Getting Started with Streaming


As curator of the NBI archives, I have seen the amount of work that has gone into the event in years past, and now know from experience what goes into running it. This year we have shifted some of the focus into other avenues of sharing information, such as streaming, podcasting, liveblogging, and social media. All of these facets have been persistent on the Internet for years, but this group has been primarily focused on blogging, and though we want to continue to support the blogging movement, we also want to include these other forms of media.

The announcement has gone out, we need guides for all forms of media, so that others can get started on their own. I’ve watched streams, I’ve enjoyed streams, and I’ve always wanted to stream myself. I have had some epic moments in games that words simply can’t do justice to. As such, I’ve been thinking about getting into streaming, along with recording/editing videos of my best gameplay moments. As was said in the NBI post, we really didn’t have any information on the site to allow newbies to figure out how to get started with streaming. I’ve taken it upon myself to write such a guide, as a noob streamer. My goal here is to write this from the perspective of a noob, so that it will be easy to understand for other noobs. Hopefully we’ll both learn something in the process.

The first question on most people’s minds would be “what program should I use?” That is no simple answer, because there are many options out there, paid or free. Rather than downloading and trying out every option, I am going to cut to the chase: Most of the people I know who already stream use XSplit. Based on that, it is the program I am going to use and base this guide off of. Feel free to try out other programs as you see fit, most of the information is going to be pretty universal, as all of the software out there has the same goal: to get you sharing your experiences.

Getting Started with XSplit

The first thing you’re going to want to do is head over to the XSplit website. From there, click on the “download” link at the top of the page. This will take you to a separate page where you are presented with two different XSplit products: The Broadcaster, and Gamecaster. Yes, I was instantly mystified as well. How do we tell the difference between the two? Are they both free? How do they compare. Fear not reader, I have done the research for you!

XSplit Gamecaster is a one-of-a-kind live streaming and recording application designed for both casual and hardcore gamers. It allows every gamer to live stream or record their gameplay without complicated setup and configuration.

  • Live stream your gameplay on Twitch and share on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus
  • Record your gameplay and share on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus
  • Record game play in high quality resolutions for video editing

Do it all from a simple user-interface that works directly inside your favorite video game.

XSplit Gamecaster  is the simplest way to create high quality game recordings and live streams. XSplit Gamecaster also provides a bridge for users who want to advance on to more technical  broadcasting with XSplit Broadcaster.

While XSplit applications share the same technology, XSplit Gamecaster is geared towards the gamer who wants to share their game play moments,  while XSplit Broadcaster is geared towards the more advanced and professional broadcaster.

TL;DR: Both are free, and the Gamecaster is “for noobs” while the Broadcaster is for people who make a living doing this stuff.

Installation + Setup

With all of that said, it’s time to download the Gamecaster, but first you have to register an account. I’m sure you can handle that portion on your own. When you get the program downloaded and installed, fire that bad boy up! You’ll be presented with a login, and this will be the same account information you used when registering.

You can also register right here within the program.

Next you’ll be prompted to do an authentication to sync your Gamecaster with a Livestreaming service. Livestreaming services are plentiful, just like Streaming programs, so there are plenty of choices out there, and the choice is ultimately yours to make. We are going to skip this step for right now. The next screen has some purchasing options on it, but click continue at the bottom to get to the actual start screen:


I really can’t make it any clearer than those simple instructions. It’s really much easier than I thought it was going to be. Video editing on the other hand, that might be more complicated, but I haven’t gotten that far just yet. The start page is displayed here. When you do get the hang of using the program and want to start livestreaming or sharing your recorded gameplay, the Accounts tab will allow you to sync up various external accounts (such as YouTube and Twitch) to your caster. The Settings tab contains (you guessed it!) settings that we aren’t going to mess with for now, same goes with the Hotkeys tab — I may customize some of this stuff at some point, but we need to leave things as basic as possible before adding levels of complexity. Finally, the Recordings tab will be empty til we record something. So why don’t we get that going?

