Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools in Blizzard and in WoW

Blizz do love their April Fools jokes, and this year is no exception!

This year, Blizz announced a new game Blizzard Outcasts: Vengeance of the Vanquished.  And, they even put it with a fully functional website that looks pretty cool!



Gotta love the "heroes" - I only put the WoW ones here, but the other games are also represented with hilarious captions.






Hilarious peripheral!  Love that credit card swiper and ridiculous buttons!



Then on EU forums there was this announcement: Starcraft 2 Legacy of the Void was being renamed to Starcraft 2 Herald of the Stars. Which is more hilarous use of the acronym HotS - as if Heart of the Swarm and Heroes of the Storm weren't enough..


Taken directly from forums: (with my personal giggles in red)

Throughout our history, we’ve sought to bring epic experiences to gamers around the world. StarCraft II has seen Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, and Zeratul as the focal points of epic adventures across the universe. As we move toward our third chapter for StarCraft II, we’ve come to feel that a fresh approach is needed to keep the experience as immersive as possible. Accordingly, we’ve decided to realign the focus of the Protoss story to reveal this mysterious race in all its power and glory. Therefore, we're happy to announce that the next expansion will feature the Protoss story through the eyes of Artanis, the Heirarch of the sage Templar, and it will be titled StarCraft II: Herald of the Stars.

Herald of the Stars will feature a revolutionary non-linear campaign. It can be played backwards, forwards, with any mission in any order, or not played at all, while still delivering the exact same life-affirming storyline.

Writers James Waugh and Justin Dye said,

“We don’t want to give away too many details of the plot at this point, but rest assured we will answer the important questions you’ve always wanted to know about the Protoss, and we plan to do so in excruciatingly specific detail. “What do they eat?” “How do they breathe?” “Do they breathe?” “Hold on – they surely breathe, or how do they oxygenate their blood?” “You know what, I’m sorry I asked about the whole breathing thing… this is going massively off-track.”

New weapons! New units! New armors! New hairstyles on the Stalkers! Customize the color of your lasers so long as you’re okay with 10 different shades of blue! A dance editor? Yes. Sure! A dance editor!

Will Artanis save all of the multiverses from utter annihilation? It’s up to you and all of the other Twitch viewers who are in chat at the time!

While the motivation for this change ultimately stems from our desire create the most epic gaming experiences ever, there’s more behind this decision. As you might expect, Blizzard Entertainment is constantly researching the aspects of our games that our community of players enjoy. One thing that has unexpectedly come to our attention is our audience’s love for the acronym HotS. With recent successful titles Heart of the Swarm, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearth (of the) Stone, we took notice of players’ absolute love for this particular string of letters. This caused us to reconsider everything, and the results were nothing short of spectacular.

Long-time Blizzard Head of Trend Studies Jack Sterling said,

“At Blizzard, we constantly strive for optimization. Over the last few years, through deep market analysis, ethnographic study, and highly advanced acoustic research, we have come to scientifically prove that the player community prefers games with titles that form the following acronym: HotS. We were amazed. It’s quite unexpected. For some reason, people just synergize with the acronym HotS. In one study, 87% of respondents choose the HotS acronym over another random video game acronym. People seem to like how easy it is to say, how attractive they feel when saying it, and the sudden rise in body temperature associated with such an impactful acronym. Other than that, it’s baffling, but it’s awesome at the same time!

Senior Game Designer David Kim also voiced his excitement about the new name.

“From a design perspective, we want to create new and exciting experiences for our players, while making it as easy as possible for new or returning players to try the game out. HotS is a well-known name at this point with lots of awareness in the gaming community. Switching over to an entirely new acronym for our next expansion creates an entry-barrier that just felt unnecessary. When players upgrade from HotS to HotS, that transition will be as smooth as possible!

Senior Game Producer Hony Tsu had this to say about HotS:

“Developing the StarCraft II franchise puts a lot of responsibility on us at Blizzard. There were many creative hurdles between Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void, and we just love the acronym HotS. We’ve spent so many hours of time searching for names in the past. In fact, more than half of the time we spend in development is on hair-brained, outlandish, theory-crafted suggestions from random co-workers. With Herald of the Stars, our team saves not only frustration and time, but we get to hold on to superior acronyms. It’s hard, on the spot data that can’t be contested. HotS is like a … hug of the soul. HotS will hugely overhaul the sacred naming conventions of our games. I just realized that thanks to my name – Hony Tsu – my e-mail address is HoTs@blizzard.com. That just makes heaps of total sense.”

Check out our new Herald of the Stars website here, and perhaps you, too, will come to hope our triumphant success in naming leads to great things.

