Queue Queue Queues.

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
Carl Sagan
The new expansion is upon us, the Iron Horde are bashing their shields in a threatening manner, the draenei of Draenor are draenei-ing, and millions of player are clamouring to make their mark on a new world that represents the some of the best content that we've yet seen.

Or that's the rumour, at least.

A friend of mine who used to play WoW hardcore but left the game after Wrath asked me how the new expansion was. I replied honestly and said, "I have no idea".

Like many people I haven't had an opportunity to see the grand vistas of Draenor first hand due to server instability, DDOS attacks by script kiddies with nothing better to do, and obscenely long server queues to get into almost all realms; with the highly populous realms being hit the hardest.

All of this you know already, assuming that you're reading this and not playing WoW right now you're probably staring at something like this:

Now, I think most people expect that a launch day is going to be busy. When Cataclysm launched the fields of Mount Hyjal were packed with people all trying to do the same quests and getting in each others way, while the quest-givers themselves (Malfurion was the worst) were buried alive under the weight of half a server's population trampling them with their mammoth mounts. In Pandaria I was trapped in a never-ending wave of hozen that would respawn before I finished killing them, leaving me stationary and in constant combat for half an hour.

These sorts of problems are expected and not a real issue. It's all part of the fun of launch day.

But the queues. Oh the horrible, horrible queues.

Can there be anything worse than waiting to play a game that you've been waiting for months to play? Is there anything more disheartening than seeing a line of 5100 people in front of you, and the queue timer telling you that by the time you'll be allowed in you'll need to leave for work because 8 hours will have passed?

Better hope your chair is comfortable.

Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting.
Joyce Meyer

Having been watching Twitter and some of the forums over the past couple of days, most people have taken this with a fairly good-natured, if somewhat frustrated manner. The DDOS attacks that the servers endured didn't help matters, but I for one assumed that launch day would have some issues--too many people, lots of lag, some bugs that escaped the crucible of beta, and other such inconveniences.

I did however, expect to be able to log in. It's frustrating to hear people talking about their garrisons, their level-ups, and how great everything looks and oh-by-the-way these new heroic dungeons are awesome, while I am staring at the Queue timer blocking me like a bouncer at an exclusive nightclub who won't let me in because I'm wearing the wrong brand of shoes.

A lot of criticism has been levelled at Blizzard because of these issues, most of which is unfair, in my opinion. From what it sounds like, DDOS attacks aside, the demand for players to play WoW is more than they've seen in years and more than they ever could have planned for. It seems that something about this expansion has caught the imagination of the playerbase in a way that hasn't happened since Wrath of the Lich King. Maybe it's the concept, the artwork or the relentless TV ads, but it seems that a lot of people are talking about WoW again and more importantly, actively trying to play it.

It's just a pity that the loading screen boss is the first fight that they're wiping on.