I’ve almost got my archeology up to 300, which has taken quite a lot of travelling around. Can you even imagine trying to do this without flying available to you? I reckon that this is why the cost of buying flying in Old Azeroth is so cheap; there is no way that you could do all this digging without it. As Alliance I’ve been doing most of my digging in the Eastern Kingdoms, which means that I’m either in the Hinterlands or I’m down in Stranglethorn Vale. Very occasionally I’ll finish digging in one spot and check my map and the new shovel is just next to me in the Western Plaguelands for example. But for the most part I am having to traverse the entire fucking continent to go and dig up yet another common “artifact” that nobody in their right mind would want to give me any decent coin for.
You would think that a dwarf who runs an inn would be interested in a 2000 year old piece of dwarvern history, but apparently they really don’t give a shit. This has probably got something to do with the fact that there’s been a lot of adventurers all coming in the door suddenly at the same time wanting to sell an ancient dwarvern necklace that they have all somehow managed to dig up at the same time in a whole bunch of different places. But if you give players even the bare hint of epic loot then they will rack up some serious fucking frequent dragon flying miles to get them some of those fat loots.
Then there is the somewhat disconcerting experience of flying in to some inhabited troll outpost in Stranglethorn Vale, landing in their midst, and proceeding to dig up their cultural heritage and then steal it. And if they are so unfortunate as to literally bump into you while you’re doing it then they’re going to lose their miserable lives into the bargain. Off you fly having looted their village of their last remaining treasures, only to fly back again 20 minutes later and do it all over again.
I play on a PvP realm, but I can tell you that nobody in their right mind ganks you while you’re trying to level this profession. We recognise ourselves in the other players misery, and thus we stand at times side by side as we attempt to plunder Azeroth of its last remaining treasures. And why would you gank someone from the other faction in Stranglethorn Vale when you both know that you’re going to be seeing each other 5 minutes later in The Hinterlands? Just you let me do my pointless digging, and I’ll let you do yours. There are now full guides available online listing out in precise detail everything that is to be found while levelling archeology, which I find quite unbelievable that anyone would actually read it. I mean, the only thing that keeps you going through this awful grind is the fact that you might be surprised by something that you dig up. Then again, looking at that list, maybe not.