Wrath of the Lich King Launch Event

Wrath of the Lich King is live and I'm sitting in a Denny’s uploading screenshots from one of the funniest launch events that I've had the opportunity to attend. After fifteen hours of ‘CE Camping’ in a Fry's parking lot in Anaheim, I've returned with 'phat lewts', new friends and a few great stories. Please bear with me as I attempt to share with you my day at the official WotLK launch event. I'm rather tired.

To be completely honest, I had no idea what to expect Wednesday morning when I started my, now epic, journey to Fry's. I knew there would be players already in line but there is no way I could have prepared myself for what John Fitch, who was at the front of the line told me. "Yeah I've been here since 9am PST on Tuesday. By the time I get into the store I will have been here around 39 hours ." said the Hello Kitty enthusiast that you'll hear all about as soon as I transcribe our full conversation. To make his wait a tad more bearable, anyone who asked about what he was doing was informed that he was waiting in line for the new Hello Kitty game. As you can imagine, John had his fair share of weird looks. At one point in the evening he gathered a mob of people to circle the building shouting "Hello Kitty! Hello Kitty!" Some of the things we gamers do to entertain ourselves…

Now camping out over night in a lawn chair is hardcore, but I'm not sure if it tops Eugene Gray who checked out of a hospital earlier in the day to come down and wait in line against doctors orders. Hardcore? Most certainly! That wasn't enough so he brought out his Frostmourne replica. More to come about this badass later as I also sat down with him to get the whole story.

It wasn't all fun and games. People were tired, hungry and ready to go home to start their journey into Northrend. We decided to help make the situation a little more manageable when we bought nine pizzas for those waiting in line. At this point I had met Humphrey Cheung, from Tom's Hardware, who took the pictures of the now famous "Allakhazam Pizza Raid". Until yesterday, I'd never seen nine pizzas disappear in forty five seconds. Isn't that an 'in real life' achievement?

Soon after the sun went down, everyone seemed to come out of hiding. By 8:30pm, the parking lot was a literal circus. In addition to thousands of eager fans, the world famous KROQ set up and had music blasting throughout the entire evening. Someone even brought down a projector and had Iron Man playing on the side of the building. Words can't explain how exciting the atmosphere was. Everyone waiting for the game went out of their way for each other. It was a community, nay, a big family, all waiting together, for Wrath of the Lich King.

Fortunately, I had the chance to sneak in early to interview Jeffrey "Tigole" Kaplan, the Game Director for Blizzard. Now, Jeff is sort of a hero of mine so this was exciting for me on both a personal and professional  level. Part one of our two part interview with Jeff will be available on Friday so keep an eye out; he answered a lot of questions that the  community has been asking.

After the interview with Jeff, we were informed that we were locked in Fry's and wouldn't be let out until the employees finished their closing duties. Locked inside a store with 183 Blizzard employees? That was fine with us! Our friend Humphrey from Tom's Hardware and I took the chance to explore and attempted to get 'l33t beta infoz' out of anyone we could. Unfortunately Fry's "security" team was on the ball -- so we didn't have much of a chance to do anything, except for wait for the doors to open.

When we were let out of our prison cell, it was almost show time. The tents were down and security was outside to keep the peace. One of Fry's reps in charge told me something along the lines of 'we're so screwed if people in line start moving forward. There is no way twenty of us can stop three thousand of you.' He was right but fortunately for him, the crowd was patient, and well behaved.

John Finch, who held the first spot in line, was let in before anyone else to shake hands with store management and have his picture taken by the press in attendance. Still holding his Hello Kitty sign, John was ready to grab his Collectors Edition that he'd been waiting to purchase for thirty nine, long hours.

The line started moving shortly after the formalities were done and over with. The crowd of thousands made its way to the back of the store to have their copies signed by over 140 World of Warcraft developers. Everyone was tired. They wanted to go home, and rightfully so. I stayed as long as I could, but when I left the store at 3:00am on Thursday morning, it was clear to me that Blizzard wasn't going home anytime soon.

For those of you around the globe who waited in line for the midnight release of Wrath of the Lich King, we'd love to hear your stories in our forums! Also, please check out our image gallery for the official launch event hosted by Blizzard.

Andrew "Tamat" Beegle


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# Nov 16 2008 at 10:48 AM Rating: Decent
=] I was fourth in line at the event, what didn't come out was the coolness of the people in line, we stayed up played cards, dice, you don't really get the fun that was happening in the line. Yeah it was a long time to wait, but people do it all the time for concert tickets *shurgs* so why not for a game you love to play?

anyway! the one thing Tamat didn't mention was that he (under allakhazam) bought pizza for the line! believe me ..fresh pizza while you're waiting over 40 hours!..is a thing of beauty ! so I wanted to say thanks. He didn't have to but ^__^ it was such a nice thing to do I had to mention it.

AVA guild
# Nov 14 2008 at 10:06 PM Rating: Decent
Can I make my dwarf a miniature dwarf with a big stick? He could rally with a car and make up for his small stature. He is a winner. He drinks cola cola and sings parody songs like the great Al Yankovich. BTW, I love Tamat. :) :) :) :)
Love you!
# Nov 13 2008 at 4:23 PM Rating: Default
I just got my WOTLK CD keys from Gamersloot.net. Last I checked they still have stock. They are sending out keys now.
Being Hardcore.....
# Nov 13 2008 at 3:17 PM Rating: Decent
Being hardcore doesn't make you stupid. Being a dedicated fan is a wonderful thing. I wish I loved something so much that I would go to the extreme to get it. This dedication that people show toward the release of WOTLK is what makes releases exciting. People like you Yngvie who insult people who actually show enthusiasm for things is the reason some people are afraid to show their love. You are the type how go to a game and don't cheer and show no enthusiasm for the home team. You are what bring others down. You should reassess your priorities if you think its so important to bring someone else down.
# Nov 13 2008 at 11:16 AM Rating: Decent
Okay ... so I didn't see the living off the state part. I say mana-bomb his azz.
# Nov 13 2008 at 11:11 AM Rating: Decent
Who needs health when you have a soulstone?
# Nov 13 2008 at 10:40 AM Rating: Decent
132 posts
I'm not sure if it tops Eugene Gray who checked out of a hospital earlier in the day to come down and wait in line against doctors orders. Hardcore? Most certainly!

Hardcore? No. Stupid? Yes.

It's a GAME, people. A GAME. WoW is not life. Christ, I pity the people that think it is. We have one guy that comes into our LAN center that is living off the state. Does he spend his time looking for work? NO! He spends it playing WoW. All he talks about is WoW - his guild, his character, his spec, how he apparently knows the top player for every class on his guild, and any other lie he can come up with that he thinks makes him sound "cool." It's his entire world. When the realms are down, he's lost. He's pathetic. WoW is a fun game, but when you let it take over your life to the point of abandoning everything else or risking your health just to get a copy of the expansion at midnight, it's time to seriously look at your life and reassess your priorities.

# Nov 13 2008 at 11:15 AM Rating: Decent
But where would he be without WoW? Maybe it is a blessing that their are such creations in the world, such as WoW, to keep the likes of those "stupid" ones off the streets as much as possible. Or, maybe, he is just in continuous awe, more so than the other 12 million people, over a "game" that thousands of not-so-stupid developers and artists have conceived and nutured over the years.

I say, if he is not affecting others in any negative way, then it's all good. "Why soooo serious!?"
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