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    Archaeology - And all it's dusty little secrets!

    Archaeology
    And all its dusty little secrets!


    Archaeology, why?
    How to start out
    - Your own level
    - Your skill level
    Dig sites
    How uncover stolen – I mean left behind artifacts
    Where to level and why
    - Horde
    - Alliance
    - Outlands & Northrend
    Economical fragment usage
    Races
    Common artifacts
    Rare artifacts



    Archaeology, why?
    At first sight this may seem like a small mini game Blizzard decided to create for those people stuck on playing Bejeweled all day due to lack of content. Well that may be half the reason, but really only half!

    Of course archaeology is an incredible time sink with all the flying around the world involved and of course most of the things you find while sticking your head in the sand will be useless junk or vanity items nobody really cares about (except for summoning dancing dwarves every 10 minutes, who wouldn’t want that?). However, alongside the pile of grey and silly blue items you’ll also have a shot at finding some incredibly sought after epic gear! Yes you read it correctly, purple text through digging!

    Now I’ll be the last person to say these items are easily found as they’re anything but that. Even so it should be worth noting that the epic gear pieces you do find will be Bound on Account which means that even if you can’t use that “Zin’rokh, Destroyer of Worlds” your level 21 warrior may very well be able to once he hits 85!

    Last but not least, if you don’t want to bother creating artifacts of your own you can still make quite a pretty penny out of leveling archaeology. Every archeology race has its own type of keystone which is used to speed up the creation of an artifact of said race. If you’re not about to solve any artifacts yourself these keystones are sellable as well and crafting archaeologists will be most willing to take them off of your hands!

    How to start out
    To begin your archaeological career the first thing you’ll have to do is gain the actual skill. For either faction it’s probably easiest to go to your capital’s archaeology trainer and get your apprentice skill trained. You can train every next level of archaeology at the same trainer so you won’t have to bother with flying back and forth between Outlands or Northrend while leveling.

    Horde: Orgrimmar – Belloc Brightblade
    He’ll be stationed in the same room as Garrosh Hellscream directly to the right of the throne when you’re facing Garrosh (you don’t want to do that for too long).

    Alliance: Stormwind – Harrison Jones
    Yes the Alliance gets Harrison Jones, lucky bastards. You’ll be able to find mr. Jones in the Stormwind Keep Library on the right side of the room surrounded by 3 beautiful students.

    Once you’ve gotten your skill learning process out of the way you’re ready to begin digging! Where you’ll be starting your digging adventure is actually dependant on both your own level and your archaeology skill level and I’ll explain both aspects individually.

    Your own level

    Depending on what level your character currently is you will only be able to find dig sites in continents of your own level. What does this mean you ask? It means that a level 40 will not be able to find dig sites in Outlands or Northrend, apparently because of your low level you’re blind to them completely. You’ll be glad to know however that your own level doesn’t affect what type of artifact you can or cannot solve, that’s up to the archaeology skill level.

    Your skill level

    Your archaeology skill level will determine whether or not you can solve a certain race’s artifacts. In example: when your skill level is at 230 you will be unable to solve Draenei or Orcish artifacts as those require you to have a skill of at least 300. Here’s a short list of what you can solve and when for those curious.

    - No level requirements – Dwarf, Fossil, Night Elf, Troll (Eastern Kingdom / Kalimdor)
    - At least 300 – Draenei, Orc (Outlands)
    - At least 400 – Nerubian, Vrykul (Northrend)
    - At least 525 – Tol’vir (Kalimdor – Uldum)

    So as you’ll be below level 300 when you start out you’ll have to start digging around in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms to gain enough skill to start solving in Outlands and run with the slightly cooler archeology gang (still quite dusty).

    Dig sites

    This is what archaeology is all about, dig sites! Dig sites is what you’ll be looking for constantly while trying to get that last elusive rare or those last few skill points, dig sites are what you’re going to focus all ranting on as they never spawn on the places you want them to spawn, here’s how they work!

    When looking at the map (after you’ve trained your archaeology of course, why haven’t you yet!) you’ll notice small shovel icons spread across the map you’re in. These little shovels represent dig sites and you’ll be chasing them around the globe nonstop, I hope you’re excited yet.
    Each time 4 shovels will be around to look for, 4 shovels only so 4 dig sites. Whenever you completely clear one of these dig sites another one will appear in a different spot on the map so you’ll never be out of dig sites. The best part is, dig sites are personal! This means no one will ever be able to steal your dig sites, you won’t have to fight over a node like you do with mining or herbing, you won’t have to fight to the death over that one artifact dig all you have to do is cruise towards your next dig site and start digging, so start digging!



    How to uncover stolen – I mean left behind artifacts

    Once you’ve found yourself a dig site to shovel away at you’ll need to know where exactly the digging should be done. Fortunately for you Blizzard isn’t going to have you randomly take guesses but you get to use some nifty archaeologist equipment, just like Indiana Jones (only without the hat)!

    When you use your survey ability (Spellbook & Abilities (P) --> Professions --> Archaeology Survey) while standing in a dig site you’ll either get incredibly lucky and be at the right spot straight away or you’ll be like everyone else and have to dig around a while before you hit the right spot.
    Now after you’ve used survey you’ll find yourself looking at some interesting looking equipment with a light on it. There’s 3 colors you could be looking at:

    - Red: Not even close, but keep trying!
    - Yellow: Well, you’re getting there.
    - Green: Almost there! Almost there!