Recording Stuffs

It really is that simple to record. It seemed like such a daunting task until I dove into it, and all you do is start up the game you’re going to want to play/record, and then hit ctrl+tab. An overlay similar to Steam’s will appear, and you can then start recording to disk, or streaming to a site. I clicked record, and played a round of Hearthstone. When I was done, another ctrl+tab brought up the overlay again where I then clicked stop. That’s all there is to it. Recordings will go under the Recordings tab, where you can then click “show in folder” to find the actual video file. Because I wanted to be able to share with you what I just recorded, I decided to link up XSplit to my YouTube account, and that was very easy to do within the interface. Simply click the YouTube button at the bottom of the Recordings tab, and another window will pop up prompting to sign into your Google account. From there you’ll be taken to your YouTube channel, if you have one. If you don’t (like me) then you’ll have to set it up, but having an existing Google account (from your Android platform, or one of the many services they offer on PC) makes this a couple click process. From there, you’ll have to head to your video manager, and upload your recording. Then you can link to your videos and share them on your blog, like this:

These same steps will be repeated to stream live, you’ll just have to set up a Twitch (or comparable) account and then sync that account with your Gamecaster software. Then instead of clicking “record” in-game, you’ll hit “stream” and the world can watch you suck at video games. Hooray!

Speaking of which, if you’d like to watch me suck at video games, you can check out my YouTube channel, or my Twitch stream.

If there is enough of an outcry for it, I may end up doing another post and make this into a series, the next post would be something along the lines of “advanced streaming tips” or perhaps I’ll check out the XSplit Broadcaster and give you an in-depth comparison. I will most likely go into video editing as well, because I already have some ideas of things I want to do. If you enjoyed this guide, let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading.

#guides #nbi2014 #streaming #xsplit #gamecaster

Covering Your Bases in ARAM

Edit: This information pertained to Season 3 Runes/Masteries. While I am always updating my information on the site, I am aware that search engine queries are pointing at this post due to page rank. For updated Runes and Masteries, follow this link.

As I pointed out in my last post, I own a large percentage of the Champions in League of Legends. When playing any of the game modes that allow you to choose any of the champions (excluding those that were banned), this is a blessing, as you have a large selection of champions to fit many roles, and can help your team comp, pick counters, etc. When playing ARAM, it can be a bit of a hindrance. When your champion is picked for you randomly, you can be at a disadvantage mainly due to the fact that you might not have the optimal runes and masteries set up for a particular champion. ARAM is great because it forces all players into one lane, so there are instant team fights, usually before the minions even spawn, and it forces strange team comps that would be laughed at in Classic. However, this mode also sheds away a bit of the strategy of the traditional game. Due to this fact, the only real strategy in ARAM is how you build your champion in each match. The foundation of this is built upon your Runes and Masteries, and that is what I’m going to cover today.


To completely cover your bases, you are going to need 5 rune pages. However, you will only start out with 2 rune pages, and the only way to get more is to buy them (In-game currency or RMT). These pages will allow you to play any role, and will add some benefits to any champion that you play. I label my pages “Armor Pen”, “AP MP5”, “AP Health”, “Straight Defense” and “Support”. I also recommend that new players don’t bother with purchasing runes until you are Summoner level 30, as you will not be able to use the Tier 3 Runes without being maximum level. Either save your IP or buy some champions along the way. To compile these pages, you will need: Marks: Armor (0.91×9 = 8.2 Armor) Armor Pen (1.29×9 = 12 Penetration) Magic Pen (0.87×9 = 7.8 Penetration) Seals: Armor (1.41×9 = 13 Armor) Mana Regen (0.41×9 = 3.7 Mana Regen) Scaling Health (19@level18x9 = 175 Health) Glyphs: Scaling MR (2.7@18×9 = 24 Magic Resist) Scaling AP (3.1@18×9 = 28 Ability Power) Scaling CDR (-1.11@18×9 = -10% Cooldowns) Quintessences: Armor Pen (2.56×3 = 7.7 Penetration) Ability Power (5×3 = 15 Ability Power) Gold per ten (1×3 = 3 gold per 10secs) Health (26×3 = 78 Health) Now some pictures and notes, in that order:

Armor Penetration Runes

This rune build grants Armor, Magic Resist and Armor Penetration. AD based Champions need Armor Penetration to counter any armor that the enemy team is going to build, and needs Armor and Magic Resist for his/her own defense, as most will be building straight damage items. This allows an early game boost needed to get kills/assists and get gold for later use.

