[Podcast Review] WoW Insider

Along with WoWhead and WoWWiki, WoW Insider is one of my major sources for Warcraft information. They are a fantastic resource. They have a vast panel of writers, some who cover specific aspects of the game, like events and holidays, and some who specialize in a specific class. They also dedicate a large portion of their coverage to what’s going on with the PTRs. It’s a great place to get a peek at what’s coming up.

The podcast maintains this high quality. They production values are high, with once exception. Listeners can send in intros for the show and the segments. While I appreciate the sentiment, some of them are not of the highest production value… and some are downright awful. I think their screening process might need to be a bit stricter.

But I digress.

Mike Schramm is an excellent moderator. Sometimes perhaps a little too good. Like so many podcasts, WoW Insider occasionally falls prey to its time limit. While I appreciate that a podcast could easily get out of hand and be hours upon hours long, I don’t feel that running a bit long once and a while in favor of lively and spirited on-topic conversation is a bad thing.

Of course, with Terpster it’s easy to get off topic. He is the color commentator to Mike’s play-by-play. Even if the show is on a topic that I care nothing about, Terpster makes the podcast interesting to listen to. There are many guests who appear on the show from time to time; the WoW podcasts really like to visit each other. There is also usually at least one contributor to WoW Insider on the show to offer their opinion. It’s during these shows with several guests that the discussion can become somewhat truncated. However, it’s always lively with multiple viewpoints on each topic. Mike does an excellent job of making sure everyone has their say.

During the “Meat of the Show” they discuss the most read article on WoW Insider. This results in an interesting variety of topics. The public at large does seem to be most intrigued by what is coming up rather than what is happening now, so many of the episodes deal with the goings on of the PTRs. There’s a little part of me that thinks it feels a bit like spoilers, but lord knows I’ll hear about what’s coming down in the new patch somehow or another. At least I know that this particular source is somewhat more reliable than many others.

All in all, a very entertaining and informative podcast. Waiting for the new episode to be posted on iTunes has become an important part of my Monday ritual.

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