WoWDB and Ongoing Development

The launch of the MoP beta is now behind us and I’d like to introduce WoWDB.com project.

In the latest versions of the game, Blizzard has been rolling more and more “dynamic” content that makes datamining hard to do if you do not have a real WoW database. The old one on db.mmo-champion.com isn’t aging very well and isn’t really built to be a full-scale database in the first place. This is why we decided in February to just start a new project and go with a full-scale approach from the beginning.

The current project is a late alpha/early beta, at the beginning of last week the entire WoWDB.com website didn’t exist and the dev team managed to release an insane amount of features considered the short timeframe we had.

Obviously, there is still a lot of things to improve, we will definitely include comments and user-submitted data in the near future but for the moment the goal is mostly to make sure that everything works on the Beta before we ramp up.

I’m pretty happy to see how the project is advancing, we’re by far the most advanced database when it comes to Mists of Pandaria spell parsing and we support 95% of the new features brought by the beta. We still have a couple of key issues to tackle before we start working on the UI and making it more usable for users, we will also refresh the design to get something much cleaner and usable.

Blogs and websites willing to use our database and get tooltips on their MoP beta item/spells/achievements links can use the script below to enable them. (We might change the link in the future, but for now this is what we use on MMO-Champion without any problem)

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://static-azeroth.cursecdn.com/1-0-4463-38049/js/syndication/tt.js"></script>

Our tooltips are already pretty good, and are the best you can currently find when it comes to Mists of Pandaria class spells parsing and important things we need now. I also have a couple of interesting improvements for the future. I obviously can’t reveal all the plans yet, but I’ll definitely try to get it to you as soon as possible.

This is my first serious attempt at making a WoW Database, and I plan to make it right. There’s definitely some room for improvement in the field.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions in comments, and point out any bugs/features suggestions in the Contact Form of the blog. We’re early in the development process and your feedback is extremely valuable.

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47 Responses to WoWDB and Ongoing Development

  1. Riley says:

    As an avid follower of your Twitter account and now this blog, I just want to say that its amazingly cool of you to be so constantly in touch with your readers. Its something I wish more fansites did better.

    On the topic of the database: I love this because it really gives us insight as to whats going on “under the hood” of the new expansion (and even the current expansion and previous) Thanks for all the hard work, MMO-C :3

  2. nzall says:

    one thing i’ve always wondered is why you’re not using the WoWhead database anymore. is it because that is from ZAM and not from Curse?

    • Boubouille says:

      Interesting question I guess. I used to work a lot with Wowhead when the first team was still there, if you go through old MMO-Champion news posts you will notice a crapton of Wowhead-related updates.

      However, they eventually started their own blog and branched up on news, it’s fine by me, competition is good, but it became pretty clear that we wouldn’t get the data we need from them anymore. We eventually decided to start a mini-database as a backup that we’ve been using since then, it was fine until a few months ago when we realized that we’ll probably need more than that.

      To be honest these days, I just want to do a database to see how far we can push it. I’m convinced we can go further than what already exists and we’re probably the only people who can do it (decent WoW system/files knowledge + already established community to gather data)

      Time will tell.

  3. Simca says:

    Glad to see an upgrade to the MMOC database. I would happily submit huge amounts of data from having a data collection addon running.

    Feature-wise (at least for me):
    I’d like to see a list of changes from patch to patch that is in-depth. The ability to browse between individual build releases would be great, but I imagine storing every patch ever would probably suck royally. At least having the patch history from the last version to the current version would be enough.

    Other neat things would be new categories – for example a list of items and spells no longer available in game (GM items/spells but also a separate list for retired spell ids that WoW no longer accepts). I find the WoWHead categories overly broad and their filter function wanting at times.

    Lastly, from an administrative end, one of the weak points of WoWHead and other databases is that user-submitted data (due to the data collection method) can sometimes be flawed. Having the ability to overrule user-submitted data and have an Admin/Mod correct the error manually would be super awesome.

