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Posts with tag wow-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.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

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

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