Ability Power and Mana per 5 Runes
Ability Power and Mana per 5 Runes

For the glass cannon caster, this build grants Flat Ability Power, Ability Power per level, Magic Penetration, and Mana Regen. These are the bread and butter stats that casters (some supports can benefit from this build, more on that later) need to get kills and have some sustain. Back line fighters with long range poke, the casters don’t have to worry about building too much defense, and many AP granting items already have some built in defense.

Ability Power and Health Runes
Ability Power and Health Runes

For the AP Bruiser, and especially for those AP Champs that don’t have mana (Akali, etc), this build provides Flat Ability Power, Scaling Magic Resist, Scaling Health and Magic Penetration. This type of champion doesn’t need as much of an early AP boost as much as they need sustain. I choose the scaling MR over the scaling AP here because these champs tend to be melee, and anti-caster, so you’ll need the extra MR.

Straight Defensive Runes
Straight Defensive Runes

This is for the tanks, and you’ll randomly be the tank a time or two, regardless of if you always like to play ADC’s. A tank needs MR, Armor and Health. I chose to stack the scaling health seals and flat health quints to allow for an early boost and extra health every level, and to use Armor marks instead of seals. The loss of a couple of points of armor is more than made up for with the extra health.

Support Runes
Support Runes

This is actually the Support rune build that I use in Classic games. It is still useful in ARAM, and if you are going to play dedicated support, I will still recommend it, although many times when I play Sona or Soraka I choose to get more AP because heals scale off of it and sometimes that works better than this build. Depends on your mood/playstyle. This build gives what supports need to support, including Armor, Magic Penetration, Scaling Cooldown Reduction and Gold per 5. Supports typically don’t get minion or champion kills, so the extra gold helps with buying items. Supports spam their abilities, so CDR is needed, and the Armor and MPen help with pokes on both ends.


To cover all of your bases, I recommend the use of 7 Mastery pages. Thankfully, you can have up to 20 Mastery pages without having to spend a dime on them, so these you can set up as soon as you are Summoner level 30. Until then you won’t have all 30 points to spend, but you can start spending the points before you are maximum level. I have labeled my pages “AD Defense”, “AP Defense”, “AD Tank”, “AP Tank”, “AD Utility”, “AP Utility”, and “Support.”

Attack Damage and Defense
Attack Damage and Defense

This page is for your AD Bruisers, like Pantheon, Kha’zix, Garen, etc. It’s 21/9/0, and provides all of the AD oriented skills in the Offense tree, along with health, armor, and MR in the Defense Tree. This page typically combos with the Armor pen rune page, so that the Penetration and defensive bonuses stack. This page can also be used for ADC’s, if you like a little extra defense for them.

Ability Power and Defense
Ability Power and Defense

This is your AP Bruiser’s mastery page. Someone like Akali or Elise who will benefit from additional AP/Mpen, and also from the Health and Armor/MR. I use this page in conjunction with the AP Health rune page, so that the bonuses stack. These types of champions either don’t have mana or don’t have a need for as much of it, because they aren’t spamming abilities and that’s why we avoid the Utility tree.

Attack Damage Tank
Attack Damage Tank

Typically tanks are more AP based, but there are some that rely on Attack damage and Armor Pen. Tanks like Volibear are a good example, although if you’re using a Bruiser and you end up being the only tank-ish champion on your team, it might be a good idea to build tankier as you will be taking the brunt of the damage. This provides a small amount of CDR and AD/Pen, but mostly gives a defensive boost that the tank will need. Combined with the Straight Defense rune page, you will have plenty of extra health, armor and MR to survive the early team fights and protect your team.

Ability Power Tank
Ability Power Tank

Same as the AD Tank page, but in the offensive tree take points in the extra AP/MPen. This will apply to most tanks, as most tanks are Ability Power based. This will also be combined with the Straight Defense rune page for maximum protection.

