This post is my submission to The Best of the Month Blog Carnival hosted by the Not So Secret Society!
Archaeology is of course the new Secondary Profession added to World of Warcraft, Cataclysm. It can seem a bit confusing to start, but it really is very simple and actually a bit addictive. Before you get started, you’ll want to decide what your goals are regarding Archaeology.
Use Your Hearth!
Utilizing your hearthstone whenever it’s available will greatly cut down on your travel time! Before heading out in the field, remember to visit an Archaeology trainer! You can find them in any major city (ask a guard if you are having trouble finding one).
Maxing It Quick or Leveling Up.
If you are just interested in maxing out the profession at 525, or if you are only interested in it as an alternative means of leveling, you’ll want to focus your efforts in the Eastern Kingdoms. Set your Hearthstone to either Ironforge or Stormwind if you’re Alliance, or somewhere mid-continent like New Kargath if you’re Horde.
Achievements & Rare Artifacts.
If you’re planning on completing the Archaeology achievements while finding as many rare artifacts as possible, you’ll want to start your digging on Kalimdor. The reason for this is that out of the 40+ possible dig sites that can spawn on Kalimdor, only 6 of those have the chance of being in Uldum, which is the only place you can find Tol’vir artifacts. You’ll need to complete at least one Tol’vir artifact to get the “It’s Always In The Last Place You Look” achievement and have a chance at finding the Scepter of Azj’Aqir mount. I didn’t find any Tol’vir dig sites until I was 525 Archaeology and level 84, but I don’t know if this was just chance, of they don’t show up until then. Set your hearthstone someone mid-continent to help cut down on travel time, as Kalimdor can seem like a pretty big place when you have to fly from a dig site in Darkshore to one in Tanaris.
Set Up Your Bars or What Addon to get.
Once you’ve learned Archaeology and have decided where you’ll be digging, go into your Spell & Abilities book (P) and put the “Survey” icon somewhere on your bars. You’ll be clicking this a lot, so make sure it’s not tucked away in the corner of your screen. I’d also suggest putting the “Archaeology” icon somewhere on your bars as well, because you’ll need to access that window each time you wish to complete an artifact. You can also get the Archy addon from curse which take a little getting used to, but does make things a lot easier! It tracks previous artifact fragment locations and leads you to the nearest digsites without ever having to open your map. You can also solve and add keystones without going into your archaeology book and it shows you if you’ve gone a green, yellow or red distance from your last survey point, which I find tremendously helpful. Archy is definitely something you should grab if you’re going to be doing a lot of Archaeology!
Finding Dig Sites.
Open up your map, and look at the continent you are on. You should see a total of 4 shovels, which mark the dig sites that are currently available to you. There are only 4 dig sites ever available at once per continent, so if you want Fossils, but only have Night Elf dig sites available, you’ll have to complete the Night Elf sites in order to open up Fossil ones. It’s totally random, so sometimes completing a specific artifact can take a long time!
Head to your closest dig site. I find it best to start right in the middle of the site, so go there and click the “survey” button. Your survey gear will appear and point in the direction of an archaeology fragment. You’ll notice the light on your gear is either Red, Yellow or Green. Red means you aren’t near the fragment, so mount up and head in the direction your gear was pointing for a few seconds, then try again. If the light is yellow, that means you are getting close. I don’t usually mount if I get a yellow light, instead I walk in the direction it’s pointing for a few seconds (unless I need to get over a wall or something). If you drop your surveying gear and the light is green, that means you are very close to the fragment. Move in the direction it’s pointing, but only a few paces.
Eventually you’ll get close enough and an archaeology fragment will appear instead of your survey gear. Pick it up and continue surveying the site. You will get 3-6 archaeology fragments per find and 3 finds in each dig site. When you pick up the fragments, they are kept in your Archaeology book, which you can access by clicking on the Archaeology icon. Here you can look at which relics you are working on, and which ones you’ve completed in the past. The relics available for you to work on are totally random, and when you complete your current one, a new one will appear. You’ll can have one relic of each race in progress at once.
Resist The Urge To Solve!
EDIT : You can now only hold up to 250 fragments for each race, so if you get close to 250 fragments, you’ll have to solve!
