Thursday, January 7, 2010
My favorite podcast provider announced a few days ago that it will be closing down. WCRadio.com, affectionately known as WoW Radio, has been around for 6 years, providing a centralized, united source of WoW media, flagshipped by their fleet (wait, that metaphor made no sense...) of weekly WoW podcasts, and accentuated by events like their exhaustive Blizzcon coverage and WoW Idol, a showcase of WoW-themed music created by fans*
But thankfully, WoW Radio won't really be gone. Each of its nearly a dozen podcasts will be continuing on their own, and the wcradio.com site will become a hub to help us keep track of where they've gone. Though my favorite podcasts will continue, and perhaps even be improved now that the overhead of running the entire organization is gone, I can't help but feel, with a twinge of sadness, that this is the end of an era.
So long and thank you, WoW Radio.
If you, dear reader, are not listening to WoW Radio, here's what you should be downloading right now:
Winner of Larisa's "Best Podcast" award for 2009, and my favorite podcast ever, Blue Plz! is not to be missed. Snarky solo host Totalbiscuit brings his homebrewed combo of British wit and belligerence to bear on the most controversial WoW topics of the day . . . and if there isn't a topic of the day, he'll make up some controversy on the spot! He's intelligent, opinionated, and always entertaining, and he's not letting the over-entitled get away with anything.
Except . . . TB . . . please stop it with the "singing".
Much more generally inviting, but only slightly less entertaining, is Casually Hardcore. It's hosted by a team of older gamers (in their 30s) who talk about trying to fit WoW gaming into their busy lives around their children ("Nemesis" can often be heard interrupting the show to ask his parents for a juice box), jobs, and other hobbies, but it's by no means dry. Hosts Gnomewise, Iolite, Gwenora, Daksa, and Grail (a nice mix of 3 men and 2 women) imbue the show with constant levity and humor, and most of the meat of the show is about relaying and digesting WoW news to help the casual player keep up with what is going on and actually make sense of it. They definitely showcase what it means to be "casual" without any of the negative connotations that word sometimes gets.
Octale & Hordak vs. The World
You are the world, and they are versus you! Often imitated, never duplicated, and sometimes eviscerated, hosts Octale and Hordak - along with their 3rd wheel Doc Dead - are smart guys with a great sense of humor. Though the show rarely discusses WoW anymore, instead focusing on other developments in the wider world of gaming, it's non-stop entertainment. Their use of "drop-ins" (a common radio trick of using audio clips they can play at the push of a button) is especially enjoyable.
The three I've already listed are at the top of my weekly podcast listening list, but that doesn't mean that the rest of WoW Radio's offerings are any worse. For more Totalbiscuit, listen to his general gaming show called "Gaming the System". Natural20 provides great guides to WoW class mechanics in "Just Plain Better", which I'd highly recommend to anyone who wants to better understand their class. General gaming show "Maxspeed" is also entertaining (if a little bit more on the juvenile side) and "But Wait, There's Lore" is great for people who care about - you guessed it - lore.
So if you are interested enough in WoW to be reading this blog, I highly recommend you check out the shows on WoW Radio, and follow them as they go their separate ways. It is a sad day to see an institution in the community go, but I can't be too sad when the podcasts are still going to be there.
And finally, I want to offer a heartfelt "thank you" to WoW Radio for all of the hours of entertainment you've provided for me. Keep it up.
*Check out Brewguy, especially "The Ganker", and Fatty, especially "Nerdcore".