What Does the Gathering Skill do?
This skill serves 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 the “skilled processing” knowledge you need to have your gathering skill at skilled 10.
Thirdly, with a higher skill level, you get an increased chance of not using energy for a gathering action. At the start, you will need one energy for each gather action, but as your skill increases, you will start to get free gather actions ending in two to three gathering actions for each energy point used.
Now it’s important to remember that gathering costs energy. So one of the things you need to do is to grow your energy pool by increasing your knowledge base. A high energy pool will allow you to gather much more frequently and for a longer time than a small energy pool. I will mention ways to manage your energy pool a bit lower.
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 maximum 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 towards 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 your gathering skill 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 each gathering action time.
- Steel: -8 seconds to each gathering action time.
- Shining Steel: -10 seconds to each gathering action time.
- Magic: -11 seconds to each gathering action time.
In my opinion, the shining tools are the best as you only get a single second reduction with the magic tool compared to the shining tool and it costs considerably more. To be able to use shining tools you need to have your gathering skill at skilled 5.
Getting Lucky Tools
There are also “lucky” versions of each tier of each tool. These tools supposedly increase your chance of getting rare drops, which are hard and sharp crystals when gathering. This makes them a great choice if you can get your hands on them. However, the only reasonable way to get lucky tools consistently is to make them yourself. To do so you need to get a worker to make a shining steel pickaxe in the appropriate workshop. On average, every ten tools crafted by a worker should turn out to be a lucky version of the tool made. Personally, I find that a bit too much of a bother and mostly use the shining steel tools, while always having active buy orders for lucky tools in the central market.
How to Manage Your Energy Pool
As mentioned before, gathering costs energy. Happily, there are ways to restore energy faster than the 1 energy per three minutes rate when active.
First, we have energy potions which you can buy from the central marketplace. These energy potions are made by players by interacting with specific NPC’s and trading their energy pool for energy potions. There are four types of energy potions that restore energy by a different amount. They are:
- Energy potion (small) – restores 10 energy
- Energy potion (medium) – restores 20 energy
- Energy potion (large) – restores 30 energy
- Energy potion (Extra large) – restores 50 energy
They are somewhat expensive, costing from 15.000 to 25.000 silver for each energy point, so for a beginner, they are not really worth the silver unless you are spending the silver to train your gathering skill faster. However, at higher skill levels they might become economical as you start getting more actions per energy point. Also, you can only use one potion every 10 minutes so you need to take that into account when you select which energy potion to use.
Another way is to buy high-quality wine from a Cook/Innkeeper, but that costs 200.000 silver for only 3 energy points and is clearly not worth it if you can get energy potions. You can also get yourself a bed and sleep in it. This will restore 2 energy points per three minutes while you are logged on. Sadly this does not improve energy restoration speed while offline, which would be a cool addition to the game.
Finally, and this is my favorite way, you can have your alternate characters located near an NPC that can turn their energy into energy potions and have them exchange their energy for energy potions, which you then place in your central marketplace storage for your main gatherer to access. This way you get a much higher pool of energy with some limited effort.
The NPC that exchanges energy for potions is Alustin. He can be found in the following locations:
- Alejandro Farm
- Port Epheria
To convert your energy pool into energy potions you simply need to talk to him and select which energy potion you want to get from him. The best potion to get is the extra large one as it has a better energy pool to energy potion ratio and because of the 10-minute timer on energy potions.
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 during 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 a 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 tier of the pet. 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.
Speaking of pets. If you are an avid gatherer you should consider investing money into a hedgehog. When fed and active this pet gives you a chance of a double loot for each gathering action. The increase is about 30% for a tier 1 pet at level 10., increasing to up to 50% for a tier 4 pet.
The best way to get a hedgehog is to buy Amerigo’s Welcome Package from the pearl store. It costs 4.400 pearls so it is not cheap. It’s also hard to get a higher tiered one as hedgehogs are limited pets and can therefore only be exchanged for other limited pets, such as penguins.
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.
Now if you liked this guide then be sure to share it with your friends and allies and feel free to check out my other Black Desert Online guides.