MMO-Champion - Archaeology Rewards and Previews, Blue Posts
Archaeology Preview
It's time for a small preview of Archaeology, the profession was added to the game in the latest beta build and most of the features are already implemented.

Archaeology Rewards
Let's directly jump to rewards, that's the only thing most people care about! As explained in an earlier blue posts, Blizzard changed their mind and decided to reward people with a few epic weapons/armors along with the cosmetic items.

1. Bind on Account Epic Items
Archaeology gives you epics! Of course, these artefacts will be fairly rare but with enough work you should be able to acquire a nice set of epic weapons and armors, including lvl 85 ones. This list of rewards might not be complete at this point

All these items will Bind on Account.

lvlTypeSpecSlotItem
359SwordMelee.DPS2-HandZin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds
359SwordMelee.DPS1-HandScimitar of the Sirocco
359StaffSpell Spirit2-HandStaff of Ammunae
359StaffSpell2-HandStaff of Sorceror Thane Thaurissan
359FingerSpellFingerRing of the Boy Emperor
359TrinketSpellTrinketPendant of the Scarab Storm
359TrinketHealerTrinketTyrande's Favorite Doll
105MailPhys.DPSHeadHeadress of the First Shaman
67ClothSpellChestQueen Azshara's Dressing Gown



2. Mounts
The Scepter of Az'Aqir got a lot of attention when I first posted about it but isn't the only mount you can find.



The Scepter of Az'Aqir currently uses the model of the Blue AQ40 mount.


3. Companion Pets
3 Companion pets are available from Archaeology.



So far it looks like the Crawling Hand will be the most interesting one, especially for alliance players who already have an endless supply of gnomes slaves and won't be interested in a mechanical version. Below is a small preview of the animations of the Crawling Hand / Mummified Monkey Paw





4. Miscellaneous Items
Archaeology also rewards you with a lot of lore-oriented items, they're not really useful and are just here for fun. A lot of them aren't implemented yet and the only thing I can really get out of this is the model of the transformations.





Archaeology - How it works
Ghostcrawler wrote an awesome post about how Archaeology works and I don't think there is much more to add, maybe a couple of screenshots.
Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)
Archaeology just went in this build for the first time and we don't yet have any of the support around it to teach players what to do. It has been informative to watch players learn to swim by drowning, but we thought it was time to offer a little more direction.

Digsites
Once you train archaeology, you can see digsites on your map (not your minimap - your map). There are always 4 digsites per continent. These will not change until you dig one out. Most of the time, you're probably only going to be concerned with the 4 sites on your current continent, but at higher character and archaeology skill levels, there will be 16 sites active at one time (4 each in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outland and Northrend.)

You will only find sites in zones of your level or lower. A level 25 player will have all 4 sites per continent in level 25 zones. (This means Outland and Northrend will have no sites at this time.) A level 80 player will have all 4 sites in any zone. A low level Kalimdor player might have sites in Ashenvale and Stonetalon, while a level 82 might have Uldum, Ashenvale, Stonetalon and Silithus.

Sites are race specific. You can usually guess the race by the location. Kalimdor tends to have a lot of night elf ruins. Eastern Kingdoms tends to have a lot of dwarf ruins.

Some races are only available on some continents (such as orc and draenei on Outland). You need to have a minimum character level and a minimum archaeology level to use these. Currently you can see them if you are a certain character level but can't gather from them until your archaeology skill is higher. For Outland, the skill is 300. While somewhat consistent with other gathering skills, we think this is confusing and we will change it so that you don't even see the digsites until your archaeology skill is sufficiently high. Tol'vir artifacts are the most rewarding, but also require near max archaeology skill to recover.

Some players are reporting some issues with digsites not showing up correctly. We'll look into these bugs.

Unlike other gathering skills, digsites are player-specific. Other players will be searching in different locations. There is no competition for digsites.

Fragments
Each digsite can be searched 3 times before it despawns and a new site spawns. If there is a digsite somewhere too far away from you or otherwise inconvenient, just ignore it and hit the closer ones. You won't run out.

To search a digsite, use the Survey ability. The survey tool will spawn and point in the approximate direction of the artifact. Red means you're far away. Yellow means you're close. Green means you may be within 40 yards or so. When you discover your find, you'll get fragments specific to a particular race.

There are two main strategies to surveying. You can attempt to triangulate by moving around the outer edge of a digsite. (Like quest blobs, the digsites are not necessarily circular.) Other players just keep surveying, heading in the direction the tool points until they strike paydirt.

Remember, the thing you uncover is yours. There is no competition with other players and nobody can gank your node.

Artifacts
Whenever you get a new fragment for a race, you'll start a research project. You can only work on one artifact per race at a time. When you have enough fragments, click Solve to complete that artifact. You won't waste excess fragments -- they will just start the next project. You can be working on one project for each race at a time.

