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Improved digsites in Mists of Pandaria archaeology

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When I hit the new skill cap in archaeology on beta and achieved Zen Master, someone in my beta guild remarked that 600 skill points in archaeology sounded painful. But it's not -- it's actually better! Archaeology got some buffs in Mists of Pandaria.

There are only two new races to worry about, the pandaren and the mogu, and you get nothing but these two on the continent of Pandaria. As usual, players get four random digsites across the entire continent, though it's currently bugging out to three or even two sites only. But Pandaria is so huge, you say. We're restricted to no flying until 90. How can it not be painful?

The digsites have been greatly improved. They're better positioned for traveling in between digsites, whether by being actually near each other or just by being closer to flight points.

Also gone are the gigantic digsite areas. On beta, all the sites I dug at fit inside my minimap at max zoom. Players can complete six surveys per site instead of three, and each survey grants the player five to nine fragments.

I strolled the Jade Temple Grounds or darted between bears below the Gong of Hope in Jade Forest, collecting pandaren fragments. I journeyed to Winter's Blossom and Lao & Son's Yakwash in Kun-Lai Summit. Behind the rolling hills in Valley of the Four Winds lies The Heartland, where I completed pandaren artifacts with Pandaren Oracle Bones I'd collected.

The ruins where the mogu still patrol in Krasarang Wilds were full of mogu fragments. I passed through the Veiled Stair collecting Mogu Statue Pieces and hiked through the Valley of Emperors in Kun-Lai Summit completing mogu artifacts. Sha-touched areas like west of Stoneplow Fields in Valley of the Four Winds also yielded mogu fragments.

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Speaking of the Sha, on rare occasion, digging up a handful of fragments spawned a hostile Ancient Haunt, a Sha creature equal to me in level. After I killed the creature, I looted not gold but also mogu fragments! I spawned the Ancient Haunt from both pandaren and mogu digsites, but it appears to have only mogu fragments for loot.

Rumor has it that the Lorewalkers will enrich a player's knowledge of a race by showing off the artifacts in libraries. Unfortunately, the Lorewalkers appear to be located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, which isn't open yet. But don't worry -- I've saved some solved artifacts for presentation when the Lorewalkers become a-Vale-able.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Archaeology, Mists of Pandaria

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