In game there were a few April Fools as well - if you are a user of ElvUI, Nath told me about what happened to him in game - he didn't manage to screenie it so I nabbed someone's video off Youtube.



I have ElvUI but I disabled it because of too many addon clashes, but my low level alts have it, and I took a quick video of the Harlem Shake that you could also get for April Fool's.



April Fools comes earlier in Australia than it does the rest of the World, so there may be some other stuff in game I'm missing out on - if there's anything else you've seen today, leave me a comment so I can go check it out!

Edit: Kamalia just told me about Artcraft's new Draenei models - and I sure hope they are an April Fool's joke!


Lead animator Steve Aguilar said "...When you get your hands on Warlords of Draenor, be sure to take a look at some of the unique emotes the animation team has created for her. Some of my favorites are: /twerk, /ew, /chewgum, and /whatever. Also keep in mind that the models shown here are using a temporary pose, which may make her appear more animated and lively than she will in the final product.” LMAO! She's about to let loose a burp!

Character Artist Dusty Nolting said: “The Draenei...are essentially anthropomorphic representations of animals, so a lot of care went into conveying that. Playing up the capra-like slender reverse-ankle and hoof, and adding tasteful amounts of fur, were both changes players have been asking for since Burning Crusade. We also know a lot of you have been requesting full “back side” shots to properly compare the before and after."

HAIRY BUTT SPACE GOATS! EWWW! And is it just me or does it look vaguely... like male genitalia? (...must not comment on tail length ...must not comment on tail length)


Oh god, what would Draynee and Mataoka say?  I must go ask them for their first thoughts!

Edit 2: Oh and here was a post by Bashiok in forums about 6.0 WoD Patch notes preview:
Community Manager
It is the era of an Old Horde, forged with steel rather than fel blood. A union of great orc clans, the Iron Horde, tramples the planet Draenor beneath terrifying war machines. Azeroth falls next. Worlds uncounted will follow.

With the Warlords of Draenor beta on the horizon, we’re offering a short preview of some of the changes coming in the expansion, which we’ll be asking a few of you to help us test. Please keep in mind that everything here is subject to change, and that these do not encompass all of the features or changes planned for the beta, or final release.

Visit the Warlords of Draenor announcement site for more information on the major features coming in the new expansion.

General
  • As part of our efforts to present players with smaller and more easily digestible numbers (the so-called “Stat Squish”), World of Warcraft has been converted to use a base-20 (vigesimal) number system. As a result, all stats have been decreased by 2BA0E%.
  • To ensure the game can maintain its current age group ratings, Garrosh Hellscream is now Garrosh Heckscream, and the Cult of the Damned has been renamed to the Cult of the Danged.
  • To prevent confusion over whether you’re playing a card game or returning to town, the Hearthstone will now be called a Homerock.
  • To encourage exploration of the world all Flightmasters are now Walkmasters.
  • Walkmasters provide a guided tour of the world, giving out small bits of trivia for the area you’re in as they walk alongside you to your destination. If they walk slower than you’d like, just use your Homerock.
  • Daytime in the world of Azeroth is now 50% brighter, and comparatively nighttime will now appear darker.
  • Dogecoin is now accepted as a form of payment, but no one really knows how it works.
  • Due to ongoing legal disputes with the Stonemasons Guild, repairs on Stormwind Park continue to be bogged down in political turmoil.
  • New paid service: Character Bust. Pay to de-level any character back to 1, removing all items, mounts, and gold, so you can relive the good ol’ days.
  • Once again, due to lack of use, the Dance Studio has been removed from the game.
  • The Lion’s Pride Inn in Goldshire has been renamed to the Peppermint Clefthoof.
  • Transmogrification is now an entirely random event, and occurs via a new Hunter Transmogrification NPC named Nivlac. Nivlac will spawn randomly into the world and shoot you with his Transmogrifier to permanently turn your character into whatever he happens to be thinking about at the time. His pet, Sebboh, probably has something witty and insightful to say about that.
  • New Faction: G.R.O.S.S. – This faction is led by Nivlac, and their headquarters is found high in the treetops of Nagrand. Are you prepared to play a spirited round of Nivlac Ball to gain entry into its most hallowed sanctum?
  • The “kazoo music” heard in Pandaren inns now have a chance to play instead of any other music anywhere in the game.
  • In addition to a Proving Grounds medal of Silver or better being required to queue for Warlords of Draenor Heroic dungeons, a medal of Gold or better is now required to post in the forums.


