Archive for the ‘Podcast Reviews’ category

Doofy’s Podcast Reviews: World of Warcast

March 30, 2008

Podcast: World of Warcast
Podcasting since: July 2005
Frequency: Sporadic (one episode in January and February of this year, but there were two March episodes about a week apart)

Doofy’s Review: Starman and Renata offer one of the longest running and more entertaining World of Warcraft podcasts out there. For a long time, they provided a very unique perspective; not he said/she said, but Alliance said/Horde said. Starman’s main was a human mage, while Renata’s is an orc warlock. Recently, Starman succumbed to the dark side and rolled a Horde mage due to a lack of endgame options with his Alliance characters.

World of Warcast is not as heavily news driven as other podcasts (though major news and patch notes are frequently mentioned), and tends to be more feature based, which is the show’s big strength. They had a three-episode series on guild management from last summer that was very good. In the most recent episode, Renata explained how, when levelling a draenei alt, she didn’t want to ride an elephant, so she reached Exalted with Darnassus, Ironforge and Stormwind, well before level 40. Now she has her choice of mounts (horse, cat, ram). Fascinating!

In the previous episode, they also began a new feature, Class Roundtables. They talked with some druids they knew (two feral, one resto) to understand why they play their class, what they like about it, how the roles of the classes have changed since the release of the expansion. (When you guys get to the paladin one, I’m totally available!) Again, it’s something different, informative and entertaining, and that’s what sets it apart from the other podcasts.

Production is minimal, a generic guitar rock riff (is this from somewhere? Let me know.) leads into and out of the show and there is no background music. But to me, audio quality (which is great) and production values aren’t as important as long as you can be entertaining during work commutes, and World of Warcast is at the top of the list among WoW podcasts.

Doofy’s Rating:

5 Triptych Shields of the Ancients (out of a possible five)

Doofy’s Podcast Reviews: The Instance

March 28, 2008

What to do when I want to write but can’t write about playing World of Warcraft? Write about people who talk about playing World of Warcraft!

In a new series (brought about by the fact that I’d like to keep active with writing here, and also by the fact that my iPod doesn’t want to play about half of my music collection*), I’ll be giving my completely unsolicited opinions on the numerous WoW podcasts that are out there. Let me know what you guys think of my opinions and of the idea of these posts.

Podcast: The Instance
Podcasting since: January 2006
Frequency: Weekly

Doofy’s Review: The most popular WoW podcast according to iTunes recently celebrated its 100th episode (congrats!), but I’m not that big a fan of it. Hosts Scott Johnson and Randydeluxe review the week in World of Warcraft news, both within the game (patch notes, world events) and out of the game (stuff about the WoW TCG). The analysis (largely provided by Randydeluxe) isn’t bad, but I feel they could get a little more in depth. I do have to say I very much enjoyed the interview with the creator and cast of The Guild. More like that, please!

The podcast is heavily dependent on listener input as heard in their Town Crier segment. Listener e-mails and phone calls are played/read and answered here and it’s the weakest part of the show. The show has clearly attracted a large following, but the questions asked are so basic and so puzzling you wonder why people felt the need to write in and ask rather than do a Google search, as a guildie, or heck, even ask some other random player on their server before e-mailing this podcast. This segment is complimented by an Addon of the Week, which is a good idea, but it’s followed by a PVP Tip of the Week, which often isn’t. Unless you’ve never done it before, in which case you might get something out of it. The show also closes with listener submissions, ranging from more questions to in-game lore.

The Instance probably has the highest production values of any WoW podcast that’s not part of the WoW Radio network. I can completely understand why it’s so popular, but if you’re an experienced WoW player, it’s just not the podcast for you. I’d like to see them embrace the fact that they’re quite popular with the *very* newer, casual player.

Doofy’s Rating:

3 Shards of the Virtuous (out of a possible 5)

(*This probably has something to do with me dropping it.)