Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag datamining

What is data mining and why is everyone talking about it?

The recent release of the alpha client for Warlords of Draenor means that there's a lot of talk about data mining that's going around the community. But if you aren't up on your tech jargon, this might not mean much to you -- and Googling the term will send you to a Wikipedia page that tells you data mining aims "to extract information from a data set and transform it into an understandable structure for further use." Even if you are up on your tech jargon, you might not grasp what that means, especially in the context of World of Warcraft.

So let's start with a straightforward definition: data mining is the process of digging through WoW's data files and looking for information like maps, graphics, models, or sounds. It's not hacking or exploiting the game, just looking at the game files -- often, but not always, files that are publicly available -- to see what's there. These files can be from the current game client or come from a PTR or beta build, any of which could have new content that players can't access in the game world. Similar to looking up filming photos from a favorite TV show or movie, data mining gives you a sneak peek at game content that hasn't been publicly released, which can range from hints at the next patch to hints to the next expansion. Hungry for information, plenty of players turn to data mining for answers -- but because Blizzard can change, remove, or expand on unreleased content without any warning, anything data mined needs to be taken with a pretty big grain of salt.

So should you be paying attention to data mined info? In the end, the choice is up to you -- but we'll give you some background on just what WoW data mining might tell you.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Rookie

Know Your Lore: Warlords lore, spoilers and you

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

It's about that time again. The time in which an expansion is waning towards its inevitable end, and a new one sits on the horizon. The time when that expansion isn't quite available for play, but is now the subject of copious amounts of clever datamining to pluck out all those interesting details before they've even had a chance to fully see the light of day.

For most players, it's incredibly fun to see the details as they are released, particularly since Blizzard has been so careful this time around to clarify any changes that may appear a little weird. For fans of the lore, it means one of two things -- a ton of delicious tidbits in regards to story information, or the inevitable launch of a minefield of spoilers that will have to be dodged for the next several months until the expansion is in hand. But is it really worth it to give them a look? Is it worth it to discuss them?

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Interview: Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig talks Warlords of Draenor

I was lucky enough to head over to Blizzard Campus this week to talk to Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig. Chadd is a huge part of the class design team, key to a lot of the changes we saw in the recent Warlords of Draenor patch notes, which is just what we discussed. We were also joined by Senior Community Representatives Zarhym and Lore. You can also find a much-abbreviated summary on Wowhead.

Olivia: First up, is there anything you really wanted to clarify and get out there?

Celestalon: I've tweeted about pretty much everything. This was the first version of the patch notes, there have been more changes since then, those patch notes are about a week old or so?

Zarhym: Yeah it's like, tons of changes. [Rygarius] said he had a huge list of changes.

Celestalon: There's another five thousand words that aren't up there yet, which [Rygarius] is working on now.

There have been different amounts of patch notes released for different classes. Paladins have been complaining that they haven't got enough, rogues have been really happy that not much has changed. Is it safe to assume there's more to come? This is just step one?

There's definitely more coming. Like, for example, paladins had relatively few patch notes, and a lot of that is we were relatively happy with how things played out, at least for ret and prot, with the exception of a few things we can solve with tuning – changing numbers. So a lot of what you see in the patch notes now is what we call design changes, so the mechanics that we want to change so we can get to some design that we like.

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.2 PTR: The mystery of the Karazhan phase

maidens-hallway-karazhan
Do you ever get the feeling that Blizzard might put things on the PTR just to have some fun with fansites? To toy with the dataminers? It wouldn't be the first time they'd done something like that, and it will likely not be the last. The phase titled "Karazhan Restoration" first cropped up a few builds back, to great acclaim and wild speculation about what is most of the community's favorite raid, until it was renamed in the next build to Medivh's Big Birthday Bash.

Still some speculation, after all, Medivh's part of Kara, but then, as Wowhead reports, the most recent build throws yet another rename into the works: Karazhan 2: Eclectic Boogaloo. They're playing with us now, for sure. And Blizzard Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft has even unmasked the prankster:

What will it be in the next build? Is this a message to dataminers? Or an epic bluff? Are they really doing anything at all with Karazhan?

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Stormwind Harbor just fine in patch 5.4

Stormwind Harbor will be just fine in patch 54
Players may recall datamined spoiler images and videos from earlier this month, indicating a particularly disturbing fate was in store for the Stormwind Harbor in patch 5.4. The datamined information suggested that the Harbor and possibly more of Stormwind would be under direct attack from Horde forces and possibly ruined -- a low blow to the Alliance that are still diligently working on repairing the damage from Deathwing's attack in Cataclysm. But it's okay. You can breath a sigh of relief courtesy of Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, who clarified this information on Twitter earlier today.


