For a categorical listing of all articles related to harvesting, see Category:Harvesting.
What is Harvesting?Edit
Harvesting is a general adventure skill which gives players the ability to obtain resources from nodes spread throughout the lands of Norrath. Harvesting is an important skill for an aspiring crafter as well as a requirement for many quests. Resources are harvested from resource nodes using the skills of Mining, Gathering, Fishing, Trapping, and Foresting.
Why should you harvest?Edit
Three reasons: getting cash, saving cash, and completing quests.
Crafters need raw materials in order to make their goods. Some crafters in some tiers need thousands of units of certain harvestable resources to level from one tier of goods to another. Many of those crafters aren't particularly interested in spending the time needed to gather such large amounts of raw ingredients so they can perfect their craft. Those who choose not to harvest, buy from other players.
The sale price of raw materials varies wildly depending on supply and demand, but it is often possible to make a great deal of money by supplying the right goods at the right time. Browse the broker, keep up with the market, and go out to harvest what's in demand. In addition, the rare materials needed for mastercrafted items can at times provide a nice chunk of change for each unit, so there are multiple ways to profit from what you gather.
- Note: since LU61 it's possible to see the chance to harvest a rare in the persona window
If you're a crafter low on funds, or if you just prefer the feeling of being fully self-sufficient, harvesting your own materials is a good way to go. Maximize your skill level, seek out the less-traveled spots, get harvesting tools to make the task more efficient, and put on some good music. Before you know it, you'll have stacks of materials ready to use, and a lot of gold or platinum still in the bank that you can spend on something else.
And all that stuff you harvested but don't need? Sell it! Not only do you save money, you can get paid back for the time you spent digging in the dirt.
Finally, certain quests contain harvesting tasks. There aren't many when looking at all the quests that are available, but if you do a lot of quests, you'll bump into them eventually. If you harvest here and there, you'll keep your skills rising so when it's time to get resources in a quest, you won't have hours of make-up chopping and fishing to do.
How to HarvestEdit
In order to harvest a node, use one of these actions:
- Double-click the node (or single click if you have your options set that way)
- Right-click the node and select 'Harvest'
- Place the cursor over the node and use the default action key
- Target the node and activate the appropriate skill - you can also drag the harvesting action keys from your Knowledge book to your hotbar and click them as you would a spell or combat art. This also allows you to queue your actions.
Nodes vary by tier, requiring a higher minimum skill to harvest in each successive tier. View the required minimum skill for a particular node by right-clicking the node and selecting 'Examine'. Or, just try to harvest the node; if you're below the minimum required skill, you'll get a helpful message that lists your skill and the minimum requirement. Checking your skill levels in the "Persona" window of your user interface is a quick way to get a complete overview of your skill progress.
Harvesting skills have a chance to improve with each harvest attempt. Harvesting skills are capped both by your level and by the zone you're harvesting in:
- Your character's cap is your highest level (either tradeskill or adventure) times five.
- Each tier has a cap at which the node will become trivial. The cap varies in number, but is always higher than the value required for the next higher tier.
Once your skill hits either cap, harvesting a node will always succeed.
Each node can be successfully harvested three times. Each successful harvest results in one or more resources:
- 1, 3, or 5 common resources
- 1 rare resource
- 10 common resources and 1 rare resource
A low harvesting skill will result in fewer successes and more cases where nothing is found. Failure to harvest a resource does not deplete the node. Failures to harvest the node does seem to increase the chance of a skill up however.
Also keep in mind that if your harvesting skill isn't capped, you will have much worse results than if it was capped. Your likelihood of receiving more than 1 resource diminishes noticeably even on resource nodes that are hundreds of levels below your current skill level. Always keep your harvesting skills capped!
Where to Find NodesEdit
Nodes may be found throughout outdoor zones, including some instances.
- Nodes appear randomly in the zones from the initial release. They tend to cluster in specific regions of the zone. After a node is harvested, a new node of any applicable type will spawn somewhere within that region.
- For the zones introduced in and after the Desert of Flames expansion, nodes spawn in geographically appropriate locations; for example, ore and stone will be found near cliffs, mountains, and caves; shrubs, roots and wood will be found in grasslands or forested areas. After a node is harvested, a new node of a similar type will spawn. Fish, of course, are found only in water in all zones.
Zones (By Harvestable Tier) Edit
Harvesting Styles: What Nodes Should You Harvest? Edit
There are two commonly used techniques for harvesting. These are sometimes called "Cherry Picking" and "Clear Cutting", and they are described in the following sections, with the pros and cons of each.
