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Addon Spotlight: Archaeology made easy


Each week, WoW Insider brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, tol'vir rares never drop for Mathew, even though Mathew is a good boy who doesn't kill level 23 worgen while doing archaeology. Okay, I lied.

Now that archaeology has been buffed to a certain degree with new tol'vir digsites and a lower cooldown on Survey, it's time to get a little addon-serious about the secondary profession. A few weeks back, I talked about one archaeology addon that took some of the interface away for me, because it was a three-click pain in the butt to get to the artifact counter. Now, with the recent changes, that isn't the case. In that time, however, loads of new tools have come to the forefront of the archaeology community. Read on for archaeology made easy.


Everyone emailed me about Archy, the Archaeology Assistant, telling me about how it made the profession a million times more bearable. I agree -- there are a few features that make this addon a definite must-have for the serious archaeology professional. However, I also agree with many people with the opinion that Archy's best feature is its HUD overlay with the locations of dig sites in any given area.

Don't get me wrong, the rest of the addon's functionality is fine. I think the whole package takes up way too much space, when all of the options are all over your screen. One click-solving and easy artifact counters are nice, but rarely is the archaeology system so cumbersome and voluminous that I need precise tracking of this sort of thing. Everything is customizable, for sure, but it is a lot of text. That doesn't take away from the great features the addon provides, though.

The other feature that really stands out is the dig site tracker. I love knowing how close I am to any given dig site so I'm not eyeballing distances on my map. Tomtom support knocks this feature out of the park, if you're into giant green arrows making this whole ordeal just a bit less unbearable.

For you LDB brokernauts out there who love your bars, Archy has some LDB support already built in, which is always a nice feature.

Archy is one of those addons that is really nice to have when you're out on a prolonged archaeology bonanza because it cuts seconds off of dig site tracking and finding, as well as artifact collection. Those seconds really, truly do add up, and Archy is responsible for much better efficiency. Having the addon active when you aren't engaged in one of these sessions? Not my cup of tea.

Archy is in the process of being updated for 4.0.6, and should have a turn around soon. You can download a fix for Archy on WoWInterface, but it might behoove you to wait a couple days.

Download Archy at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].

Homing Digeon

Remember when I say simple addons are usually the best because their single, sole, solitary, and usually amazing purpose blows you away when you realize how simple it really is? Well, even if I didn't ever say that, I'm saying it now.

Homing Digeon puts your current dig sites on the flight map as well as your regular map so you can pick what flight point is closest to your prefered digsite without jumping back and forth between two maps. Dig sites appear on the flight map. Perfection in simplicity. Just look at that image -- haven't you been wanting that ever since you first hit "M," then hit the flight guy, then hit M again, then got angry, then threw your computer out the window?

I would not be surprised to see this type of functionality added in with the next big patch of WoW. It seems like a pretty easy toggle switch that can be thrown in and remove all need for people to hit a third-party source for such simple functionality.

Download Homing Digeon at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].

Archaeology -- still a colossal pain in the butt, but at least now things are a bit smoother. Now, if there was only an addon that would let me get the one tol'vir rare that I want before I go on a murderous rampage.

Mailbag, shall we?


I have what maybe is a unique situation when it comes to running WoW. I run it on an older computer, a single core AMD 2800, with 1GB RAM & Nvidia 6200. I am maxed out on the RAM, and run WoW on it's own 300GB partition that is constantly defragmented. What addon's would the community suggest I run. I just PvE, and have no raiding experience. I want to go beyond the vanilla experience, but don't want to suffer under 30fps. When my federal refund comes in, I plan to buy a new budget PC. What specs would be recommended?

Thank You

Thanks for the questions, Aaron. I'll let the commenters dish out the advice on new budget PC concerns, since I basically just ask forums myself what I should do about upgrades. An even better solution would be to consult WoW Insider's series on building a new computer and check out the components guest author Derek Day recommends.

As for addons, its a fairly common misconception that slower computers can't run many addons, mostly because addons aren't that resource-intensive, save some exceptions. When you're looking for addons for your older PC, try to find addons that are modular. Modular addons allow you to turn on and off functionality before you enter the game, meaning the addon is only collecting the data that you want it to or doing whatever you tell it to do. Modular addons are broken up into pieces. Take Skada, for example -- as a damage meter, it is robust enough to deal with all of your incoming data, but you can turn off any type of incoming numbers to lower the amount of processing power the addon uses. You get to choose the addon's behavior to reflect your CPU and RAM.

More RAM and CPU speed always helps, though.
Mat, your comment at the end of Reader UI of the Week reminded me of a question I have had for a long time. Are there any chat addons that either allow you to collapse your chatframe down, and/or allow you to move the text entry box up to where the tabs are? I would really like to have a setup where I can have my chatbox in the upper-left-hand corner of my screen, where I am rarely ever looking anyways, and be completely out of the way when I don't want it around. Any leads to this end would be appreciated.

Check out either Chatter or Prat for all your chatbox needs. You're going to want to look for "Edit Box" or "Input Box" options for moving the area where you type into the chat frame. You'll be able to move it all over and resize it to your will. Dig deep, but you'll find it. Haha, get it? It's an Addon Spotlight about archaeology, and I said "dig deep." Mat, you've got this gig in the bag ...

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email

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