Thursday, March 12, 2009

7 Questions For... Aprillian!

Aprillian of Ctrl Alt WoW graciously accepted my offer for a quick cyber-interview and here's what's happening with her:

1. You recently celebrated your 100th episode of Ctrl Alt WoW which is a very rare milestone in the WoW podcasting community! First, congratulations! Second, what were your expectations when you began the podcast? Did you ever see yourself getting to 100 shows? Has the trip been long and strange?!

Thank you. I had hope to share my World of Warcraft experience with others like me. I wanted to be in it for the long haul. Around the time I started, there were a few podcasts that had started, did a few episodes on a an irregular basis and then faded away. I didn’t want that to happen to Crtl Alt WoW. My first goal was to be regular and my second was to continue for as long as I was playing World of Warcraft, so I guess I anticpated getting to 100. The trip has been great. First and foremost, it’s been a learning experience. There is no one guide to podcasting and the reason for that is that there is no one way.

2. Tying into those questions, do you have specific moments you can recall from your run that you would consider highlights or lowlights? What's the weirdest thing that's happened in 100+ episodes?

The lowlights were when I was soloing and someone made a negative comment about my voice. The highlight was when I was soloing and someone said my voice sounded like a late night radio DJ. It just goes to show you how people see the same thing differently. It also made me realize I couldn't please everyone. The best thing that happened of course, is the addition of Glanthur and when he had to take a break, I was so fortunate that Ashayo stepped in to help. I would say the weirdest is trying to explain what I do to my family, friends and coworkers.

3. In the opening of every Ctrl Alt WoW you greet everyone by saying that it is "the podcast for those of us who love World of Warcraft and love making many alts." Is it that simple? Would new WoW players get something worthwhile from listening to your show or are you assuming your listeners have a strong foundation in the game?

I would hope new players would get something out of, but of course we do talk a bit about alts and juggling two to four accounts. I think most players could get glean something. If anything, I hope we convey that the game is fun. I do feel a little guilty that some non multiboxers were sucked in after listening to Ctrl Alt WoW and now have multiple accounts as well. "One of us! One of us!"

4. You've recently been experimenting with a split format to help accommodate schedules for your co-hosts (which is understandable when one of them is in Australia). Do you want to describe the new setup a bit to readers that might be unfamiliar with Ctrl Alt WoW, and do you find you miss the live interaction between the three of you or has it been a bit more fun to spend dedicated time with Ashayo and Glanthur separately?

I think something that almost every multi hosted podcast has to deal with is scheduling. Even when it was just Glanthur and me, there was a bit of juggling. Add the 14 hour time difference, Ashayo lives in the future, and it can be difficult. We had been doing it on Sun morning 1am EST. But sometimes the guys either had to work Sun or had plans. We had one week where no matter what we did, someone had to get up way too early and then go to work after recording. It was actually Glanthur who came up with the split recording idea, and I think it works nicely. I have to edit a bit more but I don't mind. We are planning to only use the split when scheduling is a problem. For instance, this week we will all be recording together, yeah!

5. There are a lot of podcasts out there that talk about what they did last week on their characters but since you (and Ashayo, I think? not sure about Glanthur) multibox there is an added dimension that listeners like me really respond to. Can you tell us how you got started multiboxing and what it's been like for you? I'm certain that Blizzard has said on several occasions that multiboxing is fine but some players disagree on that. Have you run into any in-game criticism or experienced any in-game incidents from non-multiboxers?

I've multiboxed in other games, such as The Sims Online and Second Life. I like experimenting and seeing well if I do this, and this, what would happen. I actually started multiboxing in WoW while grinding in the Southern Barrens. I needed leather but I wasn't on my skinner and I was lamenting all the corpses left behind. At first I would kill a few animals, log off and on to my skinner who I had left in the area, have her skin, move her down the road, log off, get back on the one grinding, rinse and repeat. Then I thought about a 2nd account and referred myself and got a month free. Then of course I went crazy when the Refer a Friend program started, which did signal Blizzard nod to us multiboxers. Although I get to play a lot, my husband does not really understand the whole "grouping" mentality. There were times when I was in a group in an instance and he wanted to do something like walk the dogs or have a conversation. Not too demanding and normal things couples do. But not when you are in the middle of RFK and getting ready to take down a pat with the possibility of pulling adds. So my compromise is that I am my own group, running as many as 4 toons together. I can get stuff done that I wouldn't be able to do alone. As for criticism, never encountered any in game, but in forums and such, it seems as long as we aren't pvp-ing, most just think we are silly reclusive players. Which isn't true, we still socialize.

6. Do you listen to any other WoW podcasts? If so which one(s) is/are your favorite(s)? Have they influenced or inspired your show?

Oh I listen to as many as I can. My favorite is WoWcast, when she's talking about WoW but she is busy and doesn't come out as often. I like World of Warcast, the Instance, BOE, The Grind and Outlandish. I tried to listen to YAWoWP, but my brain revolted and left my head and only agreed to come back if I deleted the podcast from my iTunes. I think Ctrl Alt WoW is different from all of these because we don't cover uber end game stuff, although Ashayo let's me dream about it and Glanthur dances on the edge, which is good for casual player listeners. Because of this, there's not much influence, except that I try to not do something that these fine podcast sometimes do, and that is kvetch. I'm not trying to knock them for it. But I as a listener just don't find it useful so I try not to impose it on my audience. I trust Blizzard. I thank them for putting out a fine game and understand that everything isn't going to work perfectly. We are treading new ground here with an online community of what 11 million doing amazing things. I prefer to focus on the fun and what we can do and how to do it better rather than on what Blizzard should do. I hope that makes sense.

7. To close, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring podcasters?

It's a wonderful ride. If you have the tools, I have macs, and they make it really easy to podcast, but windows has some nice software as well, go for it. Pick a topic you know and make it as fun for you as you can. And be patient. There are only a few podcast who will make it in the top 100's. Ctrl Alt WoW has a nice little niche and we like it. Oh and don't expect to make money.

Thanks Aprillian!

And thank you for what you are doing for the World of Warcraft podcast community.

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