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      (Updated 16 Apr 2015, Patch 2.5 content included)

      FF14 Unspoiled Gathering Guide by Caimie Tsukino

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      Table of Content
      Ch1: Reasons for Acquiring Level 50 Miner/Botanist
      Ch2: Gathering Leves for Faster Leveling
      Ch3: Unspoiled Deposits
      Ch4: Materia Melds & Overmelds
      Ch5: Rules of Thumb about Unspoiled Nodes
      Ch6: Rotations for Gathering at Unspoiled Deposits
      Ch7: GP
      Ch8: Cool Tips/Tricks for Gathering Clusters
      Ch9: Unspoiled Nodes Before Patch 2.2
      Ch10: Unspoiled Nodes in Patch 2.2 – The Golden Age of the Forager’s Tools/Hat
      Ch11: Patch 2.3 + 2.4 - Supra Tools - Insane Amount of Work/Money just to obtain a few kinds of 3 star mats (updated in Patch 2.5)
      Ch12: Patch 2.5 - Lucis Tools
      Ch13: Gatherer Retainers
      Ch14: Melding Materia & Obtaining Forager’s Tool for Retainers for Highland Exploration XIV
      Ch15: Other Useful Resources


      Ch1: Reasons for Acquiring Level 50 Miner/Botanist

      (1) To have access to “Unspoiled Deposits” (a.k.a. unspoiled mats) from “Unspoiled Nodes”, which is where the big moneys are for a Miner/Botanist.

      (2) To support crafting by gathering mats (materials) for free, saving millions of gil (literally millions if you’re an end-game crafter).

      (3) To train retainers to level 50 miner/botanist, where they can do most of the low level gathering jobs for you. There are also certain special crafting mats that can only be obtained by retainers with the highest level/gear.


      Ch2: Gathering Leves for Faster Leveling

      Personally, I love crafting but I hate gathering. I find gathering boring as hell. But gathering is just so beneficial that I simply cannot neglect it. If you dislike gathering like I do, but still want to enjoy the benefit, try to level your Miner/Botanist by doing more gathering leves:
      [​IMG]
      Make sure you try to take those leves that give “Cordial”. These precious GP potions are non-craftable, and can only be obtained from gathering leves (or by turning-in Fragrant Log/Umbral Rock at "Talan" at Rev Toll). They are pretty expensive on the market board, so save up a bunch for your future.


      Ch3: Unspoiled Deposits

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      When you have reached level 50 Miner/Botanist, you will start gathering “Unspoiled Deposits” (a.k.a. unspoiled mats) from “Unspoiled Nodes”. This is end-game for MIN/BTN, and it’s a big business too. Crafters constantly need unspoiled mats.

      Instead of me explaining how Unspoiled Deposits works, please visit some basic guides if you have absolutely no idea what they are:
      http://www.ffxivguild.com/ffxiv-unspoiled-nodes-gathering-guide/
      (Notice the basic guide said the Unspoiled Nodes appear for only 1 Eorzean hour, which is wrong, and the method that the guide teaches you to farm unspoiled is noob. Hence, I wrote this guide.)

      In a nutshell, Unspoiled Nodes only appear at a particular Eorzean time of the day. You will need to turn on your “Truth of Mountain” or “Truth of Forest”, to locate a nearby Unspoiled Node on your mini map. Once engaged on an Unspoiled Node, you will see that all Unspoiled Deposits are not reachable yet. So you can either use "Toil of the Mountaineer" / "Toil of the Pioneer" to immediately see and reach all hidden items (which I highly DISCOURAGE for experienced gatherers. See Ch6 below for reasons), or you can just hit any of the slots to reach an unspoiled item.

      If you have already completed your level 50 class quest, you will have your first experience in gathering unspoiled mats. But the powers of a fresh level 50 MIN/BTN is very limited, and he/she won’t be able to turn the unspoiled gathering routine into a money-making production yet. When you’re at that point of the game, it’s time for melds & overmelds of materia.


      Ch4: Materia Melds & Overmelds

      In order to reach better stats to play the “Unspoiled Game”, you will need to meld lots of materia on your “final” gathering gear to boost Gathering, Perception and GP.

