Archive for March, 2010

What Does Live Podcasting Mean to the WoW Community?

Over at the venerable, they made a pretty big announcement with regard to the incredibly popular WoW Insider Show last week – essentially that they’ll be ditching the weekly UStream podcast recording sessions in favor of offline (as in, private-Skype calls, not offline as in off the internet) recording sessions where the editors and their special guests will converse without the chat channel. They say that this will improve the timing and quality of the recording and the show overall, and allow them more leeway to do interesting things with the show.

All of those things are very likely true – it’s one thing to try and record an hour-long show in one take, dealing with whatever audio issues or connectivity issues you have on the assigned time and date – and it’s another thing to be able to record a show in multiple segments over the course of a week and have an editor assemble them into a complete and good-sounding show – it’s the reason the majority of television isn’t live. But with the benefits come tradeoffs. First, what the folks at had to say:

So, to that end, we’re doing a few things differently.

* Recorded intros and teasers for the show.
* Technology for the show’s backend
* Provide detailed notes, along with a “here’s what you’re missing” clip, for each show, so you can decide at a glance whether this particular week will be up your alley.

However, one thing that will be changing is the live format. Because of the increased emphasis on production, we’ve made the decision not to record live each Saturday on Ustream. The podcast team, or rather the significant others of the podcast team, also found the middle-of-the-weekend broadcast schedule problematic, and our couches aren’t very comfortable. So, instead, every Monday morning we’ll deliver a fresh podcast for you to listen to via download, streaming audio, or iTunes. We know this affects a large number of you who listen to the show each week in the chat channel, and hopefully you’ll be pleased with the other changes.

Let’s be absolutely clear – I’m in support of the folks at and their desire to improve their show and put out a high quality product. They won’t be the first group of podcasters I listen to that decided to hop off of uStream or LiveStream and do some serious production and post-production before releasing their show. But as they say in the blurb above, the change will impact the massive group of people who have come to use the Saturday afternoon podcast recording as a rallying point, myself included.

So while part of my curiosity comes from what I feel I’ll be missing, there’s a large number of World of Warcraft-related podcasts that use live streams to build their own fan base and community, and to draw attention to themselves and give their fans a way to interact with the hosts while the show is being recorded. Podcasts like the Twisted Nether Blogcast and RawrCast are great examples of podcasts that have a good, strong community behind their live streams, and The WoW Insider Show was one of those as well – people really came to the live stream to talk with the folks they see every week, crack jokes in the channel, and weigh in on the topics as they were being discussed. If they were lucky, they would get their names or their points mentioned on the show. It was truly interactive.

Now that has decided that its podcast won’t be live anymore, I wonder what this means to the rest of the WoW community – will other shows go offline as well, or decide that essentially recording in front of a “live studio audience” simply isn’t as important as putting our a highly polished show? Or perhaps the belief is that you simply can’t have a highly polished show recording in one take and in front of a chat channel? (I think the Twisted Nether Blogcast is proof this isn’t the case: they put out a great product every week even though they record in multiple takes and segments in front of a live stream that’s highly interactive.)

I doubt that the podcasts and blogs that use their live show recording as a rallying point for their readers and fans will be quick to drop them – has gotten big enough that they don’t need the community that grew up around their live shows to succeed and for the show to still be popular as a download, but other blogs and groups may not have that same luxury. Personally, I’ve been known to listen to multiple WoW podcasts both in the live stream for one experience and then downloaded through iTunes during the week at the office – so I can go either way with it. This change won’t stop me from listening to and enjoying the WoW Insider show, but I will certainly miss the live chat and hope its loss results in a better show for everyone.

What do you think? Do you think this is an anomaly, or will it have a ripple effect across the community? Are the folks at just interested in putting out a better show and there’s nothing more to it, or is it a move for convenience to the podcasters despite the fans? Let us know in the comments.

Video: Funkin’s Wintergrasp PvP Compilation


One of the best things about playing a hunter is the fact that when you really know what you’re doing, you can be really really good at PVP. Admittedly, I don’t claim to really know what I’m doing, but I do have fun when I choose to hit the battlegrounds and open fire on players of the other faction.

In this video, Funkin, a hunter with a hankerin’ for PVP, heads into Wintergrasp while it’s under enemy faction control and decides to have a little fun with the people hanging out inside and some of the PVP-enabled NPCs. Admittedly, the damage he manages to put out is impressive on its own, but the way he manages to time his shots and take down other players is what really makes the video fun.

Oh, and the music, of course! Who doesn’t love Chromeo’s Fancy Footwork?

Today’s the Day: Patch 3.3.3 is Live!

Today’s the day that patch 3.3.3 goes live; bringing us delicious content after the fall of the Lich King, including the end of honor tokens (which can now be traded in for honor), greed-only rolls on Frozen Orbs, a new Random Battleground system, and tons of other changes!

