Tuesday, September 25, 2007

World of Warcraft – Data Mining

Earlier in 2007 Blizzard released the Armory, which made the data of all their servers available to the public. I have used the Armory a few times to provide information on my character(s) to friends. However I had not looked into data mining or other statistical usage from the database.

However, in general surfing around I stumbled upon some resources and folks who are already neck deep in data being mined from the Blizzard armory for World of Warcraft. The following are a few of those links and sites and I am sure there are plenty that I have not found yet.

The Build Mine


Llew Mason's Musings on Data Mining


WoW Insider's write up of Zyph's data mining


Zyph's Forum Post regarding his data mining


Armory Musing's


This next link is not necessarily related to mining the armory, but is a nice statistical and charting effort of changes to the character classes over time as recorded by a World of Warcraft player.

Charting WoW Balance Changes


The above are some quick links to some existing efforts and analysis, there exists great opportunities for tools to be built of mining data and analyzing based upon specific criteria. One such items are the crop of guild progression tracking websites. One i have used frequently is

WoW Jutsu


Beyond this there is the possibility of tool sets to aid guild recruitment for PvE and PvP and countless other utilities and tools.

VMware - Endpoint Format is Invalid - Join Domain

Here was a fun little problem, which hopefully none of you will ever have to encounter. At work we had a project to set-up a number of VMware images of XP under an ESX server. Previously we had images created in Virtual PC and those would not play nice with VMware Converter so we just created a new image.

We SYSPREPed the image and packaged it up and moved it along to the ESX server admin. They loaded it up and we were going to change the machine name via script to something much more functional than the randomized name that SYSPREP generates. However when running the script (which also renames the AD machine account - nifty) it was failing, with a generic error of 1706.

Let the troubleshooting begin...

Upon further research Group Policy was not working because the VMware machine would not hit the SYSVOL on the domain controller. However, when logged into the VMware machine we could ping other nodes on the network, but we could not use file sharing at all. Admins shares, manual shares, nothing anywhere. (Including SYSVOL on the DCs). Strange. Yet, all other resources on the network could reach THIS machines file shares just fine. Research on that topic turns up a lot of other issues which did not apply to this situation many related to the DCs and group policy. Not applicable.

Ask a couple coworkers for thoughts and we jump back to basics and try to disjoin from the domain. Well once disjoined, it would not rejoin to the domain. We received the error message,

The endpoint format is invalid.

Couple of searches later we stumbled upon the following thread on the VMware forums,

Win2003 VM’s will not join domain.

Once the VMware tools were removed, the machine rebooted we were able to join the machine to the domain again and file sharing resumed normal application along with Group Policy application. We still have to test the rename script on the updated core image, but I am optimistic regarding those results.