    Now you’ll notice the looking glass is pointing in a certain direction and that’s the direction you’ll want to follow, why? Because the looking glass will always point towards the nearest next fragment dig. Once you’re there just use survey again and you’ll dig up the fragments you were looking for and you can start looking for the next few. Every dig site has 3 fragment spots so after you’ve successfully dug up fragments 3 times you’ll have to move to the next dig site.

    Where to level and why

    As I explained in the above section you’ll be unable to solve certain race’s artifacts until you hit a certain level of skill in archaeology. Not to worry though as I found that the lower level places (Eastern Kingdom / Kalimdor) are actually easier to level up your skill than the higher level ones.

    This is purely from personal experience of course so bare with me if you find it’s not as easy for you and you’d rather level in Outlands or what not, but here is what I found.
    While digging around in Eastern Kingdoms and especially Kalimdor as I’m a Horde player I usually took my time to clear one side of the map of dig sites completely and wait until the other side of the map had 4 shovels before flying all the way over there and dig those out.

    Horde

    Why is that useful you ask? Because of teleporting of course! Now this part is mostly for the level 85 players who’ve done some questing about already but it should still be useful for the lower levels as well considering hearthstoning.

    In the north section of Kalimdor there’s Orgrimmar to which I have my hearthstone set and Moonglade for those playing a druid. In the south section of Kalimdor are Uldum and Tanaris. If you’ve quested in Uldum already you’ll find a portal to get to Uldum in Orgrimmar to quickly reduce travel time or for those in possession of a “Signet of the Kirin’tor” it’s possible to teleport to Dalaran and take the Tanaris Desert portal from there to the same effect.

    As a low level of course that’s a little trickier so I would rather suggest Eastern Kingdom over Kalimdor as a Horde if you’re not high level enough to use teleporting. By leveling in the Eastern Kingdom you can make good use of the zeppelin to and fro Undercity and Grom’gol in Stranglethorn Vale to avoid having to fly or walk everywhere constantly.

    Alliance

    As an Alliance, sadly enough you’ve been screwed ever so slightly. You don’t have any capitals on the main land of Kalimdor and even though you could always resort to using Darnassus or Exodar you’ll still have to take the boat back to the main land. I suggest you put your hearth stone somewhere in the north of Kalimdor if you’re interested in doing a lot of archaeology research there for a while, or if you’re a druid put your hearthstone in the south of Kalimdor and use your Moonglade portal at will. You’ll still be able to use the “Signet of the Kirin’tor” method to portal to Tanaris of course if you’re at a higher level.

    Even though it still isn’t the optimal way I would also suggest Alliance low level characters to level in Eastern Kingdoms rather than Kalimdor. Not specifically because of zeppelins as there aren’t any but because 3 of their capitals are in the Eastern Kingdoms which should at least give you easier flight paths to get around and you’ll have the option to put your hearthstone in the centre or south of the map whichever you prefer.

    Outlands & Northrend

    These continents are actually quite tricky as even though Outlands only has 2 races (Draenei and Orc) they require a whopping 45 fragments to complete as opposed to a usual 30 to 35 fragments needed for Kalimdor / Eastern Kingdoms artifacts.
    To make matter worse, Northrend requires 45 fragments as well but they sometimes let you dig up Night Elf or Troll fragments next to the Nerubian and Vrykul fragments and as such dragging out the solving process quite a bit.

    I would suggest leveling in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms simply because you get the same amount of dig sites and the same amount of fragments but when making good use of your hearthstone you can get to them a lot quicker. On that same note I’ve noticed how the Kalimdor / Eastern Kingdom dig sites seem to spawn close to each other more often than they do in Outlands or Northrend. And on another, much more important, note you’ll need a lot less fragments to get to a solve in Kalimdor / Eastern Kingdoms which will speed up your initial archaeology leveling by a lot.

    Economical fragment usage

    As you may have noticed there’s a lot of digging and solving involved in the grand world of archaeology. So what will give me skill? You ask, good question!
    There’s 2 ways to gain skill in archaeology and the first one will only work as long as you’re below a skill level of 100. You guessed it, that’s the only way you should be using until you hit 100. By digging up fragments of artifacts you’ll gain a single skill level per dig up until 100. Mind you it’ll get harder to get a skill level out of digging once you get near the 100 mark, in the same way recipes for other professions turn green after a while the “digging up a fragment” recipe will turn green as well which means less chance on a skill up, don’t let it get to you though you’ll need your solves later!

    The second way of gaining skill is by solving artifacts from the fragments you’ve found. Every single solve will grant you 5 skill regardless of your current skill, if you’ve solved the artifact before or what type of race you’re solving an artifact of. If you’re lucky enough to find a rare and solve it you’ll even gain 15 skill points now (this wasn’t implemented yet when I hit 525, feel free to weep for me)! Mind you though, rares cost a lot more fragments than a common artifact and as such take some time to solve.

    After you hit 100 skill by just digging you’ll most likely have a ton of fragments to solve artifacts with so you should be able to hit at least 150 skill if not more after solving all of them straight away, to give you something to look forward to after you didn’t get a skill up from a dig yet again.



    Races

    I’ll give you a bit of explanation on every race you’ll encounter and what environment to expect them in usually.

