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. JonTargaryen's Avatar
    Zin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds
    Binds to account
    Unique
    Two-Hand Sword
    1658 - 3079 Damage Speed 3.80
    (623.3 damage per second)
    +374 Strength
    +512 Stamina
    Durability 120 / 120
    Requires Level 85
    Item Level 359
    Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 228.
    Equip: Improves hit rating by 228.

    Hunter weapon.
  1. Riboflavin's Avatar
    I believe it's been stated in the official GC and unofficial Mortalwombat Archaeology guides that the number of dig sites increase once your reach X level, to where you can see up to 16 sites per continent.

    Also, could people give the "Blizzard doesn't want me to look different, then why do they keep giving me items that change my appearance?" thing a rest?
    You're being literal with this, Blizzard doesn't want you to be able to modify their armor to make up your own sets, or take cloak A and place an over cloak over it hiding the original look of the cloak.
    They do pay attention to people who RP and want more immersion, and did state they are looking into having something to add a little more variety to your apparel.
    but this is not to be confused with using an item or consumable that changes your appearance as it is not permanent nor changing the actual item's appearance.
  1. Limpy's Avatar
    I can't imagine what you guys find interesting in archeology. Its just another huge timesink. What could possibly be fun in flying most of the time around on the public transportation lines just to get you some fragments.

    If I'm interessted in seeing the world changes, I go there and check it out myself. I dont need a profession to force me to.

    Really, to me this profession is so useless and doesn't sound like fun at all. Maybe the first couple digsites will be fun. But not the 251st ...
  1. Torahn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Myf View Post
    There's already enough jerks that hate on Gnomes, don't you start too Boubouille ='(
    /punt

    Sorry, I had to.
  1. Nephentes's Avatar
    Cant wait to put my claws on the mounts and pets
  1. Turmoill's Avatar
    HEY! It's Thing's cousion! XD
    Adams Family referance, if you haven't noticed. XP
  1. heidar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Xavius View Post
    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?


    What about Gundrak? And yes, that Hakkar bit is intriguing.
    Well, it's not a raid, I do love Zul'drak in general though but I need my troll dosage in raids!

    I suppose time will only tell on this one.
  1. Farrokh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Limpy View Post
    I can't imagine what you guys find interesting in archeology. Its just another huge timesink. What could possibly be fun in flying most of the time around on the public transportation lines just to get you some fragments.

    If I'm interessted in seeing the world changes, I go there and check it out myself. I dont need a profession to force me to.

    Really, to me this profession is so useless and doesn't sound like fun at all. Maybe the first couple digsites will be fun. But not the 251st ...
    You're not the only one who's playing WoW, do not forget that... there are tons of people who like to read about lore and stuff... do something here and there with friends and guildies...
    Be glad that Blizzard added epics into it... it was intended as fun proffesion for lore fans and casual games with cosmetic / vanity stuff only.
  1. Eversor's Avatar
    Well, looks like I'll be donning my hat and whip out my... err... whip in search for phat epix in Cataclysm. Zin'rokh - BoA? Glorious! Judging from the icon, that scimitar also looks mighty sweet. The profession in total looks like it'll be a fantastic alternate progression path across multiple characters.
  1. NorseBeard's Avatar
    So Archaeology gives you a mount that was only previously available through an epic once and a life time quest? Sweet, though sucks for all the Scarab lords?
  1. Superstring's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Limpy View Post
    I can't imagine what you guys find interesting in archeology. Its just another huge timesink. What could possibly be fun in flying most of the time around on the public transportation lines just to get you some fragments.

    If I'm interessted in seeing the world changes, I go there and check it out myself. I dont need a profession to force me to.

    Really, to me this profession is so useless and doesn't sound like fun at all. Maybe the first couple digsites will be fun. But not the 251st ...
    Exactly my thoughts. I don't see anything original or creative in the way they implement Archeology. At this point it looks to me like a very cheap way to make players grind for new epics.
  1. Valleera's Avatar
    Those BoA items look fun, unfortunately I can't see them all due to a commercial banner stickied to the forum right over it :|
  1. furydeath's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Limpy View Post
    I can't imagine what you guys find interesting in archeology. Its just another huge timesink. What could possibly be fun in flying most of the time around on the public transportation lines just to get you some fragments.

    If I'm interessted in seeing the world changes, I go there and check it out myself. I dont need a profession to force me to.

    Really, to me this profession is so useless and doesn't sound like fun at all. Maybe the first couple digsites will be fun. But not the 251st ...
    I'm sure all teh hardcore guild will be wanting you to have max skill in archeology. Or you could just NOT do it.
  1. Limpy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by furydeath View Post
    I'm sure all teh hardcore guild will be wanting you to have max skill in archeology. Or you could just NOT do it.
    So, am I only allowed to post my thoughts about archeology if I like it?
  1. Doktor Faustus'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 ?
    Evil Dead... 'GIVE ME BACK MY HAND!!!'
  1. Grithmir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Superstring View Post
    Exactly my thoughts. I don't see anything original or creative in the way they implement Archeology. At this point it looks to me like a very cheap way to make players grind for new epics.
    Would you rather idle in Dalaran?

    It's a secondary profession, you don't grind it for epics. You don't grind it if you don't like it. It's for people who enjoy traveling around and are interested in fun/lore items. The epics are just a nice surprise, like someone already said before me.

    People keep thinking this game is all about epics and gear. I for one love to just fly/run around the world and ejoy the scenery when I'm not doing endgame.
  1. Holypowah's Avatar
    Haha cool, i love the crawling hand, reminds me of the master hands in Zelda
  1. Softrunner's Avatar
    well i just got a boner for zin'rokh the destroyer of worlds, brings me back to my ZG days im gonna love it.
  1. crsh1976's Avatar
    Wow, finally a comprehensive preview of Archaeology, I really like how they're working it out AND the player-specific dig sites to eliminate swarming is a GREAT idea.
  1. Superstring's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Grithmir View Post
    Would you rather idle in Dalaran?

    It's a secondary profession, you don't grind it for epics. You don't grind it if you don't like it. It's for people who enjoy traveling around and are interested in fun/lore items. The epics are just a nice surprise, like someone already said before me.

    People keep thinking this game is all about epics and gear. I for one love to just fly/run around the world and ejoy the scenery when I'm not doing endgame.
    All I want to say, I don't see anything exciting about it. At all. They could as well call it Mining 2.0

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