Tag Archives: April Fools

April Fools at Blizzard 2020 is Centered on Overwatch

This year it seems it was the Overwatch teams turn to embrace the day, or at least be the theme of the day.

Googly eyes at the hero select screen

It has become something of an annual tradition here to cover what Blizzard has been up to every April Fools.  There have been years where the company has put a lot of effort into various items for the day and there have been years where April Fools has barely been a thing at Blizzard.

This year seems like an outlier, with a different feel altogether.  In the past the level of effort has often correlated to highs and lows with the company itself.  Last year, for example, was not a great year for the company, so it wasn’t surprising that people had little time for this sort of thing.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic raging around the world, I was curious to see if there would be any mirth on the first at all.  Blizzard has been giving players benefits in light of the crisis, like an xp boost in WoW and unlocking all the heroes in Heroes of the Storm and co-op commanders in Star Craft II.  It would be completely understandable to give the whole April fools thing a pass.  But a little bit of humor in the right dose wouldn’t go amiss either.

And some of these ideas take a while to put together.  I am going to guess that the giant cat that Bhagpuss wrote about over in Guild Wars II wasn’t rolled up over the weekend but planned well in advance.

Which brings us to Overwatch and its googly eyes on heroes at the select screen, and in the play of the game clip at match end, which I mentioned above. (This came as a tip from Blueline Basher.  The screen shot is one from many in the forum.)

Following on that, over in the Heroes of the Storm forums there were April 1st PTR patch notes posted that included the addition of a new hero, Mercy.  I got that Mercy was an Overwatch hero, but I know so little about HotS that I couldn’t really tell if the patch notes were a joke or if somebody on the team unironically posted an update on April 1st.  And then I watched the video linked in the patch notes, which doesn’t really reveal itself until the very end.

 

The other Blizzard games, Diablo III, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft have all been quiet so far as April Fools is concerned.  No news items or fresh blue posts with an April 1 date.  It is still early in the day on the west coast, so maybe something else will pop up, in which case I will add it here, but for now that is all I have seen.

Update: We now have the annual WoW April Fools patch notes, in draft form, for patch 8.8.8.  Icluded in the notes:

  • High Dwarves
  • Kul-Tiran Worgen
  • Highmountain Goblins
  • New Essences
  • Class Updates
  • New WoW Classic Flavors

If you are jonsing for a Blizzard April Fools joke beyond those your best bet is to look at past efforts.  You can look at the posts I have done over the last decade:

If you want to go back further than that, there is the official Blizzard April Fool’s archive, though that stops at 2015, which is probably meaningful in some way.

In a way I am kind of happy they did something this year, if only to keep the long tradition alive.  They haven’t missed a year since 1999, even if some years have been rather sparse.

For other games you can check out the post over at Massively OP where they are trying to round up the MMO front.

Other April Fools items:

April Fools at Blizzard 2019 is Pretty Much No Fools

There have been points in the past where April Fools was a pretty big deal at Blizzard and each game would have a special joke, a silly new game or outrageous feature, on their respective sites.

Blizzard Outcasts from 2014

Things are no longer that funny around Blizzard these days I gather.

There are a variety of reasons likely for that, but they all add up to declining fortunes.  World of Warcraft, still huge, isn’t as huge as it once was.  Overwatch has seen a decline over the last year and reports are that Hearthstone is suffering from franchise fatigue.

As such, this year’s entries are pretty much non-existent, somehow managing to be a step down from even last year’s low turn out.  I have logged below what I found on the US sites, which I will update if new items show up.

Blizzard Overall

There is a translator up that will show you Blizzard sites in the Murloc language.

The Murloc language is, of course, Nerglish.  This was also part of the Hearthstone April Fools last year.

World of Warcraft

The annual April 1st patch notes are up, titled Patch 8.6.7 Build 5309, a nod to a bit of 80s pop culture.  Some traditions never die.  Still, it is a somewhat tepid listing this year, featuring entries such as:

  • Feral Druids can now be crowd-controlled by throwing a slice of cheese on their head.
  • Groups of 5 Feral Druids can come together to form one super-bot.
  • Due to noise complaints, Stonebark has been fitted with a shock collar.

But that is it.  The WoW site has no new entries for April 1.

Overwatch

Nothing

Hearthstone

Nothing

StarCraft

Nothing

Diablo III

Nothing

Diablo: Immortal

Already confirmed as not an April Fools joke at BlizzCon.

Heroes of the Storm

It is still there… but no April Fools joke.

Past Years

If this year’s lack of effort leaves you longing for bigger or better gags, you can always look back at past years:

I think it might be telling that the official Blizzard April Fool’s archive stops at 2015.

We may be at a point where we can declare April Fools no longer really a thing for Blizzard.

