News: 10/15/19

Howdy Team!

We are Diamond 1!! With some epic games leading up to promotion, it was a hard fought battle. Is Masters in our future? Possibly! But today's patch notes may have thrown a wrench in the system by adding Battlefield of Eternity back into rotation. Looks like more work and practice ahead!

Kyle Explains takes on some of the most heartwarming tales of furry battle heroes in history. From an unsinkable cat to a horse that ran ammunition alone, it's a great listen that brings a tear to the eye and adds a bounce to the step.

DM Gives Inspiration tackles an asked-for topic: describing combat in D&D. While it's enough to do the math, combat can be much more than declaring hits and misses. What about flourishes? How do you give players imaginative agency while still obeying the numbers? Check out Kyle's thoughts!

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News: 9/10/19

Howdy Team!

Hope you like tanking! Kyle is seeing amazing progress now that he's added not only Stitches but E.T.C. to his tanking roster! It's become a very clear game of Rock, Paper, Scissors based on each tank's capabilities. Johanna is still our main gal but Stitches' health pool and E.T.C.'s mobility cannot be underestimated. Simply counter draft the enemy and you've got yourself an easy GG... unless Alarak goes AI.

In Gold Coaching, we are now firmly nestled in the upper half of Gold 3 but certainly not without a fight. If you're looking for a game that exemplifies the crazy that you can only see in Gold, check out Big Q Turn Around. Once again Ragnaros proves his worth as a golden powerhouse.

THE FIRST DMGI COMPANION IS HERE! Check out this awesome rundown of a monster of the month, an entertainment inspiration, and upcoming topics.

In the DMGI podcast, Kyle addresses the how, what, where, and when of loot. If you find yourself with any questions for Kyle, the next episode is a mailbag. Head on over to the contact page of Kyle's website and shoot your thoughts his way!

Kyle Explains takes a jump off of this week's DDoS attack on WoW Classic, breaking down what, exactly, that is and how it can be prevented.

FERGLING UPDATE: Please note that there will be scheduling changes within the next few weeks. We plan on sticking to the posted schedule until the little one makes his arrival. Once he does, we'll take a week off. Kyle will return to podcasts the week after that and streaming will resume two weeks later.

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News: 9/3/19

Howdy Team!

If you were hoping for some roster switch ups this week, Kyle's got you covered! Johanna, though still coveted, is finally taking a bit of a breather as we pull out the tankiest of them all - Stitches! A nasty boy all around, Kyle found that heavy poke teams tear Johanna apart but if they're poking into something with a health pool that just won't quit, there's no trouble.

Kyle's Gold coaching continues with some off tank Li Li work and a bit more Ragnaros as Kristen not only practices filling but also staying true to picking better Heroes for certain maps. While we all wish we could play our favorite Hero every time, it's important to understand how to use them efficiently and effectively as well as recognizing when they have a hard time performing up to snuff.

Finally, ITN has some fantastic news! Garrett and Kyle are taking over HotSLogs!! Expect a more in-depth conversation this Thursday about the site. However, if you're looking for a bit more info, Garrett posted an update over on Reddit.

THE FIRST DMGI COMPANION IS HERE! Check out this awesome rundown of a monster of the month, an entertainment inspiration, and upcoming topics. 

Speaking of DMGI, this week goes over combat, but not in the way you think. As fun as dictionary definition rundowns are, Kyle throws his spin on how to use it in your games.

Kyle Explains embraces Kyle's love of space with a really fun historical description of humans and their understanding of and interactions with the planet Venus.

FERGLING UPDATE: Please note that there will be a few scheduling changes within the next few weeks. With the little fergling due any day, we still plan on sticking to the posted schedule until he makes his arrival. Once he does, we'll be taking a week off. Kyle will return to podcasts the week after that and streaming should resume two weeks later.

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News: 8/27/19

Howdy Team!

We continue on our exploration of Diamond and Gold League! Up in Diamond, Kyle's been seeing a lot more variety when it comes to drafting. While Johanna is still a favorite, Rehgar is quickly taking up the mantle of being the new top dog in town. With this switch to a less rigid roster, we're also beginning to see a positive swing in our climb.

Gold is just as wacky as ever but Kristen is expanding her roster so that she, too, can climb higher than ever. Safely situated in Gold 4/Gold 5, we're coming to find that while Nazeebo is often a great map pick, Ragnaros is far more powerful than he should be. Li Li and Jaina also make appearances from time to time, but enemies just can't stay away from Rag's spicy meatballs.

This week on Kyle Explains, Garrett challenged Kyle to try and explain just what the heck is going on with poor Spider-Man. With 15 minutes to do so, Kyle gives the quickest rundown of one of the messiest legal situations regarding a superhero.

In DM Gives Inspiration, Kyle takes on resting and watches, something that led him down a very interesting rabbit hole of research. Here's how to successfully implement rests and watches without frustrating yourself or your players.

Finally, be sure to sign up for the official DM Gives Inspiration newsletter! Releasing the first Tuesday of every month, it will be filled with even more tips and tricks to take your D&D adventure to the next level!

