The July 2023 Diablo developer livestream was a great deep dive into Diablo 4 Season 1 as well as the overall seasonal structure. This article covers everything mentioned in the livestream.
Season 1 “Season of the Malignant” Description
The developers covered Season 1 very comprehensively, as well as what to expect from the seasons and how they’ll work.
Season 1 will start from 20 July 2023, Diablo 4 will patch July 18th before this date, and add this content to be activated on the Season State date.
The theme of this season is “Corruption”. This season comes with some new mechanics that could shape up to new building opportunities and new gameplay experiences.
The seasonal story is available during and after the campaign and follows the story of Cormond, a former priest of the Church of Light, who investigates the corruption spreading through the Sanctuary.
They didn’t go too deep into the story beyond the trailer shown on the stream, but we’ll have more details for the Season 1 launch on July 20.
After the completion of the campaign, all the elite monsters will get a chance to emerge as the Deadly Elite. These mighty elites will drop a fatal heart upon death.
If you’re carrying a new cage of binding items, you can perform a ritual to capture these deadly hearts, allowing them to be socketed into the gear.
fatal heart and socket
After the ritual is completed, you will be awarded a Malignant Heart, which comes in four varieties. Not all of these were shown in the game, so for now we’ll go by color; Use the colors red, green, blue and white.
Each of these types and colors have their own sockets that may appear on the gear. While the red, green and blue variants must be placed in their color specific sockets, the white variant can be placed in any color socket.
These are determined upon socket drop, including items that require you to spend resources to add a socket. These are fixed and cannot be re-rolled or changed in any way.
crafting with deadly hearts
Caged hearts can be broken down into new material and crafted into an item called an Invoker. Invokers can be used in the Malignant Tunnels, a unique dungeon that ends with the Malignant Outgrowth.
These Malignant Outgrowths give you a choice between two or more types of Malignant Hearts, allowing you to target a specific type of Caged Heart. Once selected, the Invoke the Malignant Heart event will begin and you must defeat a Malignant Elite to claim your reward.
battle pass details
They provided a ton of information regarding the Battle Pass, including some reward details
Season Journeys is a reward system that helps you advance your Battle Pass, as well as earn a number of season-specific rewards such as Aspects, which can also be placed in your Codex of Power.
It asks you to complete tasks to earn favors, which contribute greatly to your Battle Pass progress. Each of these tasks is related to the gameplay, ranging from completing a dungeon or dungeon to interacting with the new Seasonal mechanic.
As you advance in the Battle Pass, you’ll earn Smoldering Ashes that allow you to activate various bonuses for your seasonal characters.
These largely promote general progression and gameplay, but as shown above, also detail effects that are specific to that season. These will definitely speed up your journey into the new season.
The main set of cosmetics for this Battle Pass includes the Coldiron set. This is a full set of cosmetics, including armor, weapons and mount armor, in addition to new mount skins.
There are two forms of these items, the original Coldiron set that you get from the first levels of the Battle Pass, as well as an Awoken Coldiron set from later levels. The main difference between the two is that the Awoken Coldiron set is equipped with these Corrupted Crystals that glow.
What’s Available on Free Pass
The Free Pass includes all of Smoldering Ashes, keeping the gameplay experience on par between Free and Premium Pass holders throughout the season. These are used to activate the various seasonal blessings mentioned above.
Additionally, the Free Pass also has its own set of cosmetics that are separate from the main cosmetic set, but available to all players. One of these is the Artisan’s tunic for Season 1, shown below.
what will move from the eternal realm to the seasonal characters
He wanted to emphasize that Lilith’s altars, the fog of war, and the fame associated with these glorious deeds will carry on, This takes a lot of fame fatigue away, as it’s about 600 fame in each area.
While strongholds, dungeons, and sidequests don’t progress, they often go hand-in-hand with each other, so you can find the optimal way to move quickly through your rundown.
For more information on the Renown system, see our Renown guide.
End of Steam QnA
To end the stream, he did his usual QnA session with questions from the live stream chat.
Q: Any honor changes?
They’re about to make character repossessing a lot easier and cheaper by introducing a new item, the Scrolls of Amnesia.
it will be a powerful thing Completely reset your Skill Points and Paragon Points, all at no cost! Although he did not specify how rare these items would be, it is a significant improvement compared to the current honor system which can be costly in both time and gold.
Q: Will Fatal Hearts make it to the Eternal Realm?
Possibly! he said so There’s no guarantee that Fatal Hearts will make it to the Eternal Realm, but this is largely decided by the community. If the community enjoys the mechanics around them, they may find their way into the game as a permanent feature.
They don’t want to implement all of the seasonal mechanics into the base game to keep it from getting too cluttered and messy.
Q: Which cosmetics will remain in place between seasons?
All of them; Whether they came from rescues, drops, or purchases. They don’t want to take away any cosmetics they’ve bought or otherwise earned.
Q: Why do we teleport outside of the Nightmare dungeons instead of them?
It’s largely a rough implementation of the feature, intended as a way to add the feature without breaking anything. They plan to optimize it more with better implementations eventually, they just wanted to include it asap.
Q: Any plans for mid-season balance?
They will always keep an eye on the balance and continuously adjust the balance as needed. This may include quick hotfixes to address outliers in either direction that break the game or are simply vulnerable.
Q: Are there plans to add new classes to Diablo 4?
He made a “soft confirmation” by saying that he has nothing to announce at this time. This could mean that something is being worked on, but it is not yet clear enough to announce.
Q: What about more stash space?
He said that they are currently working on ways to make various improvements to it apart from providing more space. This includes their upcoming rework for gems, which treats them more like currency than actual inventory items.