Most artifacts are common. These give you a little bit of lore or flavor text and an item you can sell for a small profit (presumably to a museum!) The profit increases as the value of the artifact increases. You can estimate this by the number of fragments needed to finish the artifact. You will only find cheaper artifacts at low level, but you can find cheap and valuable artifacts at higher level (the reason for this is we want players to be able to find all the artifacts if they want to). You won't find a second copy of a common object until you have found all the artifacts of that race. If you get stuck at a certain skill level of archaeology or character level, you may find an artifact more than once until you reach the next tier.

Some artifacts are rare. These always make a blue or purple item. Many of these have no in-game power and are toys or for flavor. Some of them are actual weapons and armor. The latter items are all bound to account. They aren't heirlooms in that they don't scale, but you can pass them around. So if you are level 80 and you find a level 60 axe, you can always have another character use it when they are level 60. You will never get a rare artifact more than once.

The future
We designed archaeology to be easily expandable, so we plan to add much more content in future patches, including new races to research (though to be fair, there's a sizable amount of content already). We also have a feature that is not available on beta yet, that allows you to use your archaeology skill for a slight (think Fish Feast-level) bonus in the Cataclysm dungeons.

Training

Spellbook

Continent Map

Zone Map

Survey

Survey (Details)

Artifact!



Archaeology Video
As usual, TotalBiscuit released a nice video preview of Archaeology.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

AQ20 is a 10-player raid in Cataclysm
ZG is being removed as a L60 raid. Havent heard anything about AQ20 though.
AQ20 has been converted to a 10 player raid. (Source)

Reforging on 4.0.1 PTRs
We've been creating a lot of builds lately for 4.0.1 and Cataclysm beta, so Reforging NPCs may not yet be available. As with all PTR processes, the patch notes are not comprehensive. Some changes may not be reflected in the notes, while others may not yet be available in the current build.

If Reforging is not yet active, it should be in an upcoming build. We want to give players a chance to try out the new feature. With all of the class changes going in, Reforging will allow players the opportunity to customize their gear a bit more before Cataclysm actually ships. It will also allow you to add Mastery to existing items if you so choose. (Source)

World Changes / New Race and Class combinations in Patch 4.0.1
The world will not be changing in patch 4.0.1. We are planning to apply those changes in patch 4.0.3 shortly before Cataclysm launch. (Source)

[...] New race/class combinations and changes to the old world (including quests) should be patch 4.0.3. I know it's kind of confusing since we typically release one major patch right before the release of the next expansion. In this case, many of the systems changes will be added in 4.0.1, while a lot of content changes will be added in 4.0.3.

The expansion will then provide players with access to the new races, new zones, level 85 cap, flight in Azeroth, Archaeology, etc. (Source)

Reduced XP from 70 to 80
This is still a possibility, but it's probably not something we're going to do immediately with the release of Cataclysm. (Source)

Guild XP for boss kills
Guild xp for boss kills is scaled on a few factors.

- Boss level
- Normal / Heroic
- Amount of guild members present (more xp for raids, since they are limited to once a week)

Hope this helps. (Source)

Spamming cheap heals in Cataclysm
Right now on the Beta videos a lot of the healers seem to be spamming the weak "Heal" for 90% of the time. So spamming is ok and we are expected to spam for most of the fight as long as what we're spamming is a weak spell? is this truly what is intended for Cata healers?
No, that's not the intent. We made those heals very cheap so that healers wouldn't be in constant terror of running out of mana. We also are making the normal modes easier than the heroic modes. You'll have to pair the right heal for the right situation to a greater degree in heroic modes. I think part of what you're seeing is that healers are using the base heal because they can get away with it. It's also possible that in our effort to distinguish them from the more expensive heals that we made the base heals too cheap or efficient. (Source)

Mage (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Arcane Mastery
According to Kavan on EJ, this theory of aiming to maintain your mana above some percentage is wrong anyways. If there was a magical percentage, it would be 40% because the idea is to gradually ramp up your cycle's mps as you get closer and closer to using evocation. What matters is the time at which your evocation comes off cooldown, not some magical percentage point at which mastery becomes more or less effective.
I think that's more accurate. Generally speaking, the approach is something along the lines of...

Evocation and mana gem are available at the start so you burn some mana quickly, use gem and dps cooldowns, burn more down to 40%, evoc back to 100%, play conservatively until mana cooldowns are available, burn more, then come back up and play conservatively, then nearing the end of the fight you try to time your burn down once again to match the end of the fight.

