Jeff Kaplan Easter Eggs in Overwatch 2 - Green Hills of Stranglethorn
Easter eggs have long been a fun way for game developers to add little details to a game to pay tribute to the things they love or the people who they'd like to recognize or pay homage to. Sabriel at
has been reporting on Overwatch 2, the highly anticipated sequel to Blizzard's team shooter, and posted a couple of fun easter eggs on
that are tributes to long-time Blizzard dev, Jeff Kaplan.
Kaplan has served in several roles at Blizzard including quest designer and Game Director for World of Warcraft, and Lead Director for Overwatch. He recently moved on from the company after 19 years. These two easter eggs are very specific and personal to Kaplan, and a well earned nod to him.
The first easter egg is this sweet little corner pizzeria on Overwatch 2's New York city map.
This is a reference to a tweet from fellow former Overwatch designer, Jeremy Craig, in which Kaplan holds a coffee cup displaying his name, misspelled by the barista.
The second is a copy of the Green Hills of Stranglethorn by Hemit Nessingwary casually lying on a seat. The infamous and aforementioned Jeph coffee cup has been placed on top of it.
is a reference to a Classic quest in which players had to track down the missing pages of Hemit Nessingwary's book. Kaplan created this quest, and considers it his legacy.
“This is the worst quest in World of Warcraft,” he said. “I made it. It’s the Green Hills of Stranglethorn. Yeah, it teaches you to use the auction house. Or the cancellation page.”
“So I’m the asshole that wrote this quest. My philosophy was, I’m going to drop all these things around Stranglethorn, and it’s going to be a whole economy unto itself… It was horrible.”
“It was utterly stupid of me. The worst part… one of the things that taxes a player in a game like WOW is inventory management. Your base backpack that the game shipped with only has 16 slots in it. But basically at all times, players are making decisions. For a single quest to consume 19 spaces in your bags is just ridiculous.”
“So it’s a horrible quest, and I’m the only who made it, and somehow I am talking to you guys today.”
You can watch more of Jeff Kaplan talking about his early WoW experience here:
WoW Classic with Creators Episode 3: Jeff Kaplan
These are delightful and well deserved tributes to a dev who has certainly touched all of our lives. Best wishes for the future, Mr Kaplan!
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