    Dwarf
    The Dwarf dig sites will usually be found in the Eastern Kingdoms in places you find either Dwarves or actually in game dig sites as in, the type of dig site that’s part of the landscape (are they ever really?). Their fragments look like a sort of Chinese red vases; very pretty actually they’re my favorite type! Examples of common locations are Burning Steppes ruins, Twilight Highlands Dwarf villages or Uldaman.

    Draenei
    The Draenei dig sites will spawn in Outlands in places where the Draenei supposedly “have been” in other words crashed part(s) of their space ship upon or where they’ve left some of their technology. Their fragments will look like small Draenei themed disc using the classic purple and gold color combination. Examples of common locations are Auchindoun, broken villages or Netherstorm.

    Fossil
    You can find Fossil dig sites in both Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms and out of all the different kinds of dig sites you’ll probably finish the Fossil rares the fastest. The Fossil “race” has no keystones and as such has no use for anyone just trying to make money. Their only 2 rares are a skeleton raptor pet and a skeleton raptor mount which can be found quite fast now that I mention it. After you’ve found those too the dig sites will basically have no use whatsoever. The fragments will look like small stones with a fossilized imprint on them. You’ll find them around bone littered grounds of course or desolate places with no trace of any other race type. Examples of common locations are the coastal side of Swamp of Sorrows, near the river in Hillsbrad Foothills or Un’goro Crater.

    Night Elf
    These dig sites are usually found in Kalimdor but have a tendency of popping up a lot everywhere for some reason (Eastern Kingdoms and Northrend). They have an incredibly high spawn rate and so while digging in Kalimdor you’ll find yourself with plenty Night Elf fragments very quickly which is convenient if you’re going for something Night Elf specific. You’ll know you’re getting a Night Elf dig site anytime you stumble upon Night Elf themed ruins, which there are plenty of so to speak. The Night Elf fragments will look like a slender brown vase. Examples of common locations are absolutely everywhere in Kalimdor. Seriously though (well I wasn’t kidding), the Feralas ruins / Dire Maul, Sargeron – Desolace or Winterspring.

    Nerubian
    The Nerubian dig sites are actually quite a hassle to find, you’ll find more Vrykul, Troll and Night Elf dig sites than you’ll find Nerubian ones. You’ll find Nerubian dig sites near Scourge “settlements” (desolate wastelands crawling with undead and green puddles of slime). Their fragments look like a small golden vase. Examples of common locations are Talramas, Temple City of En’kilah – Borean Tundra and Scourgeholme.

    Orc
    These dig sites will be found in Outlands only around the “bad type of orc” settlements. Their fragments look like bland, brown clay pots (I wish I could make it more interesting than that). Examples of common locations are Hellfire Citadel, Zeth’gor and Burning Blade Ruins.

    Tol’vir
    This race is the final race you’ll unlock (or so far at least) and they have quite a few epics to uncover. They’ll be found in Uldum – Kalimdor only and yes that’s a very small space to put any shovels in, be afraid. The Tol’vir fragments look like small, elaborately decorated with blue marks. I’d give you examples of where they can be found but it really is just Uldum.

    Troll
    You’ll find Troll fragments in Eastern Kingdom most of the time as the continent’s littered with Troll ruins, which is where you’ll find their dig sites. It’s interesting to note that the Troll race only has 1 rare which is “Zin’rokh, Destroyer of Worlds”, it’s also incredibly hard to find. Troll fragments look like Troll tablets, yes exactly like Troll tablets. Examples of common locations are Stranglethorn Vale, The Hinterlands or Arathi Highlands.

    Vrykul
    These dig sites are found in Northrend and Northrend only. They’re also the most common find in Northrend as is, they spawn near Vrykul villages which they have a lot of out there (like you hadn’t noticed). Their fragments look like small wooden boxes, yes Vrykul had the best way of preserving ancient artifacts of great power or value, small wooden (rotting) boxes. Examples of common locations are Ymirheim, Utgarde Keep or Jotunheim.

    ???
    So this is a silly little race. Why? Because it doesn’t exist yet, the icon you’re seeing is simply a placeholder for a future new race. What does this mean? This means we’ll have more digging to do later on, rejoice!

    Artifacts
    I’ll give you a short list (well, short…) of all the common artifacts you can get from every race (alphabetically ordered for your convenience), how many fragments they cost and whether or not they’re connected to any of the achievements.

    Dwarf

    Belt Buckle with Anvilmar Crest (34 fragments)
    Bodacious Door Knocker (35 fragments)
    Bone Gaming Dice (32 fragments)
    Boot Heel with Scrollwork (34 fragments)
    Ceramic Funeral Urn (35 fragments)
    Dented Shield of Horuz Killcrow (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Dwarven Baby Socks (30 fragments)
    Golden Chamber Pot (35 fragments)
    Ironstar’s Petrified Shield (36 fragments) (achievement)
    Mithril Chain of Angerforge (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Moltenfist’s Jeweled Goblet (34 fragments) (achievement)
    Notched Sword of Tunadil the Redeemer (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Pewter Drinking Cup (35 fragments)
    Pipe of Franclorn Forgewright (45 fragments)
    Scepter of Bronzebeard (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Scepter of Chalrga Razorflank (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Scorched Staff of Shadow Priest Anund (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Silver Kris of Korl (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Silver Neck Torc (34 fragments)
    Skull Staff of Shadowforge (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Spiked Gauntlets of Anvilrage (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Stone Gryphon (35 fragments)
    Warmaul of Burningeye (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Winged Helm of Corehammer (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Wooden Whistle (28 fragments)
    Word of Empress Zoe (45 fragments)
    Worn Hunting Knife (30 fragments)

