes exclusive cosmetics. You can also purchase optional tier skips. Progressing through the battle pass earns a currency called Smoldering Ashes, which is used to earn Season Blessing, special bonuses applied to seasonal characters that last throughout the season. These bonuses include increased XP gain or higher chances of finding better salvage materials.