This article is a Blizzard April Fools joke. Its content is not part of official Warcraftlore, but represents one of Blizzard's jokes.
At the Battle of Mount Hyjal, the mortal races of Azeroth banded together in a desperate bid to stall the advance of the Burning Legion. The combined might of their armies fought valiantly against the demonic onslaught, but slowly, inexorably, they were pushed back. Even the massive force gathered at the base of the mountain could not stop the demons' climb. On the steep slopes of Mount Hyjal, Archimonde gave the world a taste of the true power of the Burning Legion's fury. The Defiler himself led the vanguard, crushing all who stood in his way, determined to reach the World Tree at the mountain's peak. In the end, only one power was strong enough to destroy the insidious Archimonde: the Wisps.
Just as the orcs, humans and night elves discarded their old hatreds and stood united against a common foe, so did nature herself rise up to banish the shadow forever. The Legion lost one of its leaders, and the mortal races of Azeroth won a brief respite. Yet as the unknown threats of Outland loom ever closer, and hushed whispers of a Burning Crusade can be heard in the darkest, most secret corners of the world, the night elven druids have once again sounded the Horn of Cenarius, summoning the ancient spirits of the forests to aid the Alliance in their hour of need. The wisps have long been deeply connected with the night elves, and will do all in their power to protect their now-mortal Kaldorei allies in this new and dangerous frontier beyond the Dark Portal.
Even though they are commonly believed to be purely benign spirits of the night elves' sacred forests, a part of the primal energy that was used to destroy the terrible eredar warlord slumbers in all wisps. Should a wisp decide that its time has come, it can unleash all its energy in one devastating detonation. Although this can potentially turn the tide of battle, the wisp's energies will dissipate beyond any hope of recovery; the wisp's detonate ability is the ultimate sacrifice. A heavy cost; but the wisps, the ancient guardians of nature, pay it gladly.
The introduction of Wisps allows a new and exciting game mechanic: permanent death. The ability that destroyed Archimonde is available to all Wisps as a racial ability. This power, Detonate, destroys the Wisp in an explosion of energy, sapping the mana of all surrounding adventurers, friend and foe alike. This should provide an extremely interesting addition to the many adventures of Warcraft, particularly when pitted against other players!
Detonate: Destroys the wisp, dispelling all magical buffs and draining 50 mana from each unit in an area around the wisp.
Gatherer: Skill to herbalism, mining, and skinning increased by 10.
Treeform: Turns the wisp into a tree for 30 seconds. During this time, spirit is increased by 300. However, the wisp's chance to dodge or parry axes is reduced by 50%.
In the end, only one power was strong enough
to destroy the insidious Archimonde:
Character Creation Screen
Customize a wisp through a wide variety of colors, and facial hair. There are literally billions of combinations possible!
Wisps are a valuable asset to any party, and can quickly turn the tide of battle with their racial abilities.
Permanent Death means unresurrectable. Dead for good. It is derived from a term used back in some RPGs and Diablo for running a game where any death would prevent you from resurrecting, and would be forced to start over.
The timing of the "wisp" joke, which appeared a day late for unspecified reasons, caused a minor revolt in the World of Warcraft community - dozens of hostile 'protest' messages were posted to the Official Forums, with the majority of them aimed at the wisps' supposed "Detonate" ability, which, according to the joke, destroyed the character entirely and required players to create a new one.