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First BlizzCast not quite up to the hype

Zach Yonzon

The hotly anticipated first Blizzard podcast -- creatively named BlizzCast -- has just gone live. Available as a manageable 24 MB MP3 download, Blizzard's first attempt at podcasting contains an interview with art director (and L70TC frontman) Samwise Didier and forum regular Drysc interviewing lead developer Jeff Kaplan. Blizzard's official BlizzCast page explains that this series of podcasts will be a behind the scenes peek behind Blizzard's game development process.

Although most people have been looking forward to the information about Patch 2.4, as Eliah wrote earlier, the interview with Samwise turned out to be more entertaining. In order to fully appreciate the interview, however, listeners should visit the podcast's official page, which contains the transcript of the podcast as well as illustrations and screenshots (future BlizzCasts will be video podcasts). With all the hype surrounding the BlizzCast -- mostly caused by Blizzard hinting at more information on the forums -- Blizzard's first attempt at podcasting seems to fall far short of expectations. The interview with Tigole is a brief eight minutes (compared to Samwise's 12) and most of the information he mentions has already been revealed. In fact, one of the details Kaplan mentions -- the improvements to raid ready checks -- is already in the game from last Tuesday's Patch 2.3.2.

Kaplan reveals just when BlizzCast was recorded by mentioning how Patch 2.3 "went live recently," while it actually went live last November 11, 2007, nearly two months ago. The folks at Blizzard might want to check out WoW Insider's very own podcast with WoW Radio, which airs live every Saturday and becomes available for download a few days later. Blizzard spices up an otherwise underwhelming and relatively uninformative podcast by promising to give away some Logitech speakers and Starcraft II hats to listeners who send feedback. Blizzard is more than eager to hear everyone's thoughts on their new endeavor, so listeners should shoot them an e-mail and hopefully win some swag.

Listen to BlizzCast, or better yet, visit the official page to learn more (well... not much more) about the upcoming Patch 2.4 and hear Samwise go "prrttt prrtt." From a World of Warcraft player's perspective, the podcast was somewhat disappointing. Drysc makes it clear, however, that the BlizzCast was never intended to be a -- as William Shatner would put it -- conduit for new and exclusive information. He also mentions that "it's quite likely that the next BlizzCast won't even mention World of Warcraft," although Drysc quickly edits that part out. So maybe the next BlizzCast will be worth the wait... but don't hold your breath. The next episode will feature Blizzard loremeister Chris Metzen and maybe some Diablo II developers.

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