World of Warcraft's European portal opens

Despite months of beta testing to examine the technical compatibility and general infrastructure of the European World of Warcraft servers, it seems that a silky smooth MMORPG launch was something of a pipe dream.

Shortly after the launch of the eagerly anticipated MMORPG last Friday, Blizzard were forced to temporarily take down account creation pages as servers struggled to cope with the volume of people trying to register.

And as hordes of keen Europeans logged on, some realms quickly became over-crowded, although this was countered painlessly enough by Blizzard encouraging players to head towards territories with lower populations.

Since these early problems were taken care of, it seems subsequent game activity is running without any hitches. And while Blizzard would certainly have preferred a totally trouble-free launch, the initial strain on the servers is testament to the reputation that precedes the game.

We'll have official confirmation of how many players signed up during the European launch later in the week.

Anyone yet to experience Blizzard's wonderful world of WoW should take a Golem's hook at the selection of new shots in the gallery.