The Instance is a weekly award-winning World of Warcraft podcast started in 2006 on January 7th by Scott Johnson and then ExtraLife Radio host Andrew Konietzky from The Konietzky Strain , both of whom noticed a lack of podcasts dedicated to the MMO. The show is dedicated to news and rumors about the game, and relies heavily on listener contribution. An early contributor, Randy "RandyDeluxe" Jordan, joined the podcast as a third seat on show 45, and eventually became second seat when Konietzky left the show in 2007. RandyDeluxe was a part of the show (and also became a regular guest on ExtraLife Radio, and a co-host on the popular Film Sack podcast) until a job opportunity at Blizzard Entertainment (the company which makes World of Warcraft) required him to retire his position. Episode #217: "Now I've Gotta Go..." was Jordan's final show, and was dedicated to him. Jordan's replacements were Mark "Turpster" Turpin (a former guest and friend of the show) and William "Dills" Gregory (a member and raider in the Instance guild, alea iacta est).
In 2008, The Instance won the Bloggers Choice Award for Best Podcast and The Podcast Awards Best Gaming Podcast, beating out nine other finalists, none of which were World Of Warcraft-related.
Show Sections Edit
The Instance is divided into different sections. They are typically in the same order.
Big News of the WeekEdit
This covers breaking news related to WoW, Blizzard or the MMORPG game space.
Rumors and ScuttlebuttEdit
Scott, Dills, and Turpster talk about WoW-related -- and sometimes completely unrelated -- rumors, predictions, and analysis.
The hosts refer to their e-mail and answering machine to play phone calls, read e-mails and ask one another series of "Quickfire Questions".
Drop of the WeekEdit
An external site, movie, WoW-related product or addons is highlighted. The main body of the show is followed by an exit segment comprised of calls, recordings, comedy bits and songs that the hosts receive each week.
Regular Contributors and Topics EditEdit
The podcast features regular contributors who add information and entertainment to the show.
Curt Schilling (Retired)Edit
Mr. Schilling has made regular appearances on The Instance since his interview in episode #102 - “The Curt Schilling Episode”. As an unofficial "third-chair", Mr. Schilling contributes to the topics of discussion drawing from his personal experience as a WoW and EQ gamer, and a MMO developer.
Patrick from France (Retired)Edit
Patrick Beja's regular segment is called the "Mod Tip of the Week" and usually consists of a description of an AddOn, including who the mod is useful for, why Patrick likes it and where you can find the mod.
At Blizzcon in 2007, 2008, and 2009, Patrick met up with The Instance listeners. At Blizzcon in 2008, Patrick was joined by Randy in interviewing such Blizzard luminaries as Mike Morhaime, Jeff Kaplan, and Russell Brower. Randy regularly jokes that the show has since had a "special relationship" with Russell Brower, making it difficult for Mr. Brower to appear on the show, unless Scott can come up with something non-WoW-related to talk about.
Patrick has also appeared on several episodes as "third-chair", and done standalone interviews for the show.
Patrick announced on the Instance 160 , that he is leaving due to acquiring a job with Blizzard, and thus didn't want to create a conflict of interest.
Shawn Basic (Retired)Edit
The nickname "Basic" being an omage to Randy "Deluxe," Shawn "Shawn Basic" Coons provided submissions for newbies featured in many episodes during 2006-2007, which captured basic information and tips for lower level and casual players of the game. Shawn left the show after Episode 56, returning to guest host Episodes 70 and 100.
Starting in late 2007, Darrell's submission to The Instance was the Tip Givers' Tip of the Week (TGTOTW), a comedy spot that was the first bit played after the hosts sign-off. Originally a tongue-in-cheek series of suggestions for all those wishing to submit tips to the show, TGTOTW grew to become many listeners' favorite part of the show, with both comedy and advice for anyone aspiring to create tips, or do a podcast of their own. Darrell the Tip Giver has also done a mash up of clips from the previous episode to form something that often has a completely different meaning than what was said in the episode. This first started in episode 137 and continued through 182 when the birth of his daughter greatly diminished his editing time. All mashups done after 182 were done by other contributors.
Steve Pietrowicz contributed as the character "Buxley" in the "Ask Buxley" comedy segment from Episode #116 through Episode #228. Buxley explained things that happened in the World of Warcraft universe according to his own view of the world, which had very little to do with what was really going on. It made sense to him though. Buxley remains a proud member of Alea Iacta Est.
Alea Iacta Est Edit
A regular returning item that usually appears in Rumors and Scuttlebutt (but not exclusively) is news or updates concerning the Alea Iacta Est (AIE) guild on the US-Earthen Ring server. Alea Iacta Est was formed as a companion guild to The Instance and Extralife Radio and was announced on February 13th, 2007. The phrase "Alea Iacta Est" means "the die has been cast", and is in reference to what Caesar supposedly said as he crossed the Rubicon in northern Italy in 49 B.C.
Originally, the guild was named "I Eat Babies" -- after a sound byte made by NPCs (Non-Player Characters) of the Troll race in the game. Blizzard contacted the officers of I Eat Babies, informing them that the name must be changed. Veronica "Lady V" Belmont then suggested the name Alea Iacta Est.
The most prominent mention of AIE on The Instance was on episode 74b: "Rest In Peace, Bruce Galloway"in which AIE members and Instance listeners made a special tribute to AIE member Bruce Galloway (aka Milliway) who passed away on August 2nd, 2007.