With the Archaeology Profession still brand new, there are a lot of people who seem lost when trying to do it. They don't realize the grind that it's going to be, and that actually shaving a few seconds off a digsite in the long run can add up. This thread can be for Archaeologists to post any tips or tricks they have for making this long grind just a little more bearable for some.
Some tips for Archaeology that I've picked up:
Download the Archy addon. It adds icons to your minimap to tell you where you have found digsites before which can save you a survey or 2 when looking for your next digsite if it is obviously pointing at a site you've done before. It also has a nice list interface that you can use to solve your projects and see where your next digsites are at on top of your UI instead of buried in the Archaeology interface or on the world map. There is also integration with TomTom so it can point you in the direction of the next closest digsite, which is useful so you dont waste time correcting your path.
Make use of teleports. This includes Hearth, teleport to uldum, teleport to hyjal, teleport to twilight highlands, teleport to blasted lands, teleport from portal in outlands to your major city outside of the blasted lands, dalaran ring-> caverns of time portal (if applicable), mage portals, etc... This can save you a lot of travel time if you have all of your digsites clumped on one side of the map and you are on the other. However, don't use this if you have a digsite close to you, it is possible that you finish that digsite, and another pops up between you and the clump on the other side, then you can do that one and you dont really waste time with travel. Unless your teleportation is free (i.e. mage) then go ahead and knock yourself out, but the rest of us have hearth cooldowns to worry about.
3. Skilling Up
Don't complete any projects until you are at 50 skill from digging (Changed in 4.0.6 used to be 100 skill). At this point, you will no longer gain skill points from digging.
4. Finding a dig site
I've found this to be a good measure of how to find a digsite while surveying.
If Red: Move halfway between your current position and the edge of the digging area. If still red, and pointing back where you came from, move halfway between where you are and where you did the first survey. Keep doing until you get a yellow survey.
If Yellow: Mount up (stay on the ground) and move in the direction it tells you until your survey cd is up. You should get a green at this point, if not move a bit further.
If Green: Go in the direction it tells you, but do it in a wide arch until your cd is up. Plop the survey down and trace between where the first one told you to go, and where the second one is telling you to go. If you put your second survey down right as the cd is up, you should still see your first survey, allowing you to easily see where they are pointing to.
In general, I've observed that a red survey means that the dig site is somewhere in the 180degree arch that it's pointing at. Yellow means that its somewhere in the 90 degree arch that its pointing at, and green usually points straight at the item you are looking for.
5. Finding the 85 weapons
If you are going for any of the epic 85 weaps, you can't find them before 450. Now that there is a cap of 200 fragments, you can't hoarde them and solve them all at 450. The best thing you can do now, and it isn't much, is to farm up 200 fragments, then solve your projects for that race as you get new digsites for that race, since it won't let you pick up new fragments.
6. Have fun! Try to have fun with it, and don't expect it to be a quick grind to 525. It takes a long time to do, and generally a lot of patience. It's pretty much a more interactive fishing (although with better rewards imo).
Edited, Feb 15th 2011 3:44pm by CapJack
Edited, Mar 15th 2011 9:47am by CapJack