Brief Archaeology information
At least partly for my own reference, some information gathered from my somewhat hurried levelling of Archaeology from 1 to 525.
- Where you dig will influence what you get. You can level 1-525 wholly in one continent if you want to (that’s mostly what I did – I stayed in Kalimdor, barring brief visits to Eastern Kingdoms and Outlands); you need 300+ for digsites in Outlands to appear, 375 for Northrend dig sites and 475 for sites in the zones added by Cataclysm. Go through the list of Archaeology rewards on Wowhead and decide where to dig based on what you want, but note that you can’t plan what you get beyond picking what continent to be on, so be prepared for some frustration. The maps found here are quite good.
- What artifacts you use keystones to speed up will depend on your situation and what most nodes you’re digging up are. I was digging up mostly Night Elf nodes, and even using keystones on literally every single artifact that would allow me to I still dug up more than I spent; not so much for Troll and Dwarf keystones, but I didn’t even get many fragments of those in the first place.
- Some artifacts can be keystoned, some can’t. Very basic common artifacts can’t be keystoned, while ones that require more fragments allow for one or two keystones, depending on the fragment amount. Rare artifacts seem to all accept three keystones.
- Note that Fossil artifacts have no keystone.
- The experience gain from getting Archaeology from 1 to cap is enough to level a character from 83 to 85.
In the process of levelling, I found several rare artifacts: Queen Azshara’s Dressing Gown (pretty, despite the description, but I don’t think it’ll ever have a use beyond dressing up my death knight bank alt – if I ever want to level a cloth-wearing character I have heirlooms), Druid and Priest Statue Set (look at me look at me look at me!), Highborne Soul Mirror, Kaldorei Wind Chimes (these do bugger all except for an emote and a tinkling sound), Fossilized Hatchling and Fossilized Raptor – and I’m 42 fragments from Bones of Transformation (that’s 5 digsites, and yes I’m already counting three keystones). And I got enough Scandalous Silk Nightgowns to clothe an army.
(It’s a pity the grey items have no use beyond being vendored. Some of them would’ve been very neat, especially for RP…)
Now back to digging up the rest of the items I want.