Can You Dig It?


Larisa over at Pink Pigtail Inn asks whether anyone is planning to take up Archaeology come the Cataclysm, and I respond with a definite “Yes”. There are two reasons for this.

To begin with, I’ll train Belmann up as an archaeologist, because he’s the only toon I have that I concentrate on for achievements, pet collecting, and general fun stuff. He’s enchanting and tailoring because back in the day everyone said that’s What Priests Must Do. And I’ve got to say that enchanting is boring and expensive and kind of useless – if there was enough of a market for enchanters it would be a good money maker, but their really isn’t, and there is very little he can do of benefit to the alt characters. But the other reason is that Archaeology looks like fun, and fits nicely with the mythos of the world.

I’ve been pursuing the Loremaster achievement with Belmann, and particularly wanted to do the old world parts of that in the old world while there still is an an old world. I know that Blizzard said that you will be able to get the achivement post-Cataclysm, but somehow it didn’t seem right to do it with new content instead of the old Vanilla content. And what a journey that was. The Eastern Kingdom part is reasonably simple, but the Kalimdor component really had me scratching for the last few dozen quests. And oh, the things that Belmann has seen. Things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. He watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain…

Oops. Distracted there for a moment. One of the great things about the game is not just the depth of the lore (even if it’s subject to frequent changes, and littered with inconsistencies), but the way in which the designers have managed to make the world feel old. Many places are littered with ruins of past civilisations, there are traces of past cataclysms, and ancient mysteries. What are these friezes  around Uldaman? Who are these titanic figures, and what do they mean? And how will this post look with all these images glued into it? The WordPress editor is not entirely clear!

It was great fun finding so many hidden secrets around the old vanilla world, and I hope to revisit some of them and write them up here for posterity, rather than just a usual general hand wave about how cool the world is. There was a certain melancholy about visiting much of this world for the last time, but then again the old world is often tinged with a certain melancholy. It seems to pool up in the hidden back corners.

One of the odder things I stumbled across was the engineering trainer and his wife tucked away on the southern shore of Azshara. I have a feeling that Blizz intended some quests to begin here, and never got around to finishing this area. It’s a little west of the stretch of beach where the crew of a sunken ship waits eternally for rescue, with half-finished quests and hints of a story line that was never told. I just wish that all the time I spent levelling through Azshara I’d known about this engineer though… it’s a long run back to Talrendis Point from anywhere for repairs.

And we have to be sad that Daisy the race starter is likely to be washed away in the flood. Or should we look forward to seeing her in a swimsuit?

I continue to be amazed at some of the lighting that shows up in game. How many more times will I see Tanaris baking in the afternoon sun?

And will the naga ever manage to get their gods back?

This is the sort of thing that Belmann sits and contemplates.

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