Hosted by Fimlys and Nibuca, the Twisted Nether Podcast is somewhat unique in the cluster of podcasts devoted to World of Warcraft. It is based on the Blog Azeroth and Twisted Nether list of blogs talking about WoW. You can see the link on my sidebar, click on that and it takes you to a sometimes dated list of blogs grouped under their class/spec. There is also a forum and help for potential bloggers wanting to find out how to stick these pages up on the internet.

The podcast has a wonderful idea as a premise: interview the people who write the blogs. Every week they interview one blogger, usually one who is listed on their page, and they talk about the interviewees gaming interests, how they got into blogging, tips for new bloggers, etc. As such, it is on the one hand a bit of a niche audience – there are only a limited number of bloggers, would-be bloggers and blog readers out there. But the shows are long for a podcast format, (usually around 2 hours), with an hour being devoted to the weeks interview and then another hour on general news and discussion based on WoW. So there is something for everyone, and even though anything that they talk about in news you can find elsewhere in other podcasts, the discussion is still fairly good.

Ok, here is where I bugger any future possibility of me being on this show. I have a real problem with the two presenters. Technically they are good – no interrupting, talking over one another, yapping on for 10 minutes at the beginning on what they did that Saturday night, none of those traps are stumbled into. But still I can find something to complain about. I’m such a prick, right? Well, maybe but I think that considering the format of their show that my criticism is somewhat justified.

You see, they’re just not very good at interviewing. I went back and re-listened to the last 4 episodes prior to writing this as I didn’t want to make an unfair criticism here. But there is no doubt, there is a lot of scope for improvement. The two hosts, (and I wish they would use their real names here. Using your gaming names is off-putting), have a list of set questions for each interview. And what they do is they follow that list to the letter. Often they will ask a question, the interviewee will give a long and interesting response until they eventually run out of steam and stop talking …

And then there is an uncomfortable pause …

And the one of the two hosts will say, ‘Okaaaaay …’ or ‘Riiight …’

And then even if there is something really interesting being talked about they will just go to the next question. Now this doesn’t happen all the time, not at all. But it happens often enough to leave me wondering what the hell is going on. Usually it’s just uncomfortable, sometimes it’s downright bizarre. But once you notice it, once this point enters your radar, then you’re very aware of it and it somewhat taints the overall feel of the show.

Ok, so that is the bad bit. Hopefully the messenger won’t be shot.

The interviewees save the show. This is a really, really good idea, to interview the people writing the blogs. Rarely do you get a bad one, in fact I can’t remember the last one that I felt was lame. And this is the focal point of the show, only they are doing it and it sets them apart from other podcasts. If you want the best discussion of WoW hot topics then go to The Instance, if you want the best philosophical discussion on WoW then you want The World of Warcast, but for the best interviewees on your chosen topic then this show takes the cake. And I want to clarify, the presenters are quite good, (and they obviously put a huge amount of work into it), they don’t fall into a lot of the obvious traps that bemoan podcasts in general. And sometimes they do run with a question and take it into other areas, which is great. But there is real room for improvement here.

Overall though, this is one of the big three that I listen to. Check it out for yourself.