I first read about World of Warcraft in a game magazine during winter 2004/2005, when WoW wasn't released yet in Europe.
I knew that Blizzard was a quality game company (unlike today), but I had never played any MMORPG before.
Reading about people getting married in online RPGs left me... surprised to say the least.
But the more I read about WoW, the more I got excited - and when the release date had finally come (Friday, 11th. of February 2005) I cycled to our local electronics mart to wait outside for them to open.
I still remember how I was anxious I might not get a copy of the game, because I hadn't preordered it.
When the mart finally opened, I directly went to the games section and picked up "my" copy - I was so relieved!
Then I was waiting in line at the checkout.
Everyone in the line had purchased World of Warcraft - I still remember that crazy feeling of affinity between us bunch of nerds, imagining everyone of us heading home to play the game.
Well, I wasn't even able to play the game that day, because installation, patching and registration took hours to complete and I had to go to work (late shift).
At least I had the game manual, which I studied excessively during breaks.
Next day I was finally able to go online and "Melvin", my human paladin was "born".
To this day I still remember the char names of a guy ("Wothan", later "Zerberus") and a girl ("Mistrial", later "Feodora") I was soon to meet and level with...