Tomorrow is April 1, and that only means one thing … Blizzard Entertainment will make some fans laugh, and some to cry. It is that day of the year when if you aren’t looking at the calendar and start browsing the net for gaming news, your hopes will come crashing to the sour truth. It is April’s Fools day.
Back on 2003, Blizzard was soft on the jokes. Warcraft III players logged in into Battle.net to see their icons replaced by … The Lost Vikings. Blizzard announced the new Pandaren Empire race … originally a Samwise artwork joke. However, this was one of those rare April’s Fools that were widely loved by fans and became reality when Blizzard released Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. And to make sure fans won’t think it was a April’s Joke anymore, new lore was added in the Blizzard-licensed Arthaus’ Warcraft RPG: Alliance and Horde Compendium in 2003. Further Pandaren Lore has been added in future RPG Book releases such as Warcraft The Roleplaying Game, Warcraft RPG: Monster Guide, Warcraft RPG: Lands of Conflict, and Warcraft RPG: Magic & Mayhem among others.
On 2004, the April’s Fool was the announcement of Two-headed Ogres as the new race of World of Warcraft left many dumb-founded thinkering the game mechanics of two players controlling a single character with two heads. Specially when a webpage with various in-game screenshots made it look legit. The Press Release section at Blizzard showed a funny title: 999~ = 1 Press Release! That same year, the Goblin Tinker joke hit Battle.net:
The Goblins are fed up and they aren’t going to take anymore! A new neutral hero, the Goblin Tinker, is coming to a Frozen Throne patch near you! Learn more about this amazing, irritable new Hero here.
On April 1, 2005, Blizzard announced they had teamed up with the Pandaren Express Restaurant Chain. Players would be able to order food from within the game to get it delivered to their home. This may have been inspired by the /pizza command from Pizza Hut. At the Wow forums, character icons were replaced by Murloc icons and you would hear annoying murloc sounds. The World of Warcraft meets Warcraft III joke was deployed too. Wow Europe announced the new PvP Honor Reward token … Warbucks. You would be able to buy Coffee drinks with special buffs.
On 2006, when everyone was desperately expecting the announcement of the second new race of World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade, Blizzard unveiled the Wisps. Players were left with a squared-eye look after reading the racial trait … Detonate: Destroys the wisp, dispelling all magical buffs and draining 50 mana from each unit in an area around the wisp. Permanent Death. Wow Europe announced the introduction of Burgercraft service.
Only two April’s Fool jokes have become reality time later: The Goblin Tinker hero and the Pandaren Race, incorporated into the lore through Warcraft RPG Books. Even in Ratchet, you get the Chen’s Ken quest proving the Pandaren hero who helped Rexxar in Warcraft III: Frozen Throne has left footprints in the MMORPG.
What will the April’s Fool be tomorrow? We will find out soon.