Blizzard has officially announced details on the first season of its popular loot-driven action-RPG, Diablo IV. The Season of the Malignant launches July 20 and will feature new quests, gear, powers, and Varshan the Consumed, a new boss just waiting to be killed and looted.
Released last month, Diablo IV is the latest entry in Blizzard’s popular and long-running demon-killin’ franchise. The game is mostly the same classic looting and dungeon-crawling action you’d expect from a Diablo game. And now, this already-large game is growing a bit more as part of the upcoming first season: Season of the Malignant.
According to Blizzard’s official website, this first season of Diablo IV will focus on “a new form of Lilith’s corruption” that has apparently spread throughout the game’s world of Sanctuary. This new corruption has created nasty beasts known as Malignant Monsters, aka Diablo IV enemies but covered in gross worms and tentacles. As always, it’s up to you, brave hero, to uncover the source of the corruption and harness its “twisted” power to help you fight back against this new corrupting evil.
Here’s a trailer announcing the new season.
This new season, scheduled to launch on July 20, will include a new questline revolving around the Malignant corruption. Players will work with Cormond, a former priest of the Cathedral of Light, to learn why this is all happening and stop it “at all costs.”
As you kill the new infected, corrupted enemies roaming the world of Diablo IV, you’ll be able to scavenge and harness their Malignant Hearts. Blizzard says there will be over 30 new corruption powers unique to this system that players can use during the season, letting folks turn the evil against itself and craft entirely new over-powered builds for their characters.
Every ring and amulet that drops during Season of the Malignant will have a color-coded festering socket that can house a Malignant Heart of the corresponding color. They’ll each have new powers and bonuses aimed at making you feel like you’re crafting an entirely new Diablo IV build for the first time again. You can even break the Malignant Hearts down into a special currency used to craft new ones that slot into your loadout better.
As part of this new update, players will also be able to explore “Malignant Tunnels” to search for and destroy a new boss, Varshan the Consumed. Players will also be able to loot six new unique items and seven legendary aspects.
As with many other live-service games, such as Fortnite, Diablo IV will feature a seasonal battle pass filled with free rewards and premium unlocks. Some of the free unlocks include a Scroll of Amnesia—which provides a free Skill Tree and Paragon Board reset—and a new title, Eldritch Monster. The paid premium tier of the pass will include exclusive cosmetics like armor and gear for your mounts.
Once the season launches on July 20 players will have to create a new seasonal character, which Blizzard previously confirmed. Once that’s done, you can start earning Seasonal Favor, a new currency that players get by just completing quests, killing monsters, and completing battle pass challenges. Players then use Favor to make progress through the battle pass tiers.
One thing to keep in mind is that only players who have completed the main campaign of Diablo IV will be able to join in on the seasonal content and festivities.
Update 7/7/2023 9:17 a.m. ET: Added more information about the Malignant Hearts system.