Blizzard’s highly anticipated Diablo IV has become a global phenomenon, captivating millions of players on consoles and PCs as they confront the sinister Lilith and strive to protect the beleaguered inhabitants of Sanctuary.
The diverse classes, such as the death-raising Necromancer and the mighty Druid’s werebear, have united players worldwide in their crusade against evil. Now, the game has gone on a dramatic transformation with the first season, known as “Season of the Malignant,” promising a fresh wave of content and exciting new challenges starting on July 20.
Embracing the concept of live service updates, Season of the Malignant marks the inception of Diablo IV’s ongoing seasonal journey. Themed around a spreading festering corruption infecting Sanctuary, this season intertwines seamlessly with new content, featuring alluring Malignant Hearts, Unique items, Legendary Aspects, infected malignant monsters, a novel Dungeon variant, and much more.
Just like the acclaimed Seasons of Diablo III, Season of the Malignant grants Blizzard’s developers the freedom to experiment and expand on the core gameplay of Diablo IV, introducing fresh mechanics and themes.
Simultaneously, it presents players with the opportunity to embark on a new adventure with freshly created characters and collectively experience the exhilarating content.
Joe Shely, the Game Director of Diablo IV, explained, “New players can delve into the Seasonal Realms, learn the basics during the main campaign, and seamlessly transition to the Season content and its novel systems. They can progress through parts of the Season Journey and Battle Pass as they play.”
Meanwhile, veteran players will revel in the chance to experiment with new builds and classes, but with the added twist of seasonal updates. Seasons present a completely novel way to customize characters, enabling them to grow in power as they undertake formidable end-game challenges.
The essence of Seasons is to provide players with a clean slate and an equal footing to embark on a fresh journey. Players can traverse uncharted territory with their favourite class, experiment with new builds they’ve been curious about, or fully immerse themselves in the novel seasonal mechanics for an exhilarating new experience.
But what exactly are these captivating mechanics? Season of the Malignant introduces a new menace through a questline that follows the events of the main campaign. Accompanied by a new character named Cormund, players embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries of a malignant corruption creeping across Sanctuary.
As the story unfolds, the Malignant corruption manifests in grotesque masses and tentacles, infecting both monsters and landscapes alike.
This insidious force gives rise to a new kind of Dungeon, the Malignant Tunnels, which are areas teeming with Malignant Monsters, overrun by the foul corruption. Players can venture into these shorter dungeons for focused farming of Malignant Hearts, gaining access to new powers.
“The Malignant is a form of corruption that infects the existing monsters within Sanctuary. You will notice that the monsters will have multiple levels of malignant infection that you will be able to visibly identify from the level of disgusting masses and tentacles on them,” said Shely.
“When you take down corrupted elite monsters and attempt to capture their Malignant Hearts, they will be reborn as fully corrupted monstrosities even more powerful, and you must take them down before you can cage their hearts and use them to boost your own power.”
The Malignant Hearts serve as a gateway to augment your character’s power, offering unique traits and abilities on par with Legendary Aspects. With four different types – Vicious (offensive), Brutal (defensive), Devious (utility), and Wrathful (superpower) – Malignant Hearts can be socketed into necklaces and rings obtained during the season, synergizing with existing legendary affixes.
Apart from the sheer excitement of exploring new content and mechanics, Season of the Malignant presents players with numerous incentives to immerse themselves in the experience.
The Season Journey structure follows the successful model of Diablo III, featuring multi-chapter objectives that reward players with various perks upon completion. Completing all objectives within a chapter grants players a unique Title for that season.
Seasonal rewards encompass not only existing and new Legendary Aspects but also “Favor” earned from the Season Journey. Players can use this Favor to progress through the Battle Pass, unlocking an array of additional rewards.
In summary, the inaugural Diablo IV Season of the Malignant, promises to be a game-changer in every sense. From the introduction of new powers and aspects to innovative dungeons and malignant foes, players worldwide will find a treasure trove of excitement and challenges awaiting them as they plunge headfirst into this exhilarating adventure.