This freeze on loading has returned with 10.8. I sit at "awaiting Players" with the countdown timer frozen. If I reboot PC and restart game, it picks up in mid battle. However, if I close game without rebooting and relaunch game, it remains frozen.
I previously updated drivers and cleaned out unneeded active programs running in back ground, and refreshed internet modem and local router. This had no immediate impact, but the freezing went away after a few days while still running 10.7. It appears to be a server side issue.
BTW - each time I cannot relaunch the game, I receive a penalty for "No Battle Contribution" so I continuously need to clear my PINK status, and have to put up with heckling through that process.