Yesterday, Bookahnerk and I realized that we’re as excited about the launch of WoW Classic as we haven’t been in ages. I always loved this pre-launch excitement. Not when WoW launched, because I didn’t play it then! Bookahnerk did, though. I joined him several months later. For Burning Crusade, we drove to a midnight sale and stood in a gigantic line with some friends. We had fun conversations with the people standing behind us and generally, the mood was pretty good there. Except for the usual Horde vs. Alliance bickering.
The first “real” MMO launch I experienced was Warhammer Online. The game launched in 2008, so my memory is a bit fuzzy. I do remember that everybody had told GOA, the European publisher, that it was a dumb idea to not start registration of keys before the open beta was supposed to start. Open beta arrived and the servers broke down. It took several hours for them to fix their mess and let some of us enter our codes, at least. I do remember chatting with a friend online who was waiting as well and binge-watching a TV series at the time (on DVD, since there was no Netflix or other streaming service yet!). – And yes, Syp confirms that I remembered it correctly. He preserved these days in his WAAAGH-blog.
I passed on Rift in 2011, because that launch was in the middle of my diploma exams and these were the only thing I could think about at the time. However, I remember that I was quite sad that I could not be there with all the other excited players. I joined a few months later, though. But it just wasn’t the same as being there on launch.
And then the last MMO launch that I experienced was Guild Wars 2, actually. As you may know, that game is currently celebrating its 7th anniversary, so that’s quite a while ago… so long ago that I don’t even remember some of the blog posts I wrote back then. But as a quick search reveals, I was quite excited about hearing more about the launch date. I didn’t write anything specific in the days prior to the game’s launch, but five days after it had launched. Apparently, in the meantime, I had been busy playing Guild Wars 2!
Lord of the Rings Online’s launch of the legendary server in November 2018 was like a mini-launch event for us. We chatted in our WhatsApp group with two friends who also started on that server and we were “excitedly” comparing the numbers in the queue that wasn’t properly working. And there was cheering when one of us could finally enter!
Looking at this, it’s a bit sad that the last new MMO that got me so excited was in 2012. After that, it was Lotro’s legendary server and now WoW Classic. It’s like we’re travelling back in time!
And don’t get me wrong. I very much remember all the things that annoyed me back when I started with WoW. Like people stealing your mining ore that you’d fought your way through or waiting to get that kill for the named mob. But back when WoW launched, I played on a PvP server because everybody else played there. This time around, I will be playing on launch day, not months later, and on a PvE server! Finally! And if the game gets too annoying or boring, there’s enough other games for me to play like Elder Scrolls Online or LotRO. But for the time being, I enjoy the excitement and anticipation.