Monday, September 17, 2012

Archaeology doesnt entirely suck...

One of Blizzard's ideas that reached to far and fell flat without the Path of the Titans is Archaeology.  it was pushed onto the stage without really knowing more than a few steps and fell flat on its face.

So now were years down the road and looking at the next expansion coming out and Blizzard has worked up some exciting ideas for the old profession in Mists.  But if you want to participate you have to get through the current content.

Awful and agonizing right?  Well- sort of still yes and no.  So here is how to improve your experience.

(The links to the Mods are repeated at the end for ease in finding them)

First up is GatherMate2.  It adds in where you found arch nodes before so when you get a red saying 'go thatta way' you can at least head to where you know they were last time.  Its helps fix some of the massive Archaeology nodes problems that way.  Also if your the sort who gets confused from time to time mouse over the dot on your map and you will see what race your currently plundering.

That dot usually shows up on your mini map like all gatherer nodes unless you use Archaeology Helper. This nifty mod adds a map around  you that shows nodes mined and direction faced.

Believe it or not that's not the best thing it does  The handy little toolbar you can resize has a survey tool on it and turns the map HuD (Heads up Display) on and off.  And then the wonderful wonderful buttons.

When you survey you of course get a color relating to how far away the Arch node is.  Hit the button ans your HuD will show a little slice to show you where to look in.

That yellow strip above on my HuD the area the node could be in.  So I mount up and fly over to see what I can survey and of course I get a green.  I aim my character the way the scope is facing and hit the button again getting this:

Now it cant be on the left, its out of the yellow, so its someplace ahead and to the right.  i walk to the middle of the area and survey and right behind me is..

Just like that.  FAR less headaches and problems.  The red area is sadly very vague since Blizzard made it so but you can narrow it down a bit and remember a right click on the button will turn off that color.

Also a nice shot showing how to line up with your scope.

So that's all you need then right?  Wrong because there's a couple more mods to make it even easier!  With a fully motorized pig in every package!

Venerable Tom Tom adds an arrow to the screen that mods can use to direct you to stuff.  In fact you can do it too by typing /way xx, xx  (like /way 33, 33). where x is the coordinates.  But add Archy and now it helps you steal all the toys.  It doesn't pick and chose what race to go to just the nearest Archaeology dig site.

Never underestimate the power of knowing where to go.

The next tool isnt quite as useful since the most recent patch.

The Archy bar has a bit of trouble keeping track of your fragments notifying you early or late to complete your work but it tries.  It also has a handy bar showing your current skill level and will remind you to go grain when your about 25 skill points away from cap and try to solve a piece.

Oh clicking on the object will bring it up to solve, much like middle clicking on the shovel in the Archaeo Helper tool bar will bring up your overall Arch page.

Next is a took that shows you your dig sites.

Looks like I's gathering Draenei, Draenei or for a change up Draenei artifacts.  It also has a survey button on the top.  Like the rest of the mods it changes as you change locations.

But most super most of all is a little noise it makes.  When you enter the site a chime sounds to draw your attention.  Now you can finally start flying toward your dig and not have to baby sit every step of the way.

Now that we have the mods laid out there are a couple of trivial tricks I use to speed things up.  I set up a special bar for Archaeology like so.

The 1 button, easy to hit, is surveying.  2 is my flying mount.  3 an instant attack to lay low anything that objects to me rummaging through their things.  But should that not work I have another casting attack to finish them off.  With this set up I can survey, move, and survey again fast without having to look all over for my buttons.  Its a little thing but it cuts out a lot of lost time.

All that and I end up with this.

Everything I need at my fingertips.  but, what if I am called to raid or to other perilous perils?

There's an Ap for that.  Well, OK a Mod.  Addon Control Panel adds a button to your main WoW menu that lets you turn Mods on and off while in game.

Hit the check mark, hit reload ui, and your good to go.

Have fun stormin' the castle!

Refrenced Mods
Addon Control Panel
Archaeology helper
Archy - Archaeology Assistant
Tom Tom


  1. This is such a useful post! Love how you made it step by step with screenshots :D I think I might actually take up archaeology again now ^^ Keep these great posts coming!

  2. Another excellent informative post :)

    Might be worth creating an addon pack for all the archaeology addons on curse :)