Attack Damage and Utility
Attack Damage and Utility

This page is made for ADC’s. It mainly provides offensive boosts, but also gives some mana and mana regen. This helps with sustain and allows you to spam your pokes, with is going to be your primary focus in the game. I combine this page with the Armor Pen runes for maximum harass/damage.

Ability Power and Utility
Ability Power and Utility

Like the AD/Utility page, except for AP casters, who are going to be glass cannons. The offense tree shifts to the right, utility remains the same. Combine this with the AP MP5 page for maximum damage, with AP Health for more sustain.

Support Masteries
Support Masteries

The Support mastery page is also like the Support rune page, I built it for Classic, but it can be used in ARAM. I recommend using this build when you are going to play a true support, I.E. never killing creeps or going for champion kills, only assists. It provides more starting gold, and gold per 5 along with CDR (this combined with the CDR from runes means less items with CDR need to be built, allowing for some AP or other supporty items to be built). Extra movement speed is great for jukes.

General Tips:

Team comp is what makes or breaks ARAM. You will be given 5 random champions, and you won’t know who you are opposing, so take this into account when trading or re-rolling champs. If you can’t stand your champion, offer it up for trade before re-rolling, as someone else might be particularly good with that champ. If you have an all melee team, think about re-rolling for some range. If you have all AD or AP on your team, think about re-rolling for the opposite. You might still get unlucky, but your efforts will not go unnoticed. From there, you can worry about your rune and mastery builds. Let me give you an example: I get into the lobby, and I have Olaf. My team consists of Elise, Shyvanna, Garen and Blitzcrank. We have very little poke, so it would be best that someone re-rolls. I volunteer, and end up with Twitch. We are still an AD heavy team, but we at least have a little more range. At this point I would choose my Armor Pen rune page and my AD/Utility Mastery page. Each game is going to be different, and you won’t necessarily have teammates that know their champions, or work together with trades/re-rolls to get the best possible team comp. But if you practice these steps, you will win more games. Teams that work together win a hell of a lot more than teams full of trolls. If you don’t get a champion you want, don’t rage quit. Stick it out. I have had plenty of games with champs I am not so good with that still ended in victory because I/my team didn’t give up. Keep playing! The more games you play, the better you will get. Happy Gaming!

For Those New to LoL

I have been playing League of Legends since last summer, so close to a year now. Not every single day, but I have managed to get myself to Summoner level 30 and I do play pretty regularly. My humble beginnings and journey to the cap have brought me insight, and I would like to share some tips with you now. These tips are mostly aimed at new players, but veterans alike might pick up a new tidbit that they hadn’t read elsewhere. I am going to assume if you are reading this that you understand what a MOBA is, and you understand how DOTA style games work, so I won’t be discussing anything that basic. So let us begin.

The first thing to remember when playing League of Legends, is that it is a highly skill-based game, but these skills are acquired through practice. When you first start out, you WILL die. Often. If you manage to keep your kill-death ratio positive, you are doing something right, but don’t think that it is the only part of the game that matters. Everyone who plays competitive PvP games knows the desire to have more kills than deaths, and more kills than the rest of your team. In LoL, kills do matter, but so do deaths, and there are different reasons why they matter as opposed to say, a first-person shooter. Kills net you gold and experience, which you then use to gain levels in each individual round, and use to buy items which improve your champion. So yes, getting kills is a priority because it will cause you to become “fed”, and once you are you can shred your opponents. But, getting kills needs to be safe, and not a trade-off. If you get a kill, but also die, then the effect counter-balances itself with the opponent. If you get a kill but you and your team-mate die, the enemy came away with the advantage. The kill-death ratio is less important when playing a tank champion as well, as your focus is to keep your team-mates alive, not get kills. Assists net experience and gold as well, and a tank will often times go negative on the kill count but have numerous assists.

