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Diablo 4 Season 1 Starts July 20, Will Allow For "Stupid Broken" Builds

Season of the Malignant's new mechanics will make players even more overpowered than they already are.


Diablo IV Season 1 will kick off in just a few weeks on July 20, Blizzard has announced during a developer livestream, bringing with it a new seasonal questline, items, and gameplay mechanics.

The first season, titled Season of the Malignant, will see players facing more powerful, Malignant enemies that can be conquered in order to capture their hearts. Those hearts can then be turned into powerful gem-like items called Caged Hearts that can be socketed into gear and grant additional effects. These Malignant powers are equivalent to Legendary powers and will allow players to create what Blizzard has described as "kind of stupid, broken new builds."

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Now Playing: Diablo IV | Season of the Malignant | Announce Trailer

There are a total of 32 new Malignant powers players will be able to choose from. These powers come in Caged Hearts of three different colors and will need to be placed in gear with a matching color socket in order to be used. A rarer version of a Caged Heart will be eligible to be socketed into any of the three color sockets. Blizzard said players will want a combination of all Caged Heart color types, which will create new ways for players to customize their builds.

Season 1 will additionally introduce a seasonal questline that Blizzard has described as a "side story" to Diablo IV's main storyline. Players will need to have completed the campaign on either an Eternal Realm character or on a seasonal character to unlock the seasonal questline and begin engaging with the new seasonal Malignant mechanics.

Blizzard additionally clarified how Diablo IV's seasons will work. Players will only be able to progress the game's seasonal battle pass by creating and playing a new seasonal character. By completing objectives as part of the Season Journey, players will progress the battle pass and will unlock both cosmetics rewards as well as a currency called Smoldering Ash that is used to purchase upgrades that only work for that season. Players can, for example, use Smoldering Ash to increase the amount of XP earned or increase the amount of time that elixir effects last.

Diablo IV will receive a new patch later today that will make it so Unique items can drop from Helltide chests. A major patch from last week brought big changes to Diablo IV's endgame grind, alongside significant balance changes for each class. While the focus of the most recent developer livestream was on Diablo IV, Blizzard's other Diablo game, the free-to-play Diablo Immortal, will be receiving a new, vampire-themed class on July 13.

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