Leveling up Zen Archaeology? Starting the profession? Trying to get those last artifacts you've been dreaming of? Gaining the respect of The Lorewarkers? If you find yourself in any of these cases, there is one tool you should never survey without: ArchaeologyHelper.
This add-on is one of those rare tools which, after being tasted, hardly no archaeologist thinks of working without. I was personally quite skeptical to try it, but the add-on quickly proved me wrong.
What it does is pretty straightforward: it tells you where fragments are. Sounds simple, right? But how does it do it? Not so fast, champ, walk with me:
- When you arrive at a dig site, survey as usual.
- After using it, turn your character in the direction of the telescope, and tell Archaeology Helper which color the light has shown. This will allow the add-on to calculate where the fragments might be, and display the possible area to you.
- Go to a different position - preferably one of the sides of the zone the add-on has determined - and repeat the process.
Unless you're really unlucky, you will hardly ever need to survey more than two times to find the correct spot: as you survey, ArchaeologyHelper will display more areas. As the fragments must be in all of them, you will only need to search on their intersection - where they all meet. Usually two surveys is all it takes to get a highly precise position!
After this, simply dig up your reward!
We also had the opportunity to have a chat with the current add-on's developer, Oscarucb:
Before anything else: which is your favorite archaeology reward?
Probably the Innkeeper's Daughter… the pets and mount are cool too. I'm somewhat bitter that I never got Zin'Rohk while it was relevant, but that seems to have been a common complaint.
Did you have the luck to level Archaeology using the add-on, or was it not yet ready when you did?
Yes - the addon was available immediately after the initial live release of the Archaeology feature with Cataclysm in Dec 2010. Since then, I've leveled archaeology on three characters using the addon, and would never survey without it!
How did you get into this project?
I'm an avid addon developer, so when I heard Biashanord was leaving Wow I offered my assistance to keep the addon working, as a service to the active user community. Now that it's fully up-to-date for Mists, I'll be looking into some minor feature upgrades.
Which was the hardest problem you had to face during development?
The most problematic but helpful feature was displaying digsite boundaries on the Minimap. Thankfully that feature been added to Blizzard's stock UI starting in 5.x, so that portion of the addon could be retired.
Could you tell us about any other mods you are working on, or planned for the future?
I'm an author or maintiner on over 30 addons.
Recent additions include Gara'jalAnnounce (helper for the MSV encounter) and Paste (handy utility for importing text or commands like TomTom /way programs). I'm always kicking around ideas for new mods, and usually end up productizing something new every few months.
We come to the end of the interview. Any shout-outs?
Many thanks to Biashanord for the concept and development of Archaeology Helper - he deserves all the credit, I just fix the patch-upgrade bugs.
Thank you to Oscarub for answering our questions and developing this add-on.