Unfortunately the best way to level Archaeology is by not solving any relics until you reach the skill level of 100. This is when you stop getting points for picking up fragments, and start to only get a point for solving relics (5 points for each relic). It can be hard to hold off, especially if one of your relics is a rare and you want to see what it does, but trust me, it’s worth your time to wait! Make sure you keep checking back to your Archaeology trainer to train your profession to the next levels. There’s nothing worse than solving a relic only to find out your profession is currently maxed!
Once you reach skill level 100, feel free to start solving those relics. You’ll notice that some relics have a tiny slot in the bottom of the window. You can put Keystones specific to that race into these slots that count as 12 fragments. You’ll find these when picking up fragments, and it’s a good idea to use them whenever possible! Some relics don’t have Keystone slots, but if the relic before that one did, and you used them all and ended up with 65 out of 35 fragments, those extra fragments are added onto your next relic! They are very handy, and not soulbound, so you can always check the Auction House for extras or offer to trade someone if you have too many of a certain race’s and not enough of another’s. The different Keystones are :
Troll Tablet – Troll
Highborne Scroll – Night Elf
Dwarf Rune Stone – Dwarf
Orc Blood Text – Orc
Draenei Tome – Draenei
Nerubian Obelisk – Nerubian
Vrykul Rune Stick – Vrykul
Tol’vir Hieroglyphic – Tol’vir
You’ll notice many of the Archaeology achievements require you to find certain relics. There really is no effective way to control which relics you find, so getting these achievements just take time and patience and a bit of luck. There is the achievement, “I Had It In My Hand” rewarded for finding a rare artifact, and it gives the title “Assistant Professor”. Then there’s one for solving 10 rare artifacts, “What Was Briefly Yours Is Now Mine” which gives the title “Associate Professor”. Finally there is the “It Belongs In A Museum” achievement for solving 20 rare artifacts, that rewards the title, “Professor”.
It is important to realize that this profession was designed as a time sink. You can max it out in only a couple days, and you can reach level 85 at a decent pace, but if you’re going after the “Professor” title and the Scepter of Azj’Aqir like I am, be prepared for it to take you a very long time!
If you’re interested in what rare artifacts are available, I’ve included a list of them. I’ll only explain what those which I’ve personally found do however, because I don’t want to know what the others do until I find them! I like surprises…
Fossilized Hatchling – Baby Skeleton Raptor Companion Pet
Fossilized Raptor – Skeletal Raptor Mount
Pterrordax Hatchling – Pterrordax companion pet
Ancient Amber – Seals you in amber for 5 minutes
Extinct Turtle Shell – Level 85 BoA Shield
Zin’rokh, Destroyer of Worlds – Level 85 BoA 2h sword
Haunted War Drum – Places a war drum, 30 min cooldown
Voodoo Figurine – Companion Pet
Clockwork Gnome – Tiny Mechanical Gnome Companion Pet
The Innkeeper’s Daughter
Chalice of the Mountain Kings
Staff of the Sorceror-Thane Thaurissan
Highborne Soul Mirror – Creates a ghostly copy of yourself that looks at you
Druid and Priest Statue Set
Queen Azshara’s Dressing Gown
Bones of Transformation – Transforms you into a Naga for 20 seconds.
Tyrande’s Favorite Doll
Kaldorei Wind Chimes
Headdress of the First Shaman
The Last Relic of Argus
Arrival of the Naaru – Shows the arrival of the Naru for 5 seonds
Blessing of the Old God
Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
Nifflevar Bearded Axe
Mummified Monkey Paw
Scepter of Azj’Aqir
Staff of Ammunae
Pendant of the Scarab Storm
Ring of the Boy Emperor
Scimitar of the Sirocco
There have been a few times that a fragment has seemed out of reach. I’ve found that anytime I have an issue getting to a fragment, or getting a fragment to appear, using “walk” (the “/” key) to take baby steps in the right direction usually solves the issue. It can take a while, but I’ve always managed! The dig site I’ve had trouble with the most often is the one in the Infectus Scar in Eastern Plaguelands.
The Last Race Icon.
If you look at your Archaeology book, there is one race type at the bottom that looks like the archaeology symbol. I have no idea what this is, or how to find that type of fragments, so if you know, please PLEASE leave a comment and explain it or leave me a link to a site that can explain it!
Hopefully you all enjoy this profession as much as I have been! Good luck at those dig sites! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave them below in a comment and I’ll answer them a.s.a.p or you can even e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer.
Miss Mediocre <3