Classes
Death Knight
  • Death Knight voice modulation has been reduced to infrasound frequencies. Blizzard shall not be held responsible for any damage to subwoofers or loss of control of bodily functions as a result.
  • Brittle Bones now has a 50% chance to turn the target into a purple-wearing supervillain.
  • Threat of Thassarian tooltip changed to explain who the hell Thassarian is.
  • Due to circumstances beyond our control, the pact has been unsealed.
  • Using Death Grip on something larger than your character will cause you to be pulled toward the creature instead of the creature being pulled toward you. Gnomes should just probably not be Death Knights.


Druid
  • To equalize utility between classes we have removed the Druid’s fifth spec.
  • Symbiosis now also inherits all raid and boss lockouts from the target.
  • Chatting while in Cat Form will now be presented with poor spelling, in all caps, using the Impact font.
  • Druids in Bear Form now receive a bonus to Fishing.
  • Druids in Moonkin Form are now 50% more delicious. As always, we recommend Free Range Moonkin whenever available.
  • Tree of Life form now has a healing penalty during Autumn and Winter.


Hunter
  • For safety, all Hunters must now wear bright orange vests at all times.
  • New Pet System: Obedience
  • Pets now have an Obedience level. Each new pet must now be carefully trained over weeks and months for several hours a day to increase its Obedience level. A pet with full Obedience will obey commands 90% of the time. Pets without full Obedience may randomly decide to chase critters, make messes indiscriminately, pursue other players on mounts, or sleep instead of following a command.
  • Typing /SQUIRREL will reduce all nearby pets’ Obedience level.
  • Pets acquired above level 1 increase their Obedience level at a significantly reduced rate.
  • Bows and Crossbows now use the Gun sounds.
  • Aspect of the Hawk now provides a 30% bonus to Attack Power, up from 25%.
  • Aspect of the Pack has been renamed to Aspect of the Doge. Many daze, much anger, so mystery, wow!
  • Hunters now have access to an exclusive weapon type: Straw. From not-so-great distances, spatter your enemies with unique abilities Spit-wad, Backwash, Snot Rocket, and Booger Barrage.
  • Snake Trap now catches 50% more snakes.


Mage
  • Using the Mage spell Blink will now attract the attention of creepy angel statues. Don’t “Blink.”
  • To make playing a Mage more enjoyable, players who use the words “tray,” “food,” “drink,” “table,” “snack,” “mage,” or “pls” in Raid, Party, Battleground, Say, Yell, General, or Trade channels within a Mage’s hearing are killed instantly.
  • All existing Portal spells have been removed.
  • New Ability: Portal: Walkmaster summons your own personal Walkmaster to lead you to your destination.
  • New Ability: Polymorph Polymorphism, transforms the enemy into a slightly different version of themselves.
  • Time Warp now requires just a jump to the left.
  • Fixed a typo. Ice Floes is now correctly spelled Ice Flows.
  • Mage Armor has a new icon.
  • Ring of Frost has been replaced by Ring of Fire for Fire-specced Mages, and it burns, burns, burns.
  • New vegan Conjure options have been added, including Conjure Soyfreshment, Conjure Fennel Bean Gem, and Conjure Avocado Asparagus Tartine with a Miso Sesame Winter Squash Gastrique.


Monk
  • Due to ratings concerns, all references to “brew” have been replaced with “giggle juice.”
  • The amount healed by Healing Sphere has been increased by 1000%, because RUN OVER THE HEALING SPHERES.
  • Blackout Kick now causes the victim to wake up the next day and question their life choices.
  • Legacy of the White Tiger critical strike chance is now increased by 10% for all characters with green eyes.
  • Detox now sends instructions to the target about this new diet you’ve been reading about.


Paladin
  • Turn Evil can now be cast on players and NPCs. When used, it applies a small dark goatee and causes them to constantly explain their diabolical plans while steepling their fingers.
  • Cleanse now surrounds the target with an outhouse and asks everyone to not talk for a bit.
  • New Ability: Renounce. When cast, Renounce permanently changes the Paladin into a Warrior.
  • Eternal Flame now correctly sets the targeted player on fire, forever.
  • If Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is installed, Paladin characters will stare longingly over a fence at the Crusader, and then look away and pretend to be picking their nails if the Crusader notices.


Priest
  • Shadow Priests have been retuned to be almost as good as Warlocks in every way. Almost.
  • Chakra, when the walls fell.
  • Vampiric Embrace now calls upon a glittery vampire to hold you and tell you he will always protect you, Bella.
  • Mind Sear has been renamed Mind Seer, allowing the Priest to see things no else can see. Do things no one else can do. Is it getting warm in here?
  • The Discipline passive Train of Thought can now be interrupted. Probably by the garbage truck, or that dog that just never stops barking whenever they let it outside.
  • Mind Seer plays tricks on you. You play tricks back! It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting…
  • New Spell: Holy Diver. Sends the caster down too long in the Midnight Sea.


