Not having a 7-11 nearby, I had to await the actual release date of WoW’s Wrath of the Lich King expansion to actually purchase the game. I opted to extend my lunch and make the pilgrimage to Fry’s to pick up our copies.
Mrs. P gets a collectors edition so she can enjoy Frosty the Frost Wyrm whelp who I must say is cute. Despite scattered reports of installer problems (including by our own Earlthecat), our installs and account upgrades went without a hitch and the obligatory patching went quick which was surprising at prime time U.S. west coast.
The installer screen actually did a decent job of setting the Lich King story up, and I actually found myself rereading bits of it. When I was finally able to log on:
Well, not too unexpected. We queued, went to the grocery store, had dinner and just as I was returning to my computer I was greeted with a “<1 min” estimate. Nice timing.
First things first, I decided to see what the crowds were like in Northrend rather than launch a Death Knight, so on to Stormwind Harbor to catch the boat to Northrend. Now this was at the end of the day on the west coast and Eldre’Thalas is technically an east coast server, so crowds may have been a bit smaller than a few hours earlier. Still, scads of people were crowding the boats with no significant lag that I noticed.
Luckily, Thursday is our regular group’s optional casual “whatever” night, so four of us eventually hooked up in Northrend to start running some of the initial quests, get our tradeskill upgrades, etc. Crowds were heavy in Valiance Keep, but again, no noticeable lag.
Other than the inevitable “camp the named” event. Questing was the usual fair but rewards seem to be offering effectively two alternate sets of gear upgrade. A typical caster example would be something with Int and Spirit versus about the same item with Stam and Int.
More running about to be had this weekend I’m sure, but since it was getting a bit late, several of us decided to roll our Death Knights to begin that adventure. Quite a bit of information has already floated around about the DK and the initial getting started quests, but I was still struck by the fact that you start your life as a DK with Mr. Big himself.
It was late, but the initial DK experience was wonderfully creepy and cool with Mr. Big channeling Emperor Palatine whispering evil nothings into your ear as you learn the class, earn your gear and get your evil death horsey. All in all, I felt quite Anakin-like as Bungholio (aka Killy) and I mowed down 100 hapless Scarlet Crusaders with the cannons on their ships.
And of course, in typical Blizzard fashion, pop culture references abound. Looking forward to exploring it more this weekend. All in all, a completely smooth launch for me (though we’re still waiting for the mail to be restored…).