As promised, here I show a step-by-step of how to datamine in FFXI for any who are interested to know.
It's actually really simple work.
I download the files from the new update. It doesn't have to be from POL itself. Even those that people provide on 3rd party hosts work. You'll see why in a sec.
I run a program called ListXIUpdates. I believe it was written by Mr_Mcgregor who used to post on KillingIfrit. What it does is it searches for all new or modified files in the FFXI directory and compiles it into a .csv file, which is readable by AltanaView.
The list will look something like this.
For music files, I just go into sound/win/music/data folder and sort by Date Modified to see if any changes were made.
I add the .csv file to the lists in AV, and then start searching manually for new dats.
I start with images, then I do a runthrough under NPCs, which will also pick up weapons and equipment (altho equipment will look weird). If I have the time, I'll record the dat numbers for those that show as equipment and then plug it into one equipment list in hopes that it'll show up properly.
I screenshot whatever I find and post it accordingly.
Images include maps and those pictures they use in SoA storyline
Occasionally when I encounter battle models I play around with the motions to see if they have stances or auras visually as they will show up as well.
This is what most equipment look like in the NPC folder. They do not display properly.
And thats it really. It's fairly easy to do but the process of manually scanning the dats can be tedious especially if the update is big or if they update a lot of files (which was the case during ToTM days). Equipment lists are the biggest hassle to deal with, whereas furniture afaik cannot be viewed on AV but only MV, which i don't use anymore.. so I'm not able to sniff that out.
The biggest problems I face are that of human error.. in that when there are a lot of files its always possible to miss one or two out, such as with this thing I just found in the latest dat files.
I don't think it's wearable by players at the moment, because only one of such model exists in the dats. (wearable equipment will have at least 7 copies to account for each race and gender; tarus usually share the same dat between genders)
Which is why I will typically make 2-3 passes of the dats in order to spot anything I missed out.
Moving forward I think I might upload the unsorted .csv file so that people can just download that and search the dats themselves if they prefer to, but I will still do my usual stuff of course.