Monday, April 4, 2011

April's Fool - Taking Blizzard Seriously

I really loved the april fools jokes from Blizzard. Although I don't take any of them seriously, and I hope no one else does either, what really made them so funny was the underlying tone of seriousness. Jokes are always best when you can relate to them right? Blizzard showed alot of self irony in these jokes, and some of them were funny simply because they weren't completely untrue. Let's look a little closer at some of them and see how we can relate them to reality.

Death Knight

First out, the Death Knight hero improvements. I won't link anyone in particular, because it was the overall point that stood out as funny. People have always been bothered about Dks being Op and the special pet of Blizzard, even when that hasn't been the case. I think Dks were branded because they really were OP when they were first launched. They never really managed to get rid of that brand. I remember when my friend, who mains a dk, proudly told me about some feat he had done, I always answered with a "well, you're a dk. Sorry, but not impressed. Do that with a [random badderer class] and I'll applaud you". And I really believed it. Poor guy. The notion that Dks are treated specially has stuck with me, although I think they had a dip towards the end of Wrath. Right now, in all honesty, I have to say that they seem to be pretty much in the middle. They're not the best at what they do, and not the worst. Although I know there is alot of skill in playing a dk good, I can only imagine the frustration to always have your feats ascribed to the class, and not the skills.

Aquatic and Travel Form were causing too much of a performance hit and have been replaced with lower poly models.
It always amused me - in the way in which you find something kind of sad and therefor funny because you're not the one affected - that druids had to spend 90% of their time watching a model which consisted of less polygons than the hand of a blood elf. Looking back on the old bear and cat models they really looked like shite, and that is not by comparison - druids always thought they looked like shite. Getting updated bear and cat models were to druids what an oasis is to a desert traveller. At first recognized only as a mirage, never going to happen, only to barely believe it when they finally have it in their hands.

Hunters now earn Valor Points when they are effectively Vote Kicked from a Dungeon Finder group.
This one made me laugh out loud. The idea that hunters are mainly played by people who can't tell up from down and who randomly shoots everything, need rolling on everything (hunter weapon lol!) and making life miserable for everyone involved has stuck since Vanilla. The thing about hunters, and I notice that especially when doing lowbie instances, is that not only can you manage to level from 1-85 without basically learning anything about the class or how to play generally (this is true for more classes than just hunters), they can be a real pest in instances in a way that most other classes can't. Because their main attacks are instant and ranged, they really manage to do some amazing feats of sheer horror, ninja pulling things I didn't even thought was possible. Their pet can also create awesome moments of wipe. The only class that comes close are frost mages with their instant ice lances and Water Elemental, but as a tank you can at least oom the mage, giving you a window of opportunity when he can't cast spells in which you can do your job at your own pace without having to run around like a maniac trying to salvage a catastrophe. This will never happen with hunters, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if hunters were the most kicked class in pugs.

All Frost mages now receive a complementary personal Arena rating of 2200 upon reaching level 85.
Frost mages have been given one additional snare effect, so that they will be brought up to the level of other classes (combined).
I don't pvp, but as I understood it there has always been two things that have annoyed pvpers more than other things - the cc-cability and mobility of a class. A frost mage has plenty of both. All since Vanilla, mages have been able to pull off eye bleeding stunts which made people throw their keyboards around, not so much because of their damage or survivability (unlike warriors), but because of their cc-capabilites and mobility. My brother, who mainly pvpd when he still played WoW, could use long chains of curse words when fighting mages, especially when double ice block was still possible.

The sound of most Retribution abilities has been redesigned to produce a more audible clunk when used. The rotation should now feel clunkier overall.
There are few rotations I've disliked as much as the retridin one throughout the game. Not only is it boring, like the elemental shaman one, but it is also rather weird since it is mainly based on cooldowns. I do like it better now that they implemented Holy Power, but I must admit, it has always been rather "clunky". In Wrath it felt like no matter the way you rolled you face, you did pretty good damage. It made it difficult to distinguish between a bad and a good retridin just by looking at damage done, and that often makes a class more boring to play. You want to have your awesome knowledge and great stunts count for something, and when it doesn't, you'll lose interest. Retridins could really benefit from playing with a sort of focus energy as hunters, rather than the mana they have now.

Some paladin abilities did not contain the words Sanctity, Divine, or Justice. This has been corrected.
Blizzard could've added "some paladin icons didn't include a pair of hands, a sword or a shield. This has now been corrected". I have actually been doing some minor complaining about Blizzards rather uninventive style of naming their skills before, especially when compared to games like Warhammer. People were thrilled when Nom Nom Nom was first announced for Feral Druids, unfortunately it was renamed to the rather boring Blood in the Water, which kind of proves my point. At least Blizzard are aware of it.

