Diablo 4: Should You Choose Eternal Realm or Seasonal Realm?
One of the players’ biggest concerns when starting Diablo 4’s Season of the Malignant is having their progress wholly erased. Since Season 1 requires you to create a new character if you want to participate, you’ll have no choice but to throw the character you previously created. We had it easy during Diablo 4’s pre-season period; starting a new character was a simple task. The biggest choices you had to make then were your hair type and classes. However, now that Season 1 is here, creating a new character will come with a choice: do you want to play in the Eternal Realm or the Seasonal Realm?
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The Seasonal Realm includes everything you’d ever want in Diablo 4—the open world, the campaign, everything—plus recent content additions, such as seasonal content that only exists for a limited time. Creating characters in this realm is the only way to participate in the latest content. That means all content tied to Season 1 requires you to create a Seasonal character. On top of that, you’ll also need the characters to level up the Battle Pass, aka Season’s Journey.
Aside from the seasonal content, there are no other differences between the Eternal Realm and Seasonal Realm. Both share the same balance changes and loot pool. Even the standard Dungeons and map will be available in both realms.
Eternal Realm Characters
Eternal Realm characters are permanent characters that don’t change with the seasons. Instead of a seasonal character who “ends” in a few months and then moves to the Eternal Realm, where they can live out the rest of their days, you’ll zip past that process and head directly into the Eternal Realm. The best part of the Eternal Realm is that you can always return to it to play your character. However, you’ll no longer get additional content besides a few items here and there.
Blizzard recommends players select the Seasonal Realm, and I can say the same thing, even if you’re a new player on the block. There’s a reason why it’s where Blizzard wants you to play. Plus, if you’re worried that you might get overwhelmed, don’t worry—you won’t see the new stuff until you beat the campaign. So if you’re a new player, you’ll get the authentic vanilla experience until you’re ready to delve into Diablo 4’s deeper mechanics.
It’s worth noting that most, if not all, players will gravitate towards the route to the Seasonal Realm, so you’re more likely to find friends or a party to jump into if you’re into that sort of thing. Moreover, Seasonal players can’t play with Eternal players. All the cool stuff you’re probably looking forward to is tucked inside the Seasonal Realm. Blizzard has plans to balance the game around seasonal powers (or at least that’s what they’ve done during Season 1’s start), so you’ll likely feel weaker if you play in the Eternal Realm.
As mentioned before, players with Seasonal Realm characters can only play with other characters of the same Realm; the same goes for Eternal Realm characters. There’s almost no point in choosing to go to the Eternal Realm at the start unless you want to jump in and do some dungeons with friends still using an Eternal Realm character.
Perhaps the only benefit of creating an Eternal character is that if you’re most of the way through with the campaign on your old character. Finishing the campaign—even with a Seasonal character—-will unlock the ability to skip the campaign for all future characters. If you’re already on Act Five using an Eternal Realm character, you might as well finish the story before creating a Seasonal character.
Blizzard originally wanted players to start with a clean slate when starting Season of the Malignant, but they ultimately chose to listen to the community’s feedback. Players will still have to create a new character for Season 1, but you can now carry over some of the progress you’ve made before the season started.
Here’s a list of the things that carry over from your progress in your Eternal Realm characters (the ones you made before Season 1 started) into your new character for Seasonal Realms:
- Campaign Progress – If you’ve already completed the campaign and beat Lilith, you can skip the main story from future seasons entirely and go straight to the Seasonal campaign.
- Map Progress – Whatever you’ve discovered in your previous run will still be seen on your map when you create a character in the Eternal Realm or Seasonal Realm. These include Waypoint you’ve already activated, making exploring less cumbersome.
- Renown Progress – You don’t need to rediscover locations or activate Altars of Liliths to build up your Renown. All your Renown Progress will carry over with every new character, including the experience points, skill points, and the number of potion flasks you’ve unlocked.
- Horse/Mount – Once you can access a mount in one character, it gets unlocked for all characters. Yes, that includes the Seasonal ones.
Transmogs – All the transmogs you’ve unlocked from scavenging equipment will be carried over to your new characters since all cosmetics can be shared between characters within the same account and are account-bound.