Greetings Wanderers! I’m Twik aka Rob from Velen’s Chosen podcast writing to you today about how podcasts (not just mine!) can be one of the most effective resources available to Hearthstone players. I am a firm believer that every player has room to improve in the game, but not everyone realizes all the resources readily available to them. I believe podcasts are possibly the greatest asset to Hearthstone players to continue learning and improving how they play.
- Ease of access: Anyone with a smart phone or computer has access to podcasts. All you have to do is type in the word ‘Hearthstone’ into a search engine and click podcasts in the iTunes store to find that there are nearly 20 podcasts relating solely to Hearthstone. Not only are they there, but you can just click subscribe on Google Reader (via RSS), hop into a podcast app and search for a few shows and hit subscribe and you’re done! All you need is a pair of earbuds to listen!
- Content expression: Auditory content, in my opinion, is the most powerful boon in the current era. With more and more people trying to do many things at once, even at work podcasts can be consumed and understood while doing other tasks. Podcasts are powerful because you can simultaneously consume content for whatever you want while doing something like walking the dog or driving to work. Lastly, Hearthstone podcasts fill their niche because the game of Hearthstone is set-up in a perfect way to be able to sit down for 2-4 hours and grind out some games and knock out listening to a few podcasts, getting experience without sacrificing your game-play time.
- Personal touch: Reading articles to me always seems to have a professional touch and an impersonal nature to them behind a wall of anonymity. Video and Photo mediums are great to present key concepts in a visual and auditory way with minimal text included. The problem with these type of shows is they’re usually highly edited to get the point across, podcasts have a flow to them between people on a panel for a Q&A or a conversation between friends that brings a unique connection within players. I find that even among my listeners or people I connect with that are fans of other podcasts help humanize the Hearthstone community a bit and help us not feel like everyone we play is non-human on ladder. I can add people and hang out more easily with a more human connection like fandom for the game and a show about the game I love.
- Ever Evolving: Podcasts are sweet because not only are players getting better all the time, so are podcasters. The shows provide a two-way channel between listeners and content creators a form of interacting that really aid others and provide continual communication each week in long-form without too much of a long-time commitment. Podcasts are so good at providing different content all the time with the flexibility to give you some of the same dynamic of info with a new spin when Hearthstone evolves as a game, the shows do as well to adjust and keep people posted!
- Separating: I know this point is confusing, so I’ll explain briefly. Podcasts are long, I know, but they’re one of the best forms of content consumption where you can nearly stop the flow of conversation and pick it back up again without having to re-read, re-watch, re-listen like other mediums to understand where you left off. Usually, the flow of conversation in long-form will key you into what the discussion was about (on shows that keep a tighter hold on topic it is usually like this).
- Flexible: I know I sort of glazed over this point in the past few points, but it deserves a bit more attention. Podcasters can do whatever they want, but the good ones adjust to feedback and what’s happening in Hearthstone to really make their product more dynamic.
- Free: This is definitively the best part. Just like net-decking, reading articles, and watching YouTube, Podcasts are totally free to use and listen to. The reason I include it in the list is because even though everything else is free to consume, podcasts are still the biggest bang for your free-dollars. What I mean is that you’re getting ten-fold the total content that other mediums offer because you can multi-task while consuming. Videos, Infographic photos, and online articles (or deck guides!) are all written to be brief, but podcasts can be long because you can do something else while listening.
- Niche categories: Hearthstone podcasts became so diluted with everyone trying to do the same thing essentially on their show early on, but not everyone can be a Well Met or The Angry Chicken show that cover everything from strategy, meta, news, and pro-scene. Thankfully these shows exist to help those wanting to have a bit of everything sprinkled in a show all smashed together with a great set of hosts to keep things interesting each week. My show along with many others (especially with the changing of the 2016 year) are now launching shows in categories of the game:
- TAC branched out to have a separate IP of sorts highlighting Tavern Brawls each week.
- Velen’s Chosen Podcast (HYPE ;)) escorts budget and free to play players into a show each week focusing on what to do when you are trying to improve, yet feel restricted by your card pool.
- Golden Wisp pulls listeners in the upper echelon to start competing with the Meta of Legend and high ladder finishes each year to see how best to combat top Meta decks and house interviews for pro players on how to fight better against some of the top players and decks.
- Legend of the Innkeeper and A Worthy Opponent talk mostly content for those players concerned with avoiding burnout and wanting to have fun in the game as their top priority. The hosts highlight hysterical and amusing aspects of the game as opposed to those more pointed to winning as a top priority.
- 1600 Dust focused their show on listeners to listen in for only 20 minutes, highlighting their journey along-side players struggling to improve and talking through a few decks to keep you pushing throughout each week. (Warning: These guys have some seriously high energy! ☺)
- The Lightforge offers the opinions of two top arena only players to focus their whole show on Arena. They cover new cards strictly in how they affect arena, talk through class differences, card advantage, how to better draft in certain scenarios, and more.
- HearthCoach niche exists with having every episode have a many time legend player help an intermediate skill player to pilot a new deck every week.
- Coin Concede drops in the perfect mix of highly hardcore and purely fun focus to cover news, cards, and interesting decks that will be good from Rank 20 to Top Legend Play. Very engaging and just set-up a new format on their show for 2016.
- Well Met!, The Angry Chicken, Top Deck Kings, The Happy Hearthstone, Hearthaholics, Value Town, Hearth of the Cards, The Unstable Portal, Death Rattle Crew, Card Back Cavalry, Hero Power, Hearthcore, Whirlwind, Raid Warning, Gosu Gamers, TempoCast are all alternative personalities that have their own spin on the Hearthstone Podcasting space so you can zero in on one that best connects with how you interpret the Hearthstone scene, just pick a few or take them all!
All this being said I hope you start listening to podcasts and taking advantage of these wonderful resources that content creators work so hard to create. Podcasts take a lot of set-up, equipment, skill, and work just to get to your ears to enjoy. I collected a few other quotes from others who consume, produce, or write on podcasts to share their opinions as I close. Don’t forget, not all who wander are lost, so tune into some podcasts today!
- Cora (host of Coin Concede Podcast and Player for Vicious Syndicate): They provide a forum to share information and connect with others across the world who share the same passion.
- Blitzcrank Bot V2 (Writer for ESL and TempoStorm): “Podcasts can go over information and concepts that can be difficult to convey in written form.”
- HalfBroke Chris (Writer for Hearthstoneplayers.com): “To me, the reason podcasts are important is because not only can you listen to it on your own time versus streams where you have to be there when someone is on but also because some people are more of an audible type of person. For instance, people learn better when they hear things where as some learn better reading. Podcasts allow you to actually hear people speak about the game and their experiences…it is a big deal hearing someone that was F2P for a very long time hit Legend many times. It seems to get the point across even more hearing someone talk through it instead of reading about it via an article”
To find out more about Twik (Rob) and to keep up to date with what he’s got going on be sure to follow him on Twitter @notrob. You can also find a link to the various podcasts mentioned in this article by clicking here.