      Miner's Standard AF gear ("Artifact" gear, a.k.a. standard lvl 50 end-game gear before acquisition of Forager's Gear or Supra Tools):
      - Mammon (lvl 50 class quest reward)
      - Hamlet Digger's Helmet HQ
      - Miner's Shirt HQ
      - Miner's Gloves HQ
      - Miner's Slops HQ
      - Miner's Workboots HQ
      - Militia Sledgehammer HQ

      Botanist's Standard AF gear:
      - Rauni (lvl 50 class quest reward)
      - Hamlet Cutter's Hat HQ
      - Botanist's Doublet HQ
      - Botanist's Gloves HQ
      - Botanist's Slops HQ
      - Botanist's Workboots HQ
      - Militia Scythe HQ

      Forager's Tools / Hat (since Patch 2.2):
      - Unique, Untradeable
      - Earned through gathering HQ Umbral Rocks & HQ Fragrant Logs (see Ch10)

      Supra Tools (since Patch 2.3):
      - Unique, Untradeable
      - Need 3x Mastercraft Demimateria & 10x Fieldcraft Demimateria III (can be done via buying)
      - Earned through gathering 99 NQ Antumbral Rock & NQ Redolent Log (see Ch11)

      Lucis Tools (since Patch 2.5):
      - Unique, Untradeable
      - Must already possess Supra Tools
      - Earned through gathering 99 HQ Antumbral Rock & 99 HQ Redolent Log (see Ch12)
      - Need 20 Moonstone + 60 Magicked Oilcloth / 60 Bamboo Paper (untradeable items earned by GC seals and/or Allied Seals. See Ch12)

      Forager's Sledgehammer / Scythe (since Patch 2.4):
      - 3 star crafted items that require 6x Ehcatl Sealant (see Ch11).

      Forager's Vest, Wristguards, Slops & Shoes (since Patch 2.4):
      - 4 star crafted items that require 1x Mastercraft Demimateria & 3x Ehcatl Sealant (see Ch11).


      Examples of melds/overmelds on a crafted gear:
      [​IMG]
      For more information about meld/overmeld, please visit my overmelding guide:
      FFXIV Crafting & Gathering Gear Overmelding Guide by Caimie Tsukino


      Melding Caps for Miner/Botanist End-Game Gear

      [​IMG]
      (*Note the change for Militia Bracelet. They can now add up to 10 GP with materia melds.)

      [I know many people use the guide on ffxivguild.com for studying melding cap:
      http://www.ffxivguild.com/ff14-arr-dol-gathering-gear-guide-endgame-l50-maximum-materia-melds/
      But the information there is wrong. The Forager's Wristguards cannot add any GP at all. So be careful if you use that crappy guide.]


      IMPORTANT:
      (1) You do NOT need the new Patch 2.3 accessories or Patch 2.4 meldable Forager's Vest/Wristguards/Slop/Shoes to play the "Unspoiled Game". If you have the luxury to get them, great, good for you! But even with the old Raptorskin accessories, you can still have access to 2 star nodes after overmelds. However, if you intend to get 3 star mats (There are ONLY a few kinds of 3 star mats - Platinum Ore & Ebony Log from Patch 2.4, Pumice & Cypress Log from Patch 2.45, Virgin Basilisk Egg & Rosemary from Patch 2.5. That's it! Out of all these, only Platinum sells). Then you need to at least get Supra Tool and/or the Forager's Offhand.

      (2) Unlike crafting gear, you DO NOT need to max out all the caps on every gathering gear to play the "Unspoiled Game". Since Patch 2.2, all you need is 370 gathering & 332 perception to have the ability to acquire the Forager's Tools/Hat (see Ch8). Since Patch 2.4, the requirement for Umbral Rock & Fragrant Log has been lowered from 370 gathering to 353 gathering in order to obtain the Forager's Tools/Hat (see Ch9). However, I strongly recommend achieving > 377 gathering with overmelds. This is because the Forager's Tool only provides 31 more gathering, and the Forager's Hat does not provide any extra gathering. Having >377 gathering before you acquire your Forager's Tool means you can reach over 408 gathering when you got the Forager's Tool, allowing you to immediately access 2 star nodes. I also highly recommend reaching 585+ GP or even 600 GP (see Ch6 for reasons). Thus, it helps to try to hit CLOSE to the melding caps of each gear. But unlike crafting gear, you don't need to max out everything completely.