The full patch notes are here, but here are some of the bigger changes after the jump:


Video: Welcome to the Deadmines


If you haven’t heard by now, Cataclysm will bring a new, retooled, and upgraded Deadmines, along with a heroic version for your high-end dungeon fun. What’s what you say? You’ve never actually BEEN in the Deadmines?

Well then, thanks to this video from xcrosspictures, which also happened to be the winner of the World of Warcraft Movie Contest: Rise to Power in the EU, takes us back into the Deadmines for a musical tour with Edwin VanCleef and all of his minions so you can see exactly what we’re getting into.

Seriously, my favorite was Mr. Smite. See the video over at YouTube here!

Blizzard Releases Official Gnomeregan and Echo Isles Information

Last week, Blizzard announced tons of new information about the upcoming Gnomeregan and Echo Isles instances that we expect to see in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the next major expansion pack to the game. Among them are the fact that the gnomes and the trolls will both have an opportunity in the coming expansion to take their respective homelands back. Nethaera said on the official forums:

High Tinker Mekkatorque, betrayed by Mekgineer Thermaplugg and forced to flee the irradiated city of Gnomeregan with the few of his fellow gnomes who managed to survive, is preparing to reclaim his once glorious city. Meanwhile, in distant Durotar, Vol’jin of the Darkspear trolls is determined to exact revenge upon the witch doctor Zalazane for dividing the Darkspears and seizing the land bestowed to them by Thrall: the Echo Isles. Read more about the ongoing struggles of the gnomes and the trolls… and their plans to seek redemption.


There are already a number of spoilers floating around out there since a lot of the audio data and text have already started to appear in existing data packs and folks who are familiar with sites that do a lot of data mining may already have seen the content of the events and encounters.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to the opportunity to hand Thermaplugg and Zalazane their marching orders and tell them to get the heck out of your character’s homeland? It’s been said that everything is going to change in Cataclysm, and this certainly looks like the beginning of that.

Thanks to for the scoop!

Video: World of Gnomecraft 2.0


One of these days I’ll get back to posting content and not more video, but I keep seeing awesome video that I think is worth sharing. This one was, as many of them are, a find of the folks at, and follows the course of gnomes as they plot to take their rightful place not only in the Alliance, but in all of Azeroth.

Using their superior technology and…fighting…skills…they….. okay I just can’t deal with it anymore. Sure the gnomes are the protagonists here, but as cool as it is, I can’t help but giggle when the gnomes start taking over. In any event, the animation is superb, the music is great, and you really do get a feeling of how epic the whole scenario is. I definitely saw some cues and homages to Battlestar Galactica in here, too. Check out the whole video over at YouTube here if the embedded player doesn’t suit your fancy!

How to Win at WoW Professions


Wowcrendor is known for his YouTube videos, but this, among a few others I know I’ve linked before, are spectacular. In this video, he explains to us how we can win at WoW professions, and gives us an in-depth and close up look at each profession in the game and how awesome it can potentially be.

If you know anything about wowcrendor’s videos, you know I’m being completely facetious, and his video is a hilarious mash of opinion, funny drawings, and in-game video that has nothing to do with the topic of professions – but the narration does, and that’s what ties it all together.

Battlecry Mosaic: Revealed!

Remember when I asked the question, What’s Going on at the Warcraft Anniversary Mini-Site? back in December of last year?

Yeah, I was right.

The full Battlecry mosaic has finally been revealed, and what is it but a full color and fully detailed version of the header image at the top of the site, including all of the faction leaders! The full version of the banner is available in multiple sizes for download and for multiple platforms, including wallpapers designed for mobile devices like the iPhone and Android phones. There are even custom dual-screen designs to put the Horde on one monitor and the Alliance on the other!

If you’re really into it though, you can download the massive high-resolution mosaic itself, complete with all of the photos that Warcraft fans have submitted to the site over the course of the celebration, and use that on your desktop instead!

Celestial Steed Mount Video


I’ve got to get me one of these.

Although admittedly it’s probably some high-end raid drop and rare at that, the Celestial Steed mount that’s floating about in datafiles for Patch 3.3.3 and apparently live on the PTRs is probably one of the most attractive mounts in the game.

There’s a lot of chatter around the question of whether the game’s graphics are in sore need of updating, and if you look at the way the Celestial Steed leaves behind glowing particles when it walks, and the textures of its wings as they flap, you get a feeling for some of the small things that Blizzard is playing with in the way of updates and effects.

In any case though, it’s damned pretty.

Video: Druid Hijinks on the PTR


If you look at the patch 3.3.3 notes, you’ll see that feral druids will get a boost to their Mangle damage if they choose to glyph for it. Well, there’s a slight bug on the PTR, where the Glyph of Mangle actually increases Mangle damage by 6000%, instead of what it’s supposed to be – a much smaller number.

The result? The video above, which shows some pretty insane crits by a feral druid lurking about Orgrimmar having a great time. We’re talking SIX. DIGIT. CRITS. Click play, bump up the video quality, and have a blast. There’s absolutely no way this is getting to the live realms, but it’s fun to watch!

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