Rogue
  • Rogue specializations have been renamed to better encapsulate the skills and gameplay they represent.
  • Assassination is now known as “Stabby”
  • Combat is now known as “Pokey”
  • Subtlety is now known as “Shanky”
  • To help resolve spelling issues once and for all, Rogues have been renamed to Blush.
  • Blush can once again use Bucklers!
  • Blush no longer have access to the ability Swash, but at least they can still Buckle.
  • Fan of Knives now also makes your family kind of worried about you.
  • Cloak and Dagger continues to remind you of that Dabney Coleman movie from the 80s with the old couple that really freaked you out.


Shaman
  • Rockbiter Totem now transforms the Shaman into a large stone elemental that cannot save their friends, despite having such big, strong hands.
  • Rolling Thunder now also causes lightning to strike.
  • Mail Specialization now correctly applies to female Shaman as well. Sorry about that, we misread it.
  • The talent Rushing Streams now also really makes you have to pee.
  • Casting Unleash Flame will now ignite your Healing Rain spell, setting fire to it.
  • We give up. Shaman is now spelled “Shawmun.”


Warlock
  • All spells and abilities have been significantly revamped. Again. You’ll figure it out.
  • Warlocks are now overpowered. This will be addressed in a future expansion.
  • Riding Felsteeds single file into battle will no longer hide Warlock numbers.


Warrior
  • Warriors have been nerfed because reasons.
  • Charge no longer stuns a target, and instead roots them for 1.5 seconds.
  • New ability: Heroic Sit. All that mobility makes Warriors tired. Using Charge more than once in a 10-minute period now applies the “I’m tiiiiiired” debuff, which can be removed by employing Heroic Sit. Heroic Sit roots the Warrior in place, puts on the ballgame, and gives the Warrior an ice-cold giggle juice.
  • Charge no longer roots a target, and instead stuns them for 1.5 seconds.
  • Intervene can now be used when your one friend gets out of hand at the bar again because he can NOT go back to County.
  • Charge no longer roots or stuns a target, and instead Polymorphs them for 1.5 seconds.
  • Shockwave is now aGlyph of Rude Interruption is here too! How’s it going? Just wanted to say hey.
  • Charge is now a passive effect.
  • Disarm now correctly removes the targets’ arms.
  • You know what? Charge has been removed from the game. OK? Great job. We hope you’re happy.
  • The Protection passive Ultimatum just isn’t going to put up with it anymore. It’s either me or her, Jerry!


Quests
  • To address player sentiment issues, the daily quest blue-colored exclamation points have been changed to look like the more positively perceived orange-colored ones.
  • The Love is in the Air quest “Crushing the Crown” has been renamed “Crushing the Candy”. Bring it.


Creatures
  • All ducks can now drop items.
  • Crabs have been removed from the game... because if I see another one I’m just going to totally lose it. *sobbing* I’m sorry, I just can’t right now... I just... OK just give me a minute, I’ll be OK.


Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • As a part of the pre-expansion launch event, reaching the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid will now display: “Thank you! But our Garrosh is in another castle.”
  • Due to recent acquisitions, The Oculus is temporarily inaccessible.
  • Loot drop randomization has been made approximately 30% more random.
  • Despite concerns over workers’ rights violations due to unreasonable weather conditions, Arthas has stated that people should let it go, and that he will indeed remain the final boss of Icecrown Citadel. The cold never bothered him anyway.
  • Single-player dungeons have been added with challenging mobs and boss encounters. Queue times, however, are just going to be, like, totally bonkers.
  • Onyxia has stopped breathing altogether. Emergency services have been contacted and are en route.
  • Flying mounts can now be used in all Pandaria Raids.
  • As an added convenience, we’ve removed annoying obstacles like walls, ceilings, and anything else resembling an environment.
  • Trash packs now appear more festive and will break into choreographed dance routines when players fly over them. This tech was salvaged from the remnants of the Dance Studio, may it RIP in peace (again).


Pet Battles
  • Pet Garrisons
  • Why should you get to have all the fun? Introducing the Pet Garrison! A miniature version of your Garrison within your Garrison, run by your Battle Pets.
  • Pet Pet Garrison
  • Why should your pet get to have all the fun? Introducing the Pet Pet Garrison! A miniature version of your pet’s Pet Garrison within your pet’s Pet Garrison, run by your Battle Pet’s Battle Pets.