I like arcane mastery because it adds some depth to an otherwise shallow spec. It changes the way I play mid encounter in a controlled way as opposed to stupid stuff like hot streak where I just hope for the best. I will be making some mistakes (none as dumb as waiting until 20% mana to evocate or using arcane missiles every time it's up LULZ), gradually over time I'll get bored and look into / math out minor details and make fewer/smaller mistakes.
Yeah, that. My gut says it'll be very hard for players to perfectly optimize their fights since optimal behavior will be different from fight to fight and further vary based on mastery level, but most players will (hopefully) be able to use general guidelines to get reasonable results from the spec. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Slam Scaling
It's not important to keep Slam scaling with haste so long as Arms scales with haste. It's only a problem if you'd get to the point of dropping Slam from your rotation or something, which we think is unlikely. We'll make sure Heroic Strike never eclipses Slam. Heroic Strike isn't supposed to be a button you're ever excited about pushing at the expense of something else. It's just there so the rage doesn't go to waste. (Source)

Blood Frenzy
That Blood Frenzy changes lets us give Arms as much rage as needed from haste to make sure that haste is valuable from the resource-generation side. It's already valuable from the damage side -- it is not the case that increasing haste is a dps loss for Arms. I realize you might have made this post before mine in the beta forum. The challenge of communicating in two places at once. (Source)

Arms Rotation
The Arms rotation is Rend, Colossus Smash, Mortal Strike and Slam, with Overpower and additional Colossus Smash procs, and Heroic Strike as a rage dump. (Source)
This article was originally published in forum thread: Archaeology Rewards and Previews, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 139 Comments
  1. itsDair's Avatar
    Zin'rokh is back, yes please This archaeology-stuff is really looking better and better!
  1. luregas's Avatar
    20 seconds for those transformation artifacts is a little short, especially with such a long cooldown. Here's hoping they make those at least a little more usable. Flavor items should be more flavorful. =P
  1. SbEguy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonkheer View Post
    Am i the only one who thought of Thing from the Adams Family when i saw the hand ?
    Nope, that was the very first thing I thought of when i saw it Archeology is shaping up to be possibly the greatest thing in WoW, at least lorewise.
  1. Kilmir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pbean View Post
    Besides being fun and all, I don't understand the use of a level 60 bind to acount non-heirloom epic. Sure it's epic so the stats might be a little bit better than a heirloom (which should be comparable to a blue), so it might be useful for level 60-65 perhaps, but who will go through the trouble of getting it through archeology when you can just farm some (emblems/hero points?) for heirloom gear.

    Maybe it's only for the looks? But why isn't it a stat-less level 1 then?
    There are various reasons:
    1. After a few months you'll have trouble getting groups for instances below lvl 85 heroics. Trying to get enough emblems / hero points for gear while leveling will be rather pointless. You'll do most instances once for the quests and then move on. Most gear for your alts will be from questrewards and whatever your main sends you.
    2. These things are good items for their level. This means you only need 1 for all your chars that can use it when leveling instead of locked to one char compared to "normal" epic and blues you can send to alts to help leveling.
    3. The problem with Heirlooms (for Bliz' perspective) is that you don't want any other item in that slot from lvl 1 to 84. These new boa epics are only for a few levels and then content drops can take over again. So a small boost for your alt, but not as stupid overpowered as Heirlooms.
  1. EreWH's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pbean View Post
    Besides being fun and all, I don't understand the use of a level 60 bind to acount non-heirloom epic. Sure it's epic so the stats might be a little bit better than a heirloom (which should be comparable to a blue), so it might be useful for level 60-65 perhaps, but who will go through the trouble of getting it through archeology when you can just farm some (emblems/hero points?) for heirloom gear.

    Maybe it's only for the looks? But why isn't it a stat-less level 1 then?
    It's not something you're going to farm.
    You can stumble on them unexpectedly.
    And then go 'Oh, my alt can use that!'
    That's the whole point, surprising you. If you're really trying to farm this you'll be looking for a while.
  1. Caniroth's Avatar
    I tried archeology on the beta and I have to say that it's quite boring in it's current form. There is nothing wrong with the system itself, but there is with the 3 digs per digsite limit. Instead of working on archeology, you'll be flying around most of the time.

    Example: I started out in the Western Plaguelands and the nearest digsite after that was.. Swamp of Sorrows.

    It takes up loads of time and around skill 80, skill ups are already starting to get rare.

    So, this profession could be great fun, it just requires some tweaking to accomplish that.
  1. Fenz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonkheer View Post
    Am i the only one who thought of Thing from the Adams Family when i saw the hand ?
    Exactly my first thought upon seeing it, haha
  1. Mif's Avatar
    There's already enough jerks that hate on Gnomes, don't you start too Boubouille ='(
  1. Gousuke's Avatar
    If I have the original Zin'rokh, and found the level 85 version, would that be considered a Time Paradox?
  1. Nilesy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenz View Post
    Exactly my first thought upon seeing it, haha
    It is totally Thing!

