When it comes to technology, I seem to be late to the game for many things. Some examples: my computer is usually 1-2 years behind the times, I only got my very first iPod about two years ago, I got my xbox 360 about two years after launch, and my cell phone is nowhere near a smartphone. One reason for this is that I’m cheap. The second reason is that I like to see what things are like before I purchase them, due to some past experiences where I was burned by buying something shortly after launch and it fading away very quickly afterwards. I enjoy all of these things, I know how to use them, I just don’t usually own the newest thing until many other people have it first.
That being said, I recently got into the world of podcasts. They’ve been around for a long time, even before iPods were even around, and I’ve known that they were out there. Yet, I haven’t really been interested in them. Some reasons for that are definitely circumstantial, the major one being the fact that I didn’t want to be required to listen to them at the computer. I didn’t have an iPod or MP3 player readily available for travel, so it wasn’t convenient for me to do anything. Also many podcasts are advertised and available through iTunes, and being the lazy person that I am, I didn’t want to sift through millions of results if I Googled “World of Warcraft podcast”.
It ended up that the first WoW podcast I listened to was the WoW Insider Show, starting around July of 2010. By this time, the podcast itself had been around for a long time and I had seen the posts come up on the website advertising it, but I just hadn’t gotten around to listening to it. The first episode that I listened to was called “Draenorgrimmar”, and I have absolutely no clue what was discussed on the show. All I know is that I downloaded about five episodes, listened to them all, and was instantly hooked on podcasts.
Right now, I am subscribed to three excellent podcasts: WoW Insider Show, All Things Azeroth, and The Instance. Each show has their own style to it, different hosting styles, and slightly different content. There are a few major important things each one of these shows all have, which is that they all have a lot of fun while doing them, and they truly appreciate their audiences. ATA and The Instance regularly record with a live chatroom during their recording, and WoW Insider does on occasion as well. They want their listeners’ input, and enjoy getting the feedback – why else would they have the chatrooms available? A very important part of a podcast is how the hosts interact with each other, and all of these podcasts are great examples of that.
The WoW Insider Show is hosted by three members of the blog: senior editor Mike Sacco, warrior & lore columnist Matthew Rossi, and law & addon and UI columnist Mat McCurley. The show itself is broken up into two basic parts, which is answering e-mail questions that were sent in, and top news stories. Other parts are added in on occasion, such as Mat doing some quickfire questions on the past few episodes. Guest co-hosts are present at times, one notable and frequent person being Anne Stickney (lore, RP, Podcast & Blog post gatherer), who got me into her regular podcast, All Things Azeroth. Many times the show can go off on tangents quite easily from the topics discussed, but that’s one of the things I like the most. There can be some great discussions, and you never know what you’ll end up with. The show usually runs around an hour, and is available from the WoW Insider website or on iTunes.
All Things Azeroth is hosted by two people, Medros and Shade. As I mentioned, I found out about this podcast because Shade is Anne, and it came up on one of the WoW Insider shows. This runs a similar format with going through top news stories, reader e-mails and voicemails, having guest hosts, things like that. With Shade being a lore junkie, there is usually more of an emphasis on lore stuff, as well as more time on news that has happened. They also run a trivia contest every week, giving out loot cards from the WoW Trading Card Game, as well as having a few pre-recorded segments from other people. The show can run anywhere between one to three hours, and is available on the All Things Azeroth website or on iTunes.
The Instance is hosted by three people, formerly two: Scott Johnson and Randy Jordan (new hosts being Turpster and Willie Dills). Randy is moving on to bigger and better things in the video game industry, and unfortunately couldn’t carry on his role on the podcast due to conflict of interest. This is the granddaddy of all WoW podcasts, as from everything that I’ve seen this was one of the very first. In my opinion is by far one of the best produced podcasts out there – not just from WoW or gaming, but for all podcasts that I’ve listened to. The show is similar to the other two, with a few other parts: big news of the week, rumours and scuttlebutt, responding to listener e-mails and voicemails, and a “drop of the week” which is a spotlight on a useful resource for the game (addon, website, things like that). One part that will not be carrying on with Randy’s departure is the quickfire questions, but many other podcasts have learned from The Instance and are doing it themselves. At the end of each episode, pre-recorded segments are run that listeners send in. They can be many things, from a tip of the week to “overly dramatic news”. The show runs around an hour and a half, and is available from The Instance’s website or on iTunes.
These are just three of a great many other podcasts out there. I’m trying a few more WoW related ones as well as some more from Scott Johnson’s productions (Frogpants Studios – freaking awesome name, Scott), as well as completely random other ones. I like the round table approach, how the hosts can work with each other, and have a lot of fun at the same time. All of these three podcasts are people who truly should get paid to do them on a full time basis, becuase they are really good at doing it.
I eagerly await future episodes!