Harvesting has received a sizeable nerf, income-wise, with the addition of Path of Fire. However, you can still earn up to 10g/hr (last tested July 2018) by following the one-hour route at this link. Additionally, it can be useful if you prefer to harvest items directly instead of grinding gold and buying them.
Guaranteed Rich Nodes:
If you prefer a more direct approach, rather than running around an entire zone, you can hit only the guaranteed nodes. Usually these are rich nodes, but sometimes they are gardens of valuable resources (such as strawberries or artichokes). I’ve designed an optimized route of these, to help you get the most gathering in with the least amount of waypoint fees.
Depending on the prices of materials and how efficiently you run it, the route can earn you between 9-18g per hour.
Getting the most out of gathering:
Anything that can be optimized, will be. This is definitely the case with gathering, which can be buffed both directly and indirectly.
Buffs and Glyphs:
Gathering boosts come in two types: one that increases the amount of harvests you get from a node, and one that increases the likelihood of rare/extra components from harvesting.
- Gathering Booster: Gained from an Item Booster or chosen from an Enchanted Reward Boost. Grants 33% chance for an extra harvest.
- Gathering Banner: Depending on the banner, grants a 10% or 15% chance for an extra harvest.
- Guild Gathering Boost: Obtained in your guild’s Guild Hall, this buff grants up to a 20% chance to get a critical gather.
- Cup of Light-Roasted Coffee: While not technically a direct buff to gathering, as you will often be dismounting at a gathering node, the quickness provides a nice boost while harvesting.
Glyphs come in several different types, some of which are purchasable from the TP (such as the Glyph of Industry), but many of which come attached to gem store sets (such as the Volatile Magic glyphs). A comprehensive list can be found at the wiki. Here is an abridged list of some recommended glyphs:
- Glyph of Industry: Gathering completes 50% faster. This is best placed on your Logging or Mining Tools. Your Harvesting Sickle is a good candidate for this as well, but as you can use the Consortium Harvesting Sickle skin to complete plant harvesting 50% faster, that may be a better option.
- Glyph of Bounty: 33% chance to gain an extra strike while gathering. There is no note whether or not this stacks with the gathering boosts listed above.
- Glyph of the Prospector: Grants a 33% chance at getting ore while gathering. Unlike the other glyphs, which grant extra cloth, leather, or fine materials, bonus ore is more likely to hold its value, making this the best choice of the bunch.
- Glyph of the Watchknight: This glyph provides watchwork sprockets while gathering. While the price of sprockets has fluctuated over time, this has always been a good way of gleaning a little extra value out of your harvests.
- Glyph of Volatility/the Unbound: These give Living Story currency, Volatile or Unbound Magic, with each node. This is a more indirect way of making money – because both UM and VM can be converted into gold, it can make a good addition to your tools.
Mounts obviously make moving from node to node a much simpler task. The raptor is one of the best options due to its incredibly high base speed, relatively fair maneuverability, and ground-covering leap. The jackal is a close second, with a little slower base speed but more frequently usable movement skills. I do not recommend roller beetle because of the long start-up time upon mounting (you mount and dismount frequently while gathering), and comparative uncontrollability.
Some classes have natural advantages over others when it comes to movement, avoiding combat, quickness uptime etc. These builds were formulated before mounts existed, but they can still come in handy when you’re unable to mount up, or between nodes.
Druid Ranger [Build Link]
- Movement Speed: Natural Stride trait grants a permanent 33% speed boost.
- Movement Skills: Ancestral Grace is a 1200-range dash with an evade, that will not place you in combat.
- Quickness: Quickening Zephyr grants not only Quickness, but also Superspeed (you will run at out of combat speeds even when in combat).
- Combat: Traps’ conditions will tick down your enemies while you harvest, and/or your pet can. A condition build is suggested.
How to use: Remove hindering conditions with Vine Surge, heal, elite, or Quickening Zephyr in order to maintain 33% movement speed. Use Ancestral Grace when off cooldown. Keep pet set to passive, because if a mob attacks it and not you, you stay out of combat until your pet attacks it. Use the f1 command to have your pet kill things while you harvest.
Daredevil Thief [Build Link]
- Movement Speed: Dodging grants 16s of Swiftness, allowing for 100% Swiftness uptime.
- Movement Skills: Unhindered Combatant (the dodge skill) is a 450-range dash. Infiltrator’s Arrow (Shortbow 5) is a 900 range teleport.
- Quickness: Haste grants 6 seconds of Quickness.
- Combat: Staff autoattack + Vault will wipe out any enemies quickly, or use Shadow Refuge for stealth. A power build is suggested.
How to use: Dodge as often as possible to maintain Swiftness and to move quickly. When out of endurance, use your heal skill to regain some so that you can dodge again. I rarely find a need for Infiltrator’s Arrow, but it is good for moving quickly up ledges.
Scrapper Engineer [Build Link]
- Movement Speed: This build uses Traveler’s Runes for their 10% boon duration and 25% movement speed buff.
- Movement Skills: None to speak of.
- Quickness: Assuming a 100% boon duration, Quickness can be maintained permanently.
- Combat: Flamethrower to mow down foes, or Sneak Gyro to stealth while moving. Also, Stability to negate knockdowns etc. Build is not geared for combat.
How to use: Pull out the Flamethrower, turn Elixir U on as your autoattack (ctrl + right click) and get ready for some perma-quickness while gathering! Pop Elixir B for the occasional speed boost. Please note that if you use an Item Booster with this build, it will unequip your Flamethrower after every harvest due to a bug.