Back on May, I shared my sad experience at a local Best Buy Store (NYC Union Square) where I attempted to buy a Diablo III Collector's Edition. Many fans camp their local stores for hours to be among the first to get ahold of a Collector's Edition. I had the same experience with the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector's Edition the year before at the same store. Luckily for me, I already had one secure for myself. These two visits were attempts to get a second one for a Blizzplanet giveaway.
The sore fact is that chances are you won't get a World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition tonight at midnight at a local store. Listen closely.
If you have not pre-ordered the video game at your local store in advance, I doubt you will get one tonight. If you still wish to go to the store, I can only advise you to ask right away if you can purchase one without a pre-order, so that you don't waste your time in line.
Gratefully, I had already pre-ordered StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector's Edition and Diablo III Collector's Edition from Amazon.com. It arrived the same day the games were released.
Today, in the eve of the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria release date, I wanted to double-check the status of my Collector's Edition. I noticed today (Sept 24) at 5pm, the MOP CE had not been shipped yet. The Amazon representative confirmed the item would be shipping tomorrow. I was like ... if it ships tomorrow, that means I won't have the game for at least 2-3 days afterwards.
To my surprise, as you will read in the chat image below -- she insisted the game will ship tomorrow and it will arrive to my doorstep tomorrow. Ain't that amazing?!
Alright, I won't be playing an hour or two after midnight like everyone else who secured one, but at least I will start playing on release date, and secured one. That's a win-win. Server stability might be unstable with millions of players login in to play. Crashes, restarts, emergency hotfixes -- we all know the drill. I won't be losing much play-time waiting a few hours for the package's arrival in the morning.
My advise is to always visit your local store to secure your copy in advance when Blizzard Entertainment announces a Collector's Edition. Optionally, you can pre-order with Amazon. However, make sure to choose the "Two-Day Shipping or One-Day Shipping -- Get it on its release day" option.
The next Blizzard Entertainment video game on schedule for release is StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. The Collector's Edition pre-orders haven't started yet, but I'll alert fans on the front page and our social network pages when that becomes available.
Keep this advise in mind for the future. It's common for players to procrastinate, or wait until the release date to buy the Collector's Edition. That's gambling. You might or not get one. Pre-order when the option is available to secure your copy.
UPDATE: Amazing. As the Amazon representative said, I did get an email reporting my CE was shipped around late Sept 24th. It's already in New Jersey -- just a heart-beat away from New York City. UPDATE: Package arrived sharp at 1:00pm. Didn't even have to install the DVD. Launched the DVD installer and it said it was already Up-to-Date. All I had to do was to add the CD-Key at my Battle.net account, and to play right away. Woot!