Table of contents
- If you are new to Archaeology
- Useful Addons and macros
- General plan
- List of artifacts
- Continents and dig sites
I’ve decided to write this guide because Archaeology is quite popular these days. However, many of those working on different rare artifacts have no idea how to make it properly. My friends and guildies are wasting time and efforts, while having no significant results. I hope this guide will help them (and you, of course) in reaching the ultimate goal: getting epics!
1. Your character should be at least level 70, with 280% or 310% speed flying mount and Azeroth flying license (you’ll also need Cold weather flying, if you’re going to dig in Northrend).
Using 150% speed flying mount will result in a big time waste. If you’re planning to work on Nerubian or Tol’vir artifacts, your character should be at least level 80, or you’re going to come across a lot of problems while killing monsters in Outland or Uldum.
Level and skill requirements for learning Archaelogy are:
If you have a dwarf toon (or you are Alliance and your main is a dwarf), you better use it for digging. Dwarves’ racial, Explorer, is said to give an additional ~15% archaeological fragments. It means that instead of getting 3-6 fragments per one successful survey, dwarves are getting 3-7.
2. Be ready to spend a lot of your free-time.
The chance of getting an epic is less than 1%, which means that you have to solve at least 100 projects to get one (and it may be not the one that you’ve desired to get). And it will take a lot of time. In fact, you should spend all your free time not AFKing in your capital city, but digging.
3. Be patient and believe in yourself!
You will solve the same projects over and over again. Most of the artifacts you’re going to get would be pretty useless and cheap; they will irritate you. Be ready to hate Archaeology, Blizzard and everyone around you if you couldn’t get your epics quickly.
If you are new to Archaeology
If you’re quite familiar with Archaeology and have an idea about how it works, skip this section.
You can learn Archaeology from the following trainers:
- Diya (Exodar, The Vault of Lights)
- Harrison Jones (Stormwind, 85 25)
- Darnella Winford (Stormwind, 85 25)
- Hammon The Jaded (Darnassus, The Temple of the Moon, 43 83)
- Belloc Brightblade (Orgrimmar, Grommash Hold)
- Adam Hossack (Undercity, Mage Quarter, 76 36)
- Elynara (Silvermoon City, 81 63)
Learning the skill will give you two new abilities: the profession itself and Survey, which lets you investigate the land around you and find archaeological fragments. Open your world map: you would see four shovels. If you open the map of the location, marked with shovel, you would see red zones. These are dig sites.
There are 4 dig sites for each continent, they appear randomly, depending on your skill level:
So, you can only dig Dwarf, Troll, Fossil and Night Elf fragments with skill level 1, and you can dig all possible fragments with skill level 450.
Choose the location where you are going to dig. Get there and enter the red zone. It’s time to use Survey! You’ll see a telescope and a post with a colored light. Telescope shows the direction where you should move, and the color of the light shows, how far you are.
If you are moving in the right direction, you would see the yellow, and then the green light, which indicates that you are really close to digging out the fragments. You can dig out fragments from each dig site only 3 times. When you’ve dug your fragments 3 times, you can no longer dig in this dig site, and you’ve randomed another one on this continent. You can level up Archaeology on digging fragments until 100. When you’ll reach 100, all fragments will be gray.
When you open your Archaeology profession, you would see projects to solve, sorted by race. When you get enough fragments, you can solve a project, and that’s how you level your skill past 100.
Solving a common artifact increases your skill by 5, solving a rare artifact – by 15. Also, some artifacts have slots for key fragments (all races except Fossil – they don’t have any key fragments).
Key fragments are green items, which you sometimes can obtain together with fragments. Key fragments are not BoP, so you can trade or exchange them. Inserting the key fragment will add 12 fragments to your project, so you should always try to insert the key fragment, when you see a free slot. There is no cap of the amount of fragments of each race. So when you insert the key fragment, all 12 fragments will be added to those you already have (even if you have enough fragments to solve the project). To insert a key fragment, just click an empty slot in your artifact tab or drag and drop the key fragment to an empty slot.
Useful Addons and macros
Tracks projects and dig sites, shows the amount of fragments and key fragments you have. But the most useful feature of this addon is the range checker. Archy shows the distance that you’ve passed, with the corresponding color:
This feature helps a lot and saves a lot of time.
Marks the places where you’ve dug before with little shovels and circles.
