Podcast ThoughtsSeptember 28, 2011 at 1:21 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 14 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I haven’t really talked about any Guild Wars 2 podcasts of late because frankly, there haven’t been any. Relics Of Orr shut down in a fit of burn out and perhaps disappointment that the game hasn’t come out yet. GuildCast has done 1 episode in the past 3 months or so. GuildMag shut down due to time constraints and the main host seeking out other ventures.
Surprisingly it took quite some time for others to begin to fill the void. But as Nox pointed out, they’re beginning to do so.
I thought I’d take a time out to review and comment on the existing podcasts. Keep in mind that any sort of criticism is coming from someone too lazy and incompetent to podcast themselves and has no experience with podcasts outside listening to them. Hopefully I’ll be more constructive than destructive but usually that is not the case.
The first podcast is the oldest. I can’t really tell you anything about GuildCast that you don’t already know. Run by Shawn Schuster and Rubi Bayer from Massively, it’s a finely recorded, professional, and slightly bland podcast. They can tend to focus on emails too much and perhaps ramble a bit, but they’re generally knowledgeable (not all knowing) and a pleasant listen. The only real problem lately is their lack of episodes. They’re busy people I’m sure and I won’t deny them their right to a life outside podcasting but one can’t deny the demand for GW2 podcast episodes.
I also checked out Guild Wars Reporter, part of the MMO Reporter family, which is also pretty well done. It’s a pleasant and well recorded podcast run by someone familiar with the format. It’s actually very similar to GuildCast in a lot of respects. I find the hosts to be quite comparable. A mild mannered male host partnered up with the amicable gamer mom, and the tone is quite similar I think. Just a friendly pleasant conversation about Guild Wars 2. Probably the least rambling of the bunch but also the one with the most breaks for awkward sponsorship announcements.
Guild Wars Insider has fewer episodes than the others, just 3 with one being taken up almost entirely by an interview, so it’s much harder to review. I will say that it’s well recorded, and generally a nice listen. However, I think the host has need of a cohost. He tends to dominate the conversation and personally I would prefer more of an exchange. With Seven being the only recurring element I didn’t feel drawn back. His cohosts, Hexwise in the third and Tigerfeet in the first episode did a fine job but podcasts (at least for me) are more fun with at least 3 people. His voice reminds me of Gary Gannon.
The Lonely Asura is both the podcast with the most problems, and perhaps the one with the most potential. From day one the audio has needed work. I mean we’re talking serious ear murder here. I’m sure it’s both their greatest concern and something they’re working on, so I won’t go further into it. They do have a complimentary set of hosts that have differing opinions. This is one of the things I look for most in a podcast. The discussion can get into the nitty gritty or fly off on tangents. Neither being bad things exactly. Sometimes I find myself wondering just why I’m listening, like when one of the hosts goes out of their way to derail the topic with either troll-like behaviour or nerdish descent into specificity, but then other times I’m rewarded with interesting conversation. The hosts definitely feel like they skew a bit younger than myself, but that isn’t necessarily a criticism. They do seem to know what they’re talking about which is a definite plus.
So yeah. That’s my basic thoughts on the current Guild Wars 2 podcasts. I suppose this entire post is just subtext for what I’ve been kind of hoping for the longest time. That someone from Relics would start up the show again, and I keep hearing rumblings here and there but never anything definite. I talk with some of the people from there quite a bit so lamenting the show is natural to me. Hopefully one of the above shows can fill the gap in some way, but as they’re all in their infancy it’s going to be some time before they do.
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