Blizzard wins the prank wars

Akela Talamasca
A. Talamasca|04.02.08

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Blizzard wins the prank wars

Well, what else would you expect from the company that brought you murlocs? April Fool's day is in full effect in Blizzardlandia, and World of Warcraft isn't the only game to get the treatment, but it's a good place to start!

Molten Core: for consoles
Heavily trading on fond gamer memories of Atari's Adventure, Blizzard brings us the console version of its popular 40-player raid dungeon Molten Core. The game's site features screenshots alongside concept art, and a trailer, even, with an 8-bit, pixelated version of the company's logo. We won't spoil the show for you, but the best bullet point for the game has to be 'Has sound'. Check it out and wait for your chance to pre-order!
Wrath of the Lich King: Bard Class
Everyone's excited for WotLK, and everyone loves Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Now that Activision owns Blizzard, isn't it just a given that the two will merge? Introducing the new character class for the upcoming WoW expansion: the Bard.

Featuring the ability to melt faces with blistering solos, and a Frostmourne-themed guitar peripheral, the Bard class will completely revitalize WoW, and bring back everyone who's ever played the game, as well as pull in people who thought they'd never enjoy WoW in the first place. Blizzard will own us all! Damn ... for a second there, we forgot it was all a silly prank. Curse you, Blizzard! Stop making us want things!

Regardless, there's much more to the story than we're saying here; go visit the actual site for the full effect of glorious, in-your-face hard rock, and learn the power of truly heavy metal!

Moo down your enemies with the Tauren Marine
Continuing on in the vein of making geek hearts explode with want everywhere, Starcraft 2 gets the April Fool's Day treatment with the Terran inclusion of the new Tauren Marine unit. For those of you wondering where Azeroth as a planet resided in the continuum of Blizzard properties, apparently it's right across the way from Korhal, a major Terran world.

Listen, when Blizzard does a prank, they go all out: the Tauren Marine page is filled with art assets polished to a startling degree. There are screenshots -- screenshots! Of a unit that doesn't even exist! -- a piece of concept art, and perhaps best of all, movies; or, as Blizzard has it, 'moovies'. These depict the unit standing in its idle animation, walking, and of course, in combat, utilizing some serious firepower.

When we wrote about our speculations concerning the game mechanics of a World of Starcraft MMO, this didn't enter into our wildest fantasies. But now that it has, we want this to exist with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. You can have a Zergling pet in WoW; why can't we have Tauren Marines? And why stop there? Let's have Terran Ghosts who are actual ghosts, a la the Forsaken! Gnome engineers would make great SCVs! No, we'd better stop ... this way lies madness. And tons of cash for Blizzard.

There are more pranks on Blizzard's site, but those are the immediately MMO-related ones. Our hats off to the crazy developers and artists at the world's most lionized game company -- nobody does it better.

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