October 11th, 2004
The WoW Radio Staff
WoW Radio (also known as WCRadio and Warcraft Radio) was an independent group of players that came together to produce and promote live radio shoutcasts that air throughout the week. The shows were about 80% talk and 20% music, with most of the music being split between preshows and the royalty free music played when there is no show or archive playing on the stream.
Their existence and exhibitions were acknowledged and approved by Blizzard, and has been featured on the Official Website more than ten times, that being the official website of the WoW Community. WoW Radio was even let in to BlizzCon and sent out the only live audio feed covering everything on the show floor.
The station began as one show, Saturday Nights with Athalus, on October 11th, 2004. Athalus left the station on the March 18th, 2006 after his final goodbye show. The station was then owned by Eriyanna and TotalBiscuit.
On January 3rd, 2010 the station announced that they would be broadcasting their final show in the following month. Individual hosts would move onto their own websites, or in groups. Totalbiscuit had since created his own website called The Cynical Brit. "The Donut Shop", "MaxSpeed", "Essence of RP", "But Wait! There’s Lore!" and more was moved to "Original Media for Gamers", or "OMFG". Finally "Octale and Hordak", along with "Casually Hardcore", have created Versus the World Productions, or VtW Productions.
On January 31, 2010 WoW Radio ended its 5 year live broadcasting with a send off by TotalBiscuit and Athalus the 2 owners during the stations run. The host of the shows have split into 3 new networks.
- TotalBiscuit, and his Gaming the System co-host, SWAG, have gone to TotalBiscuit's new site with Blue Plz and Gaming the System.
- Octale, Hordak, Docdead, Natural20, Gnomewise and crew have joined together to create Versus The World(VTW) Productions.
- The rest of the shows from WoW Radio, including The Donut Shop (previously known as Happy Hour Tavern), MaxSpeed, But Wait! There's Lore!, and Essence of RP, along with a few old hosts, including Slanik, Turpster, Leto, The Donut Boys, Speedyf40, and WoW Radio founder, Athalus, and new hosts have created OMFG.
WoW Radio has conducted a large number of interviews with various persons and organizations of note within the WoW community. The following is a selection.
- Premonition US First Kill of Yogg-Saron + 0.
- The Four Horsemen (Representatives from Nihilum, DnT, Forte and Method in a round-table debate)
- Caydiem (Blizzard Community Manager)
- Myndflame Entertainment (Authors of the hugely successful Zinwrath and Illegal Danish)
- Rufus Cubed (Authors of Return, Terran also worked on the WoW Southpark episode)
- Tristan Pope (Author of Machinima 101, Not another love story, Switchers, now works for Blizzard)
- Oxhorn (Author of a million and one popular machinima including Inventing Swearwords)
- Nihilum (World's #1 guild)
- Guild:Death and Taxes (Korgath US) (America's #1 guild)
- Curse (Uber-guild and assocites of Curse-Gaming)
- Method (EU Alliance uber-guild, world second Vashj kill)
- Vis Maior (High ranking raid guild, downed numerous Sunwell bosses first on the PTR)
- Fangtooth (Ex-Community manager)
- Brewguy (Winner of WoW Idol 2005)
- Richard A. Knaak (Award-winning author of Warcraft and Diablo novels)
- Cide (Author of the wildly popular CTRaid boss-mod)
- CKKnight (Author of Fubar, Cartographer, a developer of Ace 2)
- Rob Pardo (Vice president of Game-design, Blizzard Entertainment)
- Spiritwolf (Popular comic author and forum personality)
- Ghostwalka (Eminent lore-buff)
- Sean Beeson (Composer)
- Cranius (Creator of the popular Big Blue Dress musical machinima)
- Baka-Savants (Creators of Chronicles of the Annoying Quest)
WoW Radio 24/7
WoW Radio announced that it would be going '24/7' at the start of 2007. In preparation for the project, the station upgraded its streaming facilities significantly, upgrading its quality to 128kb/s Stereo, at 44khz bitrate, whereas previously it broadcasted in 56kb/s 44khz Mono format. WoW Radio's 24/7 project was known to involve scheduled reruns of archived shows, organized into blocks. It was also known that it intends to include several DJ sets, and included a large selection of royalty-free music from such sources as OCRemix.
As of November 2007 the system went into public beta.
This system was successfully launched on December 1st 2007, coupled with a major fix to the website to cope with excessive traffic. As a direct result of this service and the fixes to the site, daily traffic has increased by approximately 90%.
As of December 1st 2007, WoW Radio's servers could handle 10,000 simultaneous live listeners.
- See WoW Radio/Shows for a full list of past WoW Radio shows.
Issues of negativity and past controversy
It has been highlighted on a number of occasions that WoW Radio could be highly negative and critical regarding the World of Warcraft computer game. This in-itself was not necessarily a flaw and helped the station to achieve an independent style in their content, coming across more as fans of the game, rather than a corporate message medium. It had been known however for certain shows (in particular "Blue Plz" and "Epic", both hosted by TotalBiscuit, with "Epic" now having been retired) to have a particularly negative tone in places, both about general gameplay, and Blizzard in particular. It should be noted that many value this particular point of view since there are few fansites willing to openly criticize Blizzard and its policies out of fear of alienating them. WoW Radio had long survived without the aid of Blizzard entertainment and it can only be presumed therefore, has no such qualms. Some would argue that because of this independent stance, WoW Radio was one of the most valuable source for WoW-related media and information online.
