Diablo 4 Holding Back the Flood Quest Guide: Fastest Season Journey Objectives

Get started with Season of the Malignant.

by Diego Perez
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Holding Back the Flood is the first major quest in Diablo 4 Season of the Malignant, and if you’re not used to the game’s seasonal story model, then you might be a bit confused about this quest’s objectives. It requires you to complete the first two chapters of the season journey, which is essentially a list of challenges that you’ll complete as you level your brand-new character from scratch to the level cap.

It involves completing your usual Diablo 4 chores like dungeons, cellars, side quests, and world events, but there are new season-specific objectives like Malignant Tunnels tossed in there as well. Thankfully, you can pick and choose which objectives you want to focus on since you don’t need to finish every single one to complete a chapter.

How to Start Holding Back the Flood in Diablo 4

Holding Back the Flood will start automatically after you finish the introduction quest for Season of the Malignant which introduces you to Cormund and the seasonal crafting system. This involves clearing out your very first Malignant Tunnel and learning how to craft Malignant Invokers so you can start collecting Malignant Hearts to power up your character with powerful seasonal bonuses. Once this quest is out of the way, it’s time to move on to Holding Back the Flood.

Fastest Season Journey Chapter 1 Objectives

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

The first step to completing Holding Back the Flood is finishing the first chapter of the season journey. You can check your season journey progress by opening the menu and navigating to the Season tab. Here are all 9 season journey chapter one objectives:

  • Collect 15 Gallowvine
  • Collect a Malignant Heart
  • Complete any dungeon
  • Complete a world event
  • Complete 3 dungeons in the Fractured Peaks
  • Complete a cellar
  • Complete 5 priority quests or side quests
  • Collect a Whispering CKey
  • Salvage items at the blacksmith

You only need to complete 7 out of these 9 objectives to complete the chapter. We recommend doing them all except the 3 Fractured Peaks dungeons and 5 side quests, which would take the longest out of the bunch. Of course, these will give you a headstart on future season chapters, but if you just want to get this quest out of the way for now, focus on easy tasks like cellars and world events.

Fastest Season Journey Chapter 2 Objectives

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Chapter 2 of the season journey is available right from the start, so you don’t have to complete Chapter 1 for your progress to start counting. Here are all 11 Chapter 2 objectives:

  • Complete 10 cellars
  • Collect 3 Malignant Hearts
  • Conquer a stronghold
  • Craft any Chipped Gem at the Jeweler
  • Complete 5 Malignant Tunnels
  • Reach level 25
  • Collect 15 Demon Hearts
  • Change your appearance in the Wardrobe 5 times
  • Interact with 10 Waypoints
  • Upgrade two items at the Blacksmith or Jeweler
  • Upgrade your potion to Minor at the Alchemist

You only need to achieve 9 of these to complete the chapter. We recommend skipping the objectives that require you to reach level 25 and complete 5 Malignant Tunnels, since these take the longest out of the bunch. The other 9 still take a bit of grinding, but not quite as much.

Related: How to Fix Diablo 4 Progress Not Carrying Over to Seasonal Realm

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to complete this chapter until at least level 20, since crafting Chipped Gems and upgrading your potion to Minor can’t be done before then. However, while you clear out cellars, work on strongholds, and complete the other objectives on this list, you’ll be there in no time.

After completing the first two chapters of the Season of the Malignant journey and claiming their rewards (which will net you some nice new seasonal aspects), you can move on to the next seasonal story quest: Answers in the Ashes.

- This article was updated on July 21st, 2023

About The Author

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Currently serving as an Associate Editor at Attack of the Fanboy, Diego Perez has been writing about video games since 2018, specializing in live service games like Destiny and Final Fantasy XIV. His work is featured at publications like Game Rant and The Outerhaven, but Attack of the Fanboy is home to his best work. When he's not editing or writing guides, he's yelling about Ape Escape or grinding Lost Sectors in Destiny. Plus, he has a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Media Studies for Texas A&M University.