Don't worry, citizens of Stormwind -- your city appears to be safe and sound. You're just looking at the optimistic visions of an overly enthusiastic megalomanical warlord bent on global domination and the onset of racial supremacy. That's ... comforting, right? Either way, you can look forward to punching Garrosh in the face in patch 5.4, ruining any and all plans, or dream boards, that Warchief Hellscream was constructing.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What do you think about datamined info?

Okay, we admit: there aren't any spoilers in this post, but we are talking about spoilers, so perhaps some caution is called for. With data files yesterday perhaps hinting at a future expansion (and, yes, there are potential spoilers on the other side of that link), we've been thinking about the weight we put on datamined files. Digging through patch files for new or hidden info sometimes gives us access to a treasure-trove of new information about our favorite game. But datamined files inevitably give us an incomplete picture: we're looking at features that Blizzard is still working on, that may change or be scrapped before they ever see the light of a live realm. And yet, eager to learn what's coming next, we often clamor to see what new secrets each patch file might hold.

But what do you think about dataming, readers? Can you just not wait for the next game update? Do you ignore datamined spoilers? Wait to see the final version of things in game before making a judgement call? (If you do, you're a better person than we, who can't resist peeking, are!)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Possible texture from the next expansion datamined in patch 5.4

Could this datamined doodad relate to WoW 60
Datamining must always, always, always be taken with a pinch of salt, and in this instance we'd actually recommend a whole bag of salt. But nonetheless, it is fun to speculate, and this sort of thing has happened in the past and actually turned out to lead somewhere. Back in 2007, WoW Insider's Eliah Hecht reported on a section of the PTR client called "Howling Fjord", and wondered whether this might link to some future expansion taking place in Northrend. Guess what happened?

And now we have word that there is a new item under expansion05 on the PTR client. For clarity, as far as we know, we are currently on expansion number four. Again it's worth taking all of this with a very large pinch of salt, but while the file itself is simply a bit of grey stuff, the name of the folder it's in is "Iron Horde", and its name is nex_envmap01t.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Patch 5.4 PTR: Datamined files point to possible Winter Veil revamp

Patch 54 PTR Datamined files point to possible Winter Veil revamp
Wowhead has found some new items over on the patch 5.4 PTR. The latest round of datamining has dug up several items with a Greatfather tag -- Greatfather's Box of Greatness, Greatfather's Path of Cenarius, Greatfather's Satchel, and a new mount, Greatfather's Riding Turtle. Keep in mind that all datamined material is, of course, simply files that may or may not actually make it into the live iteration of the game.

But the only Greatfather we know of at the moment is a jolly guy who hands out gifts once a year during the Feast of Winter Veil. Winter Veil received a revamp in 2011 when the Abominable Greench was changed to a world boss of sorts that required multiple players to kill, and several quests were added and changed. But the essential part of Winter Veil has always been the presents under the tree, and each Winter Veil has always introduced a new item and a new achievement to go along with it.

However, the addition of satchels and boxes, as well as a mount, sounds much more like the other traditional holiday bosses that have required queuing for a dungeon to complete. Do we have a Winter Veil revamp in the works here? We won't really know until December, but it's certainly interesting to think about -- and if this is the case, will we see any other holidays get a makeover as well?

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

New Battle.net desktop client datamined

New Battlenet client datamined
MMO-Champion have been very busy datamining, as is their way, and have happened upon some files that indicate that a new launcher may well be appearing before too long. What they have found indicates that there is a battle.net launcher coming that will shift away from separate game-by-game launchers, towards an integrated launcher for all Blizzard games. Looking at the background files which have been datamined, it looks like WoW, Diablo, and Starcraft will be included, but also the older Warcraft RTS games.

Each major game group appears to have its own section, which itself includes breaking news, general information, and links to things like patch notes, guides, account management, help and support and more. There is also a news section which encompasses the news across all the games you have installed.

It is important to note that this currently appears to be datamined information and should be treated appropriately. It is always best not to pass judgement on such things until an official position on the veracity of early reports is released. But, that being said, whatever this turns out to be looks great.

Filed under: Blizzard

Patch 5.2 PTR: Additional Wrathion quest sound files

Spoilers Additional Wrathion quest sound files
Spoiler Alert: Adriacraft has been back with more of their datamined audio files, and wow, these ones have some spoilers in them. If you don't want to have spoilers about Wrathion's questline, or anything else for that matter, definitely don't watch the video, or hit the break to read any more of this post.

Final Warning: Spoilers after the break. Really big spoilers. Do not hit the link below if you don't want to know.

