Sunday, March 15, 2009

What I've Been Listening To: March 8 - 14

Today is Sunday, the day I look back on the podcasts I've listened to over the past week. This week I learned a valuable lesson about podcasts. I was saving Channel Massive podcast #81 for yesterday because I was planning to have another long tradeskill session in EverQuest 2 and finally level my weaponsmith Noizy to level 70. One problem occurred; the Channel Massive site went down. All I got when trying to access the site was a 404 error (/cry). The lesson I have taken from this experience is to always make sure to download my podcasts if I plan to listen to them later.

Van Hemlock #42 (Hosts: Tim Dale and Jon Shute) - Does the show celebrate EverQuest’s 10-year anniversary this week? No, it celebrates one year of podcast excellence (my words, not theirs).

The show's subjects ranged from EverQuest’s 10-year anniversary, PlayStation 2’s 9th anniversary, Runes of Magic adopting Eve Online’s RMT model and another reason why Jon hates Sony. The best discussions involved Aventurine’s decision to limit the sale of Darkfall and the Twitter discussion about why all games seem to have a dead period once characters reach level 30 or so.

The last 15 minutes of the podcast is an audio montage of highlights (or just plain silliness) from the past year of the Van Hemlock podcast.

Massively Speaking #46 (Host: Shawn Schuster) - In show #46, Shawn’s co-host is his podcast partner from Through the Aftermath Jonathan Morris. Jonathan is not on the podcast just for his great voice, as he plays Eve Online and led the discussion on the expansion Apocrypha.

Other topics discussed included EverQuest’s 10th anniversary, plans for a Watchman MMO on the iPhone, Free Realms, Darkfall, Lord of the Rings Online and how 2009 may wind up being the year of the free-to-play MMO in the gaming industry.

The Instance #138 (Hosts: Scott Johnson and Randy “Delux” Jordan) Once I got past the photo of Scott and Randy in a hot tub (oh, my eyes!) I was able to listen to another very good podcast. The soaking duo discussed the Spectral Safari Tournament in the World of Warcraft card game, the Brewmaster in-game event, and engaged in more speculation about patch 3.1.

For me, the most interesting segment of the podcast didn’t even make the show notes. In show #137, Scott and Randy discussed the implications of WoWMatrix. In reaction to that show, some listeners responded by asking how Scott would react if a software distributed his web comic (viewable on the main page) to viewers without people having to travel to the website and see the ads. The discussion on this podcast is a must listen to anyone remotely interested to this aspect of internet business.

Epic Dolls #61 (Hosts: Leala Turkey and Katerina) - Katerina joins Leala for her first full length Epic Dolls podcast in episode #61. The two discussed BlizzCon, the upcoming patch, achievement changes, and guilds. The discussion about how to choose and fit into a guild was very good and the points made do not just pertain to World of Warcraft.

In the podcast’s regular recorded segments, Stardancer produced another “Off the Beaten Path.” While I disagree with Stardance’s desire to allow new players to come in as level 55, her segment did bring back some good memories of when I played WoW. And I really liked Illidarian’s segment on Onyxia. One of my favorite game videos is Pecula’s The Craft of War: BLIND and hearing the background story makes the video even better.

I think Katerina is a good fit for the podcast and I’m sure I’ll enjoy listening to her on the podcast in the future.

Spouse Aggro #70 (Hosts: Beau and Leala Turkey) - The first segment of the podcast in which Beau tries to teach Leala to play Mabinogi is priceless! I also liked the discussion about home games, or those games that a player will always long to play. The Double Date segment fell a little flat, but I think that is because the couple the Turkey’s interviewed, Augustina and Heyoka, were a bit nervous and took awhile to become comfortable being recorded.

For fans of Spouse Aggro, Beau announced that the podcast will become a bi-weekly podcast, with a video cast being posted in the off-weeks.

Through the Aftermath #5 (Hosts: Shawn Schuster and Jonathan Morris) – The podcast’s featured topic is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Shawn and Jonathan also discussed the possibility of the next Mad Max movie being animated, the director of Mad Max stating that computer games are the future of storytelling, the upcoming movie Book of Eli, and that the release date of I Am Alive has been pushed back to March 2010.

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