Reason to level up cartography is to unlock sites to excavate artifact, as well as skill bonuses when you travel to ‘point of interest’. Reason to level up archaeology is to get artefact that provide bonuses, get dlc gems used to upgrade materials as well for new gem slot, and unlock new combat areas.
These combat areas require you to have summoning to break down enemy barrier quickly (you can do this without summoning, but you will suffer).
You’ll need a lot of gold to do cartography because you need to travel, and refine map. Refining map reduces artefact value. The lower the artefact value, the easier it is to get artefact at that map. 6Th map refinement allows you to get min. +1 Artefact, very valuable upgrade.
The upgrade is important if you want to upgrade tools for example, which is another stuff that improves chance to get artefact. (You can use unrefined map, but getting artefact will be slow). You can check wiki what kind of stuff you can get in archaeology.
If you’re new to this, skip making maps and just auto-survey areas (don’t stop surveying. If you cancel survey you have to travel to nearby unexplored hex to continue auto survey). Surveying 100 hex grants 5% global XP.
Default map with max tool upgrades is 69 artefact value which equates to 33.75% chance on one tool.
Upgrading map takes .25s per action, 5760 actions to fully upgrade. 1440 seconds or 24 minutes.
Fully upgraded map you can get over 100% chance to get artefact and +1 minimum. So using bad statistics it’s 6 actions using the unupgraded map to get 1 action of an upgraded map. 3.25s * 6 = 19.5 seconds.
Fully upgraded map action is 2.85 seconds. So you lose 16.65 seconds just on that alone. Let’s say you just want to survey 100 times.
- Upgraded 2.85*100 = 285 seconds
- Unupgraded is 3.25*6*100 to match ratio and output of upgraded = 1950 seconds.
- 1950 > 285+1440 it’d take to upgrade the map. It just gets worse the more actions you do.
Paper is a non issue as township will give you your starting amount and archaeology will give you paper so you should never have to craft it.
Sure upgrading maps looks bad when you have no investment in Archaeology/Cartography but is essential when hunting Legendary artefacts. Just the +1 to minimum alone on refined maps will save you so much frustration of finally hitting the Legendary but having to donate it to get your museum turn in.