P3P’s Idiot’s Guide To Archaeology
What is Archaeology?
Archaeology is a secondary profession that allows you to find stuff in various zones in game. The zones show up on your map, and are level-dependent. You find archaeology fragments and then assemble them into stuff. Usually you assemble common (read: grey vendor trash) items, but sometimes you get rares. The rares are usually vanity-type items, but there are a few pieces of weapons and armor, including the much sought after Zin’rohk. Here’s a link to the wowpedia article, complete with a full list of rares.
No, seriously, what is Archaeology?
Archaeology is a huge waste of time. That’s about it. It’s like vanilla fishing. A little dot pops up on your map, you fly across the continent, survey, find the pieces, and come back.
Indeed. You get a function to “survey.” This is basically how you use archaeology. You get in a zone that’s marked on your map and you survey. A little survey tool appears, and the color of the light on the tool indicates how near or far you are from the fragment. You keep surveying until you’re close enough to find the fragment, which eventually apprears as a lootable item on the ground.
I’m really just supposed to fly around and look for things?
Yep, that’s it.
Why would I do this?
Well, there are a number of reasons.
First of all, it’s definitely aimed at completionists and casuals. So, if you’ve got the completionist urge and just must fill up every bar, Archaeology is much better than killing Furbolgs or running Sethekk Halls, again, to try to get that Druid Bird mount that never drops.
There is some money to be made. Occasionally you get common items that are worth a few hundred gold, and that’s nice. And you do get a shot at some fun vanity rares that will turn you into a bug, speak with dark gods, or let you go home with a dwarf chick. All in all, there are a few pets, a mount, and some other fun stuff.
What’s the downside?
It’s a huge, ripping, screaming waste of time. I mean, even more than WoW is. It’s horrendously boring- you just fly, survey, pick up a dozen or so fragments in a zone, and then fly ACROSS THE CONTINENT to pick up another dozen or so fragments. Then you assemble whatever you’ve been working on, and there’s a magical moment when it’s unclear what will pop up next. Then, when it isn’t Zin’Rohk but is, instead, just another stupid bijou, you almost throw your computer out the window.
So, if it’s so boring, how far along are you, Bigjimm, right now?
I’m umm…. I’m *cough* maxed. I’ve found more than 100 commons. I’m almost a Professor (18/20 rares as of this post). In fact, I’ve done almost everything that I can. (I’m not an alchemist, so I can’t find the recipe for the Vial of the Sands.) Yes, it’s a horrible waste of time. But… it’s oddly addicting. It’s Whac-A-Mole on your map, except that there’s always more moles (ie: zones) to whack (ie: survey). There can’t ever be less than four, so… I just keep looting them.
And, in fact, Archaeology works perfectly for people like me. I don’t raid anymore and don’t have any desire to. I haven’t even done all the heroics. I play at night, when I’m so wound up from working (in a restaurant) that I can’t sleep, but don’t want to think about anything. When I log on at 11pm or midnight, I don’t want to move out of the goo, I don’t want to stare at a boss’s crotch or tank the ads or anything like that. I just want to listen to a few podcasts, have a glass of milk or maybe my preferred adult beverage, and relax. Archaeology is the casual profession, bar none.
Any final thoughts?
I did get Zin’Rohk. So… I feel a little guilty about that. And Archaeology does give you time to talk to your guildies while you’re flying around. When you’re a member of AIE, that’s a good thing. (Especially when they stroke my ego a bit.)
In conclusion: don’t do archaeology to make money. It’s roughly about as much gold per hour as questing… so not good at all. But it is relaxing and fun, and I like it.
One final note: I’ve received a lot of feedback, here on the blog and in-game, regarding my upcoming move. Thanks to everyone who took the time to wish me well. I genuinely appreciate it. As ever, we here at P3P look forward to all your feedback. If you have a sec, take some time to leave a comment on this post. We read them all.