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News: 8/21/19

Howdy Team!

It's been fantastic hearing so much feedback about everyone's games. It seems there have been amazing moments coupled with sad defeats - all par for the course in HotS.

This past week, Kyle maintained the mantle of Johanna but stuck his toe in the stew of Stitches. While he may find the brute disgusting, there's no denying this tank's amazing ability to just keep going.

Kristen's games exhibited taking what was discussed the prior week and applying it to the games for great success. However, one cannot have yin without yang. Balance is necessary. While we managed to secure two great victories, failure did rear its ugly head. Dare you stare into the abyss?

Season 2 of both Kyle Explains and DM Gives Inspiration kicked off this week! From the Endangered Species Act to travelling in a campaign setting, be sure to check out these tantalizing tidbits.

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News: 8/13/19

Howdy Team!

Welcome to the first week of placements in the first official season of Storm League. We hope all of your placements went well and you're having a lot more fun now that demotions and promotions are done away with!

Kyle and I continue on our League journeys. Kyle is picking up more healing through Rehgar while tanking on Johanna still remains a solid choice for Diamond 2/Diamond 3. We're even seeing a lot of Masters joining our games, resulting in some really close matches and great advice that, when applied, further pushes us into the higher ranks. Gold 4/Gold 5 is a much different beast where assumptions end up killing us more than helping. While one-sided games seem a bit more common, it's all useful information that we can apply to get better and move upward (hopefully soon).

Kyle Explains and DM Gives Inspiration released their first postmortems this week. After ten episodes of each, Kyle is going to take a step back to plan the next ten episodes, dividing them into seasons. This will allow the both of us to bring you better episodes as well as push the quality of the content regularly. This next update invites you to send over topics for Kyle Explainsand will introduce book reviews to DMGI.

Finally, Talking Pictures Alliance now has the Batman & Robin episode decided. Join us Monday, August 19 at 7PM Pacific for the record!

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News: 8/6/19

Howdy Team!

This post's videos are from the final week of Storm League Preseason as well as the placement games from today! Turns out even with rank now equally matching MMR, both Kyle and Kristen maintained their ranks, hinting that rank and MMR were not too far off. We also discovered an interesting little tidbit. After placing, both took on a ranked game and found a flat 200 either added or subtracted from the rank total without any kind of adjustment. We'll continue to test out rank matches to see if this trend continues or if the game simply needs more data than four total ranked games.

Kyle Explains summarizes the Mixer talk from last week surrounding streamer Ninja. What does it mean for Twitch? What does it mean for the future of video game streaming in general?

In DM Gives Inspiration, mailbag number two rolls out some great questions that have come in since the first one. Some of the topics include calculating and tracking time in your campaign, keeping track of debuffs and buffs, and rewarding play with something always happening.

Finally, Talking Pictures Alliance had to reschedule to this Sunday! If you still haven't caught the masterpiece that is Batman & Robin, now's your chance to partake in 90's movie culture at its finest.

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News: 7/30/19

Get ready for the new season launching next week! Recently released notes highlight a lot of the changes that will be implemented. Among them are some fan favorites that have been a long-time coming, including rank being tied directly to MMR and only three placement games!

Also released this week was the latest Hero of the Nexus! Qhira is a unique character developed specifically from Nexus lore. She is a melee assassin with surprising regen and a Spider-Man-like movement capability. Though weak to CC and hardly as tricky as Tracer or Genji, her ability to reposition enemies and deal explosive damage to single targets will make her a Hero to watch going forward.

Kyle Explains remains space-bound this week, discussing asteroids and the one that passed by Earth only a few days ago. In DM Gives Inspiration, he takes on two topics that often come in pairs: things to consider DMing your first campaign and how to run one successfully online.

Finally, Talking Pictures Alliance is this Sunday and will take on that classic film Batman & Robin. Don't miss out on this cool conversation about one of the most chill Batman movies to date.

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News: 7/23/19

Diamond 1 remains defended even though we are running into some wacky matches and the occasional tilt. Luckily this is pretty rare, but it's still sobering to see at such high level of play. We are also running into JHow quite a bit since we stream at the same time and are hovering around the same league.

Speaking of, be sure to catch ITN this week. With Garrett out of town, Kyle and JHow will be discussing last week's patch notes as well as finding the balance between how to play a map correctly and how to play a map based on your team's choices.

Kyle Explains looks back 50 years to discuss the Apollo 11 moon landing, the science surrounding it, and the politics that helped make it a reality. In DM Gives Inspiration, Kyle discusses different ways to deal with player character death as well as how to use deities in such situations to make your campaign even more enticing. Be sure to also check out Audible for a free audio book download. This week, Kyle recommends Sabriel by Garth Nix and voiced by Tim Curry.

This week, we shifted gears by putting Kristen in the HotS driver's seat. We finished our placements after a bit of a rough go and are settled snugly in Gold 4. With Nazeebo as our main, Kyle coaches and discusses builds as Kristen focuses on mining that gold.

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