Podcasts, EVE and others

With roughly 3h/day in the car, 3-4h / week in the gym and the occasional flight, I have plenty of time to listen to podcasts.  I prefer them over listening to ebooks but I am also pretty brutal, if I have 2 episodes that I don’t like, I will unsubscribe and likely never come back.

Over time, I noticed that the key parameter that makes me dislike a ‘cast is the production quality. Long winded, rambling recording of a skype channel is simply not good enough.  Secondly, the hosts have to actually something new to say to me, something that I had not anticipated, angles that I had not seen before.  Its just too easy to read TMC, come up with couple of drama stories that circulating on Reddit and vomit one’s opinion into a microphone.  That’s not the podcast for me.

EVE Related Podcasts:

Hydrostatic EVE (aka Hydrostatic Podcast)

I love these guys!  Ashterothi (go, CSM 10!), Lockefox and Phyridean present a very crafted, informative and entertaining show.  Their panels are always excellent (who doesn’t like Kirith Kodachi or Bam Stroker for example) and their segments are very well structured, timely and informative.  I really enjoy the mechanics drilldown for example where the hosts and panel take a single mechanic and well – drill down.  I also love the lore panel, not necessarily because I am a RP-er but because I appreciate that EVE’s lore is fundamental to so many design decisions.  Bottom line, my favorite podcast at the moment, beating:

Declarations of War.

Noir. overlord Alekseyev Karrde and sidekick Ninja Turtle present EVE from the nullsec and mercenary point of view, i.e. they may as well talk about a different game from the one that I am playing.  Their guests are nearly always top-tier of EVE movers and shakers and the entire production (including intro and background music) has the feeling of a finely crafted show.  It does feel like a fire-side chat, cigars and Cognac need to be imagined. There is also something said for their persistence, I think as long as I played EVE, they have been around.  My one and only gripe is about the show is the occasional presence of Ali Aras who may be an awesome CSM delegate but unfortunately doesn’t have the “radio presence” that Aleks has.


High Drag

High Drag is an odd out one, I like Kyle Yanowski and Fintarue playing off each other.  They live in low sec and pretty much solo PvP, big Twitch guys apparently as well. They have fun playing the game, seem to ignore the metagame entirely and their whole existence is to make other people blow up.  Awesome.  Random McNally plays the perpetual newbro, always a bit breathless and excited about all the awesotme stuff around him and his self-deprecating style really gels with me.  Ashterothi needs no introduction

Fly Reckless

These guys (Connax, Tumbles and Gynax) present again the PvP side but in a very smooth, well crafted and very entertaining way.  They have really deep analyses on ship types and in some instances “prattle” a tad too long about one topic but the show is very well crafted.  Great listen if one can fast-forward through the terrible music that they use as fillers.


Its a good show, don’t get me wrong. I like these guys but the CSM interviews are getting a bit too much for me.  They put a ton of work into it and I appreciate the effort but I can’t keep most of them apart.  Overall, they are bit too “serious” for me but they are very well informed, so its a good show to listen to.

Crossing Zebras

I really shouldn’t have them on my list.  Their non-stop baiting, provocation and drama mongering really is not my thing, they are the equivalent of EVE 24 News or Bild or Inquirer.  Pure yellow journalism excused with the well-honed justification: the public has a right to know.  Yes we do.  But I don’t care.  I am still subscribed because they sometimes get a CSM on and thats worth listening to.

Lets move to non-eve podcasts:

A Life Well Wasted

I subscribed yesterday. I have high hopes it promises to be a more high level podcast about the computer gaming industry and us players.  We shall see.

99 percent invisible

Hands down my all-time favorite, most loved podcast.  The short segments deal with architecture, design and our response to it.  Rarely, very rarely am I not enthralled by a brand new concept in my head, a totally different appreciation of the world around me.  Eye-opening and extremely well produced.  And they recently commented on the human aspect of the 2008 Sims Online (EA World) shutdown.  It was heartbreaking to listen in as the server shut down, the word slowly dissolved leaving friends stranded.  While an old story, it is pertinent to all of us. Really, listen to that.

