Shared Topic: Digging Archeology?

January 31, 2011 at 5:55 pm (Archeology, Professions, Shared Topic)

Cataclysm’s new secondary profession, archeology, has gone through a lot of changes since it was first announced — Path of the Titans, we hardly knew you! — but is incredibly popular with players. At least, a lot of them are doing it — there are also a lot of complaints. Still, go to any dig site and you’ll see tons of eager archeologists. What do you think of it? Did Blizzard release it half-baked? Are you happy with its current implementation? What else do you hope to have added to it in future patches?

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more like a dwarf, at least the Disney version, then when archeology hit.  “We dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig from early morn till night.”  (Make it stop – please!)  But, in truth, I’m fairly happy with what the devs at Blizz have come up with.  Just a few comments, complaints, and ideas for the future.

The mechanics of archeology are pretty simple, and easy to understand.  The vector and an approximate distance is given, and you move along until your detector fine tunes into the position.  Making the fragements a currency, and the keystones bankable, you essentally allow a person to pick up pieces as they go along.  Unlike the planned Path of the Titans, you’re really not required to do the large amount of legwork required to progress your character.  As a person with multiple alts, I can thank the heavens that it wasn’t designed as another, awful rep grind that each of my characters would be required to complete.  (Shoulder enchants leap to my mind.)  Another plus is that some of the items (trinkets, vanity pets, and mounts) are absolutely fun to play around with.  The Innkeeper’s Daughter leaps to mind.

There are a few issues at hand, however, that could be fixed to make archeology more useful, and perhaps make the profession worth leveling on more than one character.  First, there is a death of epics outside of caster gear at level 85.  There are a couple of swords, but nothing that a hunter, rogue, or shaman would use.  In fact, there seems to  be little at any level that benefits other than casters.  The other major issue, in my opinion, is that the leveling process doesn’t seem to scale well with leveling a character.  Leveling to 75 should contain at least 1 starting zone, and nothing outside of the early zones for the character, more should be added at 150, 225, etc.  This would allow one to more properly level archeology while leveling your character.  Making some of the zones less dense in mobs would also allow a player to work his way up the ladder.

The only major improvement, outside of more zones earlier, would be the introduction of level-appropriate gear on a turn-in basis.  Allow both the Alliance and Horde a vendor that would take artifacts – cash for common, and more cash for uncommon artifacts.  Rare and epic items would turn in for a selectable, level-appropriate item (for example, a rare item found at level 50 would equate to gear for level 18-20 players).  Perhaps even a scene where the item was turned in to the museum curator who would comment “this will have a place of honor in our Troll Collection.”  The gear could come in the mail in 30 minutes to an hour later, much like the bags of gear given to random dungeon runs.

All in all, Archeology is a fun little diversion, but with a little tweaking it could turn into something that properly rewarded all players who engaged in it, and helped those lower level characters who made the effort a little more.




  1. Torval said,

    Granted, I haven’t levelled arch to the place it needs to be, but so far I fail to see the rewards. I’ve spent a couple hours levelling it and so far all I have to show for it are a few grey items that I’ve sold to vendors for pittance. What am I doing this for?

    • rustbeard said,

      My point exactly. If you’re not a caster, there really isn’t a reason outside of some mini-pets, mounts, and cute trinkets. But have no fear, the next patch will raise the price of those grey items.

  2. kamaliaetalia said,

    I thought I’d read somewhere that if you’re doing Archaeology with a low level character, all your dig sites will be in zones that are accessible to characters of your level range, but since I haven’t actually tried it with a low level toon, I can’t say for sure.

    Of course you can already sell the common items for a little bit of silver or even a gold or two for Outland and Northrend items, but I like your idea of being able to turn in archaeology finds — or perhaps sets of items in twos or threes or fives — for level-appropriate gear for a leveling toon.

    • rustbeard said,


      It’s very possible that the early zones contain archeology. I’m really not sure that the zones would be in areas that you could access, instead of areas of similar level. The main issue here is that if there were dwarf runes in Westfall (or Night Elf ruins in the Ashenvale) zones, it would be near impossible for a Horde character to access them – even though the zone was the correct level. Eventually, all the digsites may be placed in zones your character is, in fact, unable to acccess (unless a massive repair bill or running nekkid is your passtime). But, I can say that I’ve not leveled up a character with archeology (and probably wont barring the other changes above), so I can’t say for certain.

  3. Netherhood Welcome Wagon – Little Blue Dog | Twisted Nether Blogcast said,

    […] articles such as learning what Rustbeard thinks makes an encounter click and how he feels that archeology brings him closer to his Dwarf roots. While you are there, you can also pick up some tips and tricks for first time hunters. You might […]

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