Also, you may use one of the following addons:
- Gatherer (instead of GatherMate 2)
- Archaeology Helper (draws HUD using GatherMate 2 pins, rather accurate and therefore extremely useful)
- Minimal Archaeology (lets you view all your artifacts progress and solve them in one compact frame)
In addition, there is a useful macro to count the total amount of the artifacts you’ve got:
/run print("Total artifacts"); for x=1,9 do local c=GetNumArtifactsByRace(x); local a =0; for y=1,c do local t = select(9, GetArtifactInfoByRace(x, y)); a=a+t;end local rn = GetArchaeologyRaceInfo(x); if( c > 1 ) then print(rn .. ": " .. a); end end
Run it, watch and copy-paste to /guild to scare your guildies. :3
Before you begin to level up your Archaeology, you should choose an artifact (or artifacts) you would like to get. You can find the list of all available artifacts with descriptions in a related section of this guide; it might help you if you haven’t made up your mind yet. After that, you should choose the continent, where you are going to dig. I’ve made a list of all dig sites, which you can find in the related guide section; it will help you to make your choice. Night Elf artifacts said to be the easiest ones to get (due to a large number of Night Elf digsites, 41 in total), meanwhile Nerubians and Tol’vir are the most hardcore of all (however, Tol’vir rares seem to proc more often than the others).
You should not solve any projects until your Archaeology skill reaches 100. After that, you might want to stack only those fragments, which are needed for the rare artifact of your choice, until your skill reaches 450 (you can get rare projects of epics only if your Archaeology skill level is 450 or higher). E.g., if you want to get a Zin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds, you shouldn’t solve Troll projects until your Archaeology skill level reaches 450. This method slows your profession leveling greatly, but at the same time it increases your chance of getting an epic.
Also, many Wowhead comments, guides and people say that chance of getting a rare item depends on your skill level, on the amount of projects you’ve solved and so on. I consider it to be almost completely random. For example, my friend got his Zin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds after completing 101 Troll projects; another friend of mine has solved already 182 and still got nothing.
Here are some useful tips:
- If you’re working on a Dwarf rare item, reaching 450 Archaeology skill will give you 4 additional Dwarf dig sites in Twilight Highlands.
- Don’t forget that key fragments are not BoP, so they can be traded. You might want to sell them on AH (they cost about 150-200 gold per one on my realm), or exchange them with your friends or guildmates.
- You’ll get Fossil rare projects, mount and pet, while leveling your Archaeology. They do not require 450 skill level, so there’s no need to stack Fossil fragments and wait.
- If you are Horde, it’s better to make Undercity or Brill your home location when you’re digging in Eastern Kingdoms. They’re located both near zeppelin towers and in Eastern Kingdoms, and HSing there might save you some time.
List of artifacts
Name – Fragments required – Comment
Dwarf (31 items total, 4 rares)
Chalice of the Mountain Kings - 100 Fragments – summons 4 dancing female dwarves and plays some music
Clockwork Gnome - 100 Fragments – gnome pet, looks like Mimiron
Staff of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan - 150 Fragments
The Innkeeper's Daughter - 150 Fragments – a Hearth stone. Shares cooldown with your HS and summons a ghostly female dwarf, who will follow your character for some time
Night Elf (25 items total, 7 rares)
Tyrande's Favorite Doll - 150 Fragments
Bones of Transformation - 150 Fragments – turns your character into a naga for 20 secs
Druid and Priest Statue Set - 100 Fragments – creates a pillar of green light
Highborne Soul Mirror - 100 Fragments – creates a ghostly copy of your character
Kaldorei Wind Chimes - 98 Fragments – plays a chimes sound and shows the emote «<Name> holds his [Kaldorei Wind Chimes] to the wind» (the emote depends on weather)
