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    Cataclysm Tips and Tricks for Archaeology

    (There wasn't a tag yet for Archaeology, so I picked general. If this can be changed in the future, I would appreciate a mod fixing it for me)

    After spending a few sleepless nights with archaeology this week, I thought that I'd give a few of my opinions about how to use the profession, and hopefully the information will be useful for others who aren't lucky enough to have the beta to test it themselves.

    This isn't intended to be a full scale preview of the profession, and a working knowledge of the current implementation of the profession is going to be needed to get the most out of this post.

    TIP 1: Pick the best character.
    The first thing to know is that this currently doesn't seem to be a money making profession. The highest amount of gold that pieces vendor for is about 10, and you'll be making pieces that vendor for about 5 silver most of the time. It's a great profession for collectors of mounts, mini pets or even a way to get a jump on epic gear for alt characters. Just don't expect to get rich along the way.

    It is likely that you will be doing archaeology on one character until you have all the goodies that you want or need, and then switching to alts when you run out of things to collect. The profession is a time sink unless anything changes before live, so spreading your time amongst your alts is likely a bad use of time. There is a ton of travel time involved in this profession, so the first thing I'd like to do is suggest that the character you pick is one with some inherent travel advantage. My choices are as follows:

    Mage - this seems like it'll be the class of choice to level archaeology. With the ability to teleport from continent to continent and from one side of a continent to the other, mage seems like it will have the jump on everyone else. If you end up with a max level mage, and it doesn't matter to you which toon gets all the goodies, pick mage and you'll be head and shoulders above all your friends.

    Shaman - The second best class for speeding this profession up. With Astral Recall you can choose where to bind your hearth, and use it multiple times per hour. This gives you more flexibility than the other classes on long cool down hearths, but not nearly as much as the mage.

    Druid and Deathknight- Although these two classes only get one teleport spell it can be very useful if you are doing digsites in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms respectively. Bind your hearth at the other end of the zone and you can get quickly from one end to the other. This advantage quickly becomes null if you want to be working on digsites in the opposite continent however. Another advantage that druids have is instant-cast flight form. Having to move a hundred yards at a time and not having to wait a second and a half at a time adds up fast!

    Paladin - Although the advantage isn't quite as large as the continent hopping teleporting classes, the crusader aura will effectively shave off

    A couple professions also give advantages:
    Inscription - Extra hearthstones make you almost as cool as a shaman. The only disadvantage is that on the way to 525 archaeology you will spend a small fortune in scrolls if you are using them very often.

    Engineering - I've never been an engineer, but they seem to have all sorts of goodies that help them get around like the wormhole generator. Provided none of them end up broken in Cataclysm, this profession might be the very best way to go to speed archaeology up.

    Two last things that you'll want if you plan on spending a lot of time on this profession are a max speed flying mount and a healthy collection of flight points.

    TIP 2: Have a plan!
    Before you get started on the profession, I highly suggest taking a look at all possible rewards and finding a few to make your goal. Tol'vir and Troll seem to be the two most popular choices because of the level 85 BoA purples. Fossil might also not be a bad one if you like mounts or mini pets. The night elf rewards didn't get me excited, but if you really like lore items, it might be for you.

    When you are starting off, don't be picky at all. The number of relics required to complete a project seem to be based on how many you've already completed. This part might require confirmation, but it is worth keeping in mind when you are getting started.

    When you decide which rewards you are looking for, try to pick your continent based on the number of sites of your favorite race availalbe. If the only race you care about is Orc, don't waste a lot of time anywhere but Outlands once they become available! Eastern Kingdoms seems to be the best place for Troll (though there are some troll sites in Kalimdor), and Kalimdor seems to be the only place for Tol'vir. Don't be afraid to skip sites that you know don't have any chance of being the right race and leave them alone indefinitely.

    When you finally get to the skill level that your goodies are available, start stacking the race that your prize is from, and skip most of the others. You never have a guaranteed chance to get what you want, but the more junk projects you finish, the more likely you are to get the good one next! You should also save the randomly found items that speed up projects until you get to something expensive and/or juicy.

    TIP 3: Be patient when you start out!

    The first 100 points of archaeology work the same as the first 60 points or so of enchanting. You get points for digging up fragments only for the first 100 points of the profession. There is no reason to complete a relic before you've made it to skill level 100 (or are at least close to it). Save up all your relics at the beginning and then when you hit skill level 100, go ahead and complete as many relics as possible with the stored up points. Odds are that you won't get a rare relic any later, and the extra burst of points by doing it this way is literally worth hours of surveying time.

    TIP 4: Surveying Tricks

    When you survey you will get either a red, yellow or green light. After a few hours of surveying I've come up with some general guidelines for judging distance. Here are the grains of salt to take with the following information: I was on a druid with 310% flying. My flight form is instant cast. These tricks are given just to give other people an idea about how to gauge their own distances, not necessarily to replicate mine exactly.

    When the light is red, I'll fly for about a slow count of five, and then land and survey again. When the light is yellow, I hop into flight form, and when the cooldown on survey is ready I hop down and survey again. I've landed right on top of the relic several times doing it this way. When the light is green, I walk in the direction indicated until the cooldown is up. When the scope flips the other direction I walk slowly and survey til I find it.

    I just thought I'd share a few of the things that I picked up in my time with the profession. I hope this is a good post to introduce myself to the community here, and that it is informative to people who are curious about the profession.

  2. #2
    I thought of a few more, so thought I'd just add them to this post.

    TIP 5: Use an addon!

    While this is probably not a shock to anyone who has used addons for farming before, I would highly suggest using a gatherer type addon for this profession as soon as one becomes compatible with it. There are a certain number of fragment placement points within each digsite, and if you know where previous digs are you can try them first whenever your survey tool points you in that general direction.

    This leads me to...

    TIP 6: Dig twice!

    Always start your next dig in the same spot you just got a fragment from! Because spawn points aren't randomly generated there is a small chance that you'll dig another relic up right away. This is another one that seems like it would be obvious, but I can't count the number of times that I started to fly away after digging a fragment up. I've gotten a spawn twice in a row at least five times now, which is a huge time saver.

  3. #3
    Nice insight, thanks Kiseki.

  4. #4
    NiceBloke's Avatar
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    A well written guide. Thanks!



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