10 Pop Points if you work out why this video is here. I'll be impressed!
I knew, as soon as the scope of the Battle Pet minigame became apparent, that I needed a Proper Plan.
This isn't just about randomly collecting pets any more. This isn't about saving cash to buy the ones I miss. These guys are EVERYWHERE, across the entirety of Azeroth, and I need to find them. Battling is of secondary importance initially, just working out where I need to go and what I need to snare is more important. Based on the information mined by MMO this morning I'll be able to sell any pet I don't need to boot, by caging them and sticking them on the AH, so the financial implications of this are also significant. All the data I need is available too, on the Beta, I just need to work out a way to arrange it in a way that works for me.
Hence it was, before I went away to France, that Project Minipetter was born.
I'm not a programmer, and I don't have the first clue how to (gotta be honest here), but I knew enough about how HTML works that what I wanted was basically a bit like Wowhead. That site is, simply put, a massive database with a front end bolted on to search it. What I was particularly interested in was a version just for the Pets, where I could stick in data as the Beta went on to remind me where all the pets lived and which ones were wild, which were purchasable and which were just utter pains in the behind that I would never own. It then occurred to me that if this was something I was interested in, then you lot might be too, so it would be worth making that data publicly available once I'd finished faffing.
Before you say owt.. yes, I know this is doable on the WarcraftPets site, at least with the current pets. I wanted to have something I could work on while I was playing the Beta, in 20 minutes during the day, and that would build as my knowledge did. I wondered if I could come up with something... if I could find someone willing to make the system.
This is where Twitter comes in. Gawd Bless it and it's ability to ask someone for a favour...
For the last couple of weeks, @caerphoto has been my code monkey. I think he's actually enjoying it as well, though you'd need to ask him yourselves. Emails have been passing between ourselves with increasing regularity, as I find new ways to make him think. As we now stand, I have a working framework where I am already importing Beta Data (yes I'm doing it manually, yes I know this is not necessary but I can't make witty one liners with a data mining programme) and it's looking like it's going to do exactly what I want it to. @caerphoto is also being lovely enough to host it on his site, for which I doubt I will ever find the means to thank him enough for (though I have some ideas) As the 'site' becomes more accessible I'll let you guys take a look at it, and hopefully you can add suggestions as to what we could do to make it even more awesome. For now it is very much a 'Secret Project'... :D
In short, this isn't the perfect beast just yet, but it is well on it's way... :D