With mere hours to go before the Worldwide Invitational, the splash screen has changed. This time the file, named Ice5andahalf.jpg, shows the 5 runes even brighter, and adds a 6th rune - a winking smiley face. You think Blizzard's having fun with this yet?
It's also worth noting that the lines around the glowing eyes are much more pronounced now - as are the eyes themselves, which now look a lot like twin stars. But are we seeing the lines of Arthas' helmet, the lines on Diablo's face, or the lines on a Protoss Templar's face? I'm not sure we'll know for sure until WWI's big announcement now, although I'm rooting for Diablo. Then again, is that the spire of Icecrown Glacier I see down there in the lower right of the night sky?
It's likely that we're hours away from a big announcement at the Worldwide Invitational, and ice6.jpg will appear then, and we'll know exactly what is up with all this wacky stuff. With any luck, we'll also hear about just how much thought Blizzard put into this whole splash screen deal. Were they really expecting all this hubub?
Gallery: June 2008 splash screen speculation
The master.CSS file remains unchanged -- It looks like now that the penguin is out of the bag, its job is done. However, it's somewhat amusing to note that Dictionary.com's word of the day yesterday was "harbinger," which is one of the words attached to our evil penguin friend. Coincidence? Or do Blizzard's tentacles really stretch that far? Today's word is mazy, too -- and deciphering all these clues sure has been more than a bit mazy.
As long as we're waiting on the WWI to get the final piece of this puzzle, let's do a little rune recapping, and note which runes appeared on which days of the splash screen:
- Day 1: this rune is widely agreed to be from Frostmourne, the Lich King's sword.
- Day 2: This rune appears to be the Hel rune from Diablo 2
- Day 3: This rune is the insignia of the Protoss Akilae tribe from Starcraft 2.
- Day 4: This symbol looks like a solar system, and may be a nod to Pax Emperia: Eminent Domain, a game that was once owned by Blizzard, which featured a similar looking solar system on the cover. It might also be a top-down view of an Arcane Sanctum
- Day 5: This rune looks like a snowflake, and may represent a Nordic Bind-rune known as the Helm of Awe. This is believed to be a nod to the Lost Vikings, or a nod to the Nordic influences used in designing Northrend for WoTLK.
- Day 6: A smiley face rune has appeared. Now Blizzard's just having fun with us.
- The runes themselves -- minus the day 6 rune, which mostly seems to be blizzard laughing with us at all this hubbub -- are still arrayed in that pentagram position, possibly indicating a Diablo-related announcement.
Enjoy, everyone! We're only about an hour away from the Invitational! If you can't watch the live streams, or even if you can, don't forget to keep checking WoW Insider -- we have people on the floor ready to live blog and search for every scrap of beautiful succulent information they can find!