Diablo 4 Season 1 offers players "an enormous amount of power"

Two adventurers in grayscale are surrounded by demons and wolves
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard has revealed brand new details for Diablo 4 Season 1. 

The Season of the Malignant is set to start on July 20, and offers new threats, a self-contained story, and brand-new ways to customize your wanderer.

Diablo 4's first seasonal content drop will have players face off against the Malignant threat which, according to lead producer Tim Ismay "shows up throughout the entire game" (via GamesRadar). 

When you encounter an elite monster in Season of the Malignant, there's a chance that a malignant version of that monster will also spawn, complete with scary new powers and weird tentacles. 

Defeat it, and it'll drop a heart. You'll then use this heart to start a ritual by using a Cage of Binding. As you might expect from a ritual in Diablo 4, this will call in Malignants far and wide, as well as spawning a beefier version of the enemy you just defeated. Triumph and you'll get a Caged Heart, a powerful season-exclusive item.

Like gems, Caged Hearts can be slotted into your gear, granting "an enormous amount of power." No matter which of the Diablo 4 classes you choose to play, there will be something for you amongst the four different types of Caged Heart that'll be available. 

It's worth noting that Season of the Malignant will be taking place on its own, self-contained servers, separate from the "Eternal" servers we've already seen. Once the season is finished, characters will be moved to the Eternal Realm, but, if you want to take advantage of Season of the Malignant, you'll need to create a new, seasonal character on the seasonal realm. 

Seasonal characters will be able to take part in the "season journey", a self-contained arc dealing with the Malignant threat. This quest will offer cosmetics, titles, and other rewards exclusive to the Season of the Malignant. The new season also adds a new boss battle in the Malignant Tunnels, as well as six new unique items and seven new Legendary aspects. 

Blizzard also offered details surrounding the Diablo 4 battle pass for Season of the Malignant. Though the battle pass isn't necessary for those looking to enjoy the latest season journey, the premium, paid battle pass offers an accelerated experience and a host of cosmetic unlocks, including the Warded Mustang Mount, Coldiron Barding, a new emote, and more besides. Those using the battle pass can also take advantage of Season Blessings, too, allowing for powerful account-wide buffs. 

Diablo 4 offers a great deal with its stellar multiplayer and breathtaking gothic art style, however, it'll be interesting to see whether or not the move to a live service model will pay off for the critically acclaimed ARPG. 

If you're looking for loot of your own, Amazon Prime Day is nearly upon us, promising devilish Prime Day gaming deals as well as a selection of free games.

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent. 

Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure. 

Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.