12/09/2018

Podcast Shout-outs

I haven't been very good at linking and giving shout-outs to other content creators more recently. I mean, I have a whole bunch of links up on the sidebar to the right, but I'm not sure how many people even look at that. I was definitely better at bringing up other fan sites and the like in my regular posts in the past. Anyway, since Armagon was recently talking about the subject of MMO podcasts, I thought I'd give him and the general public some recommendations! Note that I'll happily recommend all the podcasts on my sidebar, but I'm not going to talk about all of them here because I already made posts about some of them in the past.

Bad Feeling Podcast

I actually wrote about the Bad Feeling Podcast before and wouldn't usually write about it again, but I do feel the need to mention how much it has changed. The hosts are still the same, with their dirty sense of humour and copious amounts of swearing, but where back in 2014 they were hapless newbies and therefore making podcast episodes about subjects along the lines of "aren't companions neat" or "what are crew skills", things have changed a lot on that front. They haven't exactly become hardcore players (actually, they definitely haven't), however they became official Bioware influencers and realised that they actually live quite close to the studio's offices. This has resulted in them being able to interview devs directly more often than any other SWTOR podcast, and I've got to say those episodes are really, really great. That's not to say that I don't enjoy the regular banter as well, but even if you're not usually that into podcasts, tuning in for the Bad Feeling Podcast's dev interviews is a great way of learning more about what's going on behind the scenes.

Passionately Casual Podcast

I didn't give this podcast a chance for way too long, and now that I think about it I suspect that it's because of the name. There's nothing actually wrong with it, but I have this really vague recollection (it's so vague that I don't have a time stamp for it or even any names associated with it) of being pointed towards a podcast or two that were supposed to be about SWTOR but weren't, which resulted in me feeling very let down at the time, and ever since I've been highly suspicious of anything that doesn't have an explicit SWTOR or at least Star Wars reference in the name. Silly, isn't it?

Anyway, the Passionately Casual Podcast is definitely about SWTOR, though they do have segments where they might mention other games for a bit. What eventually got me to check it out was that Corellian Run Radio shut down in January this year... and in the final episode it was pointed out that the two podcasts were effectively run by the same people and they wanted to focus on just one show, which is really fair enough. So if you used to enjoy CRR, you can get a similar mix of casual chat about what's been happening in game, community discussion and guest contributors from Passionately Casual now.

State of the Old Republic Podcast

Ted from the State of the Old Republic (SOTOR for short) podcast has a special place in my heart because he actually invited me to be a guest on his show last year, plus he likes and retweets my stuff on Twitter a lot. Thanks, Ted!

His show also stands out from other SWTOR podcasts in that it's usually just himself talking (though he does have the occasional episode with a guest, see above) and it's much more scripted. Whether that's your cup of tea or not is a matter of taste I guess... but I do like that it differentiates his show from all the others out there, and that it's pretty dense in terms of providing news and info (as he doesn't have the chance to get side-tracked by random conversation). He also has to put in extra work to come up with things to talk about by himself, which is something I can sympathise with as a blogger. For example he's been running a series of segments about levelling all eight classes in sync and commenting about where their stories intersect or where it's implied that events happen in a particular order, which I've been finding very interesting.

The Council

The Council is the newest podcast on this list, but even that celebrated its first birthday recently, which should tell you how long it's been since I last made a post like this. This show marked the return of Redna, formerly of OotiniCast, who appears to have gotten back into SWTOR fandom after taking a break to get married and have a baby.

The Council has a number of unique features that I really like. So far, all of their episodes were dedicated to very specific subjects, with relatively little random chatter - though this might also be a side effect of the show still being relatively young. I've noticed over time that a lot of podcasts start out this way, but once they've talked about all the most common subjects, it just becomes "whatever's been in the news this week".

Anyway, they also stream their podcast on Twitch and then upload the videos to their YouTube channel, which I hadn't noticed any other podcasts doing before. (Though now that I did a bit of searching, I found that OotiniCast for example also uploads their episodes to YouTube... gotta switch to listening that way!) Anyway, the reason I like this is that while I still focus on the audio, I can occasionally glance over onto my second screen for the video, and being able to tie a face to each voice has made it much easier for me to remember who is who.

They also have this thing with posting polls on social media before every episode, which was what originally drew my attention to the show and inspired my post about Shadow of Revan being overrated when they were having an episode on the subject of expansions. I just like how they tie that into their discussions every time.

Finally, personally I haven't found another podcast where the crew feels so diverse in terms of interests inside the game. I was very surprised when I found out that Alise for example had only joined the game around KotFE's release - you don't hear from (relatively) newer players getting this involved in fandom that often. Or when they discussed the Conquest changes and literally everyone had a completely different opinion on them. I do love how that invites listeners to consider a point of view different from their own, and to think about how updates and changes might impact people with different play styles.

2 comments :

  1. I need to start listening to a couple of the newer Swtor podcasts (real life has kept me away from picking up more podcasts).

    I think it is a sign of the vitality of Swtor that we are still seeing folks start up new content. One of the small ways I gauge the strength of a fanbase for an MMO is how many blogs and podcasts are out there.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely agree! So it's nice to see that there are still so many podcasts and video creators going, with new ones starting up all the time. On the blogging front things are more dreary, but that's probably because blogging as a whole has fallen out of favour. I think there are quite a few streamers too... though I can't comment on those as I have no particular interest in watching streams, not to mention that I find the amount of time required to keep up with a streamer off-putting.

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