I've decided that it's time to put it all in one place. There are a lot of bits and pieces of information all over, some including a lot of misinformation and old data. Now that I have the map myself, I'd like to share what I can with the community.
So let's start with the precursor:
This takes time.
There is no guarantee you will get all the map pieces separately.
Now that the ugly stuff is out of the way...
What exactly IS the Archaeologist's Map?
It works exactly the same as a Traveller's Map except it's a permanent, two-way quick-travel, instead of one-time, one-way. Not only will it take you to the town of your choosing (within a certain proximity), it will take you back to EXACTLY where you teleported from. It has a 6 hour cooldown on use, with a 30 minute window to return to your original location.
Experimentation Notice: If you change servers, change characters or disconnect,YOU WILL LOSE YOUR RETURN WINDOW.
EDIT: It seems the description regarding staying in the town you teleport to is wrong. I have left town and traveled quite a distance while still being able to return to my original position.
Further Testing: If you sit on your mount (horse and camel, have not tried wagon), it will teleport with you both ways.
There are a total of 8 different items you need to assemble the Map.The biggest problem is that - THERE IS NO WAY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUAL MAP PIECES. All 4 of them look exactly the same. They have the same icon, and the same text. Before I had all 4, I kept each piece in a different warehouse to keep them separate, so I could remember which one was which. Otherwise, you'll have to do a lot of swapping to get the right order when assembling.
It doesn't even say how many pieces you need....
THIS MEANS YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHICH MOB DROPS THE PIECE YOU PICKED UP.
This is by far the most important part of making the map. You need all 4 different pieces.Duplicates are worthless.Thankfully, it shows up in system chat. So when you find one, take a screen shot!
So what exactly do you need? Let's break it down:
1. Map of Unknown Piece [Lava Tukar] (Roud Sulphur)
2. Map of Unknown Piece [Iron Fist Warder] (Pila Ku)
3. Map of Unknown Piece [Lava Devourer] (Roud Sulphur)
4. Map of Unknown Piece [Sordid Deportee] (Pila Ku)
5. Forest Emerald
6. Gold Topaz
7. Ocean Sapphire
8. Blood Ruby
They MUST be placed in the EXACT order and pattern shown.
So, now you know what you need... but what's the best way to go about getting these pieces?
Grind, grind, grind.
I personally spent around 140-150 hours combined. According to other map holders I've spoken to, I was lucky to have found them within this time frame. It may take you less time, it may take you 300+ hours. Patience and diligence is key.
If your goal is the map, then you will likely have to slow down and make sure you
PICK UP EVERYTHING.
It might mean a bit less xp and silver over time, but missing a Deportee for the sake of 0.01% more XP/hour is not worth it if you really want the map!
So where do you grind? What loops are most efficient?
Just for your viewing pleasure, I have documented the rotations I ran. I spent a lot of time trying to maximize mob density for map pieces, and not for efficiency of making xp or money. Remember what your goal is. Plus, both of these places drop Sicil Necklaces, which are a nice windfall. Definitely makes it worthwhile to pick up everything.
At Pila Ku Jail, you need to kill Sordid Deportees (the biggest mob, and the only Demihuman), and Iron Fist Warders (the next biggest mob).
At Roud Sulphur Works, you need to kill Lava Tukars (the biggest mob) and Lava Devourers (kinda the second biggest. Once you get familiar with the area, you'll know 'em when you see 'em).
I started solo-grinding at Pila Ku no problem with less than 190ap and Kutum off-hand. Accuracy is your most important stat.
I'm a bit divided on which loop to do first. The problem is that Pila Ku is so much better in just about every way. It's almost twice as good in terms of XP/hour, the trash loot is better, the gem drops are better, and everything else the same. Pila Ku is a great place to grind in general, while Sulphur is mediocre at best. The only redeeming quality of Roud Sulphur is that the black stone drop rate (on avg) seems a bit higher than other places. It does not make it worth spending more time than you need to, however.
I spent the majority of my time in Pila Ku because I wasn't initially aiming for the map. After the first piece dropped, that's when I started working on my specific mob efficiency.
Personally, I would just start with Pila Ku because you will still get lots of money and xp in the mean time and there's no telling when those map pieces will drop for you. I do know others went to Sulphur first to get it out of the way, but again, RNG may determine that you spend a lot of time with little reward. So choose your path based on where you feel like you'll hate yourself less to begin with.
That's about all there is to it. Again, finding this thing is all about patience, dedication and a little (or a lot) of luck.
Personal Tinfoil Disclaimer:
I do not believe node level or knowledge to have any effect on drop rate. I do not have either Roud Sulphur Works or Pila Ku even connected, and I have spent no energy leveling knowledge of the mobs. I found 3/4 pieces with a Kamasylve Blessing running, but I'm not sure they really make a difference, either, as I've used them many times with no results. At the end of the day, RNG will bless you or it won't. Some people get things with S and level 10, others get with C and unconnected. Do what works best for you.
If you have anything to add, or any questions, feel free to contribute.