Saturday, May 2, 2009

What I've Been Listening To: April 26 to May 2, 2009

This past week the absense of a new Virgin Worlds, Van Hemlock, Shut Up We're Talking or Epic Dolls podcast allowed me to catch up on some podcasts. Thankfully Shawn Schuster stepped up and had both Michael Zenke (formerly of the Internets and now of SOE Austin) and Jon Shute (Van Hemlock podcast) on as guests for a touch of nostalga and to keep my Van Hemlock withdrawl to a minimum.

Massively Speaking #50 (Host: Shawn Schuster) - Former Massively Speaking host and Managing Editor Michael Zenke returned for the landmark 50th podcast. The two talked about Blizzard's moves in China, the popularity of City of Heroes' mission architect, Warhammer Online's latest patch, the end of Shadowbane and theFree Realms beta. Boy, did they talk about Free Realms!

At the end of the podcast, Michael asks Shawn how he likes being Managing Editor of, some of the things that have occurred on the site since Michael left for SOE Austin, and Shawn's future plans for the site. For me, two of the biggest moves Shawn's made since taking over the role of Managing Editor is the site redesign and signing up two new writers, Jon Shute and the legend himself, Van Hemlock, who is writing under his real name Tim Dale. The only thing that might be bigger is if Tobald were to start writing for Massively. Of course, maybe he already is.

Massively Speaking #51 (Host: Shawn Schuster) - In episode 51, Shawn's guests were Jon Shute ( Contributing editor, Van Hemlock podcast) and John Nicholson from the Limited Edition podcast. The topics for discussion were playing World of Warcraft on an iPhone, Guild Wars hitting a milestone, Champions Online setting July 14th as the launch date for the game, and the actual launches for Spellborn (U.S. release) and Free Realms.

One thing I will say about the podcast is that it got just a little confusing with both guest named Jo(h)n. If only one had a British accent, it would have been okay, but I found it hard to tell which guest was talking.

Channel Massive #86 (Hosts: Noah, Jason & Mark) - The Channel Massive podcast now officially includes console gaming and other non-MMORPG content. I say officially because the "This Week in Gaming" segment did tend to talk about other games than just MMOs in the past. I'm didn't really notice that big a difference in the format. I wonder if this "rebirthing" had anything to do with how the podcast is classified on iTunes.

I did like how the hosts introduced themselves to their new audience. I'll give you how I would introduce them.

Noah: The guy who sounds like Darren on Shut Up We're Talking.
Mark: The guy who sounds like a robot on occasion but usually like Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters.
Jason: The other guy who may or may not be a drunken idiot.

If you liked the M Team before, don't be put off by the new format. Their personality hasn't changed and at least in this episode there was lots of MMO goodness to listen to. If the show notes continue to be as extensive (and somewhat goofy) as this episode's, just visit the website before listening if you really have a hard time with listening to anything non-MMO related.

Through the Aftermath #9 (Hosts: Shawn Schuster and Jonathan Morris) - Shawn and Jonathan were joined in episode 9 by Chris Davis, the owner of and publisher of the desktop RPG Darwin's World for a discussion of post-apocalyptic desktop role playing games. If you are into desktop RPGs, then you'll want to listen to this podcast.

Since this is a post about podcasts, I should note that Chris has his own podcast which you can listen to by clicking on the "Podcast" tab on his website.

The Instance #143 (Hosts: Scott Johnson & Randy Jordan) - I listened to this podcast and just thought about how I'm glad I'm not playing World of Warcraft right now. The discussion of whether the devs put in too much to do reminded me how I feel sometimes in EverQuest 2. The item in the podcast that really made me feel sorry for WoW players was the problem with changing between dual-specs and the bug that occurs when you enter an instance. Listen to the podcast for a detailed explanation because I don't think I can do the subject justice.

Other topics of interest included shades, how to handle constantly receiving tells, and Peggle.

No Prisoners, No Mercy #29 (Hosts: Sister Julie and Sister Fran) - Sometimes Sister Julie swings for the fences and misses. Not this episode. This time she targeted forum trolls and showed why trolls are more than just an annoyance. Also on the agenda was a discussion on Eve Online and a service that rescues players having a bad wormhole experience.

No Prisoners, No Mercy #30 (Hosts: Sister Julie and Sister Fran) - This show's guest was Sayla from Mystic Worlds. The main topic of the podcast was a discussion of how to make isk in Eve Online by salvaging, with Sayla giving out the tips on the best ways to do it. Additional topics included how Time/Warner wants to change the way it charges for internet use (in a way that would painfully affect MMO players pocketbooks) and a tribute to the recently departed Dave Arneson, co-creator of Dungeon & Dragons.

How I Wow 1 Year Anniversary Show (Hosts: Shaun Cooms and Patrick Beja) - Shaun and Patrick marked the one year anniversary of the How I Wow podcast by holding a poll and inviting the four most popular guests to appear. The winners were The Turpster, Scott Johnson from The Instance, Tekzilla co-host Veronica Belmont, and The Guild's Felicia Day. Felicia had to leave during the recording and Scott's co-host Randy Jordan filled in for the rest of the podcast.

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