Monday, December 13, 2010

Adventures in Archaeology

/cue Indiana Jones music

I've spent some time leveling up my professions as I've been leveling my character, and I've made some real progress.  My Herbalism is maxed (yay for herbing xp), my Alchemy is on its way, and my other professions are at least showing signs of progress.

So yesterday, when my 12-yr-old daughter asked me, "Mom, why haven't you trained in Archaeology?  And how does it work, anyway", I blinked.  I hadn't trained in Archaeology because it hadn't occurred to me to do so.  (How I thought we'd learn Archaeology without training is beyond me . . .)  And I had no idea how it worked.  Fortunately, my daughter knew where the trainer was, and a quick trip to Wowhead was enough to find a brief description of the Archaeology process (Thank you, Kirska, for listing the steps . . .)

The first step in Archaeology, aside from looking up how to spell it correctly, is to open your map at the continent level.  You will see little shovels where your dig sites are located.  There will only be four on each continent, and after you excavate one, another will spawn.  A good thing to know is that these are YOUR dig sites.  Nobody can steal your dig site and make off with your treasure.

When you open the map of a zone where a dig site is located, you will see the general digging area shaded.

Once you arrive at the dig site, you use the Survey ability learned when Archaeology was trained, which looks like a shovel on the icon.  (Note to Druids:  you cannot do this in Flight Form, but you can do it in Travel Form.)  If you are not at the location where your Archaeology fragments are to be found, you will see, not a fragment, but a surveyer's telescope and a little light on a stick.

The telescope points in the general direction the fragment is located, and the light on a stick tells by its color your distance from the fragment.  (This is sort of like that "hot and cold" game you probably played as a child, in which if you got closer to the hidden object, the other people in the room would say, "You're getting warmer," and if you were moving away from it, you were getting colder.)  If the color is red, you are pretty far away from the object.  If it is yellow, you're getting closer, and if it is green, you're generally only a few steps away.

Once you get your bearings, move in the direction indicated by your instruments and try the Survey ability again.  This can go on for a few times, depending on how far you are and how well you can guess what your instruments are really trying to tell you.

Finally, you reach the location of your fragment and unearth it.  Yay!

The fragments end up as "currency", but they are not located on the Currency page.  If you go to the Professions page and click on Archaeology, you will see a display of the different types of fragments you have collected.  Clicking on the icon for a particular type will tell you how many of that type you have and how many more you need to make a discovery.  (So far, my discoveries are common and sell for about 5 silver.)

You can excavate fragments three times at a particular dig site before it disappears.

When I told my daughter I was going to write about this, she said, "Be sure to mention that you can get xp for it."  When rested, the xp I am receiving as an Apprentice, per find, is about 23k.  Not rested is, of course, about half that.  As a matter of fact, when I was collecting screenshots this morning, this happened:

Grats, me!  Have fun with Archaeology!

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