Friday, September 28, 2012

v43.2: Fracking Friday

Howdy folks,

It's Friday!  Thankfully the gods have deemed us worthy and have allowed us to see another Friday.  If you are one of the fortunate ones to have their work week end today, I bid you a happy weekend.  If not, you can join the club with me.

Unfortunately for me, I will be working most of this weekend.  There have been a lot of things going on at work this week and as a result, I will be spending most of my weekend tied to my BlackBerry and laptop while I perform changes and monitor progress/emails.  I'm sure things will go well and come Monday all of the things I hoped to accomplish will be completed and running well.  I don't foresee any complications, but like anything in the IT industry, it can go bad real fast and end up spoiling your entire weekend.

This weekend also marks the season premier of Dexter.  I started watching Dexter after season 5 had ended.  I downloaded all of the episodes and watched them back-to-back all the way up to the end of Season 6.  If you're a Dexter fan, you're probably anticipating the season 7 premier as much as I am.  If you've never seen Dexter, I won't spoil it for you but suffice to say, it's going to be very interesting to see how this season is going to start.

-slurp-

As some of you know, Blizzard released the latest expansion to the World of Warcraft franchise this past week.  The expansion is called Mists of Pandaria and it introduces a whole new race (Pandas) to the world of Azeroth.  I wasn't really that hyped about this expansion as I was in the past ones, but I was still excited to check out some new content and see what new things were added to the game.  In typical pre-release fashion, Blizzard rolled out a bunch of the changes that were expansion independent a few weeks prior to the release date.  I was able to play around a bit with these new changes and I must say, they've done a great job.  The expansion came out Tuesday and I hadn't had a chance to login and check it out until last night (Thursday).  This marks the first time I have ever missed an expansion release; in fact, I didn't even think about it at all on Tuesday until after I got home from work and realized I couldn't login and play because I had a bunch of work to do and wasn't able to.

Last night I decided to take a bit of a break from work and ended up logging in and spending a couple of hours playing.  Blizzard introduced this new system called "Pet Battles" which is basically Pokemon using the non-combat pets you've collected over the last 7 years.  At first I was a bit sceptical about the system and how it was going to work, but after spending a few minutes learning the new interface and reading up on the FAQ, I found myself in-game going around and finding pets to kill and capture.  Basically it starts off with a quest (after you've learned how to do pet battles) which sends you away to defeat a pet.  A "pet" is simply a critter and you see them all over the place.  Some of these pets are flagged for pet battles and when you click on them, it starts the pet battle interface.  You can specify your "active" pet out of all of the pets you have and the turn-based fight will begin.  The fight ends when either your pet(s) or the other pet(s) are defeated/captured.  Yes, you can capture pets in this system and add them to your pet list.  If you come across a pet you don't already have, you can challenge it and fight it.  Once it's health is below 35%, you have an option to capture it.  In the beginning you will almost capture it every time on the first try, but later on it gets more difficult and it may take more tries to successfully capture the pet.  Pets are also of different quality (like gear); you have your common, uncommon, rare and epic type pets that are placed all over WoW.  Sometimes you may even go up against multiple pets which makes it a bit more challenging.  So far I've only ever had to fight 1 pet at a time, but I'm assuming that will change later on as my pets get higher level.

It's a fun system and very well deployed.  I can see wasting many hours of my game time playing with this feature in the near future.  If you're a World of Warcraft player, some of this will make sense to you; if not, I apologize :)

Well folks, it's time to get back to work and prepare for my work filled evening and weekend.  Remember to always ensure you look both ways before crossing the street and abide by the rules of pedestrianism (ooo, big word).  Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice.

Cheers,

Al