    Draenei

    Anklet with Golden Bells (45 fragments)
    Baroque Sword Scabbard (46 fragments)
    Carved Harp of Exotic Wood (45 fragments)
    Dignified Portrait (45 fragments)
    Fine Crystal Candelabra (44 fragments)
    Plated Elekk Goad (45 fragments)
    Scepter of the Nathrezim (46 fragments) (achievement)
    Strange Silver Paperweight (46 fragments)

    Fossil

    Ancient Shark Jaws (35 fragments)
    Beautiful Preserved Fern (25 fragments)
    Black Trilobite (31 fragments)
    Devilsaur Tooth (35 fragments)
    Feathered Raptor Arm (33 fragments)
    Imprint of a Kraken Tentacle (45 fragments)
    Insect in Amber (35 fragments)
    Proto-Drake Skeleton (45 fragments)
    Shard of Petrified Wood (30 fragments)
    Strange Velvet Worm (35 fragments)
    Twisted Ammonite Shell (35 fragments)
    Vicious Ancient Fish (35 fragments)

    Night Elf

    Carcanet of the Hundred Magi (45 fragments)
    Chest of Tiny Glass Animals (34 fragments) (achievement)
    Cloak Clasp with Antlers (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Coin from Eldre’Thalas (35 fragments)
    Cracked Crystal Vial (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Delicate Music Box (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Hairpin of Silver and Malachite (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Highborne Pyxis (30 fragments)
    Green Dragon Ring (35 fragments)
    Inlaid Ivory Comb (30 fragments)
    Kaldorei Amphora (35 fragments)
    Necklace with Elune Pendant (30 fragments)
    Scandelous Silk Nightgown (30 fragments)
    Scepter of Xavius (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Shattered Glaive (35 fragments)
    Silver Scroll Case (45 fragments) (achievement)
    String of Small Pink Pearls (35 fragments)
    Umbra Crescent (45 fragments)

    Nerubian

    Ewer of Jormungar Blood (45 fragments)
    Gruesome Heart Box (45 fragments)
    Infested Ruby Ring (45 fragments)
    Scepter of Nerzar’Azret (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Six Clawed Cornice (45 fragments)
    Spidery Sundial (45 fragments)
    Vizier’s Scrawled Streamer (45 fragments)

    Orc

    Fiendish Whip (45 fragments)
    Fierce Wolf Figurine (45 fragments)
    Gray Candle Stud (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Maul of Stone Guard Mur’og (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Rusted Steak Knife (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Scepter of Nekrox Skullcrusher (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Skull Drinking Cup (45 fragments)
    Tile of Glazed Clay (45 fragments)
    Tiny Bronze Scorpion (45 fragments) (achievement)

    Tol’vir

    Canopic Jar (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Castle of Sand (45 fragments)
    Cat Statue with Emerald Eyes (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Engraved Scimitar Pommel (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Sketch of a Desert Palace (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Soapstone Scarab Necklace (45 fragments) (achievement)
    Tiny Oasis Mosaic (45 fragments) (achievement)

    Troll

    Atal’ai Scepter (35 fragments) (achievement)
    Bracelet of Jade and Coins (35 fragments)
    Cinnabar Bijou (35 fragments)
    Drakkari Sacrificial Knife (35 fragments)
    Eerie Hakkari Idol (35 fragments)
    Feathered Gold Earring (34 fragments)
    Fetish of Hir’eek (30 fragments)
    Fine Bloodscalp Dinnerware (32 fragments)
    Gahz’rilla Figurine (35 fragments)
    Jade Asp with Ruby Eyes (35 fragments)
    Lizard Foot Charm (32 fragments)
    Skull-Shaped Planter (35 fragments)
    Tooth with Gold Filling (35 fragments)
    Zandalari Voodoo Doll (27 fragments)

    Vrykul

    Scramseax (45 fragments)
    Thorned Necklace (45 fragments)
    Flint Striker (45 fragments)
    Intricate Treasure Chest Key (45 fragments)
    Fanged Cloak Pin (45 fragments)



    Rare artifacts

    Here I’ll explain a little on each rare artifact you can find and to which race it belongs.

    Dwarf

    Chalice of the Mountain Kings
    In addition to the many jewels adorning it, this chalice is virtually covered with runes celebrating an old ascension ceremony for dwarven kings. Drinking from this chalice was certainly a part of it, but the runes go on to describe a 'sword dance' done by female dwarven warriors. This performance, part ritual and part mock battle, apparently evolved from bloody duels fought during less sophisticated times in dwarven history.

    This item will spawn 4 female dwarves standing in a circle. The dwarves will start of by bowing towards each other and then proceed to perform their in game dance while occasionally moving around in the circle and ending their “sword dance” by yet another bow.

    Clockwork Gnome
    Mechagnomes were created by the titans, apparently as servants and caretakers, much like the earthen. This mechagnome was likely damaged because it is no longer focused on its original tasks and seems content to follow you.

