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Keystones are objects found when digging for archaeology artifact fragments using the archaeology profession. The keystones are specific to racial artifacts (i.e. there are dwarven keystones, night elven keystones, and so on) and add 12 fragments to some archaeology projects, though not every project will allow the player to use a keystone.
When a player can use a keystone to complete a project, a hexagonal socket will appear at the bottom left of the project window. If the player has a keystone in his or her inventory, the player may then left-click the socket and the keystone will be placed in it (though it will not be consumed until the player solves the artifact). The keystones may be used exactly like 12 fragments, meaning that if a keystone gives more fragments than necessary to complete an artifact, the extra fragments will roll over to the next artifact project. If a player changes their mind about using a keystone before solving the project, they can left-click the socket again to remove the keystone.
Common artifacts that permit keystones only allow the use of one or two. Rare-quality artifact projects may permit the use of up to three keystones. There are no keystones available for use with Fossil projects.
There are several known kinds of keystones, each matching a race.
Keystone dungeon buffs
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Some keystones can be used near the entrance of Cataclysm dungeons to grant a group-wide buff for the duration of the run.
|Throne of Tides||Strange Fountain||10% bonus damage against the naga|
|Blackrock Caverns||Stone Tablet||Reduces elemental damage done to you by 5%|
|The Stonecore||Broken Pillar||Physical damage taken is reduced by 5%|
|Vortex Pinnacle||Magical Brazier||Heals wounds and replenishes mana slowly over time|
|Lost City of the Tol'vir||Tol'vir Grave||10% bonus damage against the Neferset|
|Halls of Origination||Large Stone Obelisk||Improves movement speed|
|Grim Batol||Dwarven Bone Pile||Critical chance increased by 5%|
|Zul'Aman||Voodoo Pile||Chance on dealing damage or healing to summon an Amani Bear Cub to assist in combat|
|Zul'Gurub||Voodoo Pile||Chance on dealing damage or healing to summon a Young Gurubashi Raptor to assist in combat|
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): The Bountiful Bags guild perk should no longer sometimes incorrectly reward Archaeologists with multiple keystones from dig sites.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Added