Why I look forward to Archaeology
The newest secondary profession to be added in Cataclysm, Archaeology, will allow people to use Gnomish/Goblin technology to search for artifacts of the pre-cataclysmic world and attempt to piece them together. Throughout the world, digsites will be crawling with prospective…well…prospectors, attempting to find the latest and greatest in fluff.
This is all done using an interface which will remind a lot of people of Zoo Tycoon. One of the expansion packs for this game involves prehistoric animal life, and allows you to dig around in your zoo for bones. You can then piece the skeleton together in the lab, and attempt to bring these beasts and plants back to life to display them to the public.
But there’s more to this profession than being an Epic Timewaster ™ like Fishing is. These projects can lead to exciting discoveries like animated dinosaur pets, mounts, Bind on Account items and who know what. So if you are digging this profession (wut!) you are also likely to be interested in the rewards it gives, even if it does not give you game benefits.
Mitarn has made quite an extensive guide from experience in the Beta, and Totalbiscuit also has made a video on the subject. Whether for hilarity or information, these links will put some meat on the bones of the profession, so to speak.
Why does this excite me?
The entire world has changed, whole zones have been cut in half, re-forested, turned to molten lava or are being overrun by the minions of the Old Gods. But being level 80, there’s little excitement in doing the level 1-60 quests throughout the new world, is there? I also am already a Loremaster and Explorer, so re-doing those titles on merit alone would not make me very happy.
But with Archaeology, which features digsites in the lower-level zones, I will have something to do in between doing the low-level quests. There’s also the matter that it may or may not provide the base materials for Scribes to make the “Cataclysmic Patterns”. I am not sure about that, could be that Scribes can do it on their own. But won’t it be exciting to find recipe fragments, pass them to your scribe and have him discover a lost recipe?
It makes me tingle alright.
Yes, as a secondary profession Archaeology will give you zero benefits that are game related. Nada, zilch, nan de mo nai. However, it will spark your interest in the old world, give you nifty toys and is more exciting than Cooking and Fishing even if it has less functional use. If you want to complete the old quests again (which are now new quests) this will give you something to do when you need a breather.