    This item will teach you how to summon a little clockwork gnome companion with a rather large mustache and angry looking eyebrows, sweet little guy nonetheless.

    Staff of the Sorcer-Thane Thaurissan
    Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan was the leader of the Dark Iron dwarves during the War of the Three Hammers. When he lost Ironforge to the Bronzebeard clan, Thaurissan retreated to the Redridge Mountains and founded a city in his name. In a desperate attempt to defeat his enemies, Thaurissan accidentally summoned the demigod Ragnaros, which resulted in the sorceror-thane's immediate death and the formation of the volcanic peak of Blackrock Mountain.

    This is the only Dwarven epic equip, a dps caster staff which looks exactly the same as some lower level Outland staffs. Nevertheless this is a very sought after weapon by many caster dps especially those unable to get their hands on raiding gear.

    The Innkeeper’s Daughter
    According to legend, Bryher Stonekeeper ran a prosperous tavern near Loch Modan. His daughter, Keelin, travelled far from home, eventually developing the kind of reputation that embarrassed her father. Bryher made a deal with a gnome warlock to keep his daughter close to home. The warlock turned Keelin into a hearthstone, so that she would always return to the inn.

    This item will act exactly as any hearthstone would and as such also shares a cool down with your original hearthstone making it essentially useless other than having a different picture on your hearthstone.

    Draenei

    Arrival of the Naaru
    This crystal seems to be a magical recording device of some sort. The message it plays is in a language you can't entirely decipher, but you gather it is either a recording or a recreation of the first meeting of the eredar and the naaru.

    Upon using this item a Naaru will appear and after that 3 Draenei who quickly walk up to the Naaru, bow and disappear again. It’s a very, very short scene so don’t miss it when you play it or you’ll have to wait 3 minutes again, wouldn’t want to miss it right.

    The Last Relic of Argus
    This crystal seems to be a magical recording device of some sort. The message it plays is in a language you can't entirely decipher, but you gather it is either a recording or a recreation of the first meeting of the eredar and the naaru.

    When using this item you’ll get randomly teleported to any of the following locations:

    - Golakka Hot Springs – Un’Goro Crater
    - Nighthaven – Moonglade
    - Dire Maul Arena – Feralas
    - Duskwood
    - Wetlands
    - Wailing Caverns
    - Mardenholde Keep (Hearthglen) – Western Plague Lands
    - Lost Rigger Cove – Tanaris
    - Fuselight-by-the-Sea – Badlands
    - Hellfire Peninsula
    - Blasted Lands
    - Narain Soothfancy’s old hut at Steamwheedle Port
    - Stranglethorn Vale

    There could be more locations but this is all I currently know of.

    Fossil

    Fossilized Hatchling
    When you finished assembling this tiny skeleton through some eldritch magic, the little critter sprang back to life. He's a pretty good pet. Since he's a skeleton, he doesn't eat much.

    This item will teach you how to summon a tiny little skeleton raptor (the drawings in this guide are based on it) following you around like all cute collections of bones do.

    Fossilized Raptor
    When you finished assembling this skeleton through some eldritch magic, the creature sprang back to life.

    This item will teach you how to summon a skeletal raptor mount that moves, sounds and looks exactly like the living types only without all the pesky flesh, skin and other components involved, what a relief!

    Night Elf

    Bones of Transformation
    When the first Well of Eternity imploded, it sank the center of kaldorei culture to the bottom of the sea. To escape certain doom, Queen Azshara made a pact with a greater power, possibly an Old God or an elemental. As a result, a curse descended upon the surviving Highborne, who became twisted, serpent-like creatures now known as the naga.

    These nifty bones will transform you into a naga for a short period of time (a very, very short period of time; 20 seconds). You can slither and roar just like a real naga, for all their fans out there! Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have a dance yet.

    Druid and Priest Statue Set
    It was a tremendous societal change when night elf men were allowed to become priests and the women druids. For thousands of years previously, the two roles had been exclusive to the other gender. This pair of statues commemorates those momentous and tumultuous events.

    This item will summon a beam of green light on your current location which lasts for only a few seconds (10 seconds) before disappearing again. Interesting to note that while you’re in shadowform as a priest the beam will turn purple although it will be a thinner beam as well. If you disable shadowform the beam will return to normal. Also noteworthy is that the beam will move with you while active!

    Highborne Soul Mirror
    Before the Great Sundering, the Highborne were known among the night elves for their arrogance, avarice and outlandish clothing. It was said that nothing was so pleasing to the gaze of the Highborne as themselves. These mirrors were created so that elven ladies could see their colorful garments in three full dimensions, yet the reflection often exaggerated the already depraved visage of the viewer.

    When you use this mirror you’ll summon a mirror image of yourself. It’s just going to stand there and stare at you which is actually quite creepy, you don’t want this item!

    Kaldorei Wind Chimes

    These chimes are composed of a series of richly decorated bronze tubes of varying lengths connected to a strand of bronze designed to appear as a vine. This artifact is magical, and the chimes appear to play music of their own accord, even when there is no wind.

    When you use this item you’ll get the message that <YourName> Holds his/her Wind Chimes to the wind, which is all it does really.

