In the Midnight Hour

Those of you who know me are aware that I play World of Warcraft. Those of you who don’t have just been informed. If you have missed the various news pieces on the release of the newest expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, I will fill you in. There were various places opening at midnight on Wednesday 12th November in order to sell copies straight away. The big event in the UK was at HMV at 150 Oxford Street, London. I wasn’t feeling very well but decided to find out who was doing what for it. Seeing as my significant other had plans to see Steve Coogan live, I figured that if anyone was going to wait at HMV then I would join them as I had nothing better to do.

First port of call proved a success. I had a friend to wait in line with! Hoorah! I headed off into central London on a mission to A) find the right HMV and B) save a spot in line for my fellow geek. As it turned out – they were giving away wristbands in the queue line with a number on them which worked as a reserving type system. This was excellent as the geek squad (well two of us) were then able to go off and find some food and toilets! After a hearty plate of stir fried vegetables and crispy noodles I was all set to queue for 5 hours. But no no, my fellow geek had a better plan. Lets go make and ENORMOUS banner to hold up in line. My initial thoughts were – That really is too tragic – then on reflection it was decided that we should embrace the tragicness of our situation. So we went on ahead and created said enormous banner. The finished article was somewhat impressive.

I think you will all admit it was a very imposing effort. We also made a smaller card mounted version that we thought was very amusing.

Once we arrived back at the venue, the twenty or so people who were present at half past five had grown to about two hundred people! There were ever costumed fanatics. This costume in particular was a very good representation of what you see ingame on a priest.

Whilst in the queue outside, various photographers and camera crews went by. We were photographed and interviewed. Most notably by BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat programme. I am proud to say that a clip of my interview was used all day on Radio one yesterday (Thursday 13th November).

As Midnight drew much closer, two more of our friends arrived. One being my significant other whilst the second was a work colleague and in game friend. Due to their lack of wristbands, they were forced to stand in the enormous queue at the back. AT around quarter to midnight, the wristband queue was herded into the store and separated into queue lines. The store was quite packed.


I took a video of the crowd though it isn’t the best quality – sorry!


They had various freebies travelling around and kept us all entertained with the cinematic trailer and special DVD clips. There was also a man walking around in a Lich King suit and a rather impressive ice sculpture.

The wait did seem unbearable though. Even though the tills opened at midnight, it was one AM before we finally got our hands on a copy of the collectors edition. As we had wristbands, we also got ours signed by the CEO of Blizzard entertainment and the head developer for Wrath of the Lich King. Here they are signing my copy.

As we approached the tills – clutching our signed copies – I thought I should check on the two outside. After a quick phone call we established they were still about an hour away from getting their copies so I promised to try and blag two extra collectors editions so we could all go home to bed. I got to the till, smiled ever so sweetly and succeeded in my task. Three shining copies of Wrath of the Lich King the Collectors edition. Congratulations to me!

With the copies signed, sealed and delivered it was time to go to bed. But before that we had to document the moment with this photo.

We were definitely all very happy chaps and chapette. The waiting and the cold was made up for by the brilliant atmosphere. It’s a lovely feeling to be surrounded by people who you know have the same interest as you. Conversation was easy and no one was unfriendly. Keep your eyes on the official World of Warcraft Europe website (www.wow-europe.com) for interviews and posters of us. There were plenty of people interested in our poster.

I was also once again staggered by the sheer convenience of London. As terrified as I was about living in a City, even after my short time here, I’m not sure how I ever lived anywhere else.

Until next time

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