As Diablo IV inches closer to its June launch date, Blizzard has revealed battle pass pricing and how the RPG will handle its seasonal content.
As detailed in its latest livestream developer blog, Blizzard outlined the Diablo IV season basics with a breakdown on rewards and progression. The first season begins in mid to late July, with four seasons planned per year–one per quarter, each set to last for three months.
Diablo 4 Screenshots
Seasons aren't meant to expand upon Diablo IV's main narrative; that's being left to its expansions. Instead, it'll focus on separate, themed content iterating on the base game and introducing "fresh concepts and ideas into the world of Sanctuary." Those concepts include new gameplay mechanics, characters, questlines, items, and balancing tweaks.
With each season, Diablo IV adds seasonal questlines and self-contained stories to the mix. Those quests walk you through new gameplay events tying into the RPG's latest themed experience. During the stream, Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson added this split from the core campaign's story allowed the team to create quests and mechanics "not bound by the campaign."
"You're basically creating questlines in the open world that can be completely different and not constrained to it has to be about the narration level of story," Fergusson said. "It can be about anything that's interesting you want to play into in the open world."
You're basically creating questlines in the open world that can be completely different and not constrained to it has to be about the narration level of story
Diablo IV's quarterly updates are for post-launch adventuring, so you'll need to complete the base game before jumping in. After playing through once, every new character can skip the campaign and begin the seasonal update immediately. Seasons will require a new character, and though your older characters are still accessible, they can't participate in these additions.
Every quarter adds a seasonal journey to support you through Diablo IV's new additions, which include challenges and rewards that work towards completing the battle pass using its experience point system, Favor. Blizzard's seasonal pass offers a free path to completion, along with paid routes and additional perks.
Blizzard reveals Battle Pass pricing
The free battle pass is available to everyone, adding 27 tiers with rewards like Smoldering Ashes and other cosmetics. Ashes can be redeemed for seasonal blessings (buffs) for experience points, gold, potion extensions, or Obols. Blizzard noted that paid pass rewards don't include additional Smoldering Ashes, and you'll need to hit certain character milestones before claiming goodies that affect gameplay.
As for Diablo IV's paid battle pass options, additions include:
Premium Pass (~$10)
- 63 additional tiers
- Two full cosmetic armor sets for each class
- Weapon and armor cosmetics
- Seasonal mount and mount armor
Accelerated Pass (~$25)
- All perks from the premium pass
- Immediately unlocks 20 tiers
- Wings of the Creator emote
Since seasons only last three months, the accelerated pass is geared toward anyone who starts the season late, retroactively unlocking tiers for a boost. Some perks unlocked through the season, like unique items and powers, join you in Diablo IV's base game after the events wrap up. Along with its monetized battle pass tracks, Blizzard also says it's planning a rotating assortment of gear for Diablo IV's cash shop. Items purchased in the shop are purely cosmetic, and class cosmetics are available for all characters account-wide.
Diablo IV Season 1 has yet to set an exact date, and Blizzard's developer panel noted details around its theme would be discussed after launch on June 6, 2023. And while its debut is hardly a month out, you can still check out the final Diablo IV beta planned for May 12 through May 14.
Andrea Shearon is a freelance contributor for IGN covering games and entertainment. She's worn several hats over her seven-year career in the games industry, with bylines over at Fanbyte, USA Today's FTW, TheGamer, VG247, and RPG Site. Find her on Twitter (@Maajora) or the Materia Possessions podcast chatting about FFXIV, RPGs, and any series involving giant robots.