Archeology Tips

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Archeology Tips

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:47 pm

I know there are a few threads out there already, but I felt they haven't covered everything and/or the information is spread all over the place, so I thought I'd make one.

I am currently a 525 archeologist with realm first IGM (Bensamr@Thunderhorn). I've leveled from 80 to 85 purely by doing archeology with a few quests to unlock Vashj'ir. Each time I dug up a spot for x3 fragments it awarded me .15% of a level. Each level took approximately 666.66 digs, with five levels that amounted to approximately 3,333 digs, 9,900 fragments, or roughly 9,000 if you take away sleep exp. For reference I hit IGM around 82 2/3. I will give my drop rates below based on experience.

This is not an all inclusive guide, but features tips and tricks ranging from YOU NEED TO KNOW to interesting and helpful bits. So...

-Save yourself some time. If you're doing archeology to get epics, they have extraordinarily low drop rates (or chance to get the project in other words). I don't mean this to drive people away, they literally do. You should only be doing archeology as an alternative to bejeweled. It matters just as much and will frustrate you a lot less if you think of it this way. This is the biggest time sink I've ever seen in WoW and it doesn't get better.

-You pay it forward. The chance to get a epic project happens after you solve one and the next one appears.

-The telescope has almost 170 degrees of error (yes, literally, depending on how much the telescope hates you when you put it down). Which means it could be off by as much as 85 degrees on either side.

-The telescope range finder is also sometimes off. I've often found the range between red and yellow and yellow and green to overlap (this is all speaking from subjective experience).

-I don't know if this is a bug or lag, but sometimes you can place a telescope within the 5 yards or so of revealing area, but it won't reveal it. Instead it will point you away with a green light and the next one will point you back.

-Depending on how much the server likes you, the direction the telescope is pointing is sometimes offset by its location. So the center of the telescope isn't always where it's dropped, it's where it should be if it appeared right.

--The telescopes sometimes glitch out with this. If you find your telescopes starting to form a quarter circle with a green light at the top either step 10 yards left or right of the next point in a straight line and place another one. I have found this to help. I'm not sure if they were programmed to do this on purpose, but it is most definitely a trend I have noticed.

-Due to the telescopes being off so much, it's almost impossible to use them for triangulation.

-Fragments sometimes reappear in the same location. I don't know what triggers this so after you find a fragment, put your telescope down right away without moving and see where it points.

-Fragments have about 6-8 spawn locations at each site. So if you're good at memorizing where they are, they may be there when you come back. Gatherer could easily be updated to accommodate this, but has not as of right yet. Check their website in the future and it may have archeology support.

--Large and small dig sites seem to have equalish number of dig spots, keep this in mind when shifting from a small one to a large one.

--It's worth noting that if you see a player flying away from a dig site they're usually coming from a known dig spot. Planting your telescope there is a good place to start.

-Another way to find locations is to approximate the general location by visualizing a best fit line (if you know what that is). In other words, the average between the directions all of the telescopes are pointing when you put a new one down. This has helped me immensely.

-Dig spots tend to spawn in the same fashion as other nodes for mining and herbalism. In other words they're almost always under patrol locations or really close to a standing mob so you're forced to agro the mob in order to gather it. This is also a good way to identify possible locations to put down your telescope.

--A random dead mob at a dig site is usually a good indicator someone else had to kill it in order to get to their dig spot (or agro'd it).

-Dig spots also do not spawn under water. They will spawn a few feet into it, but otherwise all the locations are accessible by land. Don't go swimming.

-Dig spots spawn in locations normally accessible by foot or by mount, not on top of buildings or other inaccessible areas.

-When in Vashj'ir at the dig site, you don't need to be on the ground to place a telescope and can place them while floating in the water. This will save you some time in height different sections and when remounting your seahorse.

-Fragments stop awarding experience after 100. So don't do ANY projects until 100 (you are not penalized for having extra fragments).

--At around 475ish you should stop doing projects until you save up approximately enough pieces to go from 475 to 525 without picking up more pieces. If you go higher in level dig sites will start spawning in high level areas which are harder to get to, survey, and offer relatively no benefits as projects are based on archeology level.

-If you're leveling up, it's not worth going to outlands or northrend. Neither of these spots give extra leveling points and generally take longer to harvest spots. Northrend especially, because of the distance between the dig sites and the creeps that you do agro are harder to kill.