WoW Radio has had altercations with Blizzard entertainment in the past, not least after an exposé of their treatment at BlizzCon in 2005. Hosts pointed out specifically the number of roadblocks that had been thrown in the way of their efforts to broadcast the event, despite being invited to do so, and the uneven treatment that they had received in comparison to other organizations attending the event.
Totalbiscuts account of the end of WoW Radio
WoW Radio plateaued a good while before its eventual demise. Our hey-day listeners-wise was probably while we had the WoW Insider Show running alongside our big hitters like Blue Plz, O+H and Casually Hardcore. For the most part, those shows carried the entire station. They provided the numbers necessary to actually get sponsorship, at least enough to keep the site afloat, but little else. Everyone else was small potatoes in comparison, but that was fine, or at least it would have been were it not for the actions of some of the staff. The fact is WoW Radio was a very big, heavy cart filled with baggage being pulled by a small number of strong but exhausted oxen while everyone else rode on the cart. Also fine, at least it would have been, were some of those people also not throwing rocks at the oxen the entire way. Certain staff members could be described as obstructionist and that was putting it mildly. Myself, Octale, Gen and Gnomewise were doing our best to drag WoW Radio into a state of legitimacy which we so desperately needed. To survive we had to move away from being just a fansite which is parasitically linked to the success of WoW (when WoW hurts, we hurt) and move towards a genuine gaming media group that could stand on it's own two feet. To do that we needed quality control which we tried to instill, to much resistance from some staff members. The lowest quality shows were always those who were manned by the obstructionist staff members and those shows were the least successful, which would be fine if they were also not dragging down the quality of our line-up and driving away new listeners that tuned into bad shows and then never came back.
Gen was brought onto management because she actually had experience in it. She had qualifications in marketing and PR, not to mention real world management experience in volunteer groups and retail. Might not sound like much but it was a lot better than what we had at the time. She set about righting the ship and this resulted in the removal of some staff members who refused to play ball. Gen actually did a STELLAR job as many will attest and she worked her ass off to tighten up WoW Radio's operations and bring us towards our goal of legitimacy and the transition to Original Media for Gamers. Yes OMFG was my idea, what exists of it today is not even close to what it was going to be. I gave those guys the name to at least give them some brand recognition and get them started, needless to say they squandered it with incompetence and malice.
Things came to a head when it became obvious that the staff couldn't function together anymore. Many of the troublemakers wanted to take over the station, yet they hadn't earned that right. They didn't do all the hard work, the load was carried by a small fraction of the staff and those staff did not want to continue. I wanted WoW Radio's legacy to be a happy one and for us to go out on a high-note. Considering the direction I wanted to go in and the direction the OMFG and VTW guys wanted to go in, a decision was made by management and passed down to everyone that WoW Radio would come to an end. I think that was the right call. The station without Blue Plz!, Octale and Hordak and Casually Hardcore would have been a wasteland anyway because none of the other shows really had the numbers to sustain the website. Some of those shows were good, some not so much.
Project Golddigger and Chronicles of the Goldfarmer
Later on, WoW Radio came under fire from Blizzard EU for the efforts of "Project Golddigger" and the "Chronicles of the Goldfarmer" movies in which TotalBiscuit was banned from the European forums and retaliated with a viral signature campaign to promote the movies, which spread like wildfire throughout the EU forum community. A large number of WoW Radio fans and staff were banned during this incident. There are varying opinions on the incident: it could be argued that the bans were justified as players were acting in defiance of the community manager's authority. Others point to the opinion that most of these players did not in fact breach the Codes of Conduct of Blizzard Europe's forum community, some going as far as to say that TotalBiscuit himself did not fall afoul of these regulations and that the ban was nothing more than an effort to silence a voice of dissent within the community who was rapidly gaining a following.
What is clear however is that WoW Radio benefited significantly from the publicity of this event, some going as far as to call it a carefully orchestrated publicity stunt by station owner TotalBiscuit. As a result however, WoW Radio can no longer promote on the European forums, with those attempting to do so receiving bans without prior warning or justification. While it is clear that no-one is in possession of the full facts surrounding this debacle, some suggest that there is far more to this incident that meets the eye and go as far as to suggest that someone within Blizzard Europe is holding a grudge.
This problem was only made worse when the EU Forums were spammed with multiple topics per forum advertising the site, against the wishes of WoW Radio themselves who were running a controlled, voluntary realm forum promotional campaign. Whatever Blizzard EU's issues with WoW Radio, no doubt compounded by the person who spammed the forums, resulted in many more 7 day suspensions.
Resolution of the conflict with Blizzard EU
As of fall 2007, station owner TotalBiscuit announced that after talking to community managers from Blizzard Europe, the past issues had been reconciled and WoW Radio had since been supported on the EU forums and community watch segment of the website.