Just a quick update on my current whereabouts. If you were in the chat room for the latest episode of LOTRO Players News you may (or may not) have noticed that I was absent from the show. I’ve approached Andang and requested to take a break from LPN for a bit. I realize that the timing of this request may look suspicious (with the relatively high amount of co-host turnover in a short period of time) but I can assure everybody that it really has more to do with current life situation than anything else. There’s no intentional shakeup going on with the podcast and everybody who has left has done so on the best of terms (Cithryth, Draculetta and Ethelros are still contributing to Players Alliance sites). In fact, hanging out with the LPN gang was something I looked forward to every week and a major consideration for doing the podcast as long as I have!
But sometimes a break is required before the repetitiveness over time begins to affect your performance on the show. My first episode of LPN was number 8. They just recorded episode 86. I’ve missed a hand full, so I’m guessing that I’ve participated in about 70 LPN podcasts over the last couple of years. It can be pretty easy to fall into a rut over that period of time, and to allow myself do so would be unfair to the audience. As most readers know, I’ve got a rather large family (four kids) and they’ve all entered the “age of activities”. This winter has been especially brutal for the mom and dad taxi, with practically every weeknight filled with one practice, game, event or another. Doing a podcast on the weekend can be a nice diversion from the daily grind…if you’re still enjoying the subject matter. Unfortunately, like some of the other past hosts, LOTRO has not been catching my attention lately. So, the flip side of the podcast being a nice diversion to the daily grind is that it becomes part of the daily grind, and so does your obligatory time within the game itself. I’m trying to get back to gaming for the fun of it.
Lastly, the reason I’ve chosen this time to slow down a bit is because the podcast itself is in excellent shape. LPN has become a mainstay in the community, and one of the best LOTRO Podcasts available today (and I might say ever, but I’m a little biased :)). I can remember one of the first episodes we tried with a chat room, we had one guy show up, chew us out halfway through the show for being a bunch of “fanboys”, and rage quit the chat. Contrast that with the 15-20 regulars who show up every week and participate nowadays, and I think it’s apparent just how much the community has grown. The new co-hosts (Trish, Arathaert and Teriadwyn) are all top-notch in both their game/lore knowledge and broadcasting ability. I feel confident that they’ll take the show to new heights. I’m still floored that we had to basically hold “try outs” for the show. We had to turn away some really good people, which is a difficult by-product of success.
Just to be clear, I do consider this a “break”, which leaves door open for a return. It’s entirely possible that a few weeks off will be enough to get me charged up again and ready to roll. After a bit of time, I’m going to re-assess where I’m at and if I feel like I’ve got something to say, I may just jump back into the Skype call. Either way, it’s been an amazing experience and I’m glad to have been a part of something very special.