Friday, June 29, 2007
When I recovered, I was rushed to an ITIL Foundation class. My boss says it is good for me and since I have no projects to do, I might as well do something useful - get certified! So, I was crammed into the class and sat there motionlessly for 3 days listening to processes and processes and processes. My mind is stuffed and I'm zombified.
It was nothing directly-related to what I do daily but it is good knowledge - Atleast, now I know how a Service Desk should run. One of my colleague told me, "This ah is good when you look for a job next time you know".
After the 2.5 days of lecture, it was time for the grand finale. A written exam! I just hacked my way through and hope that I pass. The results are still pending as I typed this entry.
Today... I'm going to Cherating (again) for a division offsite. Coincidentally, my X360 is on its way back! Ooo... I missed my baybee so much. Anyway, I got to go now. My ride is going to be here anytime.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Hmm... I wonder will my replacement unit have those extra-added cooling system?
My XBOX 360 has arrived at the service hub safely. They are now trying to repair it if they could or give me a replacement unit. I was told that "it will take a while".
Do you guys believe in that statement? Somehow, I don't, because I feel that everyone has different capabilities backed by their life experiences, education background, family upbringing, personality and whole lot more of stuff. Hence, not all the things that others do, we will be able to do.
Of course there are some basics that everyone could do but as things get deeper and more complicated, there will only be few who can do it. That's my thought.
Actually, there are some things that I wished I could do when I see others doing it, but I just don't have the capability in doing it. *Sobs*
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Anyway, I have to send the baby back to Singapore for a swap. Hope I can get a healthier one back soon. *Crossing my fingers*
By right, if we buy a 360 from Singapore and then bring it home to Malaysia, the warranty will not cover us because it is out of the launch market. We will either have to drive down to Funan Digital Lifestyle Mall in Singapore to make the swap, or get a friend down south to do the swap for us (which is what I'm doing).
From what I was told, the swap process will only take 10 minutes (not considering queue time). You will however, need to file a report with the customer service to get a Service Ticket, prior to walking in.
Also take note that the replacement unit will not be a new one. It will be a refurbished unit which I was told would have gone through the same quality process as a new one.
In my opinion, if you experienced a 3ROD and it is out of the warranty period, and you just can't let go of the 360, get a 360 ELITE instead :)
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I will need to send it down to Singapore for repairs. Sigh...
I don't really talk about my family problems that much on my blog but what happened tonight really deserves a blog entry to remind myself in future.
My dad feels that I'm not doing enough for the family. He has never been proud of me. Despite paying for most of the bills in the house, taking them out for movies and shopping, caring for them, buying things for them, listening to them when they quarreled, being there for every dinner, I have not done enough for the family. He has never been proud of whatever I do since young and today he just added another thing which he sees (and hopes) that I would fail - He said I would die or suffer if I lived on my own.
It all started when news of my sister (who seems to be not in good terms with my family) requested that my mom go down to Singapore to care for her because she is going for a surgery. This incident had spark unease in my dad and also allow me to see the true colours of my dad.
Yesterday, when my mom was discussing this, my dad was complaining as to how my sister couldn't take care of herself. He said my sister could rely on her maid and the excuse of not being able to make it on her own was "bullshit". He then tells mom that if next time when I live on my own and I need any help from them, they should not help me. He said this is to teach us lessons in life.
My mom has always told me that dad behaves weirdly when he sees good parent-child relationships. Mom usually gets scolding when she visits my popo (grandmother) or speak with her on the phone. Dad has always been proud of himself that he left home to join the airforce (and that he had forsaken his parents). His mom, my ahma (grandmother) died in an old-folks home.
So when I told him that while he picked on my flaws, he should also take note of my contributions. He only see my contribution as "Giving him some money every month". That's all he could see.
From what I know, I have not been enjoying what most of other kids of my time had. Their parents gave them good education, send them overseas. When they started work, their parents give them cars, handphones and credit cards. I on the other hand have to give my parents handphones. I have always tried not to give them any worries and stand on my own feet but it is not enough it seems.
When I asked my father whether he did as much as me to his mom, or did my sister did as much, he told me the most eye-opening statement of all time! He pointed at me seriously and said,
"Do you know why I don't have to do like you?"
he then continued, "Because I don't live with my mother."
he then adds, "Your sister also don't have to do it because she doesn't live here."
So should I sum-up that, if I move out next time, I don't have to give a damn about him just like how he don't give a damn about his mother?
Anyway, he used the statement "Tai Sei Lei" which roughly translates to looking down on me or hoping that I will suffer or can't make it when I live on my own. That's why I need to make this entry to remind myself how much my dad looks down on me.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Somewhere in the game, you will meet Toripo - an explorer that trades rare goods with Medals. Among the goodies that you can buy from him are "Heart upgrades" for your shadows and elixirs that could boost your stats.
My advice is to focus on the elixirs that boost Attack, Defend, Magic Attack and Magic Defend. There is no point investing in HP and MP boosting elixirs as your HP and MP would most likely reach 999 before you even reach level 99. As for the heart upgrades, there are accessories like the Black Belt and Eye Patch that will help you earn double the SP.
What you may discover is that you may have a few characters who are weak in attack or defend even after they reach level 99. You can then use these elixirs to boost their stats.
If you are going ahead with the heart upgrades, make sure you don't use them on a shadow that is at level 98. Doing so will forfeit your ability to unlock the Max One Class achievement.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Hidden Treasures Everywhere
There are hidden treasures in this game everywhere and they are not only found in chests. Almost in every place you go, you can press A to uncover hidden treasures, gold, power ups, XPs, Medals and Nothings! (More on this later).
