All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
Archaeologists sift through the myriad of stars looking for archaeological sites or complexes. Once cleared of the rats infesting the site, the archaeologist utilizes an analyzer or a salvager to unlock structures to liberate the treasures within. In order to find these complexes and sites, hackers also need to be good explorers, or have someone along with them who is as these sites can exist in either known space or wormhole space.
Tools of the Trade
Archaeologists require two skills in order to ply their trade.
An advanced science skill, Archaeology allows you to fit and use the Analyzer module you will need to unlock structures.
An advanced mechanic skill, Salvaging allows you to fit and use the Salvager module you will need to recover useful bits from ancient structures as well as wrecks.
Each level of these skills increase the chance of successful retrieval by 5%, so the higher the skill level the better. If you are digging for treasures in 0.0 sites there are some containers that you will be unable to open unless you have at least a certain minimum level of the skill. Many Archaeologists recommend training the skill to a minimum of level 4 in order to be able to access all containers. Training the skill to level 5 gives you another 5% chance of success and access to the Tech II variants of these modules, however it does not unlock any higher level containers.
In order to analyze, you will need to fit an Analyzer Module onto your ship.
There are two ways to find archaeological sites. The first is by going to a Racial COSMOS system and either picking up a mission from an agent or entering a complex. The second is to probe down a site through exploration.
The Archaeologist at Work
Once you are equipped and have located a potential site, Archaeologists typically take the following steps:
As you warp towards the site a pop-up window may appear telling you the name of the site. That same pop-up window will indicate whether you are going to need a salvager or analyzer and the appropriate skills for those devices to obtain items from cans located in the site.
- On the overview some structures will be in space that have the same icons as cargo containers. Approach to within 2.5 km of one of these containers. When you try to open these containers, you will get a message stating that you cannot access this container without specialized equipment.
- Target and lock the structure. Activate the Analyzer or Salvager module on your ship. It may take several module cycles to crack open the container, so be patient. Once successfully opened, you will receive a message indicating a successful attempt and the module will deactivate.
- You may need to clear out the NPC rats. In some sites you will not see any rats when you enter, particularly in high-security space. Once a container is being analyzed or salvaged, the spawns may appear. It is particularly important to be prepared for spawns, especially in drone and sleeper sites which have warp scrambling rats in their fleets.
- After a successful analysis or salvage, you will be able to open the container, grab the loot, and proceed to the next container. Once all of the containers have been analyzed and looted, head home with the spoils.
As in a mission, despawn of an archaeology site includes despawning of any minable asteroids. Wrecks will remain and can be returned to if a bookmark is set for one of them. See the COSMOS and Complexes pages for information on how they spawn and despawn.
An example archaeological complex is located in Zimse, called the Museum Arcana. Note that it is in a .5 system and does contain rats flying battleships, so come prepared. As you warp to the complex a message will display to the effect that only qualified archaeologists will be allowed inside and that you'll be required to first demonstrate your skills. Use the gate to warp to the museum foyer. A second message will display about passing an initial test. Once at the museum entrance, target the Trial of Skill can, analyze it, and retrieve the complex key stored within. Once the key is in your cargo hold you can warp into the complex to battle NPC archaeologists for the arcane loot waiting within.
Treasure for your Trouble
The rewards for these sites usually fall under the following categories:
- Research Technology Skill books
- Tech 1 Faction items
- Salvage parts for making rigs
- Mission-specific items for COSMOS missions