Harvesting Styles: "Cherry Picking" Edit
The first style is sometimes referred to as "Cherry Picking". This is the approach where you enter a zone looking for one particular type of resource, and you seek exclusively for nodes of that appropriate type, ignoring all other types of nodes. Biasing towards this approach has some important advantages:
- If you only need a very small number of resources, and there are nodes there of the type you need, this is clearly the best choice, as you can gather what you need in a few minutes and be on your way.
- If you need more resources, and there are other harvesters in the same general area, but they are already cherry picking and are looking for different node types than you need. This is an ideal win-win situation if it happens.
- If there is heavy competition for the same type of node you need, but the other harvester(s) are clear cutting (see below), then you can gain a competitive advantage to gain the resources you need by cherry picking that node type, at least to some extent, and perhaps gather what you need sooner than you might otherwise.
It does have one major disadvantage:
- In the lower tier zones (tiers 1-5), when a harvested node respawns, it does so as a node of a random type. This means that if you are in an area harvesting exclusively one or two types of node, then when nodes do respawn, some of them will respawn as other node types. Fairly quickly the population of the node type(s) you want will falls and the area will have increasing numbers of nodes of types you do not want. This eventually ends up with the "fields of bushes" scenario, where almost all nodes are of one (undesirable) type. (Bushes are often being the least desirable node type, in some tiers). This then makes finding the resource you actually want a lot more time-consuming! It is precisely because of this "field of bushes" problem that the Clear Cutting technique can be preferable for long harvesting sessions.
The cherry picking approach is probably the most commonly adopted, especially by an opportunist harvester, someone just harvesting for ten minutes, or someone who wants to spend as little time doing it as possible.
Harvesting Styles: "Clear Cutting" Edit
The second style is sometimes referred to as "Clear Cutting". This is the approach where you enter a zone and you harvest every single node of all types within a selected area. This has some notable advantages:
- If you need to harvest a lot of resources, it completely eliminates/avoids the "field of bushes" problem that the cherry picking approach can result in. This means you can consistently and continuously harvest all resource types from the area you have selected, as well as leaving a wider range of nodes for other players.
- If you need many types of resources from multiple node types anyway, it is more efficient; you can sell the harvests you don't need.
- Any node can yield a rare item, so clear cutting can turn out to be more profitable if you wish to sell your rares.
- It keeps you busy, rather than standing/running around waiting for respawns of nodes you need.
- If you are trying to get your harvest skills up, it makes more sense to harvest all nodes; otherwise, you can subsequently end up in a higher zone unable to clear cut.
- An area can support more harvesters if everyone is clear cutting (this is not an advantage to the individual harvester, but if you are with friends or have general consideration for others, this may be something to consider).
It does have one significant disadvantage also, however:
- It takes more time. Time spent harvesting things you don't actually want can be viewed as time simply wasted. (Not to mention, in many cases, resources wasted as well, though that is not a disadvantage to the individual harvester).
The clear cutting approach is often adopted by the more serious harvester, who wishes to gather large quantities of resources.
Harvesting Styles: The Debate Edit
Both techniques have their benefits in certain situations, and some players will adapt to using either as is best for a given circumstance. However, both techniques also have their adherants, depending on one's objectives and upon one's way of thinking. It should be noted that in some circumstances, the two techniques clash with eachother.
For example, if a clear cutter and a cherry picker are harvesting the same area and both are seeking the same resource, statistically the cherry picker is likely to get a better share of that resource, since the clear cutter is spending time clearing other nodes. Whilst neither player is doing anything wrong, this situation can sometimes lead to bad feeling. Indeed, occasionally one sees raging arguments on this subject in game, with people on each side of the debate throwing insults at eachother and accusing eachother of being "greedy" in various ways, depending on their perspectives.
The reality of the situation is, as with most of these kinds of things, that both approaches are valid and permitted and have their pros and cons. Every player can "do it their own way".
Harvesting is a competitive (contested) activity, where players are competing for the same resources. One of the options in such a circumstance is to see if you can come to an amicable agreement with the other harvester(s) present. Of course, in a competitive scenario, that is not always possible, and you are left with only two options - compete or move on. Regardless, the knowledgeable harvester is advised to be aware of the various techniques and adapt their approach to their own advantage according to the situation.
Finally, note that clear cutting is only viable/necessary in the lower tier zones. In the higher tiers, SOE designed things a little differently, where the respawning of nodes is not of a random type, and the population of each node type is independent. In these newer zones, then, you can just harvest those nodes you need, knowing that they will not respawn as different node types.
Harvesting Tools and ItemsEdit
Many harvesting tools are available to reduce harvest time by a varying amount and/or provide a bonus to harvesting skills. These items improve the efficiency of harvesting, allowing more resources to be acquired in the same amount of time. They are made by woodworkers or tinkerers.