It’s time for another Diablo Developer Update Livestream Recap! The most recent developer update focused primarily on the theme, mechanics, journey, and cosmetics for Season 1 of Diablo 4.
Below is a detailed recap of what was discussed, along with a link to the video presentation. You can also review the written summary on Blizzard’s news page.
Corruption has befallen Sanctuary in the Season of the Malignant, the first Season of Diablo 4. On July 20 at 10 a.m. PDT, a new Season Journey, Questline, Boss, Dungeons, Battle Pass, and more will go live. Blizzard will be posting another article on July 18, in conjuction with the release of the seasonal patch, that will shed even more light on what’s coming with the new Season, including 6 new Unique Items and 7 Legendary Aspects. These new Unique Items and Legendary Aspects will also become part of the Eternal Realm and may be experienced there as soon as players have downloaded the patch.
- These events occur following those of the main campaign involving Lilith and Inarius.
- The Seasonal Questline is not a continuation of the main campaign, but is a new, self-contained side story that will exist only in the Seasonal Realm.
- The new questline begins in Kyovashad and will start immediately following the creation of a new seasonal character.
- Cormond is the new principal NPC who has turned to you for help after failing on his own to undo the Malignancy.
- The spreading Malignancy can affect all creatures in Sanctuary, including beasts, demons, and humans; turning them into bloodthirsty fiends that are bent on destroying everything.
- The Season also features a new Boss Battle with Varshan the Consumed.
Watch the Season of the Malignant Announce Trailer below and steel yourself for the virulent threats that await.
To keep up with the relentless animosity of Malignant Monsters, you’ll need to turn their Hearts against them. Slaying Partly Corrupted enemies, a type of Malignant Monster, will drop a Malignant Heart. These can be captured by performing a ritual with the Cage of Binding, an item acquired during the Season’s Questline. Partly Corrupted enemies are an unruly sort and won’t go down easily. Trying to capture the Heart will cause the Partly Corrupted enemy to be reborn as a Fully Corrupted enemy. If defeated, these amalgamations of rot will drop a version of the Malignant Heart that can be placed into special Infested sockets in your Jewelry in place of a Normal Gem.
Our first season will introduce 32 Malignant Hearts across four categories that provide new, unique bonuses. As you encounter more menacing Malignant Creatures so too will the strength of their Malignant Hearts grow. There’s much more to share on the Season’s theme and we cannot wait to do so in the future.
One of the best places to acquire Malignant Hearts are in the new Malignant Tunnels, highly replayable Dungeons teeming with fearsome foes to eradicate. Scour this dank system of tunnels for the catalyst of Malignant Monsters and go toe-to-toe against Varshan the Consumed, the newest Boss battle, if you dare.
- Any Elite enemy will have the potential to spawn as Partly Corrupted, which will drop a Malignant Heart after being slayed.
- Players may then attempt to collect the Heart with the Cage of Binding ritual, which will spawn an even more powerful, Fully Corrupted, version of that enemy.
- The player will be able to collect the Caged Heart after successfully defeating the Fully Corrupted enemy.
- Caged Hearts may drop in one of four different colors, which correspond to different categories of Legendary powers. The first three colors correspond specifically to color-coded infested sockets in jewelry, and the fourth, and most rare, color is universal.
- Caged Hearts will function similarly to Legendary Gems, which can be inserted into only infested jewelry sockets of a matching color, and will grant the character new abilities leading to powerful and radically new builds for all classes.
- All jewelry may drop with any one of the three different color-coded infested sockets, including those items obtained from Tortured Gifts in Helltides as well as from gambling.
- Randomly colored Infested sockets may also be added to an item at the Jeweler. Caged Hearts will be destroyed if removed from a jewelry item.
- Players will be searching for jewelry items with sockets of a specific color depending on which Caged Heart they wish to use.
- The strength of the Hearts will increase as the player progresses through the Season. Unsocketed Hearts that are no longer wanted can be salvaged to produce a special resource, which can then be used to craft Invokers.
- Upon completion of the Seasonal Questline, players may enter Malignant Tunnels, which are new areas throughout Sanctuary with a higher chance for Malignant Elites to spawn and the most efficient method of farming Caged Hearts.
- Malignant Growths will spawn in a few different colors at the end of a Malignant Tunnel. Players will choose to interact with one of these Growths, depending on which color Heart they wish to obtain.
- Interacting with a Malignant Growth using a crafted Invoker will spawn a Malignant enemy. In this situation, the player can obtain the Caged Heart immediately after slaying the enemy and will not need to perform the Cage of Binding ritual.
- Players may also encounter the new Boss, Varshan the Consumed, while venturing through Malignant Tunnels.
How season characters work
With Season of the Malignant beginning on July 20, we wanted to take a moment to equip you with everything you need to know about Seasons.
To participate in Seasons, a new character must be made on the Seasonal Realm. You do not need to purchase a Battle Pass or any add-ons to play the Seasonal content, but you must have completed the campaign on either the Eternal or Seasonal Realm with at least one character. Once you have completed the Campaign, any Seasonal character will start the game with:
- The option to skip the Campaign.
- Your Mount available immediately.
- All previously discovered Altars of Lilith unlocked, and the corresponding Renown for them.
- All previously discovered areas of the map revealed, and the corresponding renown for them.
Once the Season has ended, the character you made and its progress will be transferred to the Eternal Realm. All items you collected, including in your Seasonal stash, will be transferred too. You can take this character into Sanctuary whenever you please, but Season-specific features such as Malignant Hearts will no longer be accessible.
