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Filed under: Archaeology

A beginner's guide to WoW's secondary professions

We've talked about WoW's crafting and gathering professions which only leaves the game's four secondary professions left to discuss. Unlike primary professions, you can take as many secondary professions as you want, so there are no hard choices here: if it's interesting to you, take it, and if not, ignore it.

So just what are these secondary professions? Cooking, fishing, first aid, and archaeology. And, we know, these might sound a bit on the dull side -- do you really want to spend your video game time cooking? But whatever you do, don't write secondary professions off as optional or unimportant, because they can definitely come in handy for players of all types.

So let's take a look at the secondary professions and just what they can do for you.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Archaeology

Patch 5.2 PTR: Finding mantid dig sites will be a breeze in 5.2

Patch 52 PTR Finding mantid dig sites will be a breeze in 52
Archaeology has always been one of those professions that you either love or hate, with little room in between. While the profession as a whole was fairly klonky in Cataclysm, improvements introduced in Mists of Pandaria helped to streamline the process a little for players. The biggest improvement by far was the ability to turn in crated relics from Pandaria in exchange for fragments from any dig site type on Azeroth -- which meant that players no longer had to dig endlessly on Kalimdor, hoping for a Tol'vir dig site to pop up.

However, the new treatment of the Archaeology profession apparently doesn't stop there. Patch 5.2 noted that a new section of Archaeology would be added for the mantid, giving players with a penchant for procuring priceless pieces something new to dig for. But as far as we knew, this meant a return to the days of endlessly digging a continent, hoping for one particular variety of dig site to pop up -- which really wasn't an ideal situation at all.

It looks like the Lorewalkers have thought ahead with a solution for this already. Wowhead dug up a new item in the 5.2 files called the Mantid Artifact Sonic Locator. This item will let you convert any Pandaria dig site into a mantid site, allowing those that have completed the other sections of Pandaria archaeology to simply get straight to the mantid stuff.

The item requires exalted reputation with the Lorewalkers, and stacks to 20, which leads one to believe it disappears upon use. While we don't know the cost of the item, it's likely you're either going to have to pay gold, or more crated artifacts from Pandaria to purchase. Regardless, it's nice to see that the devs are still thinking about both Archaeology and the Lorewalkers as the expansion moves on.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Archaeology, Mists of Pandaria

A quick guide to archaeology on the Pandarian continent

A quick guide to archaeology on the Pandarian continent
Archaeology on Pandaria starts out much like you'd expect. At around 525 archaeology, you'll start seeing dig sites appear on Pandaria, 4 of them spread out over the continent. You'll head to each one, start surveying, and get some archaeology fragments. Sometimes, you will get a Pandaren Pottery Shard or Mogu Statue Piece, which serve as the keystone for those race's projects and can be used to solve a piece faster.

Things change a little bit when your digging digs up an Ancient Haunt. This is a Sha mob that sometimes spawns when you successfully dig up some fragments. If you kill it, you'll be able to loot more fragments.

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Filed under: Archaeology, Mists of Pandaria

Build your lore library with the Lorewalkers

Build your lore library with the Lorewalkers ANY
Have you seen shrines and statues with chunks of story throughout the beta lands?

They pop with an achievement step completed when you look closer. When you put the whole achievement together, you get the entire short story. Between archaeology items and these shrines throughout Pandaria, there are plenty of lore tidbits to be found. Anne Stickney wished in Know Your Lore for a way in-game to hold on to these stories for later viewing.

There is a way, but you have to hit level 90 first to unlock it.

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Filed under: Lore, Archaeology, Mists of Pandaria

Improved digsites in Mists of Pandaria archaeology

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?

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Filed under: Archaeology, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New archaeology items

Players with the archaeology profession will get to experience some joy come Mists of Pandaria, according to a new post at MMO-Champion. All of the datamined items are directly related to Pandaria itself and allow us to start piecing together the history of the continent. Pandaria currently is such a new land to all of us that Matt Rossi and Anne Stickney have managed to condense all of the lore we currently know about it into a single post, which is truly an epic feat. The new items introduced through archaeology will help us paint more of a picture of what Pandaria's history was and who the major players were.

