I have been doing this post, or something like it, for 13 years running now, and almost every year there is something different in the mix.
This year finds Blizzard embroiled in a government investigation related to hostile workplace allegations which has led to a chunk of the company’s leadership leaving to “pursue other opportunities,” and which has tarnished the reputation of the company. The company is also in danger of falling into the “what have you done for us lately” situation, since 2021’s big releases were Burning Crusade Classic, a remake from 2007, and Diablo II Resurrected, a remake from 2000.
Also, Microsoft is in the process of buying all of Activision Blizzard, so we’ll just ad that into the mix of things that have happened since last year’s post. Certainly that is no April Fools joke, and seems to be in for some serious scrutiny.
So I fully expected things to be quiet again this year, as they were last year. Blizzard is studious about not even posting real news on the first.
The first place I went was the World of Warcraft forums where I found that they were keeping up the annual tradition of the April Fools Patch Notes.
As usual they are made to look like a leak with “Highly Confidential” and “Do Not Forward!” at the top. It has things about new raids, new dungeons, new professions, and a host of silly class changes, like that of the warrior:
- Warriors have grown tired of being so focused on warring all the time, so in this patch the class is getting a major redesign:
- Intimidating Shout has been reworked and is now named Shout Shout: The warrior lets it all out, declaring all of the things they can do without. Come on, I’m talking to you.
- Furious Slash is now Slash: The warrior transforms into a famous guitar player with long curly hair and a top hat.
- Casting Slam now puts your name on the list at the coffee shop so you can get up on their little stage this evening and present your poetry.
- Charge now debits other players’ accounts and provides them with tickets to come see you perform.
- Producers’ note: Ummm I think we’ve invented the BARD here?
Other than that I have yet to spot anything on the April Fools front at Blizzard. No doubt there are other things going on in the various games. I suspect those playing Overwatch might have googly eyes again. I’ll check back later just to see if there is anything new. But the era of the big web site joke post seems to be over for now at Blizz. That seems to have fallen off past 2016.
For those wishing a recap of past years, here is the list:
- April 2009
- April 2010
- April 2011
- April 2012
- April 2013
- April 2014
- April 2015
- April 2016
- April 2017
- April 2018
- April 2019
- April 2021
- April 2022
If you are looking for other April Fools updates from the MMO space, Massively OP has a post charting out what other companies have been up to. Also, all of their posts today have a cute animal videos embedded at the end.