But if you’re dying for something on April Fools, I guess you can go play Minecraft 3D.  The over-the-top April Fools spirit has hit Mojang… though I am not sure that their impression of a 1994 version of Minecraft is all that different from what they have today.

April Fools at Blizzard 2018 is Mostly Just World of Warcraft

This year Blizzard April Fools appears to have fallen even further out of favor down in Irvine.  I was wondering if it showing up on Easter would change this or not.  I checked the main sites as well as the forums for each of the current Blizzard games and below is all I found.

I’ll check back again later and add anything else that might pop up during the day.  If I missed anything, leave a comment to let me know.

World of Warcraft

The micro event when all the micro events are active… also, appropriate for today

This year saw the announcement of a whole series of new “micro holidays” including:

  • We’re All Elves Now!
  • Future Timewalking Event
  • Looking for Queue

In addition there is the traditional patch notes.  This year they are listed as Preview World of Warcraft 8.0.41 Patch Notes and includes such gems as:

The drop rates of mounts from raids and dungeons have been adjusted to ensure that that one mount you’ve been farming for the past 3 years will drop immediately for the newest member of your guild.

And that was about it.

Overwatch

Nothing

Hearthstone

What appears to be a real post about a month-long event.

A Murloc language version of the game.

Heroes of the Storm

Nothing

StarCraft II

Nothing

StarCraft Remastered

Too busy celebrating its 20th Anniversary yesterday.  You can get SC themed items in other Blizz games this weekend.

Diablo III

Nothing

Past Years

If this effort leaves you jonesing for more, you can always look back at past years:

And so it goes.  I think it might be telling that the official Blizzard April Fool’s archive stops at 2015.

April Fools at Blizzard 2017 – Not Much to Talk About

Here we are again, another April Fools has rolled around and… Blizzard doesn’t seem in the mood.

There are a couple of items up for StarCraft II that have an April 1 date on them, so I assume they are humor.  There is the the Instability / Co-op Mutation announcement.

D4rK V0ic3? What does this picture even mean?

Then there is the Overlord Announcer customized announce package.  It speaks Zerg.

Overlord, with sound samples

It’s funny because you can’t understand anything in the sample sounds I guess.

And that was about it.

Over on the World of Warcraft site they are still focused on the Tomb of Sargeras 7.2 update and its ongoing hotfixes, all of which has turned into a bad joke in and of itself.

On the Diablo III site, season 10 opened (finally available on consoles!) and there something about the coming necromancer update announced back at BlizzCon, but nothing humorous.

The Hearthstone site is on about the upcoming Journey to Un’goro card pack.

Heroes of the Storm news is all about the 2.0 plan to fix the game and make it popular.  I am sure you can make a joke about that, but that likely wasn’t Blizzard’s intent.

And the most recent update about Overwatch involves a statue of Windowmaker for $150.  That they have to say, “Limit – 2 per customer” should be funny… or sad.  I can’t tell.

So not much of an April Fools from the team down in Irvine.  Digging around, it seems like there may have been some things done in-game for players, but the usual medium of outrageous new features and fake patch notes on the various sites seems to have fallen by the wayside.  I’ll have to check Blizzard’s April Fools archive next week to see if anything else was added for today.  But for now, that is all I have seen.  I’ll amend the page if something new comes up.

Addendum, thanks to the comments:

My own archive of past years:

April Fools at Blizzard – 2016

The day has come again.  April Fools is a thing down in Anaheim.

Past years fun, for those who want to catch up:

However, this year all the humor at Blizzard seems to be focused on the World of Warcraft side of things.  Heroes of the Storm is in the midst of a tournament, Hearthstone announced a new ranked play season, StarCraft II is pushing mission packs, Diablo III only mentions that Season 5 is ending soon, and Overwatch is focused on its upcoming launch.

I am sure some conspiracy theory can be thrown together that this indicates that somehow Blizzard may not be serious about WoW any more, at least relative to its other titles.  Or maybe the other jokes just haven’t been published as yet.  Anyway, we go with what we have to hand:

World of Warcraft

In Azeroth, there was the introduction of the Frostdoge Clan.

Such Faction! Very Expansion!

Such Faction! Very Expansion!

There was concern from flight masters around Azeroth as a new service called Flyt arrived.

Because we couldn't figure out anything with Uber

Because we couldn’t figure out anything with Uber

Then there was Azeroth TV, featuring shows like Void Storage Wars and Keeping Up with the Barovs.

As with real life, nobody can explain why we watch, we just do...

As with real life, nobody can explain why we watch, we just do…

This was on the WoW page, but is focused on the collectible card game front; the announcement of Hearthstone: The MMO in a video.

And no April Fools day would be complete without some release note fun, so here are the latest updates for the WoW Legion Alpha.

And that is all I have seen so far, though I am sure I missed something.  The forums are often a source as well.  I will update this post if I find anything new.

Meanwhile, what other games have something good for April Fools?

Some items of note:

  • Psychochild’s new venture is RetroVR

April Fools at Blizzard – 2015

The date is upon us, the usual suspects are out complaining about it or feeling the need to warn people (just in case you’ve never run across the phenomena before I guess), and so we have another in an ongoing series of posts about April Fools and Blizzard.  Previous entries:

This is what I found this morning rummaging through Blizzard’s various sites.

Blizzard-wide

The first entry for April Fools this year is the B’Motes Expression Packs that allow a wide variety of pre-recorded emotes and expressions to be applied to Blizzard games.

BMotesPacksPacks are available for everything including BNet chat.

World of Warcraft

In Azeroth we have T.I.N.D.R. (like Tinder) a matchmaking application to allow your followers to find their perfect match… for adventure.

On the T.I.N.D.R. box mission

On the T.I.N.D.R. box mission

When matched up, your followers can use their S.E.L.F.I.E. to record their results of their date.

And, of course, there is the usual round of patch notes to go with the date.

StarCraft 2

On the StarCraft 2 front, Blizzard has come up with an item to celebrate the Legacy of the Void expansion going into beta, the Spear of Adun.

The Spear of Adun keepsake

The Spear of Adun keepsake

The page describing the Spear of Adun links to the Blizzard store where the item appears to be out of stock… and a bit pricy.

Add it to your wish list

Add it to your wish list

Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm introduces Big Head Mode for April Fools.

Boom, headshot

Boom, head shot

Wasn’t that an EverQuest II April Fools think like eight years ago?

There is also a Noblegarden skin available, but I am not sure if that is a joke or not.  I’ve seen goofier things in other games that were not a joke.

Hearthstone

As with the Noblegarden skin, Hearthstone has a special April item that may or may not be an April Fools.  Announced yesterday, there is a new card back with a cupcake on it.

Cupcake Card Back

Cupcake Card Back

Whether or not is is real, it seems to be in the spirit of the day all the same.  And there are always those April 1st patch notes.

Elsewhere

Diablo III only had the B’Motes item (and their latest patch notes look real) while the Overwatch site was still in full “some day” mode, as it has been since around BlizzCon.

All in all, an okay array of jokes.  Nothing too over the top, like some of the past entries.  The Blizzard folks must be hard at work, as they did not have time to put together a full fledged browser game like they did back in 2012.

What else is going on in the world on April Fools Day?

MMORPG.com and Massively OP both have columns up this morning covering the wider world of MMOs and their April Fools fun.

Addendum:

April Fools at Blizzard – 2014

The day is upon us, April Fools, where we must filter through the funny, the flat, the trite, and the just plain mean.

Blizzard has always spent some effort on this front, and usually has something interesting for us each year.  You can look at past reviews:

Last year we got mostly retreads of previous April Fools entries.  This year Blizzard has a few new items.

Draenei Female Model

First up is a news item about the character model updates.  The new models, announced at BlizzCon, have been the focus of front page posts before.  But today’s look at the female Dranei model turns the character into an outlet for someone’s Miley Cyrus jokes, getting some special emotes such as /twerk.

You can find it here.

Blizzard Outcasts

Then there is also a “new game” announcement for Blizzard Outcasts: Vengence of the Vanquished.

Blizzard Outcasts

Blizzard Outcasts

It purports to be a fighting game for using characters from Blizzard lore who… well.. die.  Wirt.  Deckard Cain.  Liddy Raynor.  The video included shows it to be an 8-bit side scrolling fighter akin to Street Fighter.  The game also includes a special new controller that includes a credit card interface to play.

The page for the game, including a list of heroes and a FAQ, can be found here.

Happy Reaper

The Diablo III site features a Blizzard entry into the mobile market, Happy Reaper.

AF02HappyReaper

 

A spin on Flappy Bird, there is even a playable demo (Unity plugin required) linked from the announcement.

Herald of the Stars

There is an announcement regarding the name of the next StarCraft II expansion.  The Protoss focused release is alleged to be called StarCraft II: Herald of the Stars, which purports to be playable with the time stream running in either direction.

AF03SC

The full announcement is here.

WoW 6.0 Patch Notes

All the changes destined for Warlords of Draenor.  Flightmasters will now be Walkmasters, to prevent confusion with that other Blizzard game, the “Hearthstone” will now be called the “Homerock” and so on.  Find the full forum post here.

New Hero of the Storm

Blizzard’s MOBA has announced a new hero today.

Pajamathur!

Pajamathur!

Others Entries

That is all I saw on my early morning run through the Blizzard web sites.  They may put up more later, which I will add when I get a chance.  The new release games, such as Hearthstone and the Reaper of Souls expansion, seem to be free of direct parody, probably to avoid mixed messages with titles still getting established.

So we got some fresh items this year.

Who else has some decent April Fools entries?