So, practice makes perfect. Learning to zone/lane/jungle/last-hit/team-fight all comes with time. Figuring out your play style and which champion you like best is all up to you, but once you find a champion you like, here are some suggestions, this is what I do. When I want to start playing a new champion because I’m bored with the ones I have been playing, I do some research first. Two websites you should bookmark ASAP are MOBAFire and LeagueCraft. These sites have tons of guides on each champion, that includes rune/mastery builds along with item builds while in-game. If you’re new to the game you won’t have many runes or mastery points, but it will give you an idea what to items to use and what benefits that champ the most. After getting an idea of what your chosen champ can do, the first thing to try in-game is a bot match. Don’t queue up for PvP matches when it’s your first time playing a champion, because that just ruins everyone else’s experience. Play against bots every time you want to try out a new champ, a new build, or just for fun. Once you have a few bot matches under your belt and have figured out a build you like, then feel free to queue up some PvP matches, and do your best. Again, don’t expect to be phenomenal right off the bat, and don’t be worried about getting owned by high level summoners. The matchmaking system works pretty good at keeping you matched up with summoners of your level.

Another awesome tool for learning more about the game is the League Replays program. It’s like Fraps or any other recording software, but it uses less system resources and records the games automatically. The custom format of the files are much smaller than other softwares as well, so you won’t take up a lot of hard drive space. Once you have recorded a game, you can go back and watch how you did, and how your team mates did, which in turn can give you a bunch of valuable data. Watching yourself after the fact can give perspective on mistakes you made and what you can do differently the next time you play. If you do really well, you can even share the replays on the website.

Finally, don’t be a douche. There are so many trolls on the internet it’s ridiculous, and you would have to be living under a rock to have avoided them thus far. Try not to be one of those trolls. Riot came up with an ingenious way to keep trolls in check, and it’s called “The Summoner’s Code”. It’s a basic outline about how to not be a troll while playing the game, sort of like “The Golden Rule”; do unto others and all that. Moreover, it’s not Riot who controls the outcome of violators of the code, it’s other players, which is pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Once you reach summoner level 30, you are allowed to become a member of “The Tribunal”, which is basically a committee that decides the fate of those who have broken the code. There are many different reasons why people get reported, and when they are reported those cases go to the Tribunal. Then a member logs in and decides whether or not the offense was punishable or pardonable. I have been participating in this for about a month now, because I feel that it really does help the overall health of the game, keeping trolls out and the good-natured players in. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that we all have moments where we “rage”, but it’s still best to keep these things to ourselves rather than in the chat logs. Just remember to follow the code as best you can, and follow my suggestions so that you don’t get reported for “intentionally feeding” because you decided to play a champ for the first time in PvP.

The Norrathian Newbie #4 – Which Race is Best for X Class?

edit (11/20/09): Traditions have changed since I wrote this post, refer to this link for updated traditions.

The Norrathian Newbie is back! I’ve finally dusted it off, and have decided on a new EQ2-related topic to discuss. Feel free to check out previous editions here.

As a Preface, I will say that I have written on this topic before. You can see that post here. When I wrote that post, it was before Game Update #40 (otherwise known as the expansion, “Rise of Kunark”) was released. At that time, racial abilities and stats meant little to a new character, and though I’m not going to retract my statement that “ultimately race does not affect the overall performance of a class”, it is fair to say that there is an optimal starting point, now. At this point I am going to list facts that could be easily found at any other informative gaming site, but also add some opinion, and hopefully help some people out that are curious as to “Which Race is Best for X Class”? Since my old post still gets a lot of traffic, I’m going to try to redirect it’s traffic to this post, which may prove to be more relevant.

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The Norrathian Newbie #3 – Chests

Now I know what you’re thinking. This is a topic that anyone can figure out on their own, and I shouldn’t be wasting my time writing this up. But on the contrary, it’s hard to believe the amount of people who play this game, and still don’t realize what chests may be trapped, or went through the game not really paying attention, and not making the observations I’m going to point out. With that said, on with the show!

In Everquest 2, there are four distinct chest styles. Each having their own name, design, and contents. The four different types are: Small Chest, Treasure Chest, Ornate Chest, and Exquisite Chest. Each chest is randomly filled with some sort of loot, though you’ll never know what’s inside until you open it. But wait! Before you open that box, did you disarm the possible trap, waiting to hurt you and your friends? Do you even have a scout class in your group, the only archetype that has the disarm skill? Didn’t think ahead did you?

