Diablo 4 season 5 hits the PTR soon — here’s what’s in it

Blizzard Teases Diablo 4 Season 5 Details

Blizzard has given a fairly comprehensive picture of what to expect from Diablo 4’s fifth season in advance of a weeklong test on the game’s Public Test Realm (PTR).

New Content and Features

The as-yet-untitled season 5, which begins on Aug. 6, will offer a new quest line that sounds as if it will lead into Vessel of Hatred, Diablo 4’s first full expansion, which launches on Oct. 8. The main new feature will be a new wave-based gameplay mode, the Infernal Hordes, culminating in an endgame boss battle with multiple variations. The Unique item tier is getting an overhaul to make it more impactful, and new combos of weapon type and character class are being opened up.

Requirements and Challenges

There’s a slightly higher bar to clear to access the quest line and the Infernal Hordes this time. Previous seasons have required the player to complete Diablo 4’s campaign on one character to start the seasonal quest line. For season 5, you’ll need to enter the World Tier 3 difficulty to start the quest line. This means completing the campaign, reaching at least level 48, and then beating the Cathedral of Light “capstone” dungeon on World Tier 2. Most of the game’s dedicated players will have done all this a long time ago, but newer players brought in by the recent Game Pass launch or the excellent fourth season might want to go tick it off now.

Permanent Additions

Unlike the game’s first three seasons, however, which introduced new gameplay concepts for the length of the season only, it seems Blizzard is intent on making permanent additions and changes to Diablo 4 with season 5, as it did with season 4. The new quest line will be available on both Seasonal and Eternal realms, and will remain on the Eternal Realm after the end of season 5. Blizzard’s description of season 5’s storyline — “enemies are cut-down, alliances shift, and unlikely friends emerge from the shadows” — sounds as if it might be setting the scene for Vessel of Hatred, a suspicion further supported by the quest’s permanent nature.

New Endgame Activity

Infernal Hordes are unlocked at the end of the storyline and are intended to be a permanent new endgame activity to site alongside the Pit of Artificers dungeon introduced in season 4. In this mode, players enter Hell itself to defeat 90-second waves of enemies and collect Burning Aether to spend on loot and other rewards at the end of the run. In between each wave, players will choose from three Infernal Offers, which add gameplay modifiers to increase the difficulty and reward of each run.

Survive the Infernal Hordes and you will battle three of the five members of the Fell Council, corrupted priests from Diablo 2 who have become champions of Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred (and the main antagonist of Vessel of Hatred).

Additional Updates

There are a ton of further changes, quality-of-life updates, and balance fixes to delve into in the full patch notes for the season 5 PTR and in the developers’ campfire chat stream. Highlights include: an overhaul of Unique items intended to make them more powerful, and to encourage players to change their character builds around them; the ultra-rare Uber Uniques now become Mythic Uniques, with their own item color and even drop sound; and new weapon types have been opened up for some classes, with Necromancers able to use maces and axes, Sorcerers able to use one-handed swords and maces, and Druids getting some new options, too.

Testing Dates and Launch

The PTR is available for PC players using Blizzard’s Battle.net launcher only, and the season 5 test runs for a week from tomorrow, Tuesday June 25. Season 5 begins on Aug. 6, and runs for a briefer-than-usual two months until season 6 begins alongside the launch of Vessel of Hatred on Oct. 8.