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  • Diablo IV Season 1 Release Date Set for July 20: Malignant Quest Line, Broken Builds, More

Diablo IV Season 1 Release Date Set for July 20: Malignant Quest Line, Broken Builds, More

It introduces a new character Cormund, who tasks us with ridding Sanctuary of a festering curse that turns all living beings into bloodthirsty fiends.

Diablo IV Season 1 Release Date Set for July 20: Malignant Quest Line, Broken Builds, More

Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Some elite monsters in the open world have a chance of spawning as Malignant variants

  • Diablo 4 season 1’s story is set after the events of the main campaign
  • Players can collect Malignant Hearts to build insanely broken builds
  • Earning Favors through gameplay helps progress Diablo 4’s battle pass

Diablo IV's much-awaited season 1 update will release July 20, nearly a month-and-a-half since the game debuted to rave reviews. Dubbed ‘Season of the Malignant,' the update was shown off during a developer live stream, held early Friday, detailing new quests, items, and further focus on its battle pass. As the title suggests, the upcoming season introduces a brand-new questline where the realm of Sanctuary is slowly getting corrupted by a plague, turning all living things into Malignant Monsters with new powers. The chapter is set after Diablo 4's main campaign where you bested Lilith, Daughter of Hatred, to rid Sanctuary of evil, and serves as a side story within the open world. The season starts at 10:30pm IST/ 10am PT.

As a festering curse widens its reach across Diablo IV's Sanctuary, the player will be summoned back to Kyovashad at level 1 to meet a new character Cormand, a former priest from the Cathedral of Light, who assigns us the new task of ripping the infected hearts out the Malignant creatures and using them to raise our power. Elite monsters you find in the world have a chance of spawning as a Malignant version, who upon defeat, drops an exposed Malignant Heart. You can interact with this item to start a ritual that spawns an even more powerful version of the elite enemy, surrounded by a group of corrupted mobs. Once you kill that — yeah, it's double the work — you earn a Caged Heart, which essentially functions like a gem that can be slotted into rings or amulets to tremendously boost your power. It's a way for you to create “stupid, new broken builds” that the developers hope are rightfully balanced.

Diablo IV Review

During Diablo IV's season 1, all ring and amulet drops will come with coloured sockets — red, blue, or yellow — that will only accept similarly coloured hearts' powers. You cannot pair a red heart in a blue socket, as the game directs players to look for specific colours of items. Maybe if you're lucky enough on your hunt, you will uncover a mysterious fourth colour of heart, which can be socketed onto any jewellery. There are a total of 32 Malignant Heart powers to collect, albeit you will run into even stronger versions of those as you keep playing the game. Any old, now useless hearts can then be broken down into crafting material that can be used to create Invokers. These can be used once you finish the Diablo IV season 1 campaign, at a Malignant Tunnel, where you can hunt for guaranteed hearts. Remember: Malignant Hearts are quite rare when looking for in the overworld.

The season 1 journey will be spread across seven chapters, each with its own set of objectives and rewards, by way of new items and Favor. The latter is crucial to progressing Diablo 4's battle pass by helping you unlock rewards — the more Favor you earn, the more tiers you unlock. It is also worth mentioning that there are two kinds of battle passes here — a free tier where everyone can earn in-game boosts and a paid Premium Tier, where the rewards are all cosmetics. Upon launch, Diablo IV merely featured an in-game shop that simply contained skins, with the game never luring you to buy any of them. Hopefully, the trend continues as Blizzard Entertainment focuses on expanding the game in the years to come. The studio already has two expansions in active development.

Diablo IV is out on PC (via Battle.net), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X.

What are the most exciting titles that gamers can look forward to in 2023? We discuss some of our favourites on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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  • NEWS
  • Good
  • Looks stunningly gory
  • Diverse class options
  • Skills synergise beautifully with builds
  • Finely-tuned combat
  • Great voice acting
  • Rewarding exploration
  • Satisfying loot system
  • Bad
  • Lacklustre story
  • Tight enemy-scaling
  • Microtransactions
  • Mob fights can get monotonous
  • Side quests feel like checklists
Genre RPG
Platform PlayStation 4 (PS4), PlayStation 5 (PS5), Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC: Windows
Modes Multiplayer
Series Diablo
PEGI Rating 16+

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