    Queen Azshara’s Dressing Gown
    That Azshara was the most beautiful of night elves is practically regarded as fact. Unfortunately, her own eye for beauty seems to have been as limited as that of many of her brethren, at least judging from the garish colors of this gown. 'There has only ever been, only ever will be... one Azshara.'

    This is one of the Night Elf rare equips (Cloth spellpower chest piece). Unfortunately this is a level 60 gear piece and as most people already use heirloom equips while leveling an alt it will only really have any use for a first time player who has been leveling archaeology avidly and is a caster around level 60. I know, I’m talking about half the Warcraft playerbase here, right?

    Tyrande’s Favorite Doll
    Tyrande Whisperwind is the high priestess of Elune, and with her recent marriage, she is no longer sole ruler of the night elves. She grew up in the ancient city of Suramar, far from the first Well of Eternity, not far from the brothers Malfurion and Illidan Stormrage. Tyrande's idyllic childhood proved to be in sharp contrast to the sorrow and conflict that she would endure later in her life.

    The second Night Elf rare equip (Caster trinket). With its 321 intellect on equip effect and mana preserving use (Recaptures 20% of all the mana you spend on spells, and stores it within the doll to be released at a later time. Up to a maximum of 4200 mana can be stored.) this is a sought after trinket by many healers even though personally I prefer spirit over the intellect and even the use of this trinket it’s still quite a good starter.

    Wisp Amulet
    Wisps are nature spirits thought to be dead night elves. They exist in tight connection with their forest homeland and night elves in general, performing such beneficial activities as construction, repair and defense of elven communities. Many wisps sacrificed themselves in order to defeat Archimonde at the end of the Third War, so there are fewer wisps today than there once were.

    This item will transform you into a wisp for a short time on use. Unfortunately you can’t do anything while you’re a wisp (much like the Halloween wand effect, only shorter) so this is really just to hover around and look pretty, shortly.

    Nerubian

    Blessing of the Old God
    Pwhn'guul i ghawl'fwata ryiu wgah uul'gwan h'iwn guu'lal. Pwhn'guul i ghawl'fwata ryiu wgah uul'gwan h'iwn guu'lal. Pwhn'guul i ghawl'fwata ryiu wgah uul'gwan h'iwn guu'lal.

    Another transformation item which will transform you into a green version of the well known Ahn’Qiraj bugs also available as mounts inside the instance. I’m sorry, I have no idea how to translate the flavor text but I’m sure it’s something nasty that you really don’t want to know! (It sort of says "pwn" in the first bit doesn't it)

    Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
    This small box has many shifting panels, moving hinges and hidden clasps. Yet no matter how you manipulate them, it seems impossible to actually open the box to reveal the contents within. It is also difficult to even try because the dark artifact constantly whispers to you, 'It WAS your fault. It WAS your fault. It WAS your fault. It WAS your fault.'

    When using this box one of the following things can be whispered to you:

    • At the bottom of the ocean even light must die
    • The silent, sleeping, staring houses in the backwoods always dream. It would be merciful to tear them down.
    • There is no sharp distinction between the real and the unreal.
    • Even death may die.
    • There is a little lamb lost in dark woods.
    • All places, all things have souls. All souls can be devoured.
    • What can change the nature of a man?
    • The stars sweep chill currents that make men shiver in the dark.
    • You will all be alone in the end.
    • Do you dream while you sleep or is it an escape from the horrors of reality?
    • Look around. They will all betray you. Flee screaming into the black forest.
    • In the land of Ny'alotha there is only sleep.
    • In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things.
    • Ny'alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes.
    • Y'knath k'th'rygg k'yi mrr'ungha gr'mula.
    • The void sucks at your soul. It is content to feast slowly.
    • The drowned god's heart is black ice.
    • It is standing right behind you. Do not move. Do not breathe.
    • Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
    • In the sunken city, he lays dreaming.
    • Open me! Open me! Open me! Then only will you know peace.
    • You resist. You cling to your life as if it actually matters. You will learn.
    • The tortured spirits of your ancestors cling to you, screaming in silence. Apparently they are quite numerous.
    • The fish know all the secrets. They know the cold. They know the dark.
    • The giant rook watches from the dead trees. Nothing breathes beneath his shadow.

    Orc

    Headdress of the First Shaman
    The origin of shamanism among the orcs remains a mystery. As far back as orcish history has been recorded, shaman have been mentioned. This simple headdress seems ancient beyond time. Its creator and original wearer have been lost to history.

    The only rare available for the Orcish race and an epic head equip itemized for, what else, shamans (enhancement). Unfortunately level 70 so not worth trying to get for your level 85 shaman.

    Tol’vir

    Crawling Claw
    A legend among the tol'vir tells of a wicked djinn whom the Ramkahen sought to destroy. In an attempt to prevent his own death, the djinn tried to transfer his spirit into the body of a monkey. He was slain right in the middle of the transference, and only a fraction of his essence had moved over - only enough to possess the monkey's paw.

    Very simply put a little mummified monkey paw minion (if you’re Roleplaying the Adams family I guess you’re in luck!).

    Pendant of the Scarab Storm
    In the reign of Pharaoh Tebhotep a plague of serpents struck the Vir'naal River. Nothing could drive away the reptiles. Then, a second plague appeared, this one of desert scarabs. The scarabs fought the serpents until not a one of either creature was left and peace returned to the land.

    This item will summon a “terrible” storm of... Peaceful scarabs. Yes I know, I’m scared as well.

