This was the first podcast I listened to, and one of the two that I intend to follow. Of all of the gamer podcasts I checked out, Guild Wars Insider is the most professional and solid source of information for Guild Wars players, old and new. It covers all of the most recent release information for Guild Wars 2 almost literally as it is released via ArenaNet’s blogs and press announcements.
As for the technical information, as previously stated this is very well done. It is professional, features splendid sound quality and pacing, and most importantly the episodes are only as long as they need to be. Seven, the host of the podcast, does not draw things out any more than they need to be drawn out: he gets to the point, adds his commentary, and moves on. When there is nothing to say, he ends it; similarly if there is no new information, there is no new podcast. Of the 6 episodes out right now, the lengths range from 30 minutes or so to a little over an hour and a half. I never find myself bored with what is being talked about, and I am generally a mixture of amused, interested, and thoughtful in response.
Seven has connections with ArenaNet (the company who created Guild Wars), which is a very open and receptive game company to begin with. The second episode for example was an awesome interview with Jeff Grubb, writer and game world designer; future episodes will feature more interviews with other ArenaNet employees who are involved in Guild Wars 2. Seven also features other guests on the show with him from the gaming community, with whom he bounces information and ideas around.
Now, let me state that although I’m a gamer, I’m not a specifically MMOer. My first MMO (not counting the one hour I tried Everquest at my sister’s request before I promptly uninstalled it) was Guild Wars, after which I have only played a smidgen of Dungeons & Dragons Online (again at the request of my sister). So, I don’t have much knowledge of how GW compares to other MMOs, or even all that much about how it differs other than some general features. So, this insight from others who have played several other types of MMOs for years is really interesting to me and helps me to better understand what ArenaNet is up to. In particular, several episodes have talked a lot about the PvP (Player vs. Player) portion of GW2. I only had a limited amount of experience with PvP in the original game, just a few minutes here and there in the arenas in the PvE (Player vs. Environment) realm, and have not played PvP in any game actually as I tend to do a lot of retro gaming. So, the information about PvP for GW2 has actually started to stir up some interest for me in that aspect of the coming game.
Even if you don’t know anything about Guild Wars or Guild Wars 2, links to reference materials are found in the show notes, and a new lore segment will help even newcomers to understand what’s going on and why there is such excitement drummed up for all aspects of this up-and-coming game release. I would of course absolutely recommend it for any current Guild Wars fan as well. ArenaNet’s staff involvement via blogs, conventions, interviews and the like coupled with this podcast grant some really great information to people interested in any aspect of this game.