      Furthermore, I do not recommend putting too much effort in melding the hat, since it will be eventually be replaced by the Forager’s Hat (see Ch10 below).

      If melds/overmelds are being too expensive, but you just needed that little bit more push on your stats? Well, eat some food! Gathering food sometimes can be convenient, especially if you’re a Culinarian!

      *Side Notes for Fishers:
      Since GP is absolutely useless to Fishers, it is actually better for Fishers to use i70 accessories (like Gryphonskin Choker/Wristbands/Ring or Rose Gold Ring) to overmeld with gathering materia. These i70 gear has a larger stats cap for gathering & perception than the old gatherer's accessories listed above, and they can be worn by all classes. However, the new i90 accessories from Patch 2.3 are exclusively for DoW/DoM only. So they cannot be utilized by DoL.

      If you are a Fisher, and want in-depth information for melds, please visit:
      http://www.disciplesoftheland.com/forum.aspx?g=posts&m=7731#post7731


      Finding a "Builder of the Realm" to help you meld

      You don't have to be a crafter to meld your own gear. Getting an all-50 crafter ("Builder of the Realm") to meld for you would be the most convenient thing to do. They can just switch classes and meld all your gear. So you don't have to look for more people for different gear.

      Overmeld of gathering gear is a pretty long process due to many failure that will occur. So you should tell the crafter in advance that this will be a long process of overmeld, and tip her/him for his time. Generally, overmelds should be done next to a market board, as everyone will underestimate the amount of materia (& cash) needed to complete the process. You may find yourself constantly walking back to the board to buy more materia during the overmeld process.

      Remember to carry the appropriate "Carbonized Matter" for the melding process. Make sure you don't confuse it with "Dark Matter" which is for repairing gear. Higher grade of carbonized matter can be used to meld same grade of materia or lower grade of materia. So the easiest thing to do is to buy/gather a stack of 99 Grade 3 Carbonized Matter (don't need that many grade 4s, because no one has too many Tier IV materia to use anyway).

      IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PS3/4 PLAYERS:
      For PC players, just right click on a crafter, and select "Request Meld". For PS3/4 player, select the crafter and then press "SQUARE" on your controller to find the "Request Meld" option.

      Always PLAN AHEAD before the melds. Try to calculate how many more materia of what grade is needed to achieve your desired stats. Then plan a way to meld all those materia according to price, starting from the most expensive. The WORST thing to do, is to randomly meld anything, just hoping to push stats slightly higher. That will lead you into a situation where you melded/overmelded 2 or 3 cheap materia of Tier I or II, and then you suddenly realize you need to add a different kind of materia, but the materia is Tier III. e.g. if you try to boost gathering and perception first by melding ALL gear with gathering and perception materia first. Then when you try to take care of the GP part, you may find you actually need to meld a Grasp III somewhere after the Guerdon I (gathering) or Guile II (perception) were settled. Then, you're just burning money by failing all those Grasp III's on a late overmeld.


      Ch5: Rules of Thumb about Unspoiled Nodes

      (1) Once you engaged onto an Unspoiled Node, you have to work on it. If you cancel or interrupt the gathering process for any kind of reasons (e.g. to wait for more GP, or if you get attacked by a mob), you will lose the node.

      (2) All Unspoiled Nodes give you a total of 6 gathering attempts when you engage it initially. You will usually use 1 attempt for reaching the item.

      (3) The appearing of Unspoiled Nodes follows EORZEAN TIME (Ez time), not your local time or server time. You have to adjust your clock at top right of your screen to display Eorzean time.

      (4) Eorzean Time vs Real Life time:
      ........ 24 Ez hours = 72 min in real life (1 hr 12 min)
      ........ 12 Ez hours = 36 min in real life
      ........ 6 Ez hours = 18 min in real life
      ........ 1 Ez hour = 3 min in real life
      ........ 20 Ez min = 1 min in real life
      ........ 10 Ez min = 30 sec in real life
      ........ 5 Ez min = 15 sec in real life


      (5) The old Unspoiled Nodes before Patch 2.2 (including all the clusters) always appear at 1am/5am/9am/ 1pm/5pm/9pm. The newer nodes added after Patch 2.2 appear at much more irregular hours.

