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The first season of Diablo 4 will be called Season of the Malignant, Blizzard Entertainment has revealed. Each season in the action RPG comes with new content and a few special mechanics that will spice the gameplay up temporarily and may even find their way into the game on a more permanent basis.

The Season of the Malignant features a fresh storyline to play through, which is focused on the titular Malignant curse. A new enemy type, Malignant mobs, will be available during the season. They are basically a beefed up version of Elites and killing them starts a little event that draws in more and more of them. Your reward for beating this challenge will be a special gem, of which 32 types will come to the game. These special gems are somewhat comparable to Diablo 3’s legendary gems and come with powerful bonuses, though you can only slot them into specific colored jewelry slots on your items. You’ll be able to farm for gems in Malignant Tunnels, a special zone for the duration of the season.

A series of additional bosses, aspects, and unique items will be introduced as well, coming both to the season-exclusive content as well as the permanent content. Completing the story with a seasonal character will grant you some new rewards as well, such as exclusive aspects.

It wouldn’t be a video game season without a battle pass: Both a free and paid version of this reward track will be available. The free version will include cosmetics and a resource called Ashes, which enables players to improve their XP gain, elixir durations, and other stats for their seasonal characters as part of a new progression system. Blizzard stated that the paid battle pass will only contain cosmetics, no gameplay-related bonuses.

Participating in a season of Diablo 4 requires players to have completed the game’s campaign at least once. You then need to create a seasonal character to access that new content, giving you the option to skip the campaign, have your mount available immediately, unlock all previously discovered Altars of Lilith, and reveal every part of the map you’ve previously explored – you’ll get a kickstart, basically.

The Season of the Malignant in Diablo 4 begins on July 20, 2023.