Read more →

Filed under: Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: Warlock area datamined


Adriacraft have been at it again, datamining what is believed to be the containing zone for an element of the warlock-specific "green fire quest" area. On first look, the zone itself, though not the map, appears to bear a striking visual resemblance to the zone in which the Obsidian Sanctum raid takes place, but with additional items added.

It seems from a brief glance at Wowhead's warlock-specific quests that the majority of the currently known quests refer, as expected, to the Black Temple, without mentioning another zone. Could this "island" be an instanced area accessed from within the Black Temple? It looks far too fiery for that to me at least, but with the little we know about the Council of the Black Harvest, also known as the Council of Six Daggers, and their ties to other, older zones, it could be that this is some area associated with that group.

What do you think? I know I'm really pleased I leveled my warlock, these quests look really exciting, even with our very limited knowledge of how it will all unfurl. Do note, as ever, that this is datamined information, and place an according amount of weight upon it. Let's hope this leads to more class-specific quests in future!

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Warlock, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Stackable stag coming in patch 5.1

One of the most unintentionally hilarious bugs to hit with patch 5.0.4 introduced the phenomenon of stag stacking. This bug allowed druids in travel form with the Glyph of the Stag to ... well, stack on top of each other. Towers of stags took Azeroth by storm, and a flurry of screenshots littered sites like Reddit until the bug was quite sadly hotfixed, and stags were left solo and inconsolable.

Apparently Blizzard liked this bug, even if it wasn't really appropriate for player use. MMO-Champion datamined a new item called a Stackable Stag from the patch 5.1 PTR. Using the item will summon a stackable stag at a target location, and if there is another Stackable Stag present, it will stack on top of it. It's not quite as laughably horrifying as a giant stack of stags trundling through the streets of Orgrimmar, but I'll take it.

At the moment, it's unclear where one will be able to obtain this item, but it should clear up by the time patch 5.1 is released.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Jaina Proudmoore gets model update

Mists of Pandaria Beta Jaina Proudmoore gets a new model
Wowhead News has datamined the latest beta patch and discovered an update to Jaina Proudmoore's look. Her hair has mostly turned white, presumably due to traumatic events and not to age. The hair matches what we've seen in previous art that accompanied the spoilerific Battle of Theramore voice clips. A closer view of her full body, which you can see using Wowhead's model viewer, shows that her robes are rather tattered as well.

Jaina has changed her appearance before. Back in patch 3.3, she went from looking like a random human to getting her own model -- a much-needed change, but no in-game event was the basis for the update. In Mists of Pandaria, however, the events at Theramore seem to have put Jaina through enough to make her look rather battleworn.

The Battle of Theramore isn't officially implemented on beta servers yet. Sapperwix says there will be no new content with today's beta build, only the temporary removal of the Jade Forest, so it will be some time before we see this new Jaina in action.

What do you think of Jaina's new look?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The Dangers of Datamining: A cautionary tale of a not-so-evil Magister

Some time last month, I was chatting with a friend about various story bits in WoW when we wandered onto the subject of the blood elves and what they're up to in the story. I pointed out the short story In the Shadow of the Sun for more recent sin'dorei lore, adding that of course the story took place prior to Wrath in the time line, so it really wasn't the most up-to-date bit of lore, although it was a wonderful read. My friend asked if I thought we'd see anything with the blood elves in Mists, and I replied that I didn't think so, but then we didn't really know that much about storylines in Pandaria yet.

"Well, yeah," they replied. "But what about Rommath? I mean, he's part of the Twilight Cult and all." I paused for a moment, confused, and then realized what they were referring to. "That was a set of datamined voice files that never made it to game," I clarified. "Well yeah, but he's evil," they insisted. "No, he's not -- as far as the game and the lore is concerned, that conversation never happened, and Rommath is still the same old Rommath. A little cranky and snooty, but definitely not evil. Until proven otherwise." They pondered this, and the conversation moved on from there.

I've had this conversation again and again -- in game, on Twitter. And this, my friends, is just one example of the many dangers of datamining.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Armory Data Mining updated for patch 3.3.3

One of my favorite WoW information sites, Armory Data Mining and its related blog, has now been updated for patch 3.3.3. We've profiled the site here before, but if you're not familiar with it, it's run by a fellow named Zardoz who trawls the armory assembling statistics on race, class and spec popularity. He also gathers information on class battleground performance and professions.

From what I've seen, there haven't been any giant changes between the patch 3.3 and patch 3.3.3 data (you can find the former at the profile link above). Paladins are still the most popular class, followed by death knights, druids, priests and warriors. It's well worth a look if you're interested in seeing what WoW's statistics look like right now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories