Tag Archives: April Fools

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?

 

April Fools at Blizzard – 2013

April Fools at Blizzard this year is either less ambitious or more subtle than before.

Or I am missing something.

On the World of Warcraft site, there is the return of Crabby, who was part of the 2011 April Fools.

He's been done before...

He’s been done before…

He has some new and amusing dialog and I guess is part of the tradition now.  And if you go down the right conversational path, the one where you talk about sports, you can watch him try on various hats.

Crab hat!

Crab hat!

But I have to wonder, how many people even remember Clippy, of which Crabby is a parody.

But other than that, all I could spot was some disagreement as to when the Noblegarden event was taking place, with it either being March 31 through April 6 or April 24 through May 1.  That must be funny in some way I am not getting.

The Diablo III site seems to be completely free of April Foolery, unless that thread asking Is This Game Good Yet? is some sort wry commentary.  But if it wry commentary you want, there is better to be had, pointed at juicier targets.  And then there is the great Diablo III non-joke from GDC.

And over at the StarCraft II site there is a somewhat predictable April Fools joke.

Warhound revived

Warhound revived

The Warhound was a unit slated to be part of the Terran forces in the Heart of the Swarm expansion for StarCraft II.  However, it was found to be too powerful and was removed during beta.

But today’s announcement says it is back, but they have a plan to cure the balance issue.

  • The Warhound has been added for Terran because robots are cool and the art is amazing
  • The Warhound has been added for Zerg to remain competitive with Terran.
  • The Warhound has been added for Protoss to keep Protoss players from whining about them on the forums.

There is also a Dev Q&A page about the Warhound that answers questions like why their isn’t a female Warhound as well as linking to its background story page.  But at least they did something.  Almost as much fun as a space cockroach.

A check of the European versions of the sites showed similar entries all around.

So did I miss something?  Are they holding out for a mid-day US/evening EU reveal?  Is this a year of subtle humor?  Or did a busy 2012, in which they did not even have time for BlizzCon, keep Blizzard from going as far with April Fools as they have in the past?

The following links will bring you to past coverage of Blizzard April Foolery as a comparison:

Addendum – April Fools in some other online games:

April Fools at Blizzard – 2012

Blizzard was too busy for BlizzCon this year, but was not too busy for a few April Fools jokes.

Well, compared to previous years, it does feel like they were a bit under the gun for time.  But a tradition is a tradition, and so there are a few April Fools bits to enjoy.

Zergotchi

Blizzard introduces a new advance in authenticator technology with Zergotchi!

Currently Sold Out

Zergotchi combines your authenticator with a virtual pet.

Zergotchi Features

Further information is available on the Zergotchi product page.

Supply Depot 2

A newly announced game for iOS and Android, Supply Depot 2 puts you in the role of… a StarCraft supply depot, strategically placed to block the path of both friends and foes alike.

Actual Game Dialog

You can play the demo in your browser at the Supply Depot 2 site.

Blizzard Kidzz

Blizzard is introducing a line of educational games with suspiciously familiar titles.

Blizzard Kidzz Titles

The Map from Westfall Trail

Descriptions of the entire selection of education games, including a demo of Zergling Teaches Typing, can be found at the Blizzard Kidzz site.

Fledgling Heroes – Blizzard Novels for a New Generation

I was not sure this was an April Fools item at first glance, but on reading the synopsis for the first novel, it was clear this was part of today’s entries.

The series is a set of novels for teen and tween readers set in popular Blizzard IPs.  As with Blizzard Kidzz, the plots seem suspiciously familiar.  While there is no page set up for Fledgling Heroes (so no book covers, darn!), you can read the plot summaries in the press release to see if you can spot the parody.

Dragons: April Fools Comes Early to World of Warplanes

Or so I hope.  This press release just showed up in my mail.

Here Be Dragons!

Majestic Dragons Add Fire to World of Warplanes

30th March, 2012 — Wargaming.net, the award-winning online game developer and publisher, is proud to announce the next faction to join the current set of nations in the highly-anticipated flight combat action MMO World of Warplanes: dragons! The all-new line of majestic creatures will set the sky on fire when the game enters its beta stage later this year.

The initial tech tree will include 12 dragons and will eventually expand to more than 60 creatures. Each mystical animal will have its own peculiarities and strategic employment. Players can upgrade several key characteristics including fire intensity level, color, number of claws, horns, wingspan and skin thickness.

The addition of these fire-breathing beasts will add more diversity to the gameplay since a dragons’ behavior requires a different approach in terms of controls and tactics.

“Adding dragons into World of Warplanes has been one of the most challenging aspects of game development so far,” said Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi. “Dragons are so different from planes; they are much more edgy and self-willed, but if you put in just a little more effort, they will serve you well. I’m happy we’ve finally announced them!”

There are, of course, screen shots.

Dragon vs. Germans

Jets and Dragons

Flames and Biplanes

A dragon tech tree.

How to Train Your Dragon

And an accompanying video up on YouTube.

Just setting us up for the big “April Fools!” post on Sunday, right?  Please?

Quote of the Day – April Fools Foreshadowing

Talents are now automatically chosen for a player based on the main specialization chosen.

From the 2011 Blizzard “April Fools” WoW Patch Notes

Somewhere else I wrote that the difference between Blizzard on an average day and Blizzard on April Fools Day is like turning the silly knob from 10 to 11.

So I am not saying that the quote above is how talent points are going to work in Padaria, but the difference seems like a mere turning of that knob from 10 to 11.

Oh, and those patch notes also contain a paragraph about customizing companion pets.  Where have I seen something like that?

A mere coincidence?  I think not.

What else have they been hiding in their so-called “April Fools jokes?”

April Fools at Blizzard – 2011

There were April Fools pranks all over the internet this year like every year.  Many were quite amusing, like EVE Online’s announcement of player mounts being included as part of the Incarana expansion.

But nobody goes over the top the way Blizzard does.  Last year they had a number of April Fools jokes and this year they have kept up the tradition.

Last year there were items that only appeared on either the US or EU sites.  This time around it seems like it was a unified effort across the two geographic areas. (Though I did not do a thorough search, so if I missed something, speak up!)

There is Crabby the Dungeon Helper, a send up of the old Microsoft Office Paperclip helper.

You Cybernetic Crabby Pal

And to just rub Crabby in our faces, he is also present on the Tomb of Immortal Darkness page, a preview of the most challenging WoW instance ever.

Crabby will not be deterred

He also hangs out on the WoW community page as well, and keeps talking while you are trying to read the faux Patch 4.1.11 Release Notes, which includes items like the Random Guild Finder and and appearance tab… for non-combat pets.

Then there was the Horadrapp, a Horadric Cube iPhone app that can be used to transmute your current iPhone apps into new and more powerful apps.

Horadric Cube App

On the StarCraft II front, there was the StarCraft Motion Overdrive video, showing StarCraft II being played via the XBox 360 Kinnect as well as the StarCraft II Patch 1.4.11 Patch Notes.

And while all of this is very amusing, it does lead one to wonder what might have been accomplished if the time that went into these things was spent focusing on the actual games involved.