Reading WoW blogs has been a great distraction at work. Great as in fun, but also as in big, unfortunately. Last fall, I added so much to my daily reading list (my feed reader has way, way more blogs than I have listed on the blogroll to the right), some of my data crunching work started stacking up. While number crunching, I’d usually listen to music (Entranced.fm, lately, one of the nifty 24seven.fm stations where you can make reqs — very addictive) or podcasts (typically This American Life or Radio Lab), so to get my WoW fix another way during those times when I need to be looking at something else, I decided to check out some of the WoW podcasts out there…
I started with the WoW Insider Show. The crew recaps the big topics of the week from WoW Insider, summarizing the most popular posts and the responses to them. I do read WoW Insider, but I don’t bother to look at the comments, so it does fill in some gaps for me on public opinion of these issues. There were just 13 or 14 eps out there when I first looked into this, so after listening to the current one and determining that I liked it, I went back and downloaded all of them and listened to them from ep 1. The quality of the conversation does seem to depend on who is on, but it is pretty consistently entertaining.
I’ve also been downloading World of Warcast, which features the same two hosts every episode, often with a guest or two. These are longer shows, and although they review much of the same basic news as WoW Insider, it’s nice to get some different points of view and analyses. They can be funny, but there isn’t the same silliness as with WoW Insider. (Not a bad thing, just different.) They go more in depth with some of the topics and talk about their experiences with WoW compared to some other MMOs (mostly EQ2), as both are long time gamers. Recently, I downloaded some episodes they did last summer, a three part series on Guild Management. Reallllly interesting stuff. I’m not interested in managing my own guild, of course, but a lot of the general stuff applies to managing any group of people, keeping an overall goal in mind. Unfortunately, the third ep got cut off, so I couldn’t hear the whole thing. I did catch the opening though (featuring a few surprises), and heard part of the interview with the leader of The Syndicate. Definitely worth a listen.
Finally, I’ve listened to just a few episodes of The Instance. The production value on this one is a little higher, with sound effects and so forth, if you’re into that. Through the link there, you can see the list of topics for the last episode… I’d say it falls somewhere between the other two on the silly/serious scale and also the depth of discussion. That may not be fair to say, as I’ve only listened to a couple of these, but that’s my first impression.
There are quite a few more WoW podcasts out there. I’ve downloaded some others, and I’ll post again if anything interesting crops up. Suggestions are welcome, too!