Archaeological RNG Gods

How many dedicated Archaeologists are out there night after night surveying their hearts out for that one rare project? Many have set there eyes on Zin’Rokh because of it’s nearly BiS placement.

I think that you can compare the rare artifact grind to farming old ZG mounts grind or even MC grind for a legendary (like Thunderfury). A big difference between though is that you are no longer held back by a raid lockout timer. Instead of killing a boss once and then having to wait a week/4days, Archaeology is setup so you can just keep surveying non-stop. So the time spent on surveying can greatly exceed the time it would take you to kill an older, farmable boss. With bosses you’re limited to however many kills in certain time peroid the raid system allows but dig sites are always active.Harrison Jones

As Wowhead put it, Archaeology was added as the ultimate “time-waster” of the expansion, offering no substantial monetary gain and no promised immediate reward, such as being able to cook a certain type of food at a certain skill level, or craft a certain item.

Time spent trying to obtain those certain rares does not phase some archaeologist. These players are caught in the grips of the most powerful entity in the World of Warcraft, the RNG boss. Never faced off with this boss you say? Sure you have! Whenever you do a /roll or /random that’s RNG incarnate.

What is RNG technically? Random number generators are algorithms used in computing when an outcome needs to be as random as possible. A computer can’t generate completely random numbers on its own, so it uses a complex algorithm designed to get as close to random as is practical. 1

Nerd Rage KittyMany have argued just how not random this system is, the community site forums are almost always amiss with posts QQing about it. What some do not realize is that getting those rare artifacts/projects is luck of the draw unfortunately. This is why some archaeologists have 2 rares at skill 525 and some have almost 8-10 rares completed by then. (It does help to aim for races with higher amounts of rares, simple logic.)

Just like those 0.01% drops in the game, certain archaeology items can be frustratingly difficult to obtain. It’s understandable that just like any other RNG based grind you need a bit of lady luck on your side. When it comes down to it, there is no fast-path to guarantee your artifact appears but that’s all just part of the game! At the end of the day, it’s still just a secondary profession in the World of Warcraft… or is it?

Hotfixes Dec. 27 – Vashj’ir Removed

Are you tired of going all the way out to Vashj’ir for those pesky Night Elf dig sites?

Blizzard has removed Vashj’ir from your Dig Site table, you’ll no longer have to survey that zone again.

[bluepost]Vashj’ir dig sites no longer unlock for players. They felt too punishing without additional benefits compared to low-level sites, and were much more difficult to obtain artifacts in due to the way Vashj’ir navigation works.  Source[/bluepost]

Dig Site Distribution

There is a great post by Simca on MMO’s forums compiling data from Archaeology’s dig sites to find out which continents are the best to farm fragments of a specific race. The original data is mostly from Wowpedia’s list of Dig Sites (and a lot of work in-game to make sure it works as intended).

The poster made an excellent table by using various tools and resources (Wowpedia + Excel spreadsheet + If statements). So for those of who you love numbers, here ya go.

Read more details from the post here or our new Race Distribution page.

Races Eastern Kingdoms (Pre-450) Eastern Kingdoms (Post-450) Kalimdor (Pre-450) Kalimdor (Post-450) Outland Northrend
Dwarf 28,57% 32,14% 2,04% 1,61%
Fossil 26,53% 23,21% 26,53% 20,97%
Night Elf 4,08% 8,93% 61,22% 56,45% 14,81%
Troll 40,82% 35,71% 10,20% 8,06% 18,52%
Draenei 53,57%
Orc 46,43%
Nerubian 18,52%
Vrykul 48,15%
Tol’vir 12,90%


Hotfixes for Dec. 21st – Triple Skill Rares

Hotfix: For those still leveling Archaeology, you’ll now be given triple skill gains for making Rare Artifacts.

[bluepost]Rare Archaeology finds should now grant triple skill gains.  Source[/bluepost]

Also for US Realms: Urgent Realm Maintenance – 12/22/2010

[bluepost]We will be performing urgent maintenance on all realms to resolve a technical issue. Maintenance will begin at 5:00 AM and conclude at approximately 11:00 AM PST.
Thank you for your patience.  Source[/bluepost]

Updates to Archy Addon Dec. 22

Now w/ Minimap Zones

Daihenka over on has updated “Archy – Archaeology Assistant

Even more updates and features added.  Highlights below:

  • Localization for German, French and Russian has been added
  • Settings have been moved from character based to profile based where appropriate (95% of them)
  • Races can now be blacklisted for artifact use and display
  • Dig Sites list can be sorted by distance
  • Able to display the distance to each of the dig sites in the dig sites list
  • A survey distance indicator has been added
  • Minimap icons have been rewritten to not leak frames
  • Minimap survey node has been changed from the X to a cyan dot
  • Able to show the dig site boundaries on the minimap
  • Able to show the dig site boundaries on the battlefield mini map
  • Able to scale the survey distance indicator, dig sites list and artifacts list
  • Able to set the opacity of the survey distance indicator, dig sites list and artifacts list
  • Able to set the background color for the dig sites list and artifacts list
  • Confirmation for creating an artifact when nearing your current skill cap if you are not an Illustrious Archaeologist
  • Keybinding options have been added for: Configure Archy, Show/Hide, Solve artifact, Solve artifact with Key stones, Show/Hide Artifacts list, Show/Hide Dig Sites list

View the Full List and download the addon on Curse Here.

So You Wanna Get Zin’Rokh?

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Today’s Guide about Zin’Rokh is put together by poster Patrick.

So You Wanna Get Zin’Rokh?

If any of you are like me, the first thing you saw when you looked at archaeology was the monster 2-hander, Zin’Rokh, the Destroyer of Worlds.  Not only was it a throw back to Vanilla times, it was looking like a possible BiS item.  I vowed that I would devote all of my time after hitting level 85 to farming up this bad boy…now, many hours and several hundred turn-ins later, my dedication to that vow is beginning to waver.

So, you wanna get Zin’Rokh? Be advised that this undertaking is not for the faint of heart.  It is rough and rocky traveling.  It is hours of farming that may net you nothing but a couple achievements and some flavor items.  That said, if you’re up for the challenge, this guide will help you along the way.

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