    (I also submitted this via the contact form, but I thought it would be a good opening post for the comments section)

    • Boubouille says:

      We’re already storing the data for all patches, not a problem with our current architecture. The rest is minor changes and aren’t really a problem either, we’ll tackle most of that when we start going through the UI side seriously.

  4. Trip says:

    Keep up the good work! Your blog is awesome and the database is a big help for those who don’t have the beta. Looking forward to the upgrades on the database, and more blog post. :D

  5. Samin says:

    If you make wowdb into a full blown project, please take the time and see what other similar projects do that makes them great. Comments are a great thing for one, but also a good filtering is a major thing. I found that always really lacking in the old db.mmo-champion. Also a preview feature, or user-submitted screenshots are also a rather important feature, I find. Also I always find a related items very useful, especially things like “used by”, not only for npcs but also for spells used by items – but also related to the context of the item, so when you check out the T14 hunter helm you might also want to check out the other T14 hunter pieces or maybe the whole set, that should not only contain infos about the actual set bonus but also about what items make up this set.

    Looking forward to how this develops.

    • Boubouille says:

      1. Comments are a great thing, but I don’t want to integrate them until we have proper filtering. Right now, it would take 5 minutes to add them to the site but it wouldn’t be adapted to a WoW database. It’s definitely coming.

      2. Those are relations we can already do, if you can think of anything we’re missing do point it out but we’re slowly integrating them to the DB these days. It can be done instantly, if you want something, just ask. (For example, http://www.wowdb.com/items/7960-truesilver-champion already sends you back to the recipe)

      3. Tier pages are a problem on existing databases yes, I don’t think it’s a high priority but it’s on my list of things that annoy me from time to time and I plan to improve.

  6. stirringdesert says:

    I get this when trying to open any wowdb.com link: http://i.imgur.com/xKnW0.jpg

  7. Birkew says:

    It seems like you know what you want and what “you” can do better then other db sites. So I’m looking forward to see the later stages of it :)

    How do you expect to get hits and “steal” people from the other dbs?

    • Boubouille says:

      Easy. Don’t copy other DBs and make something better instead. You don’t “steal” visitors, you make something better and let them move.

    • Birkew says:

      Oh, got a suggestion too!

      Take the wowhead profiler and on every item page, make a link to equip it to your char. I know its a bit lazy when you on wowhead can copy char to new profile and replace the gear. But I hate doiing that :(

      • Boubouille says:

        You’ll never see a profiler on WoWDB, I think that’s a terrible idea. :p

        I have something better in mind though. We’ll see if it’s possible, it won’t happen immediately.

        • Birkew says:

          Just to make sure we are on the same page here, is it profiler as in making your on custom char with custom gear or is it to import a char?

          I was talking about importing a char.

          And if its import a char, why is that a terrible idea? I see alot of pros but not many cons :)

  8. Thynsiia says:

    Will you for instance be using the curse client to gather more data from users. Like now when people are playing the beta to make sure you guys get all the info?

    • Boubouille says:

      Yep. That’s mostly what I thinking of when I said “we already have the community to gather data”. Doesn’t mean we’ll force feed the addon to everyone though, don’t worry :p

  9. Alceus says:

    COMPLETELY OFF- TOPIC

    <3 U

    And fluffyfrenchy.com is an awesome website name xD

  10. Nick says:

    Will it support regex searches like the old one? I like that feature.

    • Boubouille says:

      I don’t know. It’s pretty obscure and not really used, we can discuss it when we’re much later in the dev process.

  11. Holobyte says:

    As a developer myself, I can only think of the possibilities of what you can do with all data gathered with the help of this huge community you have. Best of luck! And do not mess up this opportunity! :)

    • Holobyte says:

      Oh, and a request: would you be so kind as to provide an API for us, mere mortals, to consume?

      • Boubouille says:

        Probably, not at first but as someone who once depended from external databases I can totally see the need for an API. Will have to make sure it’s useful.