The duration and cooldown of Divine Shield have been changed to 15 seconds.
Divine Shield no longer causes Forbearance.
Few skills have been as scorned over the years as the shield. Game design wise it is a rather odd and poorly designed spell, in all honesty. A skill that makes you completely immune to all damage? The fact that paladins are the only class that can pretty much "reset" a fight by pressing their op Lay on Hands and Divine Shield buttons, has always been something that annoyed people, especially back when paladins were hybrid monsters that could heal, take and deal damage awesomely in any spec. There were few things as annoying as having to fight that, nearly win, only to have them use the DS-LoH combo to troll at you.

Discipline priests we heard you like shields that heal, so we put shield in your shield so you can heal while you heal.
Meme reference ftw!

Four new reactive shields have been added to the Discipline tree. These new spells are called Heal, Greater Heal, Flash Heal, and Prayer of Healing.
I think this wants to reference the people who say that discipline healing is little more than shielding.  Admittedly, it is alot about shielding. But I can understand Blizzards frustraton in trying to get discipline priests to recognize the huge arsenal of other skills they have at their disposal (and to make them good enough for us to want to use them). Maybe if they made our mastery affect heals somehow as well?


Due to continual misspellings of the “rogue” class, we have officially changed the name to the easier to type “rouge.”
Like I mentioned the other day, this is one of the most common misspellings in the game. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to just rename the class. Or how about just Rog?

Pick Pocket now works on friendly players, bankers and auctioneer NPCs.
Back in early Vanilla, rogues just to amuse themselves by emoting that they were stealing things from their fellow players - "Backstabberz pickpockets 3g 2s 56c from Palalulz". Since not everyone knew everything about the game back then, plenty of people fell for this trick. I did see a guy go monkey berserk in trade once because a rogue had pick pocketed money from him. It could've been a troll, but then again, it might not have been.

Vanish now has an additional 5% chance to fail for no discernable reason.
There are a couple of things in the game that Blizzard have vowed to fix since the dawn of time (or so it feels) yet they never, ever get it right. Vanish is such a thing. Ever since it was first implemented it has had issues with breaking if you vanished while having a projectile coming at you. 6 years of bug fixing has not changed this - I still have this happen to me when playing my rogue (maybe I just suck at playing my rogue). I'm starting to think Blizzard is keeping this bugg around as some sort of memento. Of something.

All archways, portals, portholes, and doorways now contain locked doors which require a rouge’s Pick Lock skill to open.
Rogues have occasionally (and usually with right) complained about the fact that they have been slightly more obsolete than other classes. The things that made them special like stealthing, pick pocketing and opening locks, just weren't very useful in endgame pve (the latter two not very useful in pvp either). It made Blizzard implement a couple of solutions that basically forced raids to bring rogues, like the gauntlet in BWL. It was bad solutions, and Blizzard acknowledges that with this joke.


A healing tree has been added for shaman.
Back in Vanilla, all hybrids were pretty punished for being hybrids. Blizzard really didn't intend shamans, paladins and druids to as good as the other classes in healing, tanking or dealing damage, but instead they would be able to switch between roles! Blizzard had thought the trade off would be worth it, the result showed that it wasn't. It took a while, but the hybrids eventually made it into becoming "normal" classes, where some (paladins) actually became overpowered because they kept all the bonuses of being a hybrid, and got all the bonuses from being a pure. Druids and shamans lagged behind somewhat. Most through Wrath (slightly more unsure about BC) shamans weren't very good damage dealers for instance. Shamans have always been decent healers, but they also have a couple of issues. No real raid cooldown and having to juggle totems were a few, which are being adressed now somewhat. This joke shows that Blizzard are aware of the issue.

The Elemental tree is now the Elementary tree, and allows use of new abilities Eat Paste, Nap Time, and the Macaroni and Glitter Totem.
Did I mention the elemental tree was boring? Apparently Blizzard agrees.

Maelstrom Weapon, Unleash Elements, and Spiritwalker’s Grace have been redesigned as Maelstrom Totem, Unleashed Totem, and Spiritwalker’s Totem, respectively.
All totem ranges reduced to 1 yard.
Did I mention totems can become a little too much at times? Sometimes it really does feel like everything we do that matters is based on a totem.


