Wednesday, December 22, 2010


So I actually love archaeology. I really wanted to have some kind of profession that involved more than just clicking on something, and archaeology goes that for me. I think the items they added to the game for it are worthy of the time you put into getting them. It is not necessary for raiding but it provides you with cool or useful things.

I did have some constructive criticisms of archaeology, however. One of my first complaints was simply the predictability of dig sites - there were always three finds for three relic pieces each. They already fixed that one by putting in a random element, so I figure I'd better get on complaining before it is too late.

Another thing I'd like to see from Archaeology is some way of controlling what you are working towards.  Basically right now you are completely at the mercy of the random numbers.  If you want to work on a particular race's artifacts you can't choose to dig for them as opposed to digging for other things.  This is very disempowering.  If I am interested in the ancient history of the nerubians, why would I not be spending my time digging at their sites rather than at troll sites?  There are a number of ways this could be accomplished:

  • An ability on a medium cooldown (one hour is probably about right) that allows you to abandon a current dig site to spawn a new one
  • An ability on a long cooldown (seems like one day) that allows you to abandon one of your current research projects to get the new one
  • A way of trading in fragments from one race for fragments of another or of trading fragments with other players - I can understand if they don't want fragments to be a commodity on the AH, but there are ways to avoid that
  • An ability or daily quest that allows players to pick a particular site or even a particular zone they want to dig an either activate it immediately or increase the chance they will get it
Of course that list is not exhaustive, nor are the things on it mutually exclusive.

I don't suggest any of these things as ways of speeding up the process of getting meaningful archaeological finds.  Regardless of the amount of customization given the players, drop rates and frequencies of rares can be adjusted to give whatever progression rate the developers feel comfortable with.  I would very much, though, like to see a little bit more interactivity with archaeology - something that goes beyond the process of digging for things and puts a little bit of the process of deciding where to dig or what to make in the hands of the player.

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