    Scepter of Azj’Aqir
    The aqir were a race of incredibly evil, expansionistic insects who battled the troll empires for thousands of years. Eventually, the great Azj'Aqir civilization split in half, with Azjol-Nerub in the north, and Ahn'Qiraj in the south. The night elves were able to contain the qiraji for many years until they were awakened again by the Old God C'thun.

    This item will teach you how to summon one of the blue bug mounts from Ahn’Qiraj only this time you can use it anywhere anytime (well not inside of course)!

    Scimitar of the Sirocco

    This weapon was once a set of scimitars forged by the renowned Ramhaken bronzesmith Irmaat. Each was designed to represent one of the djinn lords of the Four Winds. All four scimitars were thought lost, but if this one could be reconstructed, maybe there is hope for the others.

    A level 85 one handed epic sword that is not unique! Yes this means that if you find one on a different archaeologist as well (you cannot find a rare twice on the same character) you could theoretically dual wield this sword! Aren’t you excited.

    Staff of Ammunae
    Ammunae is one of the guardians of the Halls of Origination. Like the other constructs within the halls, Ammunae was created to protect the powerful device capable of resetting all life on Azeroth. Each of the keepers has a sphere of influence. Isiset presides over magic; Ammunae, life; Setesh, chaos; and Rajh, the sun.

    And epic healer type staff, we could consider this the counter part of Staff of the Sorcer-Thane Thaurissan.

    Ring of the Boy Emperor

    Little is known of Emperor Ninjter. His coronation was a time of great celebration among the tol'vir, and a long and prosperous rule was foretold. The emperor died very young, before much of his great destiny could unfold.

    An epic caster ring presumably “named” after the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, the youngest known Pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

    Troll

    Zin’rokh, Destroyer of Worlds
    According to your research, this great weapon was one of the many treasures of Hakkar the Soulflayer in Zul'Gurub. Hakkar was defeated years ago, and this sword passed through the hands of many powerful warriors and paladins before apparently becoming sundered. It is remarkable that you have been able to reforge it, but also a little troubling: if the Destroyer of Worlds has returned, perhaps the Soulflayer is not far behind.

    Possibly the most sought after epic I’ve come across. It’s a brilliant 2 handed epic sword, very viable for Death Knights and Warriors alike but the drop rate seems to be quite near 0.0001% (but I might be optimistic in my guess here).

    Vrykul

    Nifflevar Bearded Axe
    Many of the axes forged by the vrykul display an unusual style: the bottom edge of the axe blade extends down below the width of the butt. This style increases cutting area while minimizing weight; it can be used on both weapon and tools. Some dwarven axes show a similar construction.

    A level 80 epic one-handed axe. Even though this weapon has quite a decent item level (Ulduar) the stats aren’t magnificent, quite the opposite actually.


    I hope this guide was helpful to you in at least a small way and have fun covering yourself in the digging dust!

    - Jinze
    Last edited by Jinze; 2010-12-28 at 06:39 PM.

  2. #2
    good guide. I'm deep in archaeology already, but many people starting on it may find it useful

    but just a little heads up about Zin'rokh:
    Possibly the most sought after epic I’ve come across. It’s a brilliant 2 handed epic sword, very viable for Death Knights and Warriors alike but the drop rate seems to be quite near 0.0001% (but I might be optimistic in my guess here).
    this is just unnecessary exageration, the "drop" rate is probably 1%, maybe a little bit higher, 0.0001% would imply a chance of 1 in 100000, which is definitelly not the case. the "rarity" in large part is due to having to work SO much time on it in EK hoping for troll digsites for a CHANCE of it appearing. I got it on my 51th solve, I've seen people take longer, or even get it as soon as their 3rd or 4th solve, the same way people can get lucky to get a rare mount drop on the first kill of a boss

  3. #3
    Scarab Lord Viridiancity's Avatar
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    Nice guide!

    BTW, you used the "Arrival of the Naaru" description for the "Last Relic of Argus".

    Last relic's description should be
    " Before they lived on Azeroth or Draenor, the draenei, who still called themselves the eredar at the time, lived on Argus. When Sargeras took notice of Argus, Prophet Velen fled with some of his people, who became the draenei. The remaining eredar were absorbed into the Burning Legion. This simple crystal was taken from Argus when Velen fled. The inscription on the bottom reads, 'I long for Mac'Aree.'"

  4. #4
    Addendum for level 80+, preferably 85ers:
    Do the intro quests for each zone, or more specifically Hyjal and Uldum; set your HS to SW - then you'll have portals to both Northern and Southern Kalimdor. With the 15 minutes CD guild perk, it's brilliant.

  5. #5
    The Keldorai Wind Chimes actually play a wind-chimey sound effect as well! Still not that exciting but a small inaccuracy anyway.

  6. #6
    Overall a good collection of the information available in a variety of disperate locations.

    One slight correction is that Tol'vir digsites (and annoyingly Twilight Highlands and Hyjal ones) become available at 450 skill not 525.

  7. #7
    You should of added "Don't level Archaeology on your warrior in hopes of Zin'Rohk, only to not get it, so you start leveling it on your mage. Farm 2000 fragments and solve them all at Hakkars altar. To not see Zin'Rohk yet again."

