It’s April First, or as it’s better known online, “Believe Nothing You Read Day.” Not even this! Maybe it’s already April 2nd, and someone hacked your computer to display the wrong date, just to lull you. Retroactive false sense of security!
We’ve heard nothing from @Diablo or Bashiok in the forums this week, perhaps since he and a lot of the other CMs and Blizzard’s web team have been hard at work finalizing the presentation for the varied and nefarious April Fool’s jokes that Blizzard has made such a tradition over the years. Never content with just one or two pranks/jokes/concepts, Blizzard usually issues forth half a dozen, with one or two for each of their game worlds, plus some general B.net foolishness.
Let’s review their efforts the past couple of years, a quick stroll down memory lane that’s greatly expedited by the Media Coverage archives in the DiabloWiki.
April 1st, 2009:
Last year’s big news was The Archivist, a fake character class for Diablo III. As we can see in retrospect, the Archivist was a slightly-reskinned version of Deckard Cain‘s in-game art. Another tidbit we didn’t realize until later was that our first in-game look at Leah came in the Archivist’s radial dialogue tree screenshot.
- Starcraft II got a new unit that was more than meets the eye—the Terratron!
- WoW saw the announcement of the Pimp My Mount, as well as a Dance Battle PvP system.
April 1st, 2010:
- The first joke was ours, with news that Blizzcon 2010 had already sold out, before it was even officially announced. As it turned out for most of you guys, this might as well have been true.
- Blizzard’s teasing started just before midnight on March 31st, with the ‘It’s coming” teaser image.
- The first Diablo-themed joke was the Deckard Cain GPS voice pack.
- Later that day we saw the Xtreme Gamer Blanket and Diablo III Body Pillow, something a lot of people would have actually ordered, given the opportunity.
- Demand was strong for the B.net Neural Interface.
- Later that day the B.net matchmaking romance, jokes about new Blizzard mobile games, and the instant classic WoW EPEeN system. As often happens, fans actually wanted the Blizzard mobile games and WoW players clamored for something like the EPEEN system to be implemented.
The other question every year is if Blizzard might actually release something real/new/amazing, one of these years on April First. Just to mess with our heads! Most of the community would not believe it, and Blizzard could watch and laugh like Girl Scouts on nitrous oxide as we tied ourselves into knots trying to rationalize why it might be real vs. why it most certainly was not.
It’s not out of the question, since there’s a fairly thin line between official Blizzard announcements and April Fool’s jokes. As you can see in comments on the mysterious “It’s coming” image they posted last year on March 31st, plenty of people were half-way convinced it might be something real, or willing to admit that they’d fallen for The Archivist in 2009—if only for a little while. Compare Blizzard’s April Fool’s stuff to their actual game announcements; at least half of the stuff from the pre-WWI 2008 D3 splash screens mystery would fit into an Easter Egg/April Fool’s announcement. Purple penguins and hidden game runes, etc.