--Overall I found it easiest to level in Eastern Kingdoms. There are a lot less mountains to cross, huge height differences, giant sprite trees, the dig sites are smaller usually, and overall the groupings appear to be better.

-The Whelgar's Excavation Site in Wetlands has a bugged dig spot as of writing this. It's on the west side and all the telescopes point directly into the slop of a mountain side. You cannot uncover this dig spot. Go to a new dig site and finish that one, then come back, it apparently resets the dig spot in that site.

-It does not matter what level you are to get epics. You can get a 85 epic at 84 and I'm sure much lower, seeing as I got a 85 BtA ring at 84.

-Do yourself a favor and buy 310% mount speed. Almost all of archeology is flying around.

-Setting your hearth to a location 1/3 the way away from the edge of the end of the continent is a good idea in case you get a bunch of respawns at one end or the other.

-After collecting all the pieces from a certain type you will still get pieces from that type. I've collected all the fossils (epic, rare, and common projects all complete) and I still get them. They don't ever stop spawning.

-Collect all the locations, including ones you don't need as this allows for respawns. Going to groups of sites on the continent is the best way to do this and then slowly working your way towards the next group as they start popping up.

--A circular pattern seems to work best for me. Going south down one side of the continent and then catching the other one in the middle going back north again after having gone south, unless there is a concentration of two or more in the middle in which case I change direction.

-IMO the more you want something to show up, the less likely you are to actually find it. I find it better off to save up a bunch of projects and solve them all at once. It's infinitely less frustrating and you usually get one rare if you turn in five... other times you don't.

-Saving up three relics is a good practice in my opinion as when you get a rare or epic project you can put all the relics into it right away and get something that is cool faster.

--Doing something else while doing archeology is the only way to do it. I'm currently writing this while finishing up the last few chunks to 85. After helping numerous people on the server, I thought this is a good place to dump all that I've experienced... and also waste some time while flying. Wink

-Get a rabbits foot and trust your instincts while doing archeology.

-On the bright side, after spending all the time collecting artifacts and leveling up archeology, the 45 point ones can be vendored for almost 10g!

So, after hitting roughly 3,000 dig spots or 1,000 dig sites, and finding roughtly ~9,000 fragments here is what I have to show for loot. I concentrated mainly in Eastern Kingdom till I leveled up to IGM, I stayed there for a bit getting most of the dwarf things. I then switched to Kalimdor till I hit 85 as both Night Elf and Tol'vir have quite a few rare/epic projects.

I found a total of five epic projects (one of which I found two bars from 85 so take that what you will). They consist of the Fossilized Raptor (which I started when I was at 515 in level), Ring of the Boy Emperor, Wisp Amulet, Bones of Transformation, and Queen Azshara's Dressing Gown. I’ve found 6 rares in addition to this bringing the number up to a total of 11 finds.

So if you dig 3,000 times you should come up with five epics. That amounts to a 0.16% chance to find a rare project per dig spot. Of course rare projects are found after completing a project and the amount of fragments they use varies, but I think that figure takes into account the amount of time and effort it takes to get a epic rather then a raw statistic. Or another way of looking at it is after you're 525 you should find one after finding roughly 600 dig spots and completing their corresponding projects.

Of course this doesn't take into account that I leveled the profession up to about 82 3/4 is when I hit 525. This also doesn't take into account repeat digs (fossils in my case), however someone will run into these no matter where they go once they collect all the belongings from one type.

Take these numbers with a grain of salt! I would expect it to be around a 0.2% drop rate if you had to put a number on it for a starting archeologist. Don't expect anything till you hit 515 or 525 and that takes a significant amount of time.

I am going to level alchemy, then gear up for epic fail heroics before I do more archeology. Hopefully someone else can provide you with better numbers after archeology is maxed, but I gathered what statisical data I found helpful.

Fragments: ~9,000
Epics: 5
Rare: 6
(This includes leveling from 0 to 525)

Pages I found helpful while leveling and doing archeology:

12/22 update: After a few weeks apparently they decided archeology was too hardcore so they increased the drop rates from just x3 per digspot to x3-6 per digspot making archeology a lot less time consuming.

They also increased the reveal radius of the telescope from about 5 yards to a range of anywhere from 7-12 yards depending on how much your telescope loves you.


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