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. Stevoman's Avatar
    Not to be the one to complain, but...

    If the Archeology rewards are that powerful, I can easily see any remotely serious guild requiring all its members to have Archeology going into the first tier of Cataclysm. That is, similar to how adding the profession bonuses in Wrath turned primary professions from something fun and rewarding, to min/max stat vending machines. ("ZOMG you're losing out on 10 HEP with those professions, why don't you have JC/BS?!")

    That's not to say I dislike Archeology or won't do it, I just hate it when "optional" new mechanics are introduced, whose original intention was to add some fun, that are essentially turned into a requirement because of a meaningless stat boost or some other perk. Especially since, knowing Blizz, my guild will make me spend thousands of gold leveling this so I can go with them into T11 content with a crafted 359 staff, and promptly replace it with a 364 staff as soon as we down the first boss.

    I guess what I'm saying is, secondary professions should be purely fun/optional/profitable, and the best way to keep it this way is to not make them have any tangible PVE benefits.
  1. unownn's Avatar
    Crawling Hand smth like Thing from Adams Family
  1. Tyrean's Avatar
    For the people complaining about the time sink, remember that on some battlegroups we have upwards of 18 minute queue times. I am not sure how this will change when all the battlegroups are merged into one giant pool, but my guess is that all Horde will have to wait a long time to do any pvp. This seems like the perfect thing to do while you wait instead of listening to awful trade chat.

    I look forward to it, just another feather in my cap sporta thing.
  1. Chaoyll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hirako View Post
    I believe they want to keep flying mounts as end game rewards for PvErs and PvPers. Thats why they are giving away ground mounts for things such as Archeology. Also ground mounts are cool for BGs.
    Exactly, plus for some reason I get the impression we're not going to be able to fly in cities... At least I hope not, that'd be chaos.
  1. Dawnseven'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?
    I think it's just that as you're leveling archeology and IF you happen to get one of these lower level epics that you CAN use it on alt. Then again, maybe you wouldn't, the choice is yours. The point is it wouldn't be worthless. I shouldn't think that it's specifically something you would go farming for though. You're right, if you NEEDED a certain thing on your level 60ish character you'd be better off getting it some other way.
  1. Zobiana's Avatar
    Looks like fun, but I guess I gotta start doing endgame stuff instead of just enjoying crafting. *shrug*
  1. Exploitbat's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevoman View Post
    Not to be the one to complain, but...

    If the Archeology rewards are that powerful, I can easily see any remotely serious guild requiring all its members to have Archeology going into the first tier of Cataclysm. That is, similar to how adding the profession bonuses in Wrath turned primary professions from something fun and rewarding, to min/max stat vending machines. ("ZOMG you're losing out on 10 HEP with those professions, why don't you have JC/BS?!")

    That's not to say I dislike Archeology or won't do it, I just hate it when "optional" new mechanics are introduced, whose original intention was to add some fun, that are essentially turned into a requirement because of a meaningless stat boost or some other perk. Especially since, knowing Blizz, my guild will make me spend thousands of gold leveling this so I can go with them into T11 content with a crafted 359 staff, and promptly replace it with a 364 staff as soon as we down the first boss.

    I guess what I'm saying is, secondary professions should be purely fun/optional/profitable, and the best way to keep it this way is to not make them have any tangible PVE benefits.


    Good guilds will be able to handle the content without these epics and good guilds don't demand people to change professions so you get 20 more hp or whatever. Join a better guild instead.

    Also - with will cost in Archaeology? If anything, you will be able to make some cash out of it - especially if you are playing on a RP realm.
  1. Dawnseven'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.
    I get what you're saying, but the whole thing is brand new right? Surely Blizz can add a metric ton of stuff, and surely at higher levels (and as we go forward) there will be more awesome things to find. As for the time sink (and I agree it is one) I don't have a problem with it. It's something different when you just don't feel like farming, and we'll all have about 2 years to kill before the next expansion anyway.
  1. Iplaygoats's Avatar
    You know? having the title conquorer and the sword destroyer of worlds? it would be pretty bad ass and if ur a warrior you get that and 1 of those other swords with a doom sounding name and ur awesomeness level just went up.
  1. Dawnseven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Idoru View Post
    The Fossilized Raptor mount is currently Horde only.