Not all chests are created alike. They vary in size, shape, and visual texture. Each distinct type pulls loot from separate loot tables, and though all types have a % chance to drop from any mob in the game, each drops more commonly from certain mob strengths. The loot inside tends to be better depending on the difficulty of the mob, but I’m sure you probably guessed that. Even the traps placed on the chests are randomly selected from what seems to be an endless supply of torturous ideas. Here is a break down of what you can expect from each of the chests, but don’t think that I have all the answers.

A Small Chest: This is the most commonly dropped chest in the game. Who knows how the clever little creature you so triumphantly smited was hiding that thing from you, apparently it was craftier than you first thought. Small chests are made of wood, and per their namesake, are quite small. Small chests typically contain advanced tradeskill books, but are also known to drop quest starters and sometimes other items of use. In the Kingdom of Sky expansion, they also contain precious jewels used in the creation of “relic gear”, fabled items whose patterns drop in KoS raid zones. Small chests are never trapped, so any class can open them without worry, though scouts are still encouraged to disarm them, as they still provide practice, and practice = skill. Small chests will drop off of any creature in the game, but don’t expect named mobs to waste their time with such worthless treasures.

A Treasure Chest: Treasure chests are wood as well, though the framing is made of metal. These chests drop off of any creature in the game, including named (especially if they’re being cheap). Treasure chests are always trapped, though more often than not the trap will not trigger when the chest is opened. It is still wise for scouts to attempt to disarm these traps, but most times even if they fail, the trap will fail as well. Traps can range from single target damage spells to AoEs, and sometimes debuffs. Treasure chests primarily drop Adept 1 spells at random (usually within a few levels of the mob), and Treasured gear (weapons, armor, jewelry). Rarely the gear is no-trade, sometimes it’s lore (meaning you can only have one of that particular item in your possession at a time), and most often it’s junk you will sell to the vendor for a small bit of cash.

An Ornate Chest: When you start progressing away from solo content and make your way into a dungeon, you will start to find named mobs (most named mobs in the overworld carry treasure chests). Soon, you will stumble upon an Ornate chest. These chests are made of stone with metal hinges. Ornate chests are always trapped, and unless the scout you’ve brought along with you has skill when it comes to traps, the trap will go off, and they are usually more dangerous than the traps on treasure chests. Ornate chests can contain legendary gear (no-trade or lore), Adept 1s, quest items, and harvest rares (for making master crafted gear). When these chests pop up, take care not to roll on something you can’t use, especially if it’s no-trade, unless an FFA (free for all) is called. There is nothing that will get you a bad reputation faster than rolling on things you can’t use. If you want to continue to get groups to get better gear, make sure to pay attention to your rolls.

An Exquisite Chest: The mother of all chests, large, metal, and beautiful. You can almost hear the “cha-ching” when one of these bad boys open. Always trapped as well, and only carried by named mobs (though a very small % chance to drop off of trash), you had better bring a scout that is very skilled at disarming, or you will hurt after the initial “cha-ching” wears off. Exquisite chests drop the very best loot, including Fabled, Legendary, and Master 1 spell upgrades. More often than not, excluding the Masters, the gear will be no-trade, so again, take care with your loot rolls. As a rule of thumb, group instances/dungeons’ exquisite chests will drop legendary gear, and raid exquisites will drop fabled. Both will drop masters, though even the instance chests have some fabled gear in their loot tables. Needless to say, when hunting named in a dungeon, these are the chests you want to see. And when wandering out in the open and seeing one of these drop, you’ll damn near have a heart attack. Take note though, at least from what I’ve seen, these chests are almost a once in a lifetime drop off of trash mobs, and they will only contain masters in those instances when they do.

Points to remember: Always bring a scout to disarm your chests. Always wait for leader’s call for FFA before rolling on no-trade loot, unless it’s something that you need. And no this doesn’t mean for your alt if it isn’t no-trade. If you don’t have a scout to disarm your chests, DO NOT loot mid-battle, and if you are low on hp after the fight, make sure to regen before opening the chest to save your comrades from trap-deaths. But most importantly, have fun!