Ideas for Archaeology

So I was chatting with some guildmates about what I don't like about Archaeology (while working on it, ironically) and one of them told me that I should post my thoughts and suggestions on the forums. I told her that they wouldn't be read, but here I am, with some free time and a blunderbuss to the back of my head, so here I go.

First, and foremost, I think the most important thing when making content more fun is to identify the content's current problems. Now, you can go ahead and call Archaeology "grindy" or "random" or whatever, but that doesn't come down to the true problem with the content. We're willing to put up with fishing, for example, even though it's random and grindy to level. So, what's the problem with Archaeology? Quite simply put, WoW's Archaeology profession doesn't feel like real-world Archaeology.

Here's an example. If I decide to abandon this post mid-sentence and go fishing down by the local creek, I'm going to have to sit in one spot, cast my line, and wait, hoping I get a bite and fish up something. That's essentially what fishing is in WoW as well; fun gameplay mechanics or not aside. The crafting professions all feel like their real world counterparts because I'm taking raw materials and making something out of them; we're willing to put past the illogicality of making plate boots with nothing but several iron bars because at its core, it's the same concept.

Archaeology, however, has many problems. For one, you're flying across the world to find fragments for the same artifacts. How are you going to tell me that fragments of that dwarven chamber pot were in Dun Morugh, Loch Modan, AND the Searing Gorge? (note: I don't remember if there are Dwarven Digsites in Searing Gorge. That's not the point) So if Archaeology is going to be fixed, it needs to be changed so it feels more like Archaeology.

Idea #1 - Permanent Digsites
When you go fishing in any body of water, you don't have to worry about that body of water running out of fish, do you? No! That'd make for a terrible game mechanic. You can plop your but down in one place and fish all day. Along the same lines, it might not be very realistic in terms of hundreds of players farming the same dig sites, but from a gameplay perspective, it would be a good idea to have all digsites be permanently active to all players. If I want to spend all day in Ashenvale, let me.

From this end, there needs to be some kind of limitation. For example, maybe each day you are only allowed to create one artifact per race you have unlocked. You can farm as many shards as you feel like farming in a sitting, but the task of solving the world's wonders is so mentally straining that there's a limitation to how many times you can solve the world's mysteries.

For this system to work, you'd probably need things like diminishing returns on artifacts that you've seen many times. It would stink if you went for months without ever seeing a single rare item.

Idea #2 - Alliance / Horde Museums
"Guess what, Brann, I've made the Archaeological discovery of the year!"
"Excellent, Bruenor! Now, just go and sell that little trinket to a nearby goblin for some cash."
"... what? Don't you want my world-shattering discovery?"
"Apparently not."

This has ALWAYS irked me about the current implementation of Archaeology. That I have to sell all my finds to goblins or trolls or whatever for gold. I just dug up a priceless relic from Azeroth's history and NO ONE wants it? I find that hard to believe.

This would, however, be a cool place to add some content. I'm thinking of a big museum; in Ironforge for the Alliance and Silvermoon City for the Horde. You could choose to donate your artifacts to the museum and be rewarded with something small (I'm thinking a bag with a small amount of gold / silver in it based on your Archaeology skill level, plus the chance to have a random keystone inside of it or some other Archaeology goodies). Then, if you wanted, you could go inside of the museum (either as a tiny instance, akin to the old Champion's Hall or as content that's phased for each individual player) and you could see the items you've donated so far on display.

Idea #3 - How to Train Your Archaeologist
The last thing that I think would be cool to see is a series of daily quests revolving around Archaeology. In Silvermoon City, you could have to perform maintenance on the Reliquary's machinery, maybe "teach" a lecture on Archaeology in Thunderbluff, or dig for small lizard bones in Orgrimmar. Preserve bits of the formerly human culture in Undercity? There's a LOT of cool little things you could do here, and the reward could be one of those keystone bags I mentioned earlier.

I think stuff like this would go a long way towards making Archaeology feel more fun and interesting and a profession. What do other people think on this topic?
You're ideas sound interesting I like the museum one and the selling of artifacts (even though some of the vender quite well) a museum added would be cool, and thats where you would have to sell them. Doing something to reduce the amount of travel needed would be great as well. The dailies thing, no, I don't think that would be good at all, it's grindy enough as it is.

You mentioned wow fishing is so much like real fishing because "I'm going to have to sit in one spot, cast my line, and wait, hoping I get a bite and fish up something. " you will always get a bit, as of patch 2.1 or something, that's not saying it'll be a fish though.

I think the issue with archaeology is that not only is it grindy, it's the fact that too much RNG is involved. Dig site RNG, common or rare rng, and in some cases like the sandstone drake you deal with RNG for the jars and whats inside the jar.

After a certain level, there's nothing that determines the items you'll find or gives you a better chance to get those items.

For example, the only reason I bothered with this at all is because I wanted the bug mount. Ive been doing nothing but digging for a week now, I'm at 19 rares, and have the sandstone drake recipe and no sign of the mount yet.
Now someone that just started in Tol'Vir at the proper level to dig there could get the mount their first try.

I'm not sure if there's a system that determines when you'll get to make a rare, if it's after XX amount of commons for that race or not, but it doesn't seem like there is, though I haven't gotten to make 2 rares in a row.

The more artifacts you solve, should increase your chance to make better rares, and more often.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum