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The latest update on the public test realm of “#Overwatch” contains massive data changes that require data mining tools to be rewritten. According to the tool creator, it appears that Blizzard Entertainment is cracking down on data mining activities in the game.

Data mining

Being one of most popular first person shooter game, “Overwatch” draws a lot of interest in terms of upcoming events, features, activities, and skins to name a few. Although Blizzard has consistently provided the community with updates and a steady stream of information, these are still not enough for some. In order to get information ahead of the game developer’s announcement, some have resorted to data mining.

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It is through this activity that gaming sites were able to bring information to the community through leaks ahead of the official announcement.

Overtools

Overtools is a tool that data miners use to get details of Blizzard’s first person shooter game. Dynaomi, the creator of the tool, noticed that, in update 1.10, Blizzard started to deal with data miners aggressively by introducing new encrypted file that has 8-byte numbers. The creator added that every update slightly changed the encryption that caused results to be delayed for few hours.

The tool creator noted that when #Patch 1.14 was released in the game’s PTR, the file format, important to the game metadata and logic, was significantly changed. The file became structured data wherein the developer added 4-byte numbers to every value.

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The file used to enable data miners to cross-identify similarly named values easily. With the new format, things become more complicated. According to Dynaomi, with the latest changes, they have to rewrite everything relating to the structured data for update 1.14.

Overtools become faster and more accessible and Redditors and YouTubers began using it. The tool creator believed that because of its popularity, Blizzard needs to do something about it. In addition, Dynaomi said that it feared the day the game developer would just DMCA the project. While data mining was one of those affected, the tool creator admitted that it was not the sole target of the latest changes. According to Dynaomi, the latest format changes will aid with the game’s optimization.

Summer Games 2017

Meanwhile, the highly anticipated summer event in “Overwatch” is now on the game’s live servers. Players were delighted to see cool sets of skins released alongside the event. They are also excited about the Copa Lucioball, which could reward them with credit points that they could use to purchase golden guns. Although there are several bugs in the event-exclusive brawl, Blizzard is now working to release the hotfix for the issue.