Diablo IV Season 1 start date, theme, battle pass and more revealed

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During Blizzard’s developer livestream today, we finally learned the details of Diablo IV’s first season. Officially called “Season of the Malignant,” the upcoming first season will introduce a new Season Journey, Questline, Boss, Dungeons, Battle Pass, and more.

Season 1 will officially go live on July 20 at 10 a.m. PDT / 1 p.m. EDT. Here are some of the highlights shared today, starting with the announcement trailer.

As the name suggests, Season 1 will introduce new Malignant Monsters. These decaying abominations are ruthless and aggressive, mindlessly attacking anyone in their path. As part of the new Questline, you will investigate this new malady with the help of Cormond, a former priest of the Cathedral of Light. The core mechanic of Season 1 involves collecting Malignant Hearts, which can be converted into build-altering powers.

As part of the season, you’l acquire the Cage of Binding which allows you to perform a ritual to capture Malignant Hearts once you slay Partly Corrupted enemies, a powerful type of Malignant Monster. However, once you perform the ritual, the Partly Corrupted monster will be resurrected as a Fully Corrupted enemy. Once defeated a second time, they will drop a version of a Malignant Heart that can be placed into special Infested sockets in your Jewelry in place of a Normal Gem. There are a total of 32 Malignant Hearts across four categories in Season 1.

One of the best farming areas for these Malignant Hearts are in the new replayable dungeons known as Malignant Tunnels. Within these dungeons are Varshan the Consumed, a brand new Boss battle.

In order to participate in Season of the Malignant, you’ll need to create a new character specifically on the Seasonal Realm. This won’t require you to purchase the Battle Pass or any add-ons, but you must have completed the campaign on either the Eternal or Seasonal Realm in order to participate. Once you have done so, you’ll be able to skip the campaign and access your mount immediately with your Seasonal Character. Additionally, all previously discovered Alters of Lilith will be unlocked and all previously discovered areas of the map will be revealed. Once the season ends, your character will be transferred to the Eternal Realm with all their Seasonal stash. Season-specific features like the Malignant Hearts will no longer be accessible.

And finally, the season pass. As you progress through the Questline of Season of the Malignant, you’ll earn rewards from the Season Journey and optional Battle Pass. The Season Journey will be divided into Chapters with specific tasks to complete. Doing so will earn you rewards such as new Legendary Aspects, a Mastery Title, and a Scroll of Amnesia which provides a free Skill Tree and Paragon Board rest.

The Season of Malignant Battle Pass features 90 Tiers: 27 Free Tiers and 63 Premium Tiers. You can earn the rewards of these Tiers naturally by simply playing the game. In the Free Tiers, you’ll earn Smoldering Ashes which can be spent on Season Blessings for bonuses to earning experience, Gold or Obols. The Premium Battle Pass offers additional rewards such as the Awoken Armor Sets, Mount and Mount Armor, Platinum and more.

More details on Diablo IV’s Season of the Malignant will be shared on July 18 during which Blizzard will reveal the 6 new Unique Items and 7 Legendary Aspects.