Today the Warhammer Online open beta selection and pre-loading began in earnest much to the joy of repressed WoW nerds everywhere, with open beta servers going up on September 7th. Mythic says that close to a million gamers have signed on for the chance to beta their take on the battle between Order and Destruction. The buffer created by nine days of pre-registration and downloading should ease the potential strain that plagues most high profile launches.
I for one take this as a positive sign that Mythic has really genuinely learned from the mistakes of its contemporaries. The game officially launches on September 18th giving about a week and a half to mooch from EA and decide if it’s time to cancel that WoW account. If you aren’t one of the lucky already in closed beta or selected for open beta don’t go all sad panda just yet — entry into the beta can also be gained through Fileplanet or pre-ordering the game at any major retailer. Ala City of Heroes, the brick and mortar you pre-order from changes the nature of the in-game bonus you get at launch time. While the game is hotly anticipated, the shadow of EA looms large over this launch and whatever happens success or failure, with over three years of development time, will be high-profile.