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!
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: