I went last year. You don't have to do anything wild like camp out or something, haha.
Here's the low down though:
First, this year seems like it'll be a lot smoother than last time since they're opening the Joe and handing out numbered wrist bands at the door.
This time fans can sit around inside until its time to get in the line for tickets.
When I did it last year, there were no wrist bands and I got there about an hour before they started selling the tickets and the line extended from the west entrance box office and around about half of the arena to the steps on the east enterance by Cobo. When they went on sale, I was in line for another 2 hours and when I got to the box office, the only game sold out was a Philly game, and I heard games were still available around 4pm but the best ones were sold out.
The tickets they'll be selling for 9 dollars are upper level corners in the last few rows. They arent obstructed view, but if you're at the left side of the section you'll have a wall in the way of seeing the left half of the crowd, but the ice view is 100%.
I'd say you don't have to get there before they open the Joe up at 9am, but definitely don't get there past 11am if you want a shot at games you'd most like to go to.
Maybe make that by 10am, since more people may show up since you can go inside the Joe, and also because there's less home games than available last year.