    Archeology is looking great... my only fear, though, is that it will be flash in the pan enjoyment. I know blue posters have stated that it's Blizzard's intentions to be updating the profession with more and more research projects... and I really want to believe them, because it'd be awesome! but I fear that they wont upkeep that promise...

    But if they did, that'd be amazing. Really looking forward to it
  1. phantomlink's Avatar
    omg omg omg Zin'rokh is back and full of level 85 sexiness... awesome glad I still have my lvl 60 one as well
  1. reve's Avatar
    Maybe someone will clear this out for me... I have been following news about Cata, archeology included obviously. From what I hear in videos on youtube it takes shitload of time, like really a lot to even get over 200 skill. Now, that is ok, I like things taking time ingame because I dont sit in Dala but do something. But... In the end all Archeology provides will be some low level epic gear (aka equivalent to todays Titansteel Destroyer) and 2 mounts? Or am I missing something? Like some stat bonus, glyph/gem slot, extra talent (points), nothing like that?

    Because if I am right I dont get why is this even a (secondary) profession . Fishing, Cooking and First Aid obviously provide a lot at high skill and are sure as hell worth skilling up but this doesnt even fit into professions imo...

    edit: overall I am not bashing or badmouthing Archeology and I sure as hell will skill it up because I like having my main totally maxed.
  1. Nilesy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by reve View Post
    Maybe someone will clear this out for me... I have been following news about Cata, archeology included obviously. From what I hear in videos on youtube it takes shitload of time, like really a lot to even get over 200 skill. Now, that is ok, I like things taking time ingame because I dont sit in Dala but do something. But... In the end all Archeology provides will be some low level epic gear (aka equivalent to todays Titansteel Destroyer) and 2 mounts? Or am I missing something? Like some stat bonus, glyph/gem slot, extra talent (points), nothing like that?

    Because if I am right I dont get why is this even a (secondary) profession . Fishing, Cooking and First Aid obviously provide a lot at high skill and are sure as hell worth skilling up but this doesnt even fit into professions imo...

    edit: overall I am not bashing or badmouthing Archeology and I sure as hell will skill it up because I like having my main totally maxed.
    Tonnes of RP and lore and fun time, mounts and items and pets, but on top of this, a recent blue poster said that they are looking into adding a small (fish feast level) buff to use within raids and dungeons.

    So yeah, at the moment nothing raid/buff-wise, but in time, seems we'll get a nice little boost from it.
  1. Sensa's Avatar
    Archaeology looks interesting...and for someone with 450 fishing on 4 toons....the time requirements and tedium seem doable and I look forward to leveling it...however, I'm really surprised they created such a time sink in this era of "Casualcraft"....I can already here the massive QQ once people realize the effort required...it will either be nerfed to kingdom come in the 1st content patch after release or will be the least utilized aspect of Cata and essentially a bust.

    Considering this was the method of discovery that was going to be used for the path of titans I'm sure 99.9 % of you are now awfully glad that they scrapped that.
  1. Ylera's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Caniroth View Post
    I tried archeology on the beta and I have to say that it's quite boring in it's current form. There is nothing wrong with the system itself, but there is with the 3 digs per digsite limit. Instead of working on archeology, you'll be flying around most of the time.

    Example: I started out in the Western Plaguelands and the nearest digsite after that was.. Swamp of Sorrows.

    It takes up loads of time and around skill 80, skill ups are already starting to get rare.

    So, this profession could be great fun, it just requires some tweaking to accomplish that.
    I expect Blizzard want to give us a(nother) reason to fly around and see all the changes to the old world.
  1. heidar's Avatar
    Am I the only one who saw "...perhaps the Soulflayer is not far behind." and thought, are they bringing ZG back or another troll themed instance in Cataclysm? Perhaps with Hakkar involved? I certainly would hope so, I love ZG and ZA and was disappointed to not see one in WotLK.
  1. Adlian's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ylera View Post
    I expect Blizzard want to give us a(nother) reason to fly around and see all the changes to the old world.
    Indeed this is also one of the pluses of this prof... its making you to fly all around the old word
  1. Idoru's Avatar
    The Fossilized Raptor mount is currently Horde only.

    Finished it yesterday and now it just sits in my Alliance bag
  1. Chylo's Avatar
    I'm looking forward to Archaeology. These updates are nice
  1. Lord Xavius's Avatar
    Archaeology looks very interesting, especially for lore nerds like myself. Plus, I want a skeletal raptor now.

    Also, HOW many sockets are there on that Headdress of the First Shaman?

    Quote Originally Posted by heidar View Post
    Am I the only one who saw "...perhaps the Soulflayer is not far behind." and thought, are they bringing ZG back or another troll themed instance in Cataclysm? Perhaps with Hakkar involved? I certainly would hope so, I love ZG and ZA and was disappointed to not see one in WotLK.
    What about Gundrak? And yes, that Hakkar bit is intriguing.

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