    Finished it yesterday and now it just sits in my Alliance bag
    Blah. Is this true? Does it actually say Horde only? It's hard to imagine that Blizz would do that. They can do player specific digsites, but not have you only discover mounts usable by your own faction? Maybe it's a bug?
  1. Pantelija's Avatar
    Fossil Raptor mount is just perfect for Forsaken (next to skeletal horse ofc)

    Also some cool epics/items from Archeology
  1. Kragragh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by skyesfury View Post
    Cool stuff coming with Archeology.

    But I can't help but notice the "illusion" items. Two issues with those: 1) The short duration/long cooldown. I've had beef with this since Day 1 of WoW. It should be clear why when you look at Noogenfogger and Deviate.
    The short duration/long CD is obviously done by design after all this time. I agree with it, though - makes things more "special". In my opinion.

    Can not WAIT for archaelogy. Definitely my favorite thing in Cata so far after the new zones/level 85.
  1. DrgnDancer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevoman View Post
    Not to be the one to complain, but...

    If the Archeology rewards are that powerful, I can easily see any remotely serious guild requiring all its members to have Archeology going into the first tier of Cataclysm. That is, similar to how adding the profession bonuses in Wrath turned primary professions from something fun and rewarding, to min/max stat vending machines. ("ZOMG you're losing out on 10 HEP with those professions, why don't you have JC/BS?!")

    That's not to say I dislike Archeology or won't do it, I just hate it when "optional" new mechanics are introduced, whose original intention was to add some fun, that are essentially turned into a requirement because of a meaningless stat boost or some other perk. Especially since, knowing Blizz, my guild will make me spend thousands of gold leveling this so I can go with them into T11 content with a crafted 359 staff, and promptly replace it with a 364 staff as soon as we down the first boss.

    I guess what I'm saying is, secondary professions should be purely fun/optional/profitable, and the best way to keep it this way is to not make them have any tangible PVE benefits.
    The thing is that it's randomly powerful. Your Warrior could get the awesome two handed sword two days after hitting 525 Archeology, or two months after. Or never. If the first happens, sweet, bonus epic. If the second happens any semi-serious raider will have better by then anyway. It's like the Green Protodrake. Weeks of farming rep, months of buying eggs and I still don't have one (granted I eventually gave up). My guildie got one on his second egg. On the other hand I got Rivendare's horsie on my third Strat run. Random is random, Archeology will be random. Even if a guild tried to force you to farm for the epics, they really can't see anything more than whether you hit max level. After that just keep telling them you have crappy luck and keep getting cheesy items.
  1. Qhara's Avatar
    i so want the "thing". doing rock-paper-scissors is a very big plus!!!
    archeology is an awesome addition..
  1. quiz's Avatar
    Lame they take the Blue AQ40 mount model for Scepter of Az'Aqir .
  1. Jokerjesus'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 ?
    I was thinking the ANNOYING HANDS IN ZELDA lmao. Then I saw the thumbs up and was like oooh its Thing from Adams family lmao.
  1. powerstuck's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Caniroth View Post
    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.
    But since this is an alternative profession, like cooking and fishing...if you were patient, lvling fishing from 1 to 450 can take you less than a day...if you are not, it can take you a few months.
  1. Sny's Avatar
    The hand isn't quite a reference to The Addams Family, more likely it's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monkey%27s_Paw given the name.
  1. badkidno533090's Avatar
    I dont know if this has been answered already but, if I have the current Zinrokh from ZG will it automatically turn into the BOA one? Or will I keep the lvl 60 Zinrokh and then get a new BOA one from archaeology? The share the same name but different stats obviously.
  1. TheyCallMeTarzan's Avatar
    Looks like the best profession so far. Especially with the lore included I'm sure I'll love it.

    Rewards look cool too, though I find it unfair to the Scarab Lords if everyone can ride bug battle tanks outside Ahn'Qiraj. Could be that it isn't the final model, and I really hope so. Make something unique for this unique profession instead of re-using.

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