Sunday, March 1, 2009

What I've Been Listening To: Feb 22-28

Another Sunday, another list of podcasts I've listened to. Twelve podcasts? I didn't realize how many podcasts I listen to until I started this blog. I do have an hour train ride to and from work each day, so that partially explains how I have so much time to listen to podcasts.

Virgin Worlds #140 – The podcast is a bit shorter than normal but still worth a listen. In this podcast Brent lost some of his geek cred by poking fun at the more extreme Trekkie questions asked in a recent Q&A Cryptic held about Star Trek Online. And Brent lost even more Trekkie cred by not knowing what narcelles are. What’s up with that?

Among the news covered were possible release dates for Jumpgate Evolution, Champions Online, Aion, and Fallen Earth. Brent also gave an explanation for the ruckus in Australia over rating MMORPGs that I can sum up in two words: typical bureaucracy! And hidden in the mix was a defense of Warhammer Online’s current subscription numbers.

Massively Speaking #44 – The official podcast of Massively.com, podcast #44 is the first podcast without former managing editor Michael Zenke. Long-time co-host Shawn Schuster is the new managing editor for Massively.com and remains on the show. Joining him last week was Massively writer Kyle Horner, who proved that the podcast talent at Massively is deeper than just Michael and Shaun.

Last week’s podcast included news on Guild Wars 2, Warhammer, Age of Conan, Jumpgate Evolution, Star Trek Online, Funcom, World of Warcraft, Darkfall, and NASA’s MMO. That's right, the U.S. space agency is coming out with a game.

Massively Speaking is another news and commentary podcast that I try to listen to as soon as it comes out. Without the talented Michael Zenke, the podcast will be different, but I’m sure Shaun will carry on the tradition of producing quality work.

Shut Up We're Talking #43 – The bi-weekly podcast stars Darren Love from The Common Sense Gamer and Karen, the guild master of the Revelry and Honor guild on EQ2’s Guk server. SUWT usually has one or two bloggers or podcasters join the hosts in a round-table discussion of the issues and events in the MMORPG genre. For podcast #43, the guests were Adam from the Witty Ranter podcast and Jonathan from the After the Apocalypse and Online Gaming Anthology podcasts, all members of the Virgin Worlds Collective.

The first issue discussed was Eve and the nature of the game. SUWT has been called out by bloggers and podcasters because of their description of some of the latest events as scandals. The argument is basically circular. Something happens in the game, someone (usually Karen) points out that in any other game players would be up in arms over the latest event (whether it be one player dissolving the BoB alliance or corps taking advantage of an exploit that allowed T2 items to be produced cheaply). Karen will usually describe the event as a scandal, which then triggers the response from Eve players that the events really aren’t scandals, proving Karen’s point. This week's panel took a deeper look at the nature of the game.

The second issue was pick-up groups (PuGs) and the higher requirements people are imposing for allowing players to join groups. This subject doesn't need a long introduction like the first one.
EQ2’s-day show from Tuesday, February 10 – In this show titled “Love, Exciting and New,” Dellmon and Zanadi explored the beginning of this year’s Erollisi Day live event. The one week event is Everquest 2’s Valentine’s Day holiday and was over by the time the show was posted.

Some topics discussed were which live event is better, Erollisi Day or Frostfell, where are all the female orcs (and do they even exist), and guild hall amenities.

I must give a listener advisory for this show. Dellmon sings. Listen at your own risk!

Channel Massive episodes #78 & #79 – The M team of Noah, Jason, and Mark gave us 2 podcasts last week in their on-going efforts to save the world from disasters of an Age of Conan magnitude. Okay, the guys were a bit late posting episode #78 (which was recorded on February 5) but I blame that on the shock of Jason actually liking Wizard 101 and recommending the game for kids and tweens to play. He actually said he would go back and play some more content. Other topics included Warhammer Online, the Mythic layoffs, the upcoming Blog-O-Steria that Darkfall will introduce, and the gaming situation in Australia. The only games legal to play in Australia are Eve and Vanguard?

In episode #79, the podcast started with Jason announcing that he is going to leave podcasting and gaming and start up a country band and stayed a bit weird. War stories from Warhammer Online, rating games in Australia, and Michael Zenke’s transition from Massively.com to SOE’s DC Universe are among the subjects for fun in the podcast.

