Sunday, March 29, 2009

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

Death in the U.K. & Germany. Repression in China. Big corporations trying to keep the little guy down. Cuts in the U.S. defense budget. Taxation in New York narrowly averted. Addiction problems in Sweden. Subjects taken from the front pages of the news? No, items in the news segments of MMO podcasts!

I play MMORPGs to get away from the real world for a couple of hours, but for some reason reality keeps trying to creep into the gaming world. It’s a good thing we still have subjects like how to choose a tradeskill profession, what attributes would a fantasy Eve MMO have, the patch notes for WoW, and big blue packages to think about.

Van Hemlock #43 (Hosts Van Hemlock (Tim Dale) and Jon Shute) - My favorite British game commentators began their second year of podcasting talking about the news and what they’ve been playing. As I said in the introduction, the real world is trying to crowd into the MMORPG game space and Tim & Jon do a good job of pushing back by poking fun at the “serious” people.

Some of the subjects discussed were Warhammer, the Lich King in China, stupid marketing stunts, and why Tim hates Smurfs.

Van Hemlock #44 (Hosts Van Hemlock (Tim Dale) and Jon Shute) Either Jon cracked under all the weighty news discussed in episode #43 or people really acted goofy during the past week. Usually the news segment only has one really stupid story. I think Jon may have only included one serious story in this episode’s news segment.

I do think that is fair, since the discussion became serious as the hosts tried to explain Eve to non-players and wound up trying to lay out the parameters a fantasy version of Eve would need to meet. From listening to the discussion, Darkfall really may be close to being a fantasy version of Eve.

Channel Massive #82 (Hosts: Noah, Jason & Mark) - If you need a Warhammer fix, listen to this podcast. Sure, the M team talks about other things like the new Watchman movie, how Fallout 3 could affect the new apocalyptic MMO Fallen Earth and another delay in bringing a MMORPG to consoles, but the best parts of the podcast involved WAR, whether it was the “What we’re playing” segment, the discussion of WAR’s server merges, or the WAR vs. WoW comparison.

Channel Massive #83 (Hosts: Noah, Jason & Mark) - For people listening to the Channel Massive podcast for the first time, do not belive Noah when he states that the podcast is high-brow at the beginning of this episode. If you are looking for high-brow, this podcast is an EPIC FAIL! If instead you are looking at a snarky look at subjects ranging from Cryptic trying to steal players from NCSoft's forums, City of Heroes/City of Villians players being able to create their own missions, and the myth vs. reality of the types of characters women choose to roll in MMOs, then this podcast is for you.

Congrats to Jason for landing a job as a games editor at Buzzwire.com.

The Instance #139 (Hosts: Scott Johnson & Randy Jordan) - The hosts discussed the new modding rules put out by Blizzard, problems The Wrath of the Lich King is having gaining government approval in the People’s Republic of China, and the decline of the mage class in WoW.

Epic Dolls #62 (Hosts: Leala Turkey & Katerina) In episode #62, Leala and Katerina discussed the new modding rules, achievement updates and more about patch 3.1. The ladies also included their second installment of their series on guilds. This week, the discussion centered around how to be a good member of a guild, whether you are a rank and file member, and officer, or the guild leader. Once again, the series is not WoW-specific. In the lore segment, Illidarian discusses some of the lore surrounding the Tauren.

EQ2s-day: February 17th (originally broadcast on OGR) (Hosts: Dellmon and Zanadi) - The hosts talk about the just finished Erollisi Day event. The surprising part was that the hard-headed dwarf Dellmon was the one chasing after roses, not the role-playing Zanadi. The pair also discussed blue shinies and should people who did not earn the goggles to see the blue shinies be allowed to roll on them.

EQ2s-day: February 24th (originally broadcast on OGR) (Hosts: Dellmon and Zanadi) - The hosts spent the vast majority of the show talking about what tradeskill profession Zanadi’s latest alt should take up. The show is a must listen for those wondering about how to pick a tradeskilling profession in EverQuest 2.

Dellmon and Zanadi have a competition going on who can level an alt the fastest. For all of you EQ2 players who skimp on your gear, spells and abilities, listen to Dellmon’s tale of woe as he enters the Kylong Plains. Remember, you have been warned.

EQ2s-day: March 10th (originally broadcast on OGR) (Hosts: Dellmon and Zanadi) - The hosts interviewed EQ2 developer and live event expert Nathan “Kaitheel” McCall. Besides working on live in-game events, Nathan also had a hand in the upcoming Lavastorm revamp.

Yes, I listened to 3 EQ2s-day broadcasts last week.

Spouse Aggro #71 (Hosts: Beau and Leala Turkey) - In a change of pace, Beau and Leala opined on 10 subjects, limiting the conversation on each subject to 3 minutes. I have to say I rather liked the format. The podcast was quick, snappy, and had a good beat. I give it a 93.

The games discussed were Spellborn, Vanguard, Ether Saga, Mabinogi, Ryzom, Runes of Magic, Darkfall, DOMO and Free Realms. The couple also discussed their experience at a WoW meetup.

No Prisoners, No Mercy #27 (Hosts: Sister Julie & Sister Fran) - I really, really, really could have done without all the Watchman discussion. I know that I really don't get into popular culture, but the length of the discussion about a certain blue package went on just a little too long. The discussion about Warhammer and Darkfall was okay. The best part of the podcast was at the end of the podcast and the discussion of leprechauns and fairies with Emma Lloyd.

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