Whenever 2 or more warlocks or witches appear in a raid together, the damage dealt by any mages in the raid decreases by 5%. This effect stacks up to 5 times.
In addition to their current talent trees, warlocks and witches can now spend points in any mage talent tree as well.
This is funny because all through Wrath, I thought my warlock had become boring because it was really just a mage in another form. I thought that if I wanted to play a mage, I would play a mage. I had rolled the warlock to be able to use the pet and all the cc abilities. Maybe even get to tank like in BC. Sure there were the Healthstone and Soulstone, but really those only made me feel even more like a mage - a candy dispenser. I'm not sure if that is what Blizzard are getting at with these jokes, or if the tables really have turned on warlocks on mages. From what I can tell from the warlocks and mages in my guild, it overall seems like Warlocks can do everything a mage can do, only more of it and better.

Charge has been removed from the game.
Warrior’s base movement speed has been increased by 300%
This is a double pun really. Like I mentioned above, warriors have always been feared in pvp because of their great mobility. Warriors on the other hand have often felt like their mobility really is all they ever had, the only ace they could pull out their sleeve when things got rough. I must admit that being able to charge here, intervene there and intercept back was part of made me enjoy warrior tanking so much. Mobility, I has it! Unfortunately, all the mobility in the world won't do you any good if you can't do something worthwhile when you've reached your target. That is what I feel warrior tanking has become lately, but maybe they're still as good in pvp as they were in Wrath.

Did you find any of the April Fools Jokes especially funny or interesting?


  1. "Whenever 2 or more warlocks or witches appear in a raid together ... "

    I find the inclusion of the term "witches" to be rather interesting. At no other time that I can recall has Blizz gender-fied the class like that. Maybe I missed one, but this is the first that I recall.

    Given Blizz's fondness for dropping hints of upcoming content in innocuous ways, I have to wonder (example: goblin and worgen masks for Halloween before Cata was announced).

  2. ::sigh:: Can't subscribe to comments unless one is already logged in. Ain't that a peach?

    I do loves me some blogger, but sometimes they make me cough up a hairball :)

  3. On Frost Mages:

    Last week I was in a 2v2 Arena with my Boomkin partner. We came against a geared to the nines Frost Mage (complete with Tabard of Brutality) and the most pathetic Resto Shaman you can imagine. Not one piece of noticeable gear on him was a PvP piece and it all looked like questing greens. He had barely 95K life but we could not touch him because that damn Frost Mage had us so locked down so hard that we could barely move. This Arena lasted a good 20 minutes. One would think that there would be diminishing returns on polymorphs but I was a penguin more than I was a Worgen. We quite honestly gave up – no shame in admitting defeat.

    I do wonder how that Mage got such a terrible partner. :3

  4. Thanks for pointing these out; I had missed that part of Blizzard's April Fool's lineup... :)

  5. As much as I always love Blizzard's April Fool's announcements (Bard class!) I think these patch notes were my favorite. So clearly in-line with player complaints/experiences, and so humorous because they were so ironic and true. :D

  6. "Four new reactive shields have been added to the Discipline tree. These new spells are called Heal, Greater Heal, Flash Heal, and Prayer of Healing."

    As i have written in my blog. The most player think we are just spamming bubbles.

    I love this kind of self ironie.

  7. Gav here with the weekly hunter-perspective!

    I imagine a lot of average hunters end up being the chaos bringers for random dungeons due to the fact that it's very easy to fail as a hunter if you don't know what you're doing.

    1. By default you want to have your pet on defensive and have growl on, this is what you use when you solo. Both of these settings will severly fuck things up in a dungeon. The game doesn't tell you to that this is a problem at any point when you level. The only way to learn is to fail.

    2. Hunters have auto-shot and auto-targeting of mobs (this is something that is being fixed on the PTR I read) which means you will automatically fire an instant shot on any random mob if you were shooting at a mob that just died and there's another one in range.

    3. Right-clicking a mob will cause the hunter to auto-shot it and send the pet in (if it's on defensive)

    Also I want to add, there is absolutely nothing so frustrating in this game as frost mages in PvP.
    Imagine this:
    1. Mage appears from afar
    2. You attempt to run away
    3. Mage teleports into melee range
    4. Mage has you frozen and locked down forever
    4 additional. No, I really do mean forever...
    5. Still in melee range
    6. Mage nukes you while doing /laugh
    7. You're dead
    8. You kog on to WoW forums and bitch and moan
    9. You write unnecessarily long comments on Zinn's blog wherein you fish for pity.



    EDIT: HAHA! I BEAT YOU BLOGGER! (It was gonna eat my comment but I had copied it before attempting to publish)