Through the Aftermath #4 – Hosts Shawn Schuster, managing editor of Massively.com and host of the Massively Speaking and OMG RL!1! podcasts, and Jonathan from the Online Gamer’s Anthology podcast team up to produce a 45-60 minute podcast on the post-apocalyptic genre of media. Wait a minute. These two post-apocalyptic genre junkies keeping this podcast under an hour? Right. I suppose you have some oceanfront property in Arizona you’d like to sell me also.

The podcast does not just limit itself to covering post-apocalyptic games. This week the hosts discussed the 1974 movie A Boy and His Dog as well as news about Terminator: Salvation and pointing out a site that defines apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies. They also replied to the emails and posts they received. If the quality of feedback the pair receives continues at the quality the podcast received after episode 3, then this podcast will become a hit.

How I Wow #15 – The World of Warcraft-based podcast is hosted by the Rev. Shaun Cooms and Patrick Beja and looks beyond the game at who the gamers behind the pixels really are. The podcasts are rather long, basically because the interviews are so long. Each podcast starts with an interview, and Shaun and Patrick are great interviewers. Afterwards, the hosts will conduct a general discussion about what is happening in WoW.

For podcast #15, Patrick and Shaun talked to Alachia of WoWCast. Apparently Alachia was an interview the hosts had been trying to do for a long time and after listening to the interview I see why. Alachia is a very engaging personality and the interview was well-conducted. Just remember that there is a lot more to the podcast after the interview finishes, so keep listening until the end.

Fly Reckless #25 – The Eve-based podcast is hosted by Silicon Buddha. I’ve been searching for information on Eve since the Band of Brothers alliance was disbanded by Goonswarm and this podcast is very good. Apparently the CCP developers post articles and Silicon Buddha reads the best of the posts, which I like. This podcast features the interviews that DJ Funky Bacon of Eve Radio conducted with BoB spokesman Dianabolic and Goonswarm spymaster The Mittani.

This is the first Fly Reckless podcast I have listened to, and if the others are always this good I'll be listening more often. I'll definitely be listening to podcast #26 because I just saw the show notes and the podcast looks good.

Free Play Podcast 15.5 – Riknas and Joe from the Free To Play Crew came out with another of their short .5 podcasts, this time featuring Karen from Shut Up We're Talking. Joe was pretty quiet as Riknas and Karen discussed the future of MMORPGs and how F2P games may become the future business model for the genre in the years ahead.

Stonetroll Certified WAR podcast #19 – Last week was the first time I listened to the Warhammer Online-based podcast run by the husband and wife team of Ziss & Brilen over on LagWAR.com. Once past the first 15 minutes of housekeeping information, the podcast got a bit better.

One feature that I found intriguing was a report on fortress battles. Apparently a site exists that is linked into the game that reports on fortress battles on the North American and Oceanic servers and the site has plans to run an aggregator to report on the events. Anyone on European and Russian servers wishing to have their accomplishments read on the podcast will still need to mail them in.

The podcast also covered the upcoming live event Bitter Rivals as well as pointing out a couple of things on the couples’ wish list. Things like the fixing the bugs and give the game some polish and the need for establishing central hubs for the war effort on each side.

I’m not sure I am going to make Stonetroll Certified a staple of my podcast playlist, but mainly because I do not play WAR. The show was definitely good enough for me to give it a few more listens before making a decision.

WoWCast #42 – I listened to How I WoW’s Patrick and Shaun gush over how great Alachia’s podcast WoWCast really is. Maybe I should have read the show notes before listening to WoWCast for the first time.

This Episode is back with the blessing of Godzilla himself! Alachia offers up proof of existence of your typical Godzilla, a person in the raid or group who is mentally traumatized.

Listening to this podcast left me a little cold. I felt like I did when I was 9 years old at the county fair when I saw the freak show tent. I didn’t see the redeeming value of posting the very long conversation with “Godzilla.” I think Alachia just posted the conversation with the purpose of amusing people by displaying a freak. I wasn’t amused 35 years ago and I’m not amused now.

I was hesitant to put this podcast in this review. I’m sure that WoWCast is a fine show and Alachia just had a lapse in judgement. After all, no one is perfect. But I don’t think I’m going to give WoWCast another listen anytime soon. I’ve got enough other podcasts I can listen to.


You might have noticed the absense of Van Hemlock #40 and The Instance #137 on my list. The reason is I am planning a long crafting session for Sunday and I wanted to listen to a couple of podcasts I knew wouldn't disappoint. Now if Dellmon will just post the next EQ2's-day, my day will be complete.

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