The first season of Diablo 4 is soon to arrive, returning us to Sanctuary to stem some strange corruption that's taken hold after the events of the main campaign. This mysterious malignance manifests in the hearts of creatures, which we tear from their chests, turning them into Caged Hearts. These superpowered gems slot into our seasonal gear to provide abilities, and as the devs described in the livestream last week, "an enormous amount of power".
That's not all we know about the new season, though. Besides showcasing the new battle pass, the livestream clarified details about Renown—that currency you get from exploring the map, taking down Strongholds, and doing just about anything across the game's five regions. Since each season takes part in a different realm, players were understandably worried that this currency might reset entirely, meaning you'd have to do everything again to get the bonuses that it provides.
The good news is that two of these Renown categories carry over, namely: Altars of Lilith and Areas Discovered. If you haven't found all of your altars yet—I'm sorry for the slog that awaits you—they are well worth tracking down, since each provides an extra bonus to all your characters in the realm, including stat boosts, and higher Murmuring Obol capacity. Four of them even grant Paragon points. Areas Discovered specifically relates to fog of war on the map, which clears whenever you find a new area. The quickest way to unlock these is just to look around each region for those little foggy patches.
Find all 160 Altars of Lilith and 307 areas and you can start your new character in season one with the first two Renown nodes unlocked for each region. This gives you five ability points to use before even your first level, and five extra health potions that you can claim straight away. Even better, the fog of war on the entire map will be cleared. Major Waypoints also carry over, but you'll have to unlock some of them again, presumably because certain Waypoints are hidden behind Strongholds.
Your ability to skip the campaign on new characters is also transferable, and since season one's questline occurs after, it sounds like you'll need to have finished the campaign to start it anyway. To make sure your progress carries over, the devs mentioned that you should log into your main character after the patch arrives on July 18, so the game can log what you've completed, and grant those unlocks to your new character.
Honestly, though, Renown is kind of terrible. It's nice that a couple of areas of progression are going to be carried over, especially altars—I'm not sure I can face unlocking all 160 again—but having to repeat every sidequest to get that max benefit of extra Paragon points is a bit painful. My only hope is that the seasonal realm has new quests that count towards that so we're not replaying all of them again.