This American Life

A podcast that my wife loves and I keep on my phone for road trips.  Its NPR, so how could it not be perfectly produced.  They do that stuff for a living. Great stories, great narration, a little bit too “feel good” – but thats just NPR for you.  Smooth, interesting, professional.

The Instance – World of Warcraft.

Yes, I don’t even play WoW any more.  But Scott Johnson and his crew are just fun to listen to.  Even Turpster has calmed down and doesn’t go off track more than once every 4 minutes.  These guys play the game, hang out with friends and don’t take all of this that seriously.  Their unabashed fanboy attitude toward all things Blizzard shows me just how amazingly tolerant CCP is toward its own community.  The Instance is a show I can listen to for about 15minutes at a time, they assure me that there is a world out there where computer games is just that, games and not the sewer of mankind.


Departed Podcasts.

There are many podcasts that fizzle out.  Lost in EVE was the one that influenced me most but I think it died permanently now (with Jade, one never knows, though, he may well come back to conquer Nullsec or something).  Voices from the Void was also amazing, almost too good.  So much work seemed to have gone into it that it broke the back of the hosts.


So, this is it, my breakdown of podcasts that keep me entertained during commutes and gym sessions.  Are there any I good ones I am missing?


11 responses to “Podcasts, EVE and others

  1. Capstable and Hydrostatic for me (major kudos to cap stable for their CSM interviews).

    If it was the odd plug now and again, perhaps, but too much from one specific advertiser leaves me cold. Looking at you, Declarations and Zebras…

    • Yes, I could see how that grates listeners. I see it slightly differently, the effort that goes into making a podcast needs to be rewarded. Money is the universal currency of reward and I respect that these podcasters want to get at least some of their work be “paid”. I think in the long run, a more commercial focus makes podcasts better quality.

      • Agreed. And they should be rewarded for their efforts. No doubt about it whatsoever.

        There is a real difference between a prerecorded advertisement or sweeper in between segments and a verbally spoken plug by one of the hosts however.

        I did some student radio a long time ago, but I can tell you from practical experience that I’d be feeling somewhere between cheapened and embarrassed making a mention like that in that format, and (a lot) more than once per show.

        For my part, it just makes me bloody uncomfortable to listen to it like that.

        Surely ETC could stump up for an enterprising EvE player to make a couple of different ads/sweepers and recompense the podcast for playing them? Just a thought.

  2. “Long winded, rambling recording of a skype channel is simply not good enough.”

    Good enough to be doing it for almost 3 years now. *trollface*

    If we are judging on sheer production quality I would suggest the eve reader podcast. Zendane does an excellent job on quality and covers the chronicles that most people don’t read.

    • Hey, I agree, Podside is extremely persistent as media. The format evidently works – just not for me. I tuned out probably a year ago when there was some amazingly long rant about afk cloakies. Its perfectly fine to disagree with a game mechanic but man, it went way too long. I heard good things about Zendane, I must check it out, thanks for the tip

  3. Good choices for the EVE podcasts, and I pretty much agree with most of your comments. I think it’s a bit unfair to judge Cap Stable by the CSM interviews; it’s a valuable public service, and the regular podcast is far more entertaining. But I’m surprised you made no mention of the Neocom; still reserving judgement?

    • I agree, judging Cap Stable by their interviews is not sufficient. They are a good bunch and I normally like listen to them and I am 100% agreeing that the interviews are very valuable to the greater EVE community – I just had too many in a row, I guess. You mention Neocom, thats new to me, this one, right? I will check it out, thank you for the tip.

      • Yup, that’s the one – enjoy! Full disclosure: I recently transitioned from fanboy to staff there myself. Nonetheless, worth a listen! 🙂

  4. You better hope Xander doesn’t catch wind of your Crossing Zebras review, or you’re going to get a super long defensive rant in return.

    Crossing Zebras used to be good. It used to be informative and about the game. But the fame eventually went to his head, and he also noticed that his listener count went way up when he dwelled on the drama.

    • Drama for drama’s sake isn’t really my thing – that’s why I stopped reading his blog / listening to the podcast a long time ago.

  5. Pingback: The Blog Bulletin: 22 March 2015 | Just For Crits

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