PvP
  • Players who attempt to create a character on a PvP realm will first be directed to read a thread about the Censer of Eternal Agony on the forums.
  • The Black Market Auction House has been moved to the floor of the Gurubashi Arena.
  • We’ve reverted recent changes in Alterac Valley, as we’ve discovered the Horde were sometimes able to win.
  • Increased the number of Battleground maps able to be downvoted to 14 (up from 2).
  • Trial of the Gladiator is being reworked, and will instead offer players the chance to judge last season’s Gladiators for their crimes against humanity.
  • Upon being killed in PvP, you’ll now be presented with an interface allowing you to directly contact the developer responsible for this crap.
  • Due to PvE gear being so much better in world PvP, we're now offering all PvE content to those who only purchased the PvP version of the game.


Professions
  • Due to new Horde and Alliance policies, bandages can only be used on players who spend at least 38 hours per week completing quests.
  • Herbalism is now legal in Coldarra.
  • Tailors can now make cloth armor in addition to bags.
  • In addition to picking flowers, Herbalists can now also pick their nose. The ability is only usable when not in line-of-sight with other players.


UI
  • Upon beating World of Warcraft, a New Game+ option will appear on the main menu, which allows players to replay the game at a more challenging difficulty level.
  • A new option “Twitch to Move” has been added, allowing movement and actions to be controlled by people watching you on Twitch.tv.


Items
  • Transmogrification rules are being relaxed, and you can now transmog trinkets, rings, and neck items.
  • Any references to [redacted] have been removed from the game.
  • Rocket launchers have been added. Sweet, sweet rocket launchers.
  • The Broken I.W.I.N. Button can now be repaired via a one-time purchase through the in-game Shop.
  • The Stoneskin Gargoyle Cape is now slightly whiter and longer than your average cloak or cape.
  • Someone said Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.
  • Wrathion will once again ask the heroes of Azeroth to embark on an expansion-long quest, culminating in the reward of a Legendary item. First players must reach Draenor and help to guide Anduin through his formative years, teaching him how to talk to girls, how to tie a tie, etc. This process takes approximately 4-5 years, but could extend well into his 20’s depending on how much he resents you. You’ll then graciously enter into the Arenas and attain a rating of 2200 or higher. Wrathion will then send level-100 players on an epic quest to collect 60 small knickknacks from Normal Dungeon bosses. These are just for Wrathion’s small curio collection. You’ll then be asked to go on a whirlwind tour of Azeroth and defeat every Battle Pet trainer—we hope you’ve been practicing! Then you need to get 3,000 Valor; unfortunately Valor might not really be a thing anymore, so he wishes you good luck with that. After that point, though, it’s just a short skip and a jump of beating every Raid boss in the expansion 12 times, on separate lockouts, to prove your worth to wear the ultimate prize, a Legendary T-shirt and the Achievement “I Helped Wrathion and All I Got Was This Lousy Shirt”.

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this Navi - great fun!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading it Matty! OMG I wonder what you thought of Draenei... that wasn't up when you put your comment up.

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  2. Oh! I love that hello kitty one, almost worth getting the addon just for that!

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    1. But it's random! I have ElvUI but I got Harlem shake and it only works once - I tried it on different toons but I couldn't get it to happen again.

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  3. Well, there's the Artcraft about the Female Draenei that I am positive is a joke (they better follow up with a real one real soon, though!).
    And I got an "error 404" screen on my WoW Launcher this morning, but the play button lit up like normal, and when I hit it, the login screen came up normally -- so I'm assuming the error screen is just a prank.

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    Replies
    1. Actually, the launcher thing *was* just a glitch. It came up normally when I tried it again.

      My favorite character from the fighter game is Mankrik's Wife!

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    2. OMG! It has to be a joke, I did a double take when I saw those poor Draenei.

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    3. Thanks for that info, added it! And OMG that tail... and the hair...

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  4. Ahahaha! They're using the HotS acronym in the fighter game, too! "Harbingers of the Smackdown" akgj;sladkjg; lsajgd;lajsg;ldaj;

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    Replies
    1. HAHAHA! You have a sharp eye, I totally didn't see that! Now I'm scouring the notes looking for more HotS...

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  5. WoW!!!! HAHAHA this just made my day, Love the hello kitty and harlem shake! so fun to watch. Also the game of the outcasts thats hilarious! LOL! Just got punch once after the long frame of showing the alliance castle... LOL! Thanks for sharing this Nav. lol

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amerence! I knew you'd like the hello kitty - you are that kind of cute person! :D

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  6. Blizzard need to install and in game waxing salon in the next xpac

    Sabre

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    Replies
    1. But what about those premature balding orcs? An Ashley and Martin or Advanced Hair salon might be just what they need - yeah yeah.

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