Last week was crazy at work. So crazy I didn’t log into EverQuest 2 on Thursday or Friday. So crazy that I didn’t even want to look at a computer away from work and started to read John Ringo’s The Last Centurion instead. The last few blog entries that I posted were written earlier in the week and I scheduled them to appear on Thursday and Friday. Reading that book got me excited to listen to the new episode of Through the Aftermath, so I’m back at the key board. Seeing the increase in traffic from the last few posts helps me to keep writing.
Below is what I listened to last week.
Van Hemlock #45 (Hosts: Van Hemlock and Jon Shute) – Listening to the commentary from the other side of the pond helped stave off the disgust of looking at my computer for a day. I could only listen to the podcast so many times before the desire to shut down my computer became too great and I picked up my book. Some things even the great Van Hemlock can’t stop.
The hosts didn’t have any great issues of the day to discuss; just news and what they were playing. The news covered ranged from Jack Thompson to the latest installment of “Are computer games dead?” to the Nerf Bat visiting Eve. I really enjoyed Van Hemlock’s description of his play time in City of Heroes. Circus characters!
Free Play Podcast #17 (Hosts: Riknas and Andras) – The Free Play Crew helped stave off my rage against the computer in the middle of the week with a very nice podcast. Riknas and Andras are no Jonathan Morris (see skits at the beginning of Through the Aftermath for examples of really good skits), but I liked the skit at the beginning of the podcast.
Riknas’ and Andras’ little podcast is getting mentioned this high in my podcast list because they bring the news of games that others overlook. If you want to know about F2P games, the Free Play Podcast is a good place to start. For instance, this episode’s news included subjects like same sex marriage in DOMO, voice-overs in Wizard 101, the popularity of Atlantica, Silk Road Online’s expansion, and a list of games that have entered beta.
Episode 17's reviewed game was BOTS. I won’t spoil the comedy involved in the review, except to say if you can’t get past the character creator, BOTS may not be the game for you.
The Instance #140 (Hosts: Scott Johnson and Randy "Delux" Jordan) - I should have known I was going to have a bad week when after working a 13 1/2 hour day on Monday listening to Scott and Randy didn't give me the same emotional lift it usually does. I don’t have a lot of notes from the show, but some of it seems important. For instance, is Gnome Soccer going to be the new in-game sport in World of Warcraft? And I think that the hosts offered a very important service in reminding all players that the United States Internal Revenue Service does not allow people to claim their alts as dependents. As the sole supporter of 7 alts in EQ2, I think that’s one Bush administration policy that needs to change!
Oh yes, and the pair offered up real news, like the changes in alchemy and how longs the effects of flasks last, speculation on whether Blizzard is developing a 5th game, and the news about OnLine that came out of the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.
WoW Insider #83 – I decided that I was going to listen to WoW Insider for the first time this week. It was probably not a good week to start listening considering the way work was going downhill for me. The podcast had all the elements to be good. Patrick Beja from How I WoW and a contributor to The Instance and Alex Albrecht of Project Lore were guests. And the topics covered: alchemy changes, why players are leaving the Arenas and speculation about what is in the upcoming new battleground were good. I just had problems staying awake. Something tells me that the problem wasn’t boring hosts. Think the problem was me not getting enough sleep? I do. That’s why I’m going to listen to episode 84.
Through The Aftermath #6 (Hosts: Shawn Schuster and Jonathan Morris) – Yesterday when I finally got the urge to look at a computer again, I headed on over to Virgin Worlds and downloaded the podcast. Hey, there is a reason that farmers, raiders, and mutant hordes in the post-apocalyptic wastelands stop what they are doing to listen to Through The Aftermath.
The podcast took a break while Shawn went to San Francisco to cover GDC for Massively.com. As great as being the managing editor for a game site is, one of the drawbacks was Shawn could not play the latest Fallout 3 expansion, The Pitt. So Jonathan got to lead the discussion about Fallout 3 while Shawn relayed what he discovered about Fallen Earth, Earthrise, and Huxley at GDC. The podcast also features Shawn’s interview with the Earthrise team and Masthead Studios’ CEO Atanas Atanasov.
Just from listening to the podcast, I am now interested in playing Fallen Earth. If I am reading my notes correctly, the game sounds like crafters will have a key place in the game, and I’m all about the crafting!
Channel Massive #84 (Hosts: Noah, Jason & Mark) - I finished out the week listening to the M team talk about the latest news. The Channell Massive take on the news is a bit different than everyone else's, which makes it great for Saturday afternoon listening. Okay, the Channell Massive podcast is great to listen to anytime, but I digress.
This week's discussion ranged from what the creator of Pong is currently doing (EPIC FAIL?) to SOE's latest doings (game delays & women) to World of Warcraft news. The Blog-O-Steria segment was cut short due to real life issues. Mark's wife went into labor during the recording of episode #84. Congrats Mark on having a brand new baby girl!