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Top 5 - Blizzard's Best April Fool's Day Hoaxes and Pranks

Posted Tue, Apr 01, 2014 by Mem

April 2014

April 1st is an unofficial holiday, better known as April Fool's Day. It is on this day that tricksters play practical jokes on unsuspecting victims. It seems like everyone loves to get in on the fun of April Fools Day, including Blizzard Entertainment.


Over the years, the company has let their imagination run wild on this special day. Fans can expect more than a few shenanigans and hoaxes to roll out, ranging from the totally wild to the almost believable. Some fans see through them almost immediately, while others fall hard for them, hook, line, and sinker. Blizzard has really come to perfect the art of the April Fool's joke


However, April Fool's Day is just one single day out of the year. After it is over, it seems all we can do it wait till next year to see what kind of mirthful jokes Blizzard will roll out. However, I want to keep the humor rolling. So, let's take a look back at 5 of the very best April Fool's day pranks in Blizzard history. Read onward and take a walk down memory lane with me. Be sure your funny bone is in working order!


Top 5 - Blizzard's Best April Fool's Day Hoaxes and Pranks


Schematic: Tinfoil Hat

On April Fool's Day 2006, Blizzard introduced us to the Tinfoil Hat, one of my all time favorite game related hoaxes. This fictional item was a direct response to players who were overly concerned about the release of the World of Warcraft Armory. The Tinfoil hat received it's very own website, giving details on this unique item, all of which poked fun at the blatant paranoia that ran rampant before the Armory's release.


Tinfoil Hats were to be created by engineers, who prized them because they helped them keep “a clear, unclouded mind and to protect one's secrets”. Perfect for keeping the wearer safe from spies and the nefarious though police. Besides this, this fantastic object was claimed to remove the wearer's character profile from the Armory to further guarantee that no one would be able to see all that secret stuff the wearer didn't want revealed. Nor would the wearer show up in /who listings, making them completing immune from unwanted inspection by other players.


Tinfoil Hat


New Class: Wisp

On April Fool's Day, 2006, Blizzard introduced a brand new playable Alliance race; the Wisp. Like other races, Wisps could be customized in a variety of colors and (strangely) facial hair. Wisps also came with their very own set of unique racial traits including:


  • Gatherer – Skill to Herbalism, Mining, and Skinning increased by 10.
  • Treeform – Turns the Wisp into a tree for 30 seconds. During this time, spirit is increased by 300. However, the Wisp's chance to dodge or parry axes is reduced by 50%.
  • Detonate – Allows the Wisp to totally destroy itself, dispelling all magical buffs and draining 50 mana from each unit in an area around the Wisp.


The final racial trait was the most unusual and the one that caused quite a stir; Permanent Death. Going hand in hand with the Detonate ability, the story was that while Wisps were commonly believed to be purely benign spirits, a part of the primal energy used to defeat Archimonde slumbers in them all. Thus, the Wisp could unleash this pent up energy in one devastating blast, which would dissipate the Wisp's energies beyond any hope of return. In other words, the Wisp would be unressurectable.


After the Wisp was revealed (a day late, for some unbeknownst reason), it caused a minor revolt in the World of Warcraft community. Players took to the forums and posted not so nice messages in protest. Most of these messages were aimed at the Wisp's unusual Detonate ability, which killed off the character totally. Even after the Wisp was revealed as a joke, players still remained in a stir over the hoax. Because so many fans fell for this hoax and the eventual uproar over it, the Wisp definitely ranks as one of the best Blizzard pranks of all time.


Blizzard Outcasts

This year, 2014, Blizzard once again produced an epic April Fool's hoax in the form of a fictional game; Blizzard Outcasts. This game takes the various outcasts from the various Blizzard universes and pits them against each other in epic battle. Have you ever wondered who would win in a battle between Cain and Gamon might play out? In Blizzard: Outcasts you can finally get the answer.


This made-up game offered many stages, characters, as well as some other interesting features including:


  • Dirty Tricks – Surprise your opponent with a few aces up your sleeve, such as Health Potions, Spike Traps, Blue Artillery Shells, Energy Crystals, and more!
  • Suit Up – A surefire way to tell if you're about to have your ass handed to you is the size of the other guy's shoulder pads; the bigger the shoulders, the bigger the hurt.
  • The Game is Rigged – For the right price, the Outcast Matchmaker will put you in the ring with an opponent who has zero chance against your skills.


Blizzard even came up with an..interesting...controller design especially for Blizzard: Outcasts. The best part of this April Fool's Joke? I actually want to play this game (minus the controller).


Outcasts Controller


Crabby – Dungeon Helper

Who doesn't remember the fantastically annoying little Clippy the paper clip. Clippy was an Office Assistant that no one appreciated. He would pop up at the most inappropriate times and offer up tidbits of information that made us all facepalm. Of course, Clippy's ability even to exasperate the most level headed person, caused him to be immortalized and spoofed to the extreme.


So it was no surprise to see Blizzard's version pop up on April Fool's Day 2011. Crabby the Dungeon Assistant was much like Clippy. He popped up randomly, based on the situation you were in, and offered up unwelcome advice. Besides “helping” out in game, Crabby also managed to appear on various pages on the official game site, conversing with players when they visited. This hoax was so much fun, that Blizzard let Crabby make another appearance in 2012. However, while Crabby was entertaining, many players (myself included) were very happy that he was only around for a limited time.


P1mp My Mount!

Rounding out our list is a prank from 2009 entitled “P1mp My Mount!”. This hoax tried to sell players on the idea of a new feature in game that would let them trick out their mounts. The fake page claimed that players would be able to purchase various armors, spikes, chains, or even flaming decals from Zazzber's Local Fix-'Er-Up. Here Zazzber or his redneck assistant Janie Sue would overhaul your ride, for a small fee. Future content patches were promised with new mount pimping content such as; recoloring armor and added decorations.



Of course, the entire page was written in pimp worthy lingo, adding to the feel of the prank. Even though the idea of P1imp My Mount was a complete joke, many players jumped on the idea and embraced it. Who wouldn't want to make their mount into something extraordinary? Thus far, a real P1mp My Mount option has not been added to the game, but we can keep dreaming.



BattleCat

That wraps up my list of my picks for Blizzard's very best April Fool's Day hoaxes and pranks. Do you remember any of these jokes? What are some of your personal favorites that you have experienced over the years? What kind of hoaxes would you pull on unsuspecting fans if you were part of the Blizzard team? Share your answers with us in the comments section below!

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