As players on European servers prepare to pass through a very different Dark Portal than they did in 2007's Burning Crusade expansion, North American players gather in the Blasted Lands, awaiting late-night entry into World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor.

The first World of Warcraft expansion to feature no new classes to level or races to play, the Dark Portal is the place to be when Warlords goes live at 6 PM Eastern in Europe, 3 AM in North America. On my current home server of Moon Guard players have been slowly creeping into the Blasted Lands from Goldshire all day long, joining the pitched battle between the combine NPC forces of the Alliance and Horde attempting to stem the tide of the Iron Horde pouring through the gate.

And I'm right there, bravely facing the oncoming onslaught.

And I'm there, bravely watching the onslaught with the shamanic power of Far Sight from a safe spot atop the stone portal frame.

What, I'm not going down there. It's unsanitary.

See all those Iron Horde corpses? No way I'm walking through that once the expansion goes live. Either they have someone clean that up, or I'm going back to leveling my gnome monk.

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My plan is to wait until my wife gets home from work — around 10 PM, and then nap for four hours leading up to launch. It's a good plan, one that will certainly work if I can keep myself from wandering off to get snacks or living vicariously through Gergo Vas, who plays on European servers.

Who am I kidding? There'll be no sleep tonight. There's a new World of Warcraft expansion going live. See you all on the other side!