Diablo 4 Season 1 launches on July 20 with Season of the Malignant
Diablo 4 continues the seasonal model we’ve seen in other Diablo games, with new Seasons coming out quarterly, and the first season is starting soon! So, when does Diablo 4 Season 1 — Season of the Malignant — actually start? The Diablo team has just announced that Diablo 4 Season 1 will start on July 20, 2023.
The Season of the Malignant has you, the player, tackling the denizens of Sanctuary that have been souped up and become “malignant.” By building up to a Caged Heart — a new style of gem with 32 different power options that slot into one of four socket colors — you can create “stupid new broken builds” (direct quote from Lead Game Producer Tim Ismay).
Blizzard plans to deliver “up to four Seasons a year” in Diablo 4, with new seasons about every three months — modeled after the Diablo 3 system. We know Season 1 starts on July 20, and if Blizzard keeps to its planned schedule we should see Season 2 before the end of the year, too. The first Season is only the start.
Diablo 4 Season 1 starting on July 20 gives players six-and-a-half weeks (from launch) to finish the campaign the first time — and you’ll want to finish the campaign so you can unlock the campaign skip and jump immediately into the new season content when you roll a Seasonal character. This gives the developers two more weeks — from the time of the latest D4 developer update — to squash any post-launch bugs. Patch 1.04 is due live this afternoon with bug fixes, but the seasonal patch, which will launch on July 18, shortly before the season starts, is supposedly “very chonky” with lots of content.
As far as Season content, we can expect more than we get in Diablo 2 or Diablo 3 seasons: Season patches will include a new, self-contained seasonal story backed by a Diablo 3-style Season Journey as well as game improvements and other new content. Season of the Malignant has us actively purging Sanctuary of this new corruption, and earning powerful new gems for our troubles. D4 seasons will also drive the Battle Pass — with many reassurances that pay to win is not a factor, as paid rewards are only cosmetic — but the Season’s Journey and all other Seasonal content are free to all players and driven by the Season’s theme.
The Sanctuary of Diablo 4 is vast, with a story to match. We, as players, will have plenty to keep us busy against the armies of Lilith. Stay tuned — we will update you here as we know more!
Published February 9, 2023; updated July 6, 2023.
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