April Fools Day came to Artix Entertainment games in a big way last week. Players had surprises around every corner and lots of fun. See how the Artix fools tormented their players and keep reading!
Like a shining beacon, April 1st glows on my wall calendar. It is the one day of the year were we can throw the rules out the window and pull a horrific or laugh inducing prank at our amazing players. After 6 years of doing many of our players see it coming. So we think hard on how to “got ya!” and get a laugh. Sure, in the past we have gone too far and thrown a blunder, LOL. But in my opinion, this year was our best ever. If you think it is tough coming up with the perfect prank for just one game – imagine trying to do it for all four!
If you would like to hear what we did this year (and some cringing memories of April Fools pranks from years past)…. read on!
ADVENTUREQUEST WORLDS ( http://www.AQ.com )
This was our first April Fool’s prank in an MMO so we wanted to do something really special. The day before we had a live dialogue between Warlic (a blue mage) and Zorbak (100% ebil Moglin). Zorbak was trying to “borrow” a Mystic Pencil of Endless Scribbles and the players voted in order to force Warlic to give it to him. They had no idea what it was all about though.
On April 1st the Players logged to a message informing them that “to save bandwidth costs, we have SLIGHTLY reduced the amount of lines and color in our art. We ARE SURE you won’t even notice!”
Then they logged into the main town of Battleon…
LOL, we also had a one day only April Fool’s shop selling scribble weapons, jester outfits and a whoopee cushions pet. Exploring down you find out that Zorbak had used the pencil to draw over most of the town.
I liked that there was a storyline following the prank and that we did it in game. A lot of players commented that it was things like this are the reason they feel the game is so special. The world is continually evolving and changing… and for some reason we love it when things go terribly, terribly wrong!
DragonFable ( http://www.dragonfable.com )
The claim was being made for several days that Rolith was allowing Cysero to code the game. Of course we are keenly aware that Cysero has NO idea how to program. Announcing that he had made a change to the engine, players logged in on April 1st to find the ENTIRE GAME FLIPPED UPSIDE DOWN.
It was really hard to navigate and play with the game upside down. The players let us know, so an hour later we added a flip button <whew!>. Last year for April Fool’s we claimed there was a “small technicall glitch with the servers” and we swapped all of the MechQuest and DragonFable NPCs… LOL, but some players thought it was intentional and were mad when we took the NPCs out of MechQuest. Two years ago we released the extremely important to the core game plot: “ChickenCow Lord” Class and renamed the game ChickenCowFable for a day. Cluckcluckmoooooooooooo!
MechQuest ( http://www.mechquest.com )
For April Fool’s, Players logged and were notified that they “Won a FREE Jimmy the eye-POD! Click here to claim your prize.” If you tried to close it, tons of annoying additional Jimmy the eye-POD ads filled your screen.
When you finally clicked on it, you were immediately put into a battle with the full-sized Mecha version of Jimmy the eye-POD. He uses his ultra mega super unstoppable eye beam laser blast!!! KAAAAPOWWWW! And starts a 5 minute long cutscene where it blows up your mech…. Soluna city… 4,995 years in the future and blows up DragonFable’s town…. Goes 5 years in the future and blows up AdventureQuest’s town… then goes ??? into the future beyond that and blows up Drakath, in the middle of his legendary cutscene in the AQWorlds MMO!
Drakath slain by one of his eye monsters beams? How eye-ronic!? (Safiria just hit me for typing that.)
AdventureQuest ( http://www.battleon.com )
In AdventureQuest for April Fool’s they…. Well…. Galanoth and his team did so much I do not know where to begin! You might just need to check that one for yourself. AdventureQuest has had the most April Fools… we sure did learn a few lessons making them. One year we pretended the entire staff got into a fight and hated each other. We went so overboard that we could not convince the players on the forums that we were just joking… they thought we were all going to quit!
Happening this week!
This April Fool’s was so much fun – I cannot wait until next year’s! But this week is just getting started. On Friday, we are preparing to go up against the 1st Lord of Chaos’s minions in AQworlds ( www.aq.com ). In DragonFable ( www.dragonfable.com ), they are adding fishing (it is fun and really bizarre…. Beware Prawnzilla!) There are also brand new MechQuest (www.MechQuest.com) and AdventureQuest (www.BattleOn.com) releases. This is a great week for adventure!
Artix & the friendly AE Team