Here I am to talk to you a little bit about archaeology, WoW's newest (secondary) profession introduced in Cataclysm.
I'm gonna say it from the start: Blizzard has discovered the goose with the golden eggs a long time ago but they keep figuring out new ways to coax it to lay yet more golden (and shinier) eggs.
One way in which a MMORPG such as World of Warcraft keeps players hooked is to give them stuff to do. Repetitive and grindy but fun stuff seems like a good way to accomplish this.
I was excited by archaeology at the beginning, and still am to a certain extent. I guess this is where the addictive component kicks in. However, I see several problems with this red-headed stepchild of a profession.
1. Archaeology seems to have been designed with a flying mount (and a fast one at that) in mind. If it hasn't, then bummer. I can't imagine trying to level it without one. My newest character, a worgen druid, has learned archaeology, in the off-chance that he'll encounter a site in the zones he is questing in. By level 34 he got exactly 2 sites.
2. Even with a fast (310% or more) flying mount, it still takes an eternity to level archaeology from scratch. Simply flying around from one zone to another takes many minutes. Granted, sometimes you get lucky and sites sprout in adjacent areas but that doesn't happen often enough.
3. The majority of crafted relics are crap. Not only that, but they are worthless. It would be nice if they would at least have *some* vendor value. I hear that in a future patch Blizzard is raising the vendor prices for most of these items.
4. Some of the high-end epics are nice, as well as the mount and the pet. Perhaps some of the other doodads as well. But in order to craft those you *really* need to get your ass into gear and grind those fragments baby!
5. Since the relics you get to craft are random, it might be a long time before you get what you wish for.
6. I can't imagine myself leveling this profession all the way to max on a second character beside my main. That's simply too much work and for what? I did learn it on my other characters but that's just in the off chance that I'll be in the same area where a site is. And that's just for the XP since I'm aware that I won't be able to level it on these alts. I'm willing to bet that I could level any other profession from scratch with mats gathered by myself in the time needed to level archaeology.
There are just a couple of redeeming features that take off some of the sting.
1. The XP from discovering fragments is very good and it scales nicely with your level. Thus, it might be worth the waste of time just for the sake of the XP.
2. The fragments don't take up inventory space. If they did, I'd just say "screw this". Tablets and other green items are ok to take inventory because they can be sold on the AH and that's just what I do.
Conclusion: Blizzard may have had good intentions with this new profession but they screwed the pooch, in my book. Yeah, they did manage to create yet another great time sink so if that was their original intention, kudos to them. Personally, I'll just try to level it whenever I feel like it or when it's convenient such as when sites spawn in close proximity. Otherwise, I just can't be bothered to go out of my way to be an expert at it. Some of those epic items are nice but I guess I'll just miss out on them, unless I get really lucky. I can do more interesting things with my time than to waste it on archaeology.
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
4 years ago