Season 1 of Diablo 4 is set to kick off on July 20, and ahead of its launch, developers from Blizzard Entertainment have told NME what fans can expect from the update.

As Diablo 4‘s first season since launching in June, Season Of The Malignant will bring more gear, dungeons and questlines for players to work their way through in Sanctuary.

Speaking to NME, associate game designer Joe Piepiora shared that while season 1 will be set after the events of Diablo 4‘s campaign, it will be more of a “self-contained story” that explores the other goings-on in Sanctuary. In this case, it’s a malignancy that’s infecting humans, spirits and demons alike, and players will head deep underground to investigate.

“In seasons we’re focusing more on telling the people of Sanctuary’s stories,” added Michelle Piña, game designer for Diablo 4‘s dungeons. “Whereas expansions will expand on the actual campaign story, dealing with those specific characters like Lorath and Neyrelle.”

Diablo 4. Credit: Blizzard Entertainment.
Diablo 4. Credit: Blizzard Entertainment.

Piña also worked on creating season 1’s Malignant Tunnels — random dungeons that have been transformed into newly-corrupted areas. Tunnels will contain more Malignant-warped enemies and their relevant loot, and Piña noted that they will be shorter than the game’s traditional dungeons.

“There are two to three objectives, and I focused primarily on making [kill-based] objectives,” said Piña, who warned that the new locations will be “really nasty-looking”.

“Malignant Tunnels are these fun, punchy, shorter dungeon experiences,” shared Piepiora. “They’re very efficient — there are lots of things to kill inside — and great ways to gather up these Malignant Heart [gear upgrades].”

Elsewhere, Piña and Piepiora denied knowing anything about Diablo 4‘s rumoured cow level, which has become a long-running joke within the Diablo series.

The pair also explained the reasoning behind fans having to make new characters to play season 1 content.

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