If you are checking my Lock achievements to the right of this post, you’ll know I’m quite efficiently steaming through my Archaeology levelling. It occurred to me late last night just how much this entire process has been simplified since I endured the initial grind on the Hunter on Cataclysm release. I also found myself wondering how much XP I’d be able to get if I was doing this task in Pandaria…
|There. Easily answered…|
I’d forgotten I had the Lock copied to the beta sever, pre my Archy splurge. She was at 100/150, now she’s at 105/150, but most importantly she earned 104,100 XP for those 5 skill points. To put that in context, that’s roughly akin to completing a quest in the starting zone (which reward 111,000 XP) as an average dig site gives three solves.
If this XP gain remains constant and is not nerfed before the Beta goes live, suddenly Archaeology becomes a VERY attractive prospect to level from scratch, especially if you are on a computer that will struggle with the starting zones when they are busy. You could effectively avoid them altogether and simply dig across the old world for 85-86. However, once you get to 86, the XP drop (at least in Pandaria) is fairly substantive:
|At 86, not so attractive.|
What I can’t currently check (and am hoping at some point they’ll make the portals work from Pandaria back to SW) is the comparable XP gain/ solve rate at 86 at digs that aren’t on the new continent. For instance, would a Rare solve still grant extra points in Azeroth?
I am also thinking about the merits of ‘stocking up’ on Old World Solves before the Expansion. You can hold a maximum of 200 fragments for every race. If (on average) you are given one point for every solve, and a solve uses (on average) 45 fragments, then I believe the (very basic) maths would work out as follows:
Number of Races with Archy Dig Sites = 9
Maximum number of fragments you can store = 9 x 200 (1800)
giving @ average 45 points per solve, a 40 point skill rise.
Frankly, that’s an awfully large starting advantage. The maths is a bit wafty I know (some rare solves are 100 fragments plus) so I admit to working on a theory that (like P) you’ve solved most game rares and all you currently get is ‘trash’ but… it’s a sizable bump on your 525 skill. I have to think it would be nerfed before the game goes live, or that the number of fragments you could hold will be reset to 0 before the expansion hits…
Whatever happens with the content of this profession, the numbers currently give me at least some pause for serious consideration. Maybe it is time to level Archaeology after all… ^^