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Diablo 4: First Season Start Date, Battle Pass and More About the Darker Dungeon Crawler

Here's what you should know about the newest entry in the Diablo series.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Oscar Gonzalez
5 min read
inarius from diablo 4

Inarius means business. 

Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo 4, the latest installment of the popular dungeon crawler, came out last month, and it's about to kick off its first season. 

Diablo 4 puts players back into the bleak world of Sanctuary, where forces from heaven and hell manipulate humans to do their bidding. The Mother of Sanctuary, Lilith, has returned and intends to spread her evil across the world. It's up to the players to take on her forces and stop her before it's too late. 

Later this month, Diablo 4's first season will start giving players more content, features and more importantly, new loot. 

When did Diablo 4 come out? 

The game was released on Tuesday, June 6. Those who preordered the Deluxe or Ultimate edition of the game had early access to the game from June 1. 

What systems is Diablo 4 available on?

Diablo 4 is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X and S for $70. 

How do Diablo 4 seasons work?

Seasons will be done on a quarterly basis. Each season will have its own unique storyline that players will have to work their way through either with a character they've already created or start from scratch with a new class. New features and equipment will also be made available throughout the season. 

When does the Season of the Malignant start? 

The first season of Diablo 4 will start on July 20 at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET). The theme of the season is Malignant Monsters, threats leftover by Lilith that are attacking innocent people across Sanctuary. Players will have to learn the origins of these monsters while using their Malignant Hearts to provide unique bonuses to their character.

How does the Diablo 4 Battle Pass work? 

Also coming with Season of Malignant is the Diablo 4 Battle Pass. There are two tiers -- free and premium -- and both will have unlockable rewards for players. Premium will cost 1,000 Platinum, the in-game currency that can be purchased with real money, which equates to $10. Paying the extra money will unlock more rewards than the free tier, including more Platinum. There is also an accelerated battle pass for 2,800 Platinum, or approximately $25, that will have 20 tiers of rewards already unlocked. 

What are the PC requirements for Diablo 4?

The minimum requirements are:

  • Operating system: 64-bit Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD FX-8350
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon R9 280
  • Storage: Solid-state drive with 90GB available space

Publisher Blizzard recommends the following specs:

  • Operating system: 64-bit Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4670K or AMD R3-1300X
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • Storage: SSD with 90GB available space

What classes are available in Diablo 4?

There are five classes available in Diablo 4: Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer, Druid and Necromancer. 

What's the story in Diablo 4? 

Diablo 4 is the newest entry in the legendary dungeon-crawling action RPG. Players will fight against the horde of monsters controlled by Lilith, the daughter of Mephisto, one of the Great Evils, and called the "mother" of Sanctuary, the world in which the Diablo series takes place.

Will Diablo 4 have microtransactions? 

Yes it will, although Blizzard says they will only be used for cosmetic purposes.

Are there plans for a Diablo 4 expansions? 

Diablo General Manager Rod Fergusson said in an interview with Kinda Funny Games that his team is working on two expansions for the game. He didn't provide a timeframe on when the first expansion would be released. 

How is it? 

Diablo 4 is bigger and darker than previous games, which is a much-needed upgrade to its dungeon-crawler formula. 

Sanctuary is split into large regions that are then divided into smaller zones. Zones generally have open areas filled with monsters, as well as different towns and encampments where players can interact with merchants or find side quests. 

Quests in the game are abundant and will send you to the far reaches of Sanctuary. Some will require killing a number of enemies in the wild, while others are focused on taking down bosses found in dungeons. 

Dungeons are scattered throughout the regions, some of which take a few minutes to clear, while others may take up to 15 minutes or more. There are also landmarks to discover and overworld events that will send waves of gruesome enemies your way. 

Diablo 4 isn't just bigger, it also has a far darker feel than previous games in the series. Time and time again, I was creeped out by the events unfolding in the game. Blizzard pushed the envelope in villainy by introducing Lilith, who entices individuals to let their inner demon out and do horrible things. The visuals in Diablo 4 help elevate the darker tone with cinematic sequences zooming in on the characters to give a close-up view of the horror rather than the distant viewpoint used throughout the game. 

As remarkable as Diablo 4 is, the review build I experienced did have some issues that could frustrate players. I used the Necromancer during my time playing. It was great to have a gang of skeletons at my beck and call, but they tended to attack targets that posed no harm, like a destructible wall, while ignoring the boss I was fighting. Targeting itself can be a little cumbersome, especially from a distance, as auto-targeting doesn't always pick the ideal enemy to attack. Some of my minions would also just stand there instead of attacking, but this was a rare occurrence. 

Arguably the most frustrating aspect of playing the game was the lack of a basic attack button. For some reason, Blizzard felt it would be better to have players use a skill as the default attack. This means if I have a fancy sword or a giant scythe -- I am playing a Necromancer after all -- the default attack would be whatever initial skill I picked, instead of me swinging my weapon that I have equipped. It made having a cool weapon somewhat useless, which is almost sacrilegious for a game like Diablo, where the ultimate goal is to have the best-equipped character. 

Diablo 4 does many things right to elevate the series. It offers a lot of content to keep players occupied for long periods of time, but it doesn't do so without meaning. The game also returns to the dark tone of the original game but amplifies it for the modern audience.