1000 people, police, queue up for Wrath of the Lich King launch

By Kathryn Small on Nov 15, 2008 8:14 AM
Filed under Strategy

So many people turned up to last night’s Sydney launch of Wrath of the Lich King that the police arrived to ask organisers to turn the music down.

Nearly 1000 people lined up outside EB Games’ George Street, Sydney, store, to be the first to buy the latest instalment in the World of Warcraft series.

The fantasy computer game – for which players buy a software package as well as pay a monthly subscription fee – has over 10 million players worldwide.

Wrath of the Lich King involves new areas, new content and hundreds of new quests for players. It also extends the level cap from 70 to 80.

Danny, an EB Games staff member, said he had heard rumours that players in the U.S., who had access to the game five hours before Australia, had already reached level 80.

But players in the queue told iTnews that this would be impossible.

“It’s just not possible. I was playing for a couple of hours before I left to come here, and the highest person on my server was level 71,” said Reedy, who plays a level 70 Night Elf Rogue. “And he only hit level 71 ten minutes before I left.”

EB Games celebrated the launch with a string quartet playing music from the game, a Guitar Hero playoff and a trivia competition.

“Located in Durotar, on the continent of Kalimdor, what is the Orcish capital city?” asked an EB Games staff member.

“Ogrimmar,” said one of the contestants.

Several people turned up in elaborate costumes modelled on their characters, known as ‘cosplay’.

Damon was dressed as a Level 70 Paladin Human, wearing custom-made armour of “machine grade” stainless steel that cost over $2500. His girlfriend, Rosie, handmade her own Level 70 Mage Human outfit, including a staff with a glowing, LED-lit jewel.

“We have never gotten dressed up before, but I really wanted to do this for tonight,” said Rosie.

The pair met on the Proudmoore server almost three years ago.

Most players agreed that they would go straight home to start playing World of Warcraft.

“Sleep is for the weak,” said Anna, who was dressed as a Spirit Healer. “My boss gave me the day off to start playing Lich King.”

Scott, a Level 70 player, agreed. “I’ve got 2.7 litres of Red Bull waiting for me at home. I’m going to play all night.”

But Cheryl, 58 and Robert, 61, said they would wait until tomorrow.

"We both have level 70 characters, and we play on the same server as our children and grandchildren," said Cheryl. "Although we don't give them pocket money."

The police arrived shortly before midnight after complaints had been received about noise levels and the number of people in the queue.

Managers spoke to the police, including producing their event permit, while other staff served the crowd.
 
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