Monday, April 27, 2009

World of Warcraft

I haven't been playing too much World of Warcraft lately, and I'm not one of those psychos that listens to WoW podcasts when not playing WoW so I have no idea what's been going on in podcast land. I'm pretty sure I'm relieved that I missed the bulk of repetitive garbage that usually comes out of peoples' mouths around patch time.

The whole point of listening to the shows for me is to learn something new. There's a certain point that I reach on certain shows - like then it's the 10th show I've heard that week read off a list of patch change notes - when I start to wonder why it is that the host(s) is/are doing a podcast and that is never a good sign. And it's been happening a lot more lately than it did before. So I feel like I'm in a bit of an unfair place to review shows right now because they will universally be negative.

More about me, it's already the end of April and I only have a month and a half on my refer-a-friend bonus. I haven't really done a thing with it. The priest I was intending to speed level is still sitting at level 25. My wacky paladin/rogue combo imploded when the paladin refused to continue working with the rogue. My second Oracle egg hatches and it was the snake pet for the second week in a row! Made a quick 50g on that, etc.. I have been becomming FLITHY RICH by marking up Eternium Thread 2000%. They are available from a vendor in Icecrown for about 2-3g and are selling on my server for 40-50g each. I recently sold a stack of 10 for 400g.

See how annoying that is? It happens all the time in podcasts to the point where if I'm not hearing some completely unrelated and unimportant personal gaming information meant to posture themselves as WoW badasses or funny or whatever their inane point is I feel like something is missing from the show. How messed up is that?

That's why I'm saying, I need to set some actual parameters about what makes a good podcast and what doesn't. UWoW, for all of our codes and strange inner workings was still a more "gut instinct" place than I wanted it to be. That was one of the biggest problems we had when the five of us first started. What if four of us loved a show but the one who happned to be reviewing it hated it for whatever reason?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sweeping Up

I'm sweeping the place up a bit.

Don't know if everything will be deleted. I'm sort of going to feel my way around a bit and possibly get things going again.

Pete Pete, Toothy, Melissa, and Fred are all doing well and express their thanks to everyone who has supported them here but they cannot commit to continuing as regular contributors. We will still see special "op-eds" from them but they will be pretty infrequent.

We're still getting hundreds of hits on the site every day, even in these weeks since we switched to "private" readership and I thank you for that I guess. It's also creepy.

Thanks again. I haven't been online much at all and apologize to those whom I have meant to contact. Also, remember to check your spam folder, right near the penis enlargement emails might be a reply from me! Thanks!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind...

Pete, Melissa, Toothy and I have been shocked to learn that Fred went into the hospital Monday evening and is being subjected to a battery of different health tests. While Fred is remaining positive, by his account the outlook seems grim. Please keep him in your thoughts.

As you might imagine this isn't really the time for us to carry on about World of Warcraft podcasts. I for one didn't even want to post this but Toothy says everyone will accuse us of "blog fade" otherwise and Fred said it was okay.

If our week off taught us anything last week it's that the blog in general and our editing/posting processes in particular need a bit of fine-tuning and maybe we'll have the opportunity to address those concerns at this time.

Fred has asked not to be contacted but thanks you in advance for the well wishes. In case anyone feels the need I can be reached by email: Skype: jim.surge or AIM: jimsurge74

Thank you for your understanding during this time.

Monday, April 6, 2009

In the Chamber: Back in Black

I love when it's overcast outside as it is this morning in the northeast of the United States. Maybe it's because most other people have brainwashed themselves into having low energy or sad moods that I (bring contrary) have brainwashed myself into loving this sort of weather. Or maybe it seems more possible that during this sort of weather the veil between worlds is thin and one can see what one doesn't always see... a gateway to transcendental knowledge.

This being "Opening Day" for the Major League Baseball season based in the United States I think it's mildly appropriate that the weather is not fully cooperating with "America's pastime" given the steroids scandals that has brought the integrity of the league's last 15-20 years into question. But hey, who cares about sports, right?

Despite rumors to the contrary I have not left the blog. Everything is going to continue rolling as it was, probably for another three-to-five weeks before our next break. I think we all enjoyed having the week off last week to recharge our batteries and I for one barely listened to any World of Warcraft podcasts. I think it was Blue Plz! and Proudmore Pansies and that was it for me. We've received a couple of tips about new shows that we're going to cover and Melissa should be posting about them sometime soon. Also, Pete may actually do his Transcribing Master column (or whatever it's called these days) this week.

More to come... see you at the matches!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Widespread Panic

In honor of getting tickets for the August 21 Widespread Panic/Allman Brothers show this morning, here's Down:

Also, contrary to the apparently popular belief (and I don't know where recent emailers could possibly have heard anything about this), I have not sold the blog to News Corporation, nor are we entering into any sort of agreement with the FX family of networks. No one has fired anyone at the blog, and it is not true that I will be going alone to News Corporation and leaving the other four behind in the dust. It's just not true.