        • Tecton says:

          I help maintain the balance and resto druid spreadsheets over at Elitist Jerks (well, the gear/interface/etc side of it anyway) and would *love* a good API for item importing. Just as a data point!

  12. Uriah says:

    That’s a nice looking new DB!

    With that sad, tooltips seem to be off some – at least on my guild’s SMF site. I added the script bit you posted (to my header like Wowhead and others) but nothing :(
    (Link if you’re wondering about this http://www.goo.gl/8oID7 )

    Anyways, keep working on the DB — excited to see it completed.

  13. kapowaz says:

    Any plans on adding RESTful APIs to this new database? Wowhead were always reluctant to add this for fear of having their data cloned, which I always saw as unfounded. It’d be great if there were a good RESTful alternative to Wowhead, given that there is a lot more data in the game than the Community API exposes.

    • Boubouille says:

      Depends what kind of data, however I don’t really see the problem in providing the API. I mean, if people are smart enough to parse the data you give them, they’re smart enough to grab it by parsing the HTML. Just makes everyone’s life harder.

      • WyriHaximus says:

        For me personally NPC’s + location would be great to have. But why don’t you consider opening a certain basic set of data open to anyone. And for those who are interested in more data use a application process with API keys to access the data you don’t fancy opening to anyone.

  14. Schmilblick says:

    Keep up the work, hope we can use the tooltips a-la-wowhead in the MMO-C forums ;)

  15. fenom says:

    i wish i get to work on this shit

  16. Tayk says:

    I really like the look of the database so far and I think I would probably use it rather than going to Wowhead. The main reason that I go back to Wowhead all the time is because of the comment system which tend to be pretty useful. If something like that was added into this database then you would have something amazing going on there :)

    Good luck with this endeavour :)

  17. Neviskio says:

    Wowdb is already awesome I’m kinda used to wowhead but will try to use it more, I wish there was anything similar to wowdb or wowhead for rift…the ones that are out are barely usable and generally not up to par they miss too many things and are generally not even user friendly.Even swtor has better database sites!

    Well keep it up and give a rift db a thought, would be awsome ;)

  18. Syst3m says:

    Good luck working on the new DB.

    Just do us all a favor:
    Please, destroy Wowhead. The new team they have has slowly been ruining the site over the past few years and it is unbearable to use… but sadly there is no viable alternative.

  19. Zora says:

    Will it be possible to see one day a localized version of WoWDB? The real problem with Wowhead is that it proposes only an English version for Mists of Pandaria :(

    Boubouille think on French ;)

  20. Firebyrd says:

    Along the same lines as having tier pieces relate to each other, it would be super helpful if the spell “cast” by an item with a proc was in the related links. It’s extremely difficult to find that info on WoWHead, especially if you don’t already own the item and you’re trying to make comparisons with ICDs and such.

  21. pgk says:

    Don’t want to rain on your parade but it’s going to be hard to replicate the 6+ years worth of comments wowhead has. You’re going to need to have some very good features (I’m thinking extensive armory gear comparisons for a start) in order to compete. But always good to see some competition. Good luck.

    • Syst3m says:

      Not as hard as you think. A large number of comments on Wowhead are trash, and if you downvote even bad comment you get temporarily banned a lot of times.

    • Aliok says:

      It will be an uphill sort of thing, I agree. However, don’t underestimate the number of people disenchanted with Wowhead, and MMO-C has a lot of dedicated users. I fall into both groups. :) Once a comment system and a screenshot system are implemented, I will be more than happy to share everything I have amassed and will add WoWDB’s data collection add-on to my current list.

  22. over says:

    Hey Boub. Awesome work on the WoWDB, can’t wait to see the final product. Already using what’s usable in it.
    I’ve a question that… honestly no one else can answer I suppose.
    Do you have any info on the Warcraft movie? Is there anything being done to it the last few years? Is there any insight at all? Would be much appreciated. Keep being awesome.

  23. Charlie says:

    http://www.wowdb.com/spells/112912-1-victory-points

    Looks like you’re doing a good job so far.

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