Items such as the Manacles of Rebellion, Cracked Mogu Runestone, and Petrified Bone Whip are relics of the depraved Mogu Empire, focusing on their love of torture and slavery. The Spear of Xuen and the Standard of Nuzao show us that the pandaren aren't the naive, comic race that some people are assuming; they've fought in and won their own wars. And in classic pandaren fashion, the Empty Keg of Bewmaster Xin Wo Yin and the Twin Steins of Brewfather Quan Tou Kuo highlight the race's love of beer.

As it's still beta; things are still subject to change. For one, I'm hoping Blizzard adds in more pandaren lore items. Beyond that, I'd like to see some new on-use vanity items like the Last Relic of Argus, as these datamined items all lack any on-use effects. Finally, I think Blizzard may want to revisit the rarity of some items; the Edicts of the Thunder King make very little sense as a common item when you realize they're essentially the same as finding the stone that holds Hammurabi's Code or the tablets of the Ten Commandments.

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

The OverAchiever: How archaeology could get a lot worse (and why we hope it won't)

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. Today, we are really, really pissed off that we can't get the Crawling Claw.

There are two kinds of people in WoW: people who hate archaeology, and people who really hate archaeology. While it seemed like it was one of the more promising additions to Cataclysm, archaeology just hasn't worked out as well as everyone had hoped. Even the most dedicated lore nerds are guaranteed to wilt in the face of the game's most relentless RNG.

Whatever, right? Some experiments work, some don't, and it's ultimately more important that Blizzard's willing to take these risks in the first place. But ever since Mists of Pandaria was announced, I've been worrying more about archaeology's future. As Ghostcrawler once observed, archaeology was designed to be easy to add to, and it's reasonable to expect new races and new items to appear in the future. However, unless something fundamental about its design changes between now and Mists, it's the only profession guaranteed to become an absolute hell as it expands.

Why? Because archaeology suffers from two problems: It's too random, and it's not random enough.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever, Archaeology

Breakfast Topic: How do you feel after spending time with archaeology?

Clockwork Gnome
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Right now, I'm taking a break from archaeology. I spent the days between the U.S. holidays of Memorial Day and Labor Day digging from two to six hours, flying up and down Kalimdor, in an attempt to get the Vial of the Sands. I felt someone within my guild should have it. While I had other guild members doing archaeology, they weren't dedicated -- no, the proper term is "crazy" -- enough to spend hours doing this. By the end of August, I didn't care about the items that got me 100 or 200 gold when vendored (Cat Statue with Emerald Eyes and Silver Scroll Case). I just wanted the recipe. Finally, after my fifth canopic jar, there it was. I had all the mats ready, and the day I got it, I could become a dragon.

I almost never use the mount. If someone wants a ride, I transform and we go once or twice around town. But as my permanent ride? No. It's too big and awkward for my tastes.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Archaeology, Guest Posts

Patch 4.1: Even more new archaeology items

The last build rolled out on the patch 4.1 PTR introduced some cool new items, but Blizzard wasn't done there. The build rolled out today included even more! These items include: Technically, the turtle shell was in the last build, but we misinterpreted the item when we saw it on Wowhead. Our initial guess was that it would be a drop in Firelands due to a display bug giving it the heroic label, and we assumed its itemization was unfinished. However, we eventually came to the conclusion that it's extremely likely that the shield is actually an archaeology award -- it's bind on account. It will lose its current heroic label between now and when the patch launches.

These items are continuing Blizzard's effort to populate neglected research types. Trolls needed a little more love beyond the endless journey to find Zin'rokh, and fossils needed even more love. An epic shield, another pet, and the other additions from previous builds will go a long way toward making fossil dig sites less ... painful.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Archaeology

The Queue: There's a surprise at the end

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today's edition of The Queue discusses the nature of the death knight, the recent lack of creepy whispers, the nature of the vrykul, and ... something special. Enjoy!

Oscar asked:

Is it me or does it feel as if the whole "caster" part of DKs was just wholly abandoned and just being confined to Death Coil and a few other abilities?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Archaeology

Blues explain nature of archaeology cooldowns

Several players and Community Manager Lylirra shared some discussion today on the official World of Warcraft forums about the cooldowns of novelty items crafted through the archaeology profession.

In the thread, the original poster suggested that the cooldowns of certain novelty items were too long in comparison to others and that Blizzard should consider fixing the discrepancies. The poster used Pendant of the Scarab Storm and Bones of Transformation as an example, noting that both items have a vanity effect that lasts 20 seconds but a cooldown difference of 90 minutes.