Reviewing the Reviewers: All Fools Day Edition

Well, the blog has been coming along nicely and we've arrived at our first week off. We've come into this treating this blog like a job (a job that we happen to like to do) and I think like Jim that if we keep this mindset we'll be able to avoid the burnout and other general craziness that seems to be going around the WoW community lately.

Anyway, what better day to review the clowns writing for this insane blog than All Fools Day? Since I've only ever done one other Reviewing the Reviewers column, and that was before any of us had written anything about podcasts, you might want to take a look at that one before reading this one to see what my initial impressions were and how they've differed in reality.

Jim Surge: Jim has been far too busy trying to play diplomat to do much reviewing, never mind getting anywhere close to saying something outrageous for the sake of being outrageous as I initially suspected him capable of. He's been playing games with the rest of us by inserting errors into our stories and seeing if we notice before we post them which led to a drama-fest culminating with Pete Pete having to face the blog a while back. Jim's also been the most diligent, In the Chamber has been right there every day even while he was knocked out sick for a week, and I think he's toned down his pseudo-intellectual persona and let more of his actual personality come through in the last couple of weeks. This immediately leaps to mind:

We might just have a couple of us reviewing and a couple doing the other columns, we haven't decided yet. But more importantly, if an asteroid hit the planet we'd just have to deal with it at that time. No excuses.

Okaaaaaay. Even though it's weird I kind of like it... it's the real Jim trying to break through. Overall I think Jim's done a good job leading the blog, even if he might be too obsessed with walking the "fairness" line. His favorite podcasts at the moment are: Ctrl Atl WoW, Proudmoore Pansies, and How I WoW.

Pete Pete: Peter has surprisingly turned out to be the softest touch on the team thus far, and maybe that's not all that surprising if you consider he grew up on the beach in California but he seems much more uptight in person. His Transcribing Master column hasn't really gotten off the ground yet. He gave a good review to a BigRedKitty podcast, an encouraging review of the WoW Insider Show, and a poor-but-looking-for-the-bright-spots sort of piece on Yet Another World of Warcraft Podcast, and memorably had a review rejected for being "too positive." He hasn't really demonstrated his conspiracy-theory madness that we thought would be an interesting aspect of the blog. I'd say that if one member were in danger of being dropped from the team it would be Peter Massimo. Pete gets all of his info from our friend Hatfield anyway so if he's not going to be doing his original pieces then he's got to figure out something else of value to contribute. We all like Pete but he hasn't been very helpful and Fred wanted him off the blog already for his Code violations (sorry Pete, but I told you this in person yesterday so it shouldn't be a surprise). Pete says his favorite show remains WoW Things Considered although he's been listening a lot to All Things Azeroth, Epic Dolls and Rawrcast.

Fred Jones: Fred liked an episode of Blue Plz!, and disliked an episode of The Instance. He has pretty much lived up to my suspicion that he's a bit afraid to be around us or contribute much to the site in case his "serious friends" catch wind of what he's up to here. Fred hasn't really been as much of a wildcard as I thought but he is a little more prone to salty or "old school" language and ideas in his posts than the rest of us (I may well be reading too much into that but that's the feeling I get). I do know for a fact that he's been playing the least amount of WoW of the five of us and therefore it's hard for him to get into listening to the podcasts regularly. So I think Fred is primarily going to do his Delayed Recall column and become more of a feature of the blog than a regular contributor going forward. Fred is the one among us who really doesn't have strong attachments to any one particular show, although he still likes newer shows and he says he too has been listening to Rawrcast, along with Bind on Equip and The Elitists.

Toothy: Mr. Toothy as an emailer called him has probably been the most outspoken reviewer at UWoW thus far. He couldn't make it past 45 minutes of World of Warcast, he liked Rawrcast even though he didn't want to, and he put a mixed but "solid" stamp on Casually Hardcore, in addition to having a decent time with Mailbag (and thanks for defending me against that emailer, Toothy). I think that Mailbag will continue to grow as a funnier aspect of the blog because if the current sort of questions remain the sort of questions we receive the piece can only be funny. Jim has taken Toothy to task on the blog recently for being a slacker, saying we've only received 10 emails in the last six weeks so he should be making other contributions. We shall see... Mr. Toothy's favorite shows at the moment are: Ctrl Alt WoW (still), and Blue Plz!

Mel: I'm writing my own this time because we're all on vacation and it seems to me that no one is checking their messages very often. I have been doing a lot of behind the scenes work, but I did have the chance to do a fantastic 7 Questions with Aprillian of Ctrl Alt WoW and also gave a positive review to Epic Dolls. I'm still a new player to the game so I like to hear WoW Insider Show so that I'm pretty much up on all of the latest official word from Blizzard and The Instance for a little more perspective on some of the top issues. I think Epic Dolls lately have done a great job in particular to keep in mind new-to-the-game players, and I think it's easy to forget that not all 11 million (or whatever it is now) players have been there since November 23, 2004. I don't think my "on-blog" presence has been very "dramatic" but again I'm doing a lot of work on the graphic side of the blog, improvements that will start to seep in over the next few weeks and months.

Well, that's the five of us right now as I see it.