My First Midnight Release

I had already ordered the Collector’s Edition several months back, before the digital download option was announced.  Last night I braved the chilly temperatures to see my local Gamestop.  This is the first time I had ever done this – my previous WoW expansions were all ordered from Amazon using release-day delivery.

I hit the GameStop in Lake Mary, Florida at around 11:10 PM.  There were a handful of people outside, but not a very large crowd and nothing exciting seemed to be going on.  So I stayed in my car.  It was pretty cold for Florida.  I think it was around 40 degrees.  At 11:25 I decided to see if there was anything fun happening, and I left my car and braved the cold night air.

I went into GameStop and paid for my purchase, and then went back out into the night to hang with my nerd companions.  People were chatting about the game, of course.  It was a pretty friendly group, comparing in-game accomplishments, plans for the expansion, and bets on whether the game would actually be playable at midnight PST as we were promised.

Despite the cold it was an enjoyable half hour that I spent outside.  It was a very small sample size (less than 25 people) but I will say that I noticed two things about this particular group of die-hard gamers:

  • A lot of them smoke.  That surprised me.  I’m being a bit judgmental here, but I always think of smoking as something the less educated do and the more educated avoid.  Sticking a tar-nicotine-and-cancer lollipop in your mouth seems like an activity smart people would think twice about.  Since WoW players tend to be more educated than the general population, I was surprised at all the smoking.
  • They swear.  A lot.  Again, I am being judgmental.  I consider swearing in normal conversation as something people do when their vocabulary is not broad enough to express themselves properly.  So I was a little disappointed when this group of “my people” was swearing up a storm, dropping the f-bomb every third word it seemed.

Still, they were geeky and pleasant and fun to hang with for a short time.  There were several older players, although at 42 I think I was the oldest.  There were a couple of military guys there.  Most of the group seemed to be in their early to mid twenties.  These were the die-hards so they talked about the difficult achievements they had earned and the amount of time they had played.  I gravitated toward the ones who could hold a conversation without criticizing me for playing alliance.  That said, there were far more horde players there than alliance.

As part of the event, GameStop held a raffle.  I had purchased four copies of the game so I had four entries out of the 25 or so people, and with the odds in my favor I managed to win a boxed set of Art Cards from the Trading Card Game.

I was home by 12:10 AM, game in hand, computer powered-on and ready.  The expansion installed smoothly and quickly.  I didn’t try and log on right away because I am three hours ahead of PST so Cataclysm wasn’t going live for another couple of hours.  So off to bed I went to get a few hours of shut-eye before work.

I think that the digital download option will eventually kill the big midnight release parties.  My GameStop is small, but even so with less than 25 people there it was very subdued and quiet.  I’m sure that future releases will be even more quiet as a larger fraction of players make use of the digital purchase.  At least I got to go to one release event for the experience.


1 Response to “My First Midnight Release”

  1. December 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

    It was too cold for my poor bones to cope with going to a midnight opening. At 45 I’m even more old and creaky 😉

    Smoking and swearing seems like part of the youth of today. Doesn’t mean we have to like it though 🙂

    I’m glad in the end I didn’t go – they said when I pitched up at a far more civilised 9.30 this morning that all of 7 people had braved the sub-zero temperatures (-7 degrees Celsius).

    I’m taking my time this expansion. My son played until 4am having bought it digitally, but I preferred the CE and the pet. I also preferred my sleep.

    Have fun when you do get online and hope you get a super rare something in your trading card packs. If you don’t want whatever it is can I have first dibs? 😉

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