Our Beliefs Behind Seasons
Seasons provide us with an opportunity to introduce innovative gameplay mechanics into Sanctuary for a limited time. Because Seasons reset, we can create crazy, fun Season themes in a vacuum without needing to worry about balancing it with the mechanics introduced in past or future Seasons—we start from a strong Eternal Realm baseline and build on top of it.
Seasons are also a place for players to explore and tinker. We encourage you to try a new Class or different builds for a Class you’ve grown fond of—our Seasons are a chance to get creative while demolishing demons.
Additionally, Seasons present an equal playing field. Our Seasons are designed for new characters to conquer the nightmarish challenges brought on by a Season’s theme and to progress through the Seasonal Journey together.
Preparing for season start
There are a few tasks that players will want to ideally complete in the Eternal Realm prior to the start of Season 1 on July 20th. More detail on Renown carry over can be found HERE.
- Complete the Main Campaign and reach Level 50 or higher on at least one character.
- Completely uncover the Fog of War, which means discovering every area in all five regions currently available in Sanctuary.
- Unlock all of the Altars of Lilith, including those that reward Paragon Points and increased Obol storage capacity. We recommend using the Interactive Map to assist you in finding all of them.
- After downloading the Season Patch on or after July 18th, login to the game with the character that has accomplished the most progress in the Eternal Realm. This will function to propagate the maximum progress to your Seasonal roster as well as to the remaining characters on your Eternal roster.
Seasonal journey and battle pass
As you hunt down Malignant Monsters for their build-enhancing Hearts and partner with Cormond to discover the source of the corruption, you’ll earn rewards from the Season Journey and Battle Pass.
The Season Journey is broken into Chapters with tasks to complete. As you progress through the Journey, you’ll earn rewards befitting Sanctuary’s defender, such as new Legendary Aspects, a Mastery Title, and a Scroll of Amnesia, which provides a free Skill Tree and Paragon Board reset. The Journey also provides Favor—the resource used to climb through the Battle Pass’ Tiers—which is also earned naturally by playing the game, whether it be killing demons, completing Quests, and more.
The Season of the Malignant Battle Pass begins on July 20, 10 a.m. PDT and hosts 90 Tiers, 27 Free Tiers and 63 Premium Tiers. Smoldering Ashes are earned from the Free Tiers, which can be spent on Season Blessings that provide you with a bonus to earning experience, Gold, or Obols depending on the Blessing you choose. The bonuses gained from Season Blessings only last until Season of the Malignant ends.
If you get the Premium Battle Pass, not only will the rewards of the Free Tiers will be yours to wield as you choose, but Awoken Armor Sets, Mount and Mount Armor, Platinum, and more await you!
If you purchased the digital Deluxe or Ultimate Edition of Diablo IV and want to redeem your Battle Pass for this Season, navigate to the Seasons section of the Shop and select the option to activate your Battle Pass. Players also have the option to skip Tiers by spending Platinum at a cost of 200 Platinum per Tier skip. Keep in mind that your Tier Skip might unlock a Tier that rewards Smoldering Ashes, but you must meet certain Character Level requirements to claim them.
- Each Seasonal Chapter includes several objectives that players will want to progress through.
- However, it will not be necessary to complete all the objectives in a given chapter in order to advance to the next chapter.
- Completing chapters will reward players with Seasonal items as well as new Legendary Aspects.
- The final chapter of the Season Journey promises to be quite challenging and will reward players with exclusive titles and cosmetics.
- The Battle Pass is a base feature of Seasons that is available to all players free of charge.
- Completing various Seasonal objectives and chapters will reward players with Favor, which is then used to progress the Battle Pass.
- All other activities not necessarily associated with the Seasonal Journey, such as side dungeons and the Tree of Whispers, will also reward Favor toward Battle Pass progression.
- The Premium Battle Pass, which offers only additional cosmetics, can be purchased in game and is completely optional.
We’re dialing up the heat in the Shop with new Equipment, Armor, Accessories, Mount and Mount Armor bundles that will have you slaying in style. Starting on July 20, you’ll want to pay Tejal a visit to browse her wares—remember to check back often as she’ll update her stock throughout Season of the Malignant. One such rarefied find from the far reaches of Sanctuary is the Mother’s Protection collection. It’s pictured above for the Necromancer, but there’s a unique look for each Class.
- All of the Armor cosmetics are class agnostic and can be equipped by any character once they have been earned.
- Weapon cosmetics will be class specific in the same way as the weapons themselves.
- All cosmetics unlocked at any time will be available to all charactes in both the Seasonal and Eternal Realms forever.
Q & a
Any updates on re-speccing characters?
– Pertaining to the cost and effort associated with re-speccing a character, there is an ongoing analysis of the cost and there are also long-term plans to improve player experience by having a better flow to the process.
Will Seasonal mechanics be added to the Eternal Realm after the Season is finished?
– None of the current Seasonal mechanics are intended to be included in the Eternal Realm. However, the developers will always reserve the option to do so in a highly discretionary fashion going forward.
Why can’t players teleport directly into a Nigthmare Dungeon rather than just to the entrance?
– The developers added the current change very quickly and will continue to look at more ways to optimize this function in the future.
Will there be any balance changes during a Season?
-There will be structured moments during the Season when patches will be released to address modest balance changes to keep things stable.
Will there be any changes to stash space?
-The developers are well aware of player feedback on this issue and have good plans to add more space in the future.
How much time will there be in between Seasons?
-Seasons will last a minimum of twelve weeks each. Announcements for the next Season will made well in advance of the Season start.
Are there any plans to add new classes to the game?
-There is nothing to announce at this time.