Lylirra responded, explaining that the cooldowns, though seemingly random, were chosen with specific issues in mind. She explains that with the Pendant of the Scarab Storm specifically, developers were concerned that the item's effect might strain certain players' computers.

Archaeology Items' Cooldowns
The current cooldown was chosen deliberately, but I can see why you might think otherwise (100 minutes is kind of strange for a cooldown time).

Anyway, summoning a harem of scarabs can be pretty taxing on some systems, so there were some initial concerns about putting the pendant on a short cooldown. Based on the feedback we've received, though, we're looking into reducing it. We agree that the effect is pretty cool and would be nice to use it more frequently.

Personally, a little lore logic behind the items might be nice as well. How is it that my character can summon a god every 3 minutes, but it takes 10 minutes to round up some sassy dwarven ladies?

Filed under: News items, Archaeology

Addon Spotlight: Archaeology made easy

Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, tol'vir rares never drop for Mathew, even though Mathew is a good boy who doesn't kill level 23 worgen while doing archaeology. Okay, I lied.

Now that archaeology has been buffed to a certain degree with new tol'vir digsites and a lower cooldown on Survey, it's time to get a little addon-serious about the secondary profession. A few weeks back, I talked about one archaeology addon that took some of the interface away for me, because it was a three-click pain in the butt to get to the artifact counter. Now, with the recent changes, that isn't the case. In that time, however, loads of new tools have come to the forefront of the archaeology community. Read on for archaeology made easy.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight, Archaeology

Patch 4.0.6 PTR: Sell prices for common archaeology artifacts changed (again)

After the hoopla that went on over a 1,000g sell price on the Word of Empress Zoe, Blizzard has changed the sell values on all of the common archaeology artifacts again on the PTR. Word of Empress Zoe's sell price to vendors has gone down significantly, but to compensate, many other commons have had their prices increased to even out the spread of money-makers in the profession. Thanks to Wowhead for the comprehensive list. You can check out the full table of common sell prices after the jump.

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Filed under: Cataclysm, Archaeology

The OverAchiever: A guide to basic archaeology and its achievements

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we start digging.

You guys remember the Dalaran fountain, right? I loved that thing. It was a wonderful, idiosyncratic little peek into the thoughts of an array of Azeroth's lore figures, both the important and the obscure. It added a number of little touches to the game's story that we never would have seen otherwise, and Blizzard even gave you an achievement for getting all the coins. I thought that whatever mad genius came up with the Dalaran fountain should have been chained to a desk at Blizzard and left there until he came up with more ideas like it.

Well, they can finally let that guy off the lead. Archaeology is kind of like the Dalaran fountain, except instead of being crammed into a tiny corner of Dalaran, it's everywhere in the world, and instead of concerning 53 people who made wishes, it affords you a peek into seven civilizations and the world's fossil record.

Pretty sweet, eh? Well, you're going to have to work for it. If you're completely new to archaeology, I've included a short set of instructions here, but otherwise, we're going to head straight for the civilizations and achievements related to WoW's newest profession.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements, The Overachiever, Archaeology

Gold Capped: Early Cataclysm economy tweaks

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house, and Insider Trader, which is all about professions. For Gold Capped's inside line on making money in game, check in here every Thursday, and email Basil with your comments, questions or hate mail! This week's gold-blogosphere post is Warcraft Econ's Pyrite prospecting results.

Normally, when Blizzard makes a change to the economy, it's not enough news to justify its own blue post. When I sat down and tried to decide what to write about this week, I realized that the most important information I could get out to you guys is news of all the economic tweaks that have come down the pipeline that are shaping these first few weeks of Cataclysm.

First up: Pyrite Ore is now prospectable at 500 skill, down from 525. This is a very expensive mineral on most realms, so it hasn't been prospected as much as, say, Elementium Ore. That said, based on the limited number of prospects we've seen numbers for, it looks like it may be dropping as many green-quality gems as Obsidium Ore, as many rare gems as Elementium Ore, and an additional one to three Volatile Earths. My napkin math indicated that if the additional expense for five pyrite is more than two earths, it may not be worth prospecting.

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Filed under: Bugs, Economy, Cataclysm, Archaeology, Gold Capped

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