Some of you are new. Some of you are not. For those who are not, I ask you to bear with me, for I would like to introduce those who are not familiar with this to the show.
The roots of All Things Azeroth go back all the way to September of 2004…
The roots of All Things Azeroth go back all the way to September of 2004, when I began playing World of Warcraft. I was in the first Stress Test that Blizzard did, a originally 7 day trial to see how the servers would hold up under ‘normal’ player loads. There were maybe a couple thousand players in this round, and rarely more than a few hundred on at a time.
After the Stress Test ended, I was still addicted to WoW, and was constantly browsing the game forums. There I found a post by a Undead called Athalus. It caught my attention immediately, as it mentioned a Radio station around the game. I already did shoutcast radio webcasting from my home, and so I felt that being able to bring both of these into one, WoW, my new love, and webcasting, my long held passion, it would be amazing.
It was. We did our first broadcast about midway through October, when the player base thought the game was set to launch any time, and Open Beta could be just around the corner. There was another station, Radio Warcraft if I recall, and it was a huge competition between Athalus and the owners of this station to see who could broadcast first. In the end, WoW Radio was the first one to launch. We did begin a fair bit before the actual Open Beta, which was around the end October, but it was good, it was fresh. I designed the first, admittedly crappy web site using WordPress(I still don’t like it) and Athalus got a server.
My first show was Midweek Review, sort of the great grand father of this podcast. At the time, there was only one other show, Athalus’ on Saturdays, and so I was, literally, the show that covered the 4 days since his last show, as I aired on Wednesday. Shortly after the weekly maintenance began, I think it was a really long one, 12 or more hours, we began casting during the maintenance. We originally had no plan to make it regular, just a show we could do while we waited, alongside our listeners, for the servers to come back up. The name, which still stands today, was Downtime Downunder, as it was done during prime time for the Australian players.
TB came in with his Ironforged Metal Show, a favorite of mine even to the day I left, and the station was growing. Other hosts came in, other personalities, and other ideas. I left the PvP realm Mannoroth I originally began on, the idea being all the show staff should play together, and found the realm of Argent Dawn. It was closer to the polite, genuine, and decent game play I had wanted in release, and loved in beta. At the same time, a person named Vexa joined the station, and her, along with a friend of hers name Lorinton, joined my show as co-hosts and assistants.
I was in heaven. I had people who’s opinions could mix with my own, and who I could work off of in the open conversations about the game. Then the first of several major server issues happened. I am not sure, to this day, what brought these troubles on, but at one of our staff meetings the second name for my show, Know Your Role, came to pass when a host at the time, who left very shortly after, called Emperor, suggested the name when I had asked in idle conversation if anyone know a good name for a RP based show, which is how my show had begun to shift.
The station, though, allowed me to become known in the AD community, as I was able to offer my services and growing playlist to events as a side aspect for attendees at RP events to enjoy. This is how I came to know the Shadow Walkers. At the time I was in the Stormseekers, the guild of Vexa, who as I mentioned was my co-host. It is a good guild, made up of good people, who helped me get my Paladin, Medros, a lot further than I had on Mannoroth. However, I had grown disillusioned with the guild, as it seemed they were growing more and more focused on raiding, and I only wanted to RP and questing.
After a time, I became unwelcome at WoW Radio, and was let go, due to a variety of differing opinions with management and their business plan, as well as their displeasure over my opinions, often negative, about the game. I did not miss a show, though, and by the following Wednesday was on the air with MMO Radio. In retrospect, for all the good and bad, I should have known that there would never be a home for my show there. I was the first pure talk show they had, and it was clear their audience wanted a lot more music than my show offered. As well, the majority of my strong audience from WoW Radio did not follow me to my new home.
I met a lot of people through MMO that remain friends, but the most notable was a person who, in IRC, went by the name of Katana Angel. After awhile I convinced her to join AD, and she rolled a rogue named Ciarda. As I got further and further into RP, my character’s name and back story fleshed out, which I hope will come to light in time via a few short stories aired in the podcast. Medros Isen was a Holy Paladin, and despised the undead. He did not have an overt affection for rogues, but Ciarda caught his eye.
In the end, Medros left the Stormseekers, his guild since level 13 or so, and joined the Shadow Walkers, whom he had advised Ciarda to join. In time, the Paladin and the rogue, the Night Elf and the Human, came to the point when they had to make an announcement. (see here) The wedding was a grand affair, with freshly made rockets and fireworks, a feast at the Blue Recluse, and many amazing gifts. Friends and family alike joined in the joining of the two.
As happens to many in war time, though, the two found they walked different paths. In real life, the person behind Ciarda and I also found we walked different paths. I left MMO Radio over concerns about transparency to the listeners, and released a few episodes of the show on podcast before, as with my character, I faded for a time.
Recently I have gotten back into WoW after a 3 month break. For someone who was so in love with the game to take 3 months off was not a sign that the game was less interesting, for I often itched to return, but instead it was simply a sign that I had reached burn out. The lines between in game ties and Real Life relationships had become too blurred, and too difficult to separate. Before I left, I gave Ciarda her freedom in RP to find someone else, and took myself to other places, in games I hadn’t played for years. My podcasting too took a time off, and now that I am back, I feel refreshed.
In the end, this game is a fun thing, but it is still a game, and we pay to have fun. If you can’t have fun, you may as well cancel your account, sell off your gear, and live the life of a hermit. Trust me, 7 million players can’t be wrong. As I said, though, I am back. Back in game, and more importantly back to the podcasting. This has been my story, and I hope I can convince Lelia to join me and give even a brief history of her and her character, and how she came to be where she is in life, game, and here on the show.
I hope to have our first episode, real episode I mean, out around the 14th or 15th of January, in time to listen as your Expansion client is installing, or as you itch for the expansion to be released. See you then.