Citizen Azeroth is one of a couple dozen podcasts I’ve subscribed to recently, as doing these reviews made me more aware of just how many World of Warcraft podcasts I wasn’t listening to. Instead of trying to listen to each of these new shows every week, I’m going to try to listen to several episodes of a podcast in a single week, then review it with them fresh in my mind, and only continue listening if I like it. Citizen Azeroth is the first podcast with which I took this new approach – over the last week I’ve listened to all 19 episodes.
Citizen Azeroth has an interesting hosting setup. There are two hosts, Renata and Kokomoka, who are married – but though I think they’re the first married team I’ve heard podcasting together, that’s not the interesting part. Renata is very much the main host, and Koko the lesser; it’s a lot like a late night TV show host and their sidekick (think Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter, since Koko provides no music). Renata moves the show along, does most of the talking (with excellent enunciation), has done the preparation; Koko provides what amounts to color commentary, most of the time.
Citizen Azeroth is also the most structured podcast I’ve ever listened to. Each episode begins with an overview of what will be in that show, and there’s very little deviation from the current topic. Length is similarly controlled – Renata has a stated goal of making each episode 45 minutes to an hour long, and tends to be on target. I would prefer some more flexibility, but you do know what to expect:
- News: They don’t cover all the news, or even necessarily the biggest news. They tend to stay away from class-specific stuff. The discussions of the few topics they do have are fairly accurate, but sort of leave me wanting more… either longer discussions of those few topics, or more topics.
- Segment: The segment isn’t in every episode, but is brought out when there is one topic Renata wants to discuss at length.
- Gem of the Week / Test Labs: The gem of the week is a website or addon recommendation, along with a thorough examination of what it can do for you. Test Labs is essentially an addon roundup. Her picks for both are excellent; I use many of them myself.
- Jackass of the Cast: This is Koko’s segment, wherein he picks a type of “that guy” and… well, he kind of spends a few minutes whining about them. Examples are beggars, the guy who always asks for help, the guy who always want to duel, etc. Between having an entire segment devoted to complaining, and his constant insults toward younger players, Koko comes off as a grumpy old man – despite his humor being quite juvenile (lots of poo jokes and obvious sexual innuendo).
- Week in review: They spend almost no time on this, most episodes. I think this is partially because of the type of player they are – they usually do not raid, but instead have lots of alts. Raids simply make for better stories than questing, in my opinion.
- Listener feedback: A listener letter of some type; sometimes a question, other times just a comment on the show.
- Shout out: Just a couple shout-outs from listeners, or the hosts, to a player.
Almost all of this is delivered calmly, professionally, in a mature manner. If Outlandish is a drive-time radio show, and The Sundering is Howard Stern, then Citizen Azeroth is the NPR news report. Including the bias, though in this case it’s anti-raiding.
Koko is really none of those things, for better or for worse, at least in his own segment. But a pleasant surprise was that he is a competent gold-maker. I wouldn’t consider him an expert, so it’s not as though Citizen Azeroth is a replacement for Call to Auction or Auction House Junkies (especially since most episodes, gold-making doesn’t come up) – but he does play the AH, which all by itself is nice, and seems to know what he’s doing. Koko also gives the show what little unpredictability it has; otherwise, it’d feel very much like the show was Renata reading from her notes.
That rigidity of structure and content is the show’s defining quality, really – you know exactly what you’re getting. Though not necessarily when you’ll be getting it – the first dozen and more episodes were released on a fairly regular schedule, but there have been only two episodes since September, the last over a month ago. I’m not entirely sure the show is still going… and even if it is, according to the last episode none of the above may be true, as Renata stated an intent to relax the structure a bit.
Edit to add: The content of the show is what I’d call accessible. Much of it seems aimed at either new or extremely casual players. They make it clear without oversimplifying it or making it useless to veteran players.
If they do release more episodes, I would say they’re worth listening to, but don’t expect to make them part of a regular schedule…
Rating: 4 stars
Length: 45 to 60 minutes
Audio Quality: Good
Safe for work: Yes(ish)