What Does the Gathering Skill do?
This skill servers three purposes. First of all, it increases the yield you get from each gather action. This means that at low levels you would get one or two items each time you gather, but at higher levels you can get four, five or even more items each time.
Secondly, you need to get this skill to a certain level to be able to gather specific materials and learn special knowledge. As an example, you need to have your gathering skill at skilled 5 to be able to mine gemstones. And to learn skilled processing knowledge you need to have your gathering skill at skilled 10.
Thirdly, the higher your skill level, the less energy is consumed each time you gather. At the start, you will need one energy for each gather action, as your skill increases you will start to get free gather actions ending in two to three gather actions for each energy point used.
How to Increase Gathering Speed
There are two ways to reduce the time needed to gather materials. You can increase your base gathering stat and you can use tools which have a reduced gather action time.
By Increasing the Gathering Rank
There are a few ways to increase your gathering rank. The first and best one is to join a guild which has invested guild points into the Nimble Fingers skill-line. This will result in a max increase of +3 to the gathering rank
The second way is to invest in special gathering clothes. The best way is to buy from the market the silver embroidered gatherer’s clothes. The basic version gives you a stat increase of +1 and movement speed of +1. I would recommend enhancing your gatherer’s clothes to at least +2. At that point, you get +2 to the gathering stat, you get +2 to movement speed and you also get a 15% increase to your gathering skill experience gain.
If you mix +2 silver embroidered gatherer’s clothes with a guild with +3 gathering you will have your gathering stat at level 5 which is the highest that gives any benefits.
By Using Foods and Drinks to Increase Gathering Rank
You can also use various food and potions, such as the Balenos Special, to increase your gathering rank, but remember that you gain nothing from pushing it above level 5. If you already have gathering at rank 5, then you could still use fig pies or sweet fig pies to get more material when you gather.
Using Better Gathering Equipment
Each tool has a few tiers, with each tier getting progressively faster at a gather action.
Sharp: -4 seconds to gather action time.
Steel: -8 seconds to gather action time.
Shining Steel: -10 seconds to gather action time.
Magic: -11 seconds to gather action time.
In my opinion, the shining tools are the best as you only get one more second reduction with the magic and it costs four time as much. To be able to use shining tools you need to have your gathering skill at skilled 5.
How to Level the Gathering Skill
In my opinion, the fastest way to level this skill is to find a patch of a dense, little used forest, get a fluid collector or an axe of the highest quality you can use and just go wild gathering as fast as you can in the forest.
Some players will tell you to go find the rare gemstones as they give higher experience, which is correct. However, the gemstones are usually far apart and in the time needed to find them you could have gotten much more experience collecting sap or lumbering wood from trees. Of course, if you need rough stones or something else not gathered from trees, then you should do that. But if the main goal is to increase your skill, then the trees are your best bet.
Special clothes give bonus to experience earned so having them equipped when you go gather will speed up your leveling. You can either use the ones that you get as a reward for reaching apprentice 1 or the silver embroidered ones mentioned above. If you can enhance the silver embroidered clothes to +2 then they are the better choice.
Pets give life experience bonus, +1% per pet tier. This means that three pets were each is at tier 2 will give a total of +6% bonus to life experience which includes gathering. So remember to have your pets out and fed to give the bonus.
Finally, there are also potions and food which increase the life experience you gain, such as Sute Tea which gives +8% to life skills, so if you’re in a hurry you should drink that before leveling your skill.
Having enough inventory and weight limit
The final thing to consider is your ability to carry the items you collected. By increasing your inventory slots and weight limit you will be able to spend more time collecting materials before you need to head back to town to unload all the stuff you’ve collected. Having a high weight limit is therefore highly useful and in this case more important than inventory slots.
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