Queen Azshara's Dressing Gown - 100 Fragments
Wisp Amulet - 150 Fragments – turns your character into a wisp for 20 sec
Fossil (14 items total, 2 rares)
Fossilized Hatchling - 85 Fragments – a bone raptor hatchling pet
Fossilized Raptor - 100 Fragments – a bone raptor mount
Troll (15 items total, 1 rare)
Zin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds - 150 Fragments
Draenei (10 items total, 2 rares)
Arrival of the Naaru - 124 Fragments – shows a short cut scene with Naaru and draenei on use
The Last Relic of Argus - 130 Fragments – randomly ports you to one of 20 locations
Orc (10 items total, 1 rare)
Headdress of the First Shaman - 130 Fragments
Nerubian (9 items total, 2 rares)
Blessing of the Old God - 140 Fragments - turns your character into a Green Qiraji Battle Tank for 20 sec
Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron - 140 Fragments – whispers random creepy phrases on use
Vrykul (6 items total, 1 rare)
Nifflevar Bearded Axe - 130 Fragments
Tol'vir (13 items total, 7 rares)
Crawling Claw - 150 Fragments – a hand pet
Pendant of the Scarab Storm - 150 Fragments – summons a stack of scarabs
Ring of the Boy Emperor - 150 Fragments
Scepter of Azj'Aqir - 150 Fragments - Ultramarine Qiraji Battle Tank mount
Scimitar of the Sirocco - 150 Fragments
Staff of Ammunae - 150 Fragments
Recipe: Vial of the Sands – drops from Canopic Jar – alchemical receipt, teaches you how to create a Vial of the Sands mount (receipt is BoP)
Continents and dig sites
Dwarves: 18 dig sites total (3 in Wetlands, 1 in Arathi Highlands, 1 in Hinterlands, 3 in Badlands, 4 in Twilight Highlands, 2 in Burning Steppes, 1 in Hillsbrad Foothills, 1 in Loch Modan and 2 in Searing Gorge);
Fossil: 13 dig sites total (3 in Western Plaguelands, 2 in Blasted Lands, 1 in Duskwood, 1 in Wetlands, 1 in Northern Stranglethorn, 1 in Hillsbrad Foothills, 1 in Swamp of Sorrows, 1 in Burning Steppes, 1 in Eastern Plaguelands and 1 in Redridge Mountains);
Night Elves: 2 dig sites total (1 in Duskwood and 1 in Eastern Plaguelands);
Trolls: 20 dig sites total (8 in Northern Stranglethorn, 4 in Cape of Stranglethorn, 5 in Hinterlands, 1 in Eastern Plaguelands, 1 in Arathi Highlands and 1 in Swamp of Sorrows).
Conclusion: choose Eastern Kingdoms if you’re working on Dwarf or Troll rare.
Dwarves: 1 dig site total (in Southern Barrens);
Fossil: 13 dig sites total (5 in Un'Goro Crater, 2 in Desolace, 2 in Tanaris, 2 in Dustwallow Marsh, 1 in Stonetalon Mountains and 1 in Southern Barrens);
Night Elves: 35 dig sites total (8 in Feralas, 5 in Mount Hyjal, 4 in Felwood, 4 in Desolace, 3 in Winterspring, 4 in Ashenvale, 2 in Stonetalon Mountains, 2 in Azshara, 1 in Silithus, 1 in Darkshore and 1 in Southern Barrens);
Tol'virs: 8 dig sites total (all 8 in Uldum);
Trolls: 5 dig sites total (all 5 in Tanaris).
Conclusion: choose Kalimdor if you’re working on Night Elf, Tol'vir or Fossil rare.
Draenei: 15 dig sites total (4 in Terokkar Forest, 4 in Shadowmoon Valley, 3 in Netherstorm, 2 in Zangarmarsh, 1 in Hellfire Peninsula and 1 in Nagrand);
Orc: 13 dig sites total (4 in Hellfire Peninsula, 4 in Nagrand, 3 in Terokkar Forest and 2 in Shadowmoon Valley).
Conclusion: choose Outland if you’re working on Draenei or Orc rare.
Nerubian: 5 dig sites total (2 in Borean Tundra, 1 in Dragonblight, 1 in Zul'Drak and 1 in Icecrown);
Nigh Elf: 4 dig sites total (2 in Crystalsong Forest, 1 in Dragonblight and 1 in Borean Tundra);
Troll: 5 dig sites total (4 in Zul'Drak and 1 in Grizzly Hills);
Vrykul: 14 dig sites total (7 in Howling Fjord, 3 in Icecrown, 3 in Storm Peaks and 1 in Grizzly Hills).
Conclusion: choose Northrend if you’re working on Nerubian or Vrykul rare.
Thank you for reading this guide. I hope you’ve found some useful facts here, and I wish you good luck in your journeys. May all epics be yours! Also, I’m terribly sorry for my bad English. ^_^ As you might guess, I’m not a native speaker.
If you have any further questions, please contact me on my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.