Diablo 4's Season 1 is set to give us our first taste of how Blizzard aims to approach post-launch support for its highly-anticipated hack and slash RPG. If you're eagerly awaiting a new opportunity to rip apart more demons, you'll want to know what the Season of the Malignant's start and end dates are alongside the content and rewards we can expect.
Diablo 4's Season 1 start and end dates weren't fully unveiled when the game launched, but Blizzard did outline its plans for what would later be announced as the Season of the Malignant.
Diablo 4 Season 1 Release Date
In an article on its website, the developer has confirmed that Diablo 4 Season 1's start date is set to occur at some point "in mid to late July."
Given how seasons for the fourth game in the series are intended as quarterly releases, its end date is likely expected to occur at some point in mid to late October, unless anything disrupts these plans.
Blizzard revealed more details about Diablo 4's Season 1 and its accompanying quality of life updates on July 6, during a livestream kicking off at 11 AM PDT/2 PM PDT/7 PM BST.
There, its name was confirmed as the Season of the Malignant, while its start date was locked down to July 20. A countdown on the Battle.net launcher then revealed its start time: 10 AM PT/1 PM ET/6 PM BST.
- Diablo 4 Season 1 start date: July 20, 2023
- Diablo 4 Season 1 end date: October 17, 2023
During the same livestream, it was confirmed that seasons are intended to last "a minimum of twelve weeks," with the possibility of some seasons "a little longer."
After Season of the Malignant went live, an in-game message revealed its end date as October 17, 2023, confirming our initial estimation.
Diablo 4 Season 1 Content
Diablo 4 seasons revolve around a distinct theme and "will introduce fresh concepts and ideas into the world of Sanctuary."
Although they won't push the main narrative forward, since Blizzard plans to release expansions for the title later down the line, they will introduce various self-contained quests that tell their own stories.
Diablo 4's Season of the Malignant sees a new curse take hold of creatures across Sanctuary, making them more ruthless.
A new questline starting in Kyovashad introduces us to Cormond, a former member of the Cathedral of Light, who has found a way to fight back against this curse.
Slain Partly Corrupted enemies, a type of Malignant Monster we encounter during Season 1, drop Malignant Hearts that can be captured using the Cage of Binding obtained during the Season 1 questline.
Attempting to capture Malignant Hearts prompts Partly Corrupted enemies to fight back as Fully Corrupted versions of themselves.
Defeating them drops a version of their Malignant Heart that can be placed into special Infested sockets found on Jewelry items, replacing normal gems.
"Diablo 4's Season of the Malignant introduces 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," the developer notes.
Malignant Tunnels are a new type of highly replayable dungeons, that happen to be ideal for getting Malignant Hearts, while also giving us the chance to face Varshan the Consumed, the action-RPG's newest boss.
Diablo 4 Season 1 Rewards
Completing chapter objectives grants seasonal rewards, including various crafting materials new legendary aspects, a Mastery Title, and a Scroll of Amnesia, that provides a free skill tree and Paragon board reset. The developer has also confirmed that we won't need to complete all chapters of them in order to advance.
Objectives are also one source that grants Favor, which is a resource used to level up through the tiers of the Battle Pass.
In order to access Diablo 4's Season of the Malignant content, we'll need to complete the campaign with at least one character. After doing so, any other characters we create can jump straight to progressing through the currently active season.
Each season, including the first one, will require us to create new characters to progress through them. Once a season ends, the characters created for them get moved to the Eternal Realm.
Similarly, unlocking our first mount during Diablo IV's campaign enables all other characters to use mounts right away.
As you've probably gathered, Diablo 4's Season 1 also introduces the game's first battle pass, which features two tracks. One of them is free, featuring 27 tiers worth of cosmetics rewards and Smoldering Ashes, a resource used to obtain Season Blessings.
"Season Blessings grant a bonus to earning XP, Gold, or Obols depending on which Blessings you spend Ashes on," according to the developer, and more than one can be active at a time.
The Premium track features 63 tiers that do "not provide any in-game power, but instead unlocks tiers that provide Cosmetics unique to that Season and the Platinum currency."
Speaking to Forbes, the developer confirmed that the amount of Platinum available as part of the Premium track is not enough to purchase the next season's Battle Pass.
The currency is used in the in-game shop to acquire new cosmetics, some of which will be exclusive to said shop, or future Battle Passes. Alternatively, the currency can be bought using real money.
While the free track is available to all players, the Premium Battle Pass costs 1,000 Platinum (the equivalent of $9.99 USD).
There is also an Accelerated Battle Pass, which includes everything in the Premium Battle Pass, alongside 20 tier skips, a special cosmetic item. It is priced at 2,800 Platinum (the equivalent of $24.99 USD).
Diablo 4 Season 1 Battle Pass Premium Track Rewards
- Awoken Warded Mustang mount
- Awoken Coldiron barding
- Awoken Coldiron set for all 5 classes
- Weapon transmogs
Diablo General Manager Rod Fergusson also noted that battle pass cosmetics "are class agnostic so you earn them for all classes."
Diablo 4 Season 1 Progression Transfer and Sacred Item Level Cap
Blizzard has also confirmed, during its first post-launch Campfire Chat, that map exploration and its associated Renown from our pre-season Eternal Realm characters will carry over into Season 1. More specifically, this means the fog of war will be lifted but only the waypoints of capital cities will be available.
Renown earned for discovering Altars of Lilith will also carry over, but full completion of these two activities will not be enough to unlock all rewards associated to Renown on seasonal characters from the very start.
Global Community Development Director Adam Fletcher explained that normal character progression on the Eternal Realm will only get transferred to normal characters on the Seasonal Realm.
Similarly, hardcore character progression on the Eternal Realm will transfer solely to their hardcore seasonal counterparts.
To allow for this to happen, you need to first log in with the character that you've played the most as during pre-season. Their progress will then be spread to your other characters, existing and new, seasonal or not.
Diablo Franchise General Manager Rod Ferguson also clarified that "to take part in the seasonal questline, mechanics, season journey and battle pass, you will need to create a new seasonal character. Playing campaign with seasonal character (if you so desire or need to finish) will also progress the season journey and battle pass."
Diablo 4's Season 1 also brings a notable change to the level cap requirements for sacred and ancestral items dropping in World Tier 3 and World Tier 4.
"Starting in season one Sacred items have a level requirement CAP of 60 and Ancestral items have a level requirement CAP of 80," Associate Game Director Joseph Piepiora wrote on Twitter.
The change will not apply retroactively, only affecting items found after it goes live. This should make gearing alts a bit easier.
You can get a full breakdown of everything that's coming in the Season of the Malignant in its dedicated blog post.
That is everything you need to know about Diablo 4's Season 1 start and end dates, its content, and rewards.
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