Although I posted about Archaeology less than a week ago (and only two posts before this one), it’s this week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic (suggested by the estimable Ringo Flinthammer), and I do have more thoughts on the subject.
Archaeology appeals to me on two fronts: I love the lore and stories of Azeroth, and I love collecting things. IRL, I have collected Breyer model horses, Harry Potter Legos, Crayola crayons, Prismacolor markers and pencils, assorted other art supplies that I rarely use, and many many books. In-game, I collect characters — one of every Race, one of every Class, a Tauren of every class available to the race, and a Mage of every race available to the class — and Kamalia has collected the party clothes supplied by Blizzard for Azeroth’s holidays, enough mounts to get the Albino Drake, enough pets to get Stinker, and is my designated Achievement hound. My other characters have fairly sizeable RP wardrobes (that they rarely wear), too. So, collecting things that tell me stories about Azeroth? You bet I’m all over that :D
I intend to keep doing Archaeology with Kamalia until I’ve found everything, although it became slightly less pure fun when I started hoping to get Tyrande’s Doll. Somehow I’m not surprised that I’ve found 24/25 Night Elf artifacts and the only one I haven’t found yet is the Doll.
I’ve only found two BOA artifacts so far, the Orcish Headdress of the First Shaman — which will be nice for my Hunter to wear when she gets to level 70 — and the NE Queen Azshara’s Dressing Gown — a good incentive to get working on leveling my Priest so she can get to level 60 and use it. The other rare artifacts have amused me, although I really wish that the Bones of Transformation would turn my female character into a female Naga.
So far, Kamalia is the only character with whom I’ve leveled Archaeology. I have picked up Archaeology with Kaelinda because she collects purple dresses and wants Queen Azshara’s Dressing Gown and with Kjersti because Archaeology is such a Dwarf meme. Between Kamalia, Kaelinda, and Kjersti, I’ll have an Archaeologist on each of my main servers, giving them all potential access to the BOA items. I’ll only take it up with other characters if I decide that one of them wants a specific soulbound rare artifact. For example, Ketura has a thing for Raptor mounts, so I’ll probably end up doing Archaeology with her just long enough for her to get the Fossilized Hatchling and Fossilized Raptor.
I think it might be Blizzard’s intent for Archaeology to fill the “it’s 30 minutes until raid/Tol Barad/LFD pops, what should I do in the meantime?” niche, particularly for characters who don’t have gathering professions such as Mining, Herbing, or Fishing with which to occupy that time. The rare finds are meant to be bonuses, perhaps, rather than things that are ground for (though of course the player base will grind for them). I often do Archaeology with my Fishing Pole and Hat equipped, though I don’t necessarily fish every pool I see. For me, Archaeology is also a good way to relax and unwind after raid time is over — I may spend another hour in-game after the raid flying around the world digging up stuff.
Although Archaeology does give good XP, a flying mount is just so useful for jumping up, down, and across obstacles that I don’t think I’d really do much Archaeology while leveling until I reached level 60 and could get my Flight Master’s License. I’d also probably only do dig sites that were directly in the path of questing and herbing/mining if I was doing Archaeology with an under-60 leveling toon.
While I’ve been out doing Archaeology, occasionally I find all four of a continent’s dig sites in the same zone! This always merits a screenshot.
This wasn’t quite all four at the same time, but I wasn’t sure I’d ever see four in Uldum all at once, so three was worth a screencap. I was quite delighted to discover that after I’d cleared the first two sites of the three that were all in Uldum at once, my newest site was also in Uldum.