    It'll make you want 40 hours of your life back.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the tips and corrections so far, I'll be sure to edit those out later on (I can't edit this original post anymore)!

  9. #9
    The Patient
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    Your own level

    Depending on what level your character currently is you will only be able to find dig sites in continents of your own level. What does this mean you ask? It means that a level 40 will not be able to find dig sites in Outlands or Northrend, apparently because of your low level you’re blind to them completely. You’ll be glad to know however that your own level doesn’t affect what type of artifact you can or cannot solve, that’s up to the archaeology skill level.
    Unless I'm misunderstanding something here, I assumed Arc skill level is what dictates where you find dig sites rather than the character's level. For instance, my priest is lv85 with an Arc skill level of 200 right now, she cannot see dig sites anywhere else than in EK and Kalimdor.

    Like with any professions, the sub-300 levels are old world, 300-375 is Outlands, 375-450 is Northrend and 450-525 is Cataclysm zones.

    Awesome guide tho, thank you very much for this!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalx View Post
    this is just unnecessary exageration, the "drop" rate is probably 1%, maybe a little bit higher, 0.0001% would imply a chance of 1 in 100000, which is definitelly not the case. the "rarity" in large part is due to having to work SO much time on it in EK hoping for troll digsites for a CHANCE of it appearing. I got it on my 51th solve, I've seen people take longer, or even get it as soon as their 3rd or 4th solve, the same way people can get lucky to get a rare mount drop on the first kill of a boss
    If you read the forums of mmo-champion and world of warcraft, you'll see that a lot of people have solved more than 150 and they still got no sword. Just a small percentage (and really small) lucky players got them before 100 solves. Personally, I'm in my 195 solve without getting the sword. From my perspective, the drop rate is definitely not 1%.
    Last edited by Dbutcher; 2011-01-03 at 10:50 PM.

  11. #11
    High Overlord Falkus's Avatar
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    You resist. You cling to your life as if it actually matters. You will learn.
    Funny. Baldur's Gate 2 reference. It's Jon Irenicus' speech from one of the Dream Sequences.
    What can change the nature of a man?
    Planescape: Torment. The one recurring thing throughout the entire game

    Nice guide. Now if it would only help me overcome the sheer bore-fest that Archaeology is.


    "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."

  12. #12
    More a summary than a guide and several mistyped words. By mistyped I mean spell checker did not pick them up because they were spelled correctly, just the wrong word was typed (bare with me vs bear with me. First means get naked with me, the other means put up with any mistakes).

    The main thing missing from the guide is to not level up via completing artifacts until you hit a skill of 100. After 100 digging up no longer advances the skill, and by the time you hit 100, you will still not be able to hit 525 by completion. The fragments keep accumulating so once you pass the completion number, you do not lose pieces.

  13. #13

    Decent guide BUT....

    Next time you decide to post a guide you might want to get the facts right on things before you have people going in circles.

    - No level requirements – Dwarf, Fossil, Night Elf, Troll (Eastern Kingdom / Kalimdor)
    - At least 300 – Draenei, Orc (Outlands)
    - At least 400 – Nerubian, Vrykul (Northrend) - should be 375
    - At least 525 – Tol’vir (Kalimdor – Uldum) - Should be 450

    I could have read more but I didn't feel like being a total jerk. At least you tried though.

  14. #14
    Moderator d3v's Avatar
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    "- At least 525 – Tol’vir (Kalimdor – Uldum)"

    Are you sure this is correct? I'm not 525 archaeology yet, and I've been able to dig at Tol'vir sites already. My skill is 468 if I remember correctly... Either way I'm definatly not 525.

    edit: Ah, hilarislovin beat me too it ^^ post above mine

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by uopayroll View Post
    More a summary than a guide and several mistyped words. By mistyped I mean spell checker did not pick them up because they were spelled correctly, just the wrong word was typed (bare with me vs bear with me. First means get naked with me, the other means put up with any mistakes).

    The main thing missing from the guide is to not level up via completing artifacts until you hit a skill of 100. After 100 digging up no longer advances the skill, and by the time you hit 100, you will still not be able to hit 525 by completion. The fragments keep accumulating so once you pass the completion number, you do not lose pieces.
    My native language is not English so there's probably a lot of mistakes in there. ^^

  16. #16
    Scarab Lord Viridiancity's Avatar
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    The Digger Tips are pretty adorable, by the way.

  17. #17
    Awesome guide!

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Kanubis View Post
    The Keldorai Wind Chimes actually play a wind-chimey sound effect as well! Still not that exciting but a small inaccuracy anyway.
    They actually play different sounds depending on weather.

  19. #19
    Could you add links to the rare items you can recieve?
    Would be nice to see the stats of the epics items directly from your guide

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by hilarislovin View Post
    Next time you decide to post a guide you might want to get the facts right on things before you have people going in circles.

    - No level requirements – Dwarf, Fossil, Night Elf, Troll (Eastern Kingdom / Kalimdor)
    - At least 300 – Draenei, Orc (Outlands)
    - At least 400 – Nerubian, Vrykul (Northrend) - should be 375
    - At least 525 – Tol’vir (Kalimdor – Uldum) - Should be 450

    I could have read more but I didn't feel like being a total jerk. At least you tried though.
    The level requirements are for solving the artifacts not digging them up.

    @ Juubo

    I would definantly do so but I can't edit the guide as is anymore.

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