Blizzard recently announced some changes to the battle.net API data protection policies that will impact your use of Ask Mr. Robot, because we use the battle.net API to retrieve character information when you use the “Armory” loading option on our site. (We’ll call the battle.net API the “Armory” for the rest of this post, the same as we call it on the main website.)
For reference, here is the Blizzard post:
What does this mean for AMR users?
The short version is that if you load a character from the Armory, we can only keep that character information for 30 days before we must remove it from our servers. If you re-import from the Armory again, the 30-day timer starts over.
This change by Blizzard is a good thing in that it gives you more control over your character data and who can use it. But it is also a bit of an inconvenience for users of sites like AMR. The rest of this post will describe in detail how it will impact you going forward.
If you are logged in, we currently store all of your character information (gear, race, talents, etc.) and all of your settings (optimizer options, customization preferences, etc.) indefinitely for each character that you load. This will be changing on (or near) December 1st.
If you load your character via the Armory import option, we will only keep your character information and settings for 30 days, after which it will be deleted. If you re-import from the Armory before 30 days is up, it will reset the 30 day expiration. i.e. as long as you re-import from the Armory at least every 30 days, your stuff won’t be reset.
If you load your character via our in-game addon, none of this applies to you. Your information will be stored indefinitely. This Blizzard data protection policy only applies to data gathered via the Armory.
We do not currently track whether character data saved for the optimizer was loaded via our addon or the Armory. Therefore, with the December 1st update, we will assume that your last access for all of your characters was via the Armory on December 1st.
This means that you will need to either update your character via our addon or the Armory at least once between December 1st and January 1st, or your saved character data will be reset.
Note that even if your stuff gets reset, you can always load your character again at any time in the future – you’ll just have to set all your settings again. If you tend to use the site very infrequently (less than once a month), we would recommend using the Saved Custom Setup feature described in our October 2019 Update. These saved setups will never be deleted because they contain no character-specific information. You can quickly restore all of your settings by just picking your saved setup from the list.
Currently we store a history of all of your simulations that you have ever run. This will be changing on (or near) December 1st.
If you load your character via the Armory import option, the simulation report (and the entry in your history) will be automatically deleted after 30 days.
If you load your character via our in-game addon, none of this applies to you. Your simulations will be stored indefinitely (though we do usually clear out all saved simulations when a new expansion goes live, i.e. Shadowlands). This Blizzard data protection policy only applies to data gathered via the Armory.
We do not currently track whether character data for a simulation was loaded via our addon or the Armory. Therefore, all simulation reports created before the upcoming December 1st update will be deleted on our near December 1st, 2019.
This is unfortunate… but unavoidable. We simply can’t guarantee which old reports do or do not have data that falls under this new Blizzard policy, so we have to delete it all. After the December 1st update, we will be able to determine if you used the addon, and thus be able to store those reports for longer than 30 days.
Thankfully, this isn’t a terrible time to do this. A new major patch is just around the corner with 8.3, and major patches tend to make old simulations of little or no value, so most people won’t care much about those old simulations.
If you have any batch simulations that you would like to keep, make sure to download the CSV files before December 1st!
Final Note on Data Protection
This new Armory policy does not apply to data gathered via our in-game addon, which is why we recommend using it going forward. You won’t have to worry about your stuff expiring, and it generally works better, gathers more and more accurate information, and is generally more reliable.
(The addon differs significantly from the Armory in that you have explicit control over who can use that character data – only you can log in to your character and use the addon to get the data, and then you have explicit control over who you give that data. The Armory, on the other hand, allows anybody to load your character’s information and do whatever they want with it, often unbeknownst to you.)
That said, you can always request to have your AMR account deleted, which will include all of your saved character information from any source.