So make sure you check every barrel, crate, basket, fish, drawer, cabinet, vase, flower bed, table, pipe, air vent, rock, plant and whatever that look suspicious to you. In fact, everything should look suspicious to you.
The World is Full of Nothings
Says the Nothing Man! Don't despair when you walked up to some objects and press A, but only to find "Nothing". There should be 1800 Nothings in the world (At least that's what you need to get for the last reward item). If you are not aware, Nothings are actually counted! When you meet the Nothing Man in Jibral Town, you will be rewarded with accessories based on the number of Nothings you found.
Some of these items are quite valueable in helping your characters in battle or to level up.
Hack The Button to Death
When you are asked to keep pressing a button rapidly at some parts of the game, make sure you really 'hack the button to death'. It is most likely an event that will unlock an achievement. An easy miss for newbies on this, is when you are asked to close the door at Nene's Fortress in the beginning of the game. (I missed this the first time too!)
By default you start with Sword Master for Shu, White Magic for Jiro and Black Magic for Kluke (Although, I feel that girls are better healers). Forget about the Sword Master class! The only skill that is good from that is Absorb HP. If you like to use Mow Down, read on for a better alternative.
Give full attention to the Generalist, Monk and Assassin classes. The Generalist class allows you to unlock up to +8 Skills and +3 Accessories. This will allow you to mix and match skills from other classes. Take note that you do not have to reach level 99 to get all the skills. You can get all the skills for each shadow class by around level 32-36, except for Barrier Magic which requires level 50.
Anyway, here are my recommendations for skills combo:
- Accessories +3 (Generalist)
- Skills +8 (Generalist)
- Absorb HP (Sword Master)
- Attack Amp (Monk)
- Absolute Counterattack (Monk)
- Charge Attack (Monk)
- Critical Hit Lift (Monk)
- Double Strike (Assassin)
- Loot (Assassin)
- Treasure Hunt (Assassin)
Having all that, you should still have one slot free plus one mandatory class skill.
Here are the effects of the above skills combo.
- Your character will absorb HP after attacking.
- You can charge up your character's attack during battle.
- You can increase the damage radius to hit all the enemies (both front and back row) by maxing out the charge bar (beats Mow Down huh?)
- Your character will counter-attack if attacked.
- Your character will have higher chance of scoring Critical Hits.
- Your character will attack twice per turn.
- Your character will steal valueables from monsters during attack.
Later on in the game if you have the Shoes of Hermes accessory or the Ninja Swiftness (Assassin) skill, you can just give it to Shu. On every battle, just charged up Shu and *Prapapapap*, all monsters dead! The other characters can sit back and relax.
Word of advice: Although the above skill combos may kick @$$, it is recommended that you do not equip them for the two "magicians" (Jiro and Kluke). It is recommended to equip the magicians with the following:
- Magical Essense (Support Magic)
- Double Cast (Support Magic)
- Sentinel Shield (Guardian)
Also, using the kick @$$ combos on some monsters may result in secondary monsters (those that are summoned by other monsters) to never appear, making the Complete Monster Record achievement impossible. That's what happened to me ;'(Items of Value
Take note of these valueable items if you intend to level up your characters and shadows quickly.
- Lei - additional 50% XP (Can be stolen from Leader Dragon in Underground River or received from the Nothing Man)
- Black Belt - doubles SP (Can be stolen from the giant silver snake in the Ancient Ruins after gaining access to the Mechat or received from the Nothing Man)
- Eye Patch - doubles SP (Obtained from the pirate in Lal Mountain Camp after you allow Toripo to sign on the Autograph Paper)
Toripo Easter Egg
Almost at the end of the game, before you enter the house to celebrate Kluke's birthday, run behind the Mechat. You will find Toripo hiding behind a tree. Talk to him to uncover who Toripo is in real life! *Duh*
There you go! Hope you guys have fun with the game like I did :)
Thursday, June 07, 2007
But after a while, I grew to like it. Why? Because it reminds me of how Japanese RPGs used to (and should) be. The game mechanics function similar to good old Final Fantasy (due to the same designer) and I could immediately get the hang of it without any tutorial.
And what makes an RPG successful is the story. Blue Dragon brings you deep into the story of Shu and his friends - a little village boy turned into a hero who saved the world. Rather than give you countless short uninteresting free-roaming stories, Blue Dragon keeps you focused on the main plot. There are plenty of high quality cut-scenes that unfolds the story bit by bit. It is like you are living in a story (or animation).
Mistwalker did a good job in the character design, giving enough background for each of them. The graphics are excellent and the characters are extremely cute (read Little Meg). Apart from their cuteness and dragon-ball look, you can really relate to their character (and understand their individual believes). At some point in the game, you can really feel for them.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I thought that was the end of .NET 3.0 for me but a few months ago, I was suddenly asked to conduct a workshop for building applications on Windows Vista. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) was among the topics included. Quickly, I picked it up using Expression Blend and it was a good experience for me. The workshop was called off at the last moment as though everything was setup to give me the opportunity to learn WPF.
Today, I completed the circle by learning the last pillar in the .NET 3.0 framework - Windows Cardspace. Last week, I was assigned to a project that uses it. Somehow, I'm glad that events are putting me in the path of learning .NET 3.0. I'm very grateful for the opportunities.
I hope the path will continue on to .NET 3.5