What a truly magnificent experience this mornings launch of Mists of Pandaria was for me.
When I read about the no log out insta-launch Blizzard had planned I have to admit to being sceptical. This was further fuelled when problems with the launch (9 hours earlier) were reported from the EU.
I can tell you, however, my experience was as smooth as ice.
MoP 'switched' a few minutes earlier than expected (about 5) and this appeared to throw a good chunk of the masses who for some reason were glued to the command board in Orgrimmar (the initial quest automagically appeared in the quest log).
Having decided to take my hunter / gatherer team to 90 first I was hanging out at the skinning trainer on one and the mining trainer on the other. Clickty click quick flight to herbalist trainer and the engineering dude and I was ready to go.
The rest of my brief time in the city is a bit of a blur. I remember a cut scene several thousand heaving virtual bodies reaching out for a big yellow ? ..... then the team are on a zeppelin heading for Pandaria.
At this stage the awesome ratcheted up several levels. I actually tried to record some audio but soon realised it would be several minutes of me yelling in strangled breathy tones 'OMG OMG WHEEEEEE!!'
I had made a point of staying away from the beta for MoP and watching very few videos (all of which were of the panda race starting zones) I am so glad I did. The sheer epicness of it all is something I have rarely experienced in a video game. The hundreds of fellow players made it even more so. For me at least there was also pretty much zero lag which I found simply stunning.
I played for just over 4 hours and apart from a couple of choke points and insane respawn rates all continued to be over and above my already high expectations. I logged out about half way through level 85 a happy man.
So far so fantastic.