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After the recent re-emergence of the one day a year that's officially allowed to be funny and the official Blizzard patch notes that came with it, we wanted to go back and check out older editions of this now tradition. It turns out Blizzard actually has an archive for their April Fools posts, which is good news, but they also stopped updating it in 2015, which is bad news.
In any case we poked around it for some fond memories and picked out some milestones, but you should definitely head on over and check it out yourselves as well. Unfortunately some of the entries there have broken links so we don't get to see all the content, but we do at least get a general idea of what it was and can search it elsewhere if it gets interesting.
It seems the one Prince song may have been referring to Blizzard, as they started their April Fools shenanigans in 1999, with the original StarCraft and DIablo 2! And what a start it was, as it was the one that cemented the secret cow level as the most enduring joke of the Diablo franchise. You can read more about the exact origins of the cow level, but this April 1st screenshot of D2, while it was still being developed, reignited the fires of the cow level craze!
Now we did end up actually getting a cow level in Diablo 2, so I'm not quite sure this one counts as a "fool" anymore, since it's basically just normal promotion art (ok, so the cows don't show up in the Den of Evil, but they might have back then!). The other entry in this very first April Fools Blizzard edition was StarCraft's Biggest Game Hunters map, based on the very popular Big Game Hunters one from the original game, except with... a few... more crystals:
2002 was another of Blizzard's strangely predictive jokes, as they announced the Pandaren were coming to WarCraft 3, including their Shodo-pan warriors.
Then WoW arrived on the scene and we immediately got one of the better ones, with the 2-player controlled Ogre race (which would later become a pretty great hero in Heroes of the Storm... wait, are Blizzard just using April Fools jokes to test the waters for their really weird ideas that they'll eventually implement?!)
This next one is definitely one of my favorites, as Blizzard announced a brand new game set in the World of Warcraft universe, and it was a prequel to boot!
Wait, was that one actually just another pre-concept-testing for Reforged?! I'm so confused right now.
Then came one of the most famous ones of all time, 2008's Bard announcement!
The same year had the impressive console off-shoot of WoW, the Molten Core:
These following ones are really making me doubt these are jokes at all, as they're clearly just the shape of things to come, as 2010 saw the first whiff of Diablo: Immortal and the EPEEN system:
There are plenty more awesome entries in the archive, so head on over there and remind yourselves of some of the cooler things Blizzard have done over the years, and definitely post some of the better ones we missed below!
Now, this isn't actually related to April Fools (and we'll be doing a roundup of all the crazy stuff related to that at the end of the day), but it seemed appropriate to get into the humorous mood of the day. Everyone will have probably seen this one at some point, as it's a very old one, but it's still one of the best memes/copypasta that's every been in WarCraft, and we have it reforged to boot! This latest version adds quite a bit to the classic, and itself has been around a while, but I'd dare say it's the best version of the joke so far.
Full disclosure: I've been looking for a reason to post this one for months now. Thanks April Fools!
Let's also take a look at some other entries in the, shall we say "genre"?
Perhaps watching these all sequentially takes away from the joke, but personally, I've been in tears while making the article the entire time. In any case, did we miss some better versions of the meme? Post one in the comments if you've found any!
Blizzard has started sending out surveys about Classic Burning Crusade character creation to players, similar to how they handled the Shadowlands level squish surveys back in June 2019 with the goal to find out how the transition from Classic to Burning Crusade would be handled.
Placeholder for tweet 1243639881735327744 The survey contains four options outlined below, although one is currently missing: keep Classic realms at 60 and transfer your existing character to a Burning Crusade realm.
Thinking about the potential ways a player could start a character in "Classic" Burning Crusade, which of the following would you prefer most?
Please select one.
Continue playing my current Classic character on my existing server as it progresses to the Burning Crusade expansion, with the option to transfer to a Classic server that will never progress past level 60.
Start a brand new character from Level 58 on a new Burning Crusade server.
Start a brand new character from Level 1 on a new Burning Crusade server.
Continue playing my current Classic character on my existing server that will never progress past level 60, with the option to transfer to a Burning Crusade server.
None of the above
Diablo Community Manager Nevalistis is leaving Blizzard to pursue something new.
Brandy Camel aka Nevalistis today announced that she's leaving Blizzard after 8.5 years.
This is, undoubtedly, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. Not gonna lie, it took me a few tries.
March 27, 2020 will be my final day as Diablo Community Manager, and at Blizzard Entertainment. I’m not leaving for any ill reasons; my team here has always been understanding and kind, every developer I’ve had the honor of interacting with has been delightfully passionate, and the decision to leave was ultimately mine alone. I have an opportunity to explore a new and very different adventure, and if you’re curious about that, I’ll share more about it on my personal channels. Sometimes, opportunity presents itself and you just gotta roll the dice.
What I want to focus on is expressing my gratitude to this community . For welcoming me when I stumbled in at the announcement of Reaper of Souls. For making me feel at home as I was trembling on livestream, fighting stage fright while introducing the expansion to the world. For all the smiles, high-fives, hugs, and selfies at conventions (especially BlizzCon). For the absolute conviction and passion for Sanctuary that I see in every player’s post, whether it’s excitement over the latest Season or constructive criticism for your favorite class. Regardless of highs and lows, this is one of the best communities out there, and the heart of it is warm, caring, and filled with people who just want more Diablo.
Thank you for permitting me to be a part of your community. Thank you for reading my weird blogs and tolerating my terrible puns and memes. And thank you for staying awhile to listen. I’ve had an incredible opportunity learn and grow as person that I’ll carry with me the rest of my life, and I can’t wait to delve the depths of the Burning Hells and face down the mother of Sanctuary alongside the rest of you.
Lastly, rest assured that the Diablo community will be left in good hands. I’ve spent a fair amount of my final weeks here preparing to pass the torch to those who will follow in my footsteps and working with the team here to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. You won’t be left unheard or unacknowledged, but please be understanding while the next folks get settled in. We’re all here to battle the demons of Hell together, after all!
I’ll see you in Sanctuary, adventurers.
Starting April 6, she will be working as a Community Manager for Dungeons and Dragons. We wish you the best of luck!
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Blizzard gave its staff care packages with essentials such as soap, paper towels, and toilet paper amid the coronavirus lockdown.
California is now under lockdown, and Blizzard has provided its employees in Austin and Irvine with care packages filled with essentials available via a drive-thru in the parking garage.
Placeholder for tweet 1241061535612465153 Placeholder for tweet 1240727066892353536 The company has been hard at work to provide the best working conditions for everyone. Some artists were given tablets and rigs so that they can remotely work on ongoing projects.
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