      (6) All Unspoiled Nodes will only appear for 3 Ez hours. i.e. if something spawns at 1pm Ez time, it will disappear at 4pm Ez time.



      Ch6: Rotations for Gathering at Unspoiled Deposits

      Here, I'm going to focus on how to maximize your yield of NQ/HQ mats using different gathering rotations. This is the main chapter of this gathering guide.

      So often when I gather from an Unspoiled node, I see some people use "Toil of the Mountaineer" or "Toil of the Pioneer" to instantly reach all items. That is soooo unnecessary! All Unspoiled nodes have designated items at designated slots, and they NEVER CHANGE. So if you know exactly which slot is the stuff you want, all it takes is 1 hit on the slot to reach the item (provided you have enough gathering stats). This way you can save yourself 300 GP for something much more helpful.

      Assuming you used Toil of the Mountaineer or Pioneer, you burned 300 GP, and you would still have 6 attempts left for gathering. The maximum gathering success rate is 95% for all Unspoiled Deposits no matter how high your gathering stats is. So you then use Miner’s "Sharp Vision" or Botanist’s "Field Mastery" to increase 5% gathering success rate so that you reach 100%, burning another 50 GP. Maybe you’ll still have enough GP for “Unearth” or “Leaf Turn”, adding 10% HQ rate. Assuming you're gathering darksteel ore or spruce log, you get 3 pieces per attempt. So at the end, with this "Toil of Mountaineer/Pioneer Rotation" you will obtain 18 darksteel ore or spruce log at about 10% HQ rate. Honestly, if you know about this game's RNG (Random Number Generator), you will know that 10% in this game feels like 2 to 5% when you need it (And 10% feels like 30% when you try to avoid it).

      In contrast, if you already know darksteel is at slot 3 or spruce log is at slot 6, you can use one attempt to uncover it (assuming your gathering stats is high enough and it takes only 1 hit). Then you will have 5 attempts left, but now you will have enough GP to use "Sharp Vision / Field Mastery" to increase success rate to 100% and use "King's Yield II / Blessed Harvest II" to increase yield by 2 per attempt. 5x (3+2) ores = 25 ores. Now you can obtain 7 more ores comparing to those who used Toil of the Moutaineer or Pioneer (I call this the “King’s Yield II Rotation”. It requires 550 GP.). Cheers! Alleluia! 7 more ores may not sound like a lot, but in truth it is A LOT (28% more). At my levels of crafting, I can easily consume 3 stacks of 99 darksteel ore/ gold ore/ spruce lumber a day. 28% of 3 stacks is 83… We’re talking about 83 more free ores here in the 3 stacks! It’s huge!

      If you're a very strong crafter who doesn't need HQ mats, the above trick will give you the maximum yield. However, if you are not close to an all-50 crafter who can use a rotation that involved multiple level 50 cross class skills, then it is almost essential for you to get heaps of HQ mats from these Unspoiled Nodes. Sadly, getting HQ mats from these Unspoiled Deposits is pretty darn hard. You need to have >320 perception to even qualify a chance for HQ Darksteel Ore / Gold Ore. Furthermore, the natural chance of HQ is only like 5% if I remember correctly, which means almost never! As a miner or botanist, you know you can use "Unearthed II" or "Leaf Turn II" to increase HQ chance by 30% at the cost of 300 GP. But once you have done that, you will never have enough GP for "King's Yield II / Blessed Harvest II" (500 GP), not even “King’s Yield / Blessed Harvest” (400 GP). With only 5 attempts, you will only have 5x 3 ores = 15 ores, which is very pathetic.

      In order to truly maximize your HQ chance and yield, you need enough GP to use both "Unearthed II / Leaf Turn II" and "Solid Reason / Ageless Words". The latter skill grants you an extra attempt, so that you total yield can be 18 instead of 15. The total GP required for all these skills is 600 GP, which is rather difficult to achieve. But you don’t need an initial GP of 600. Because each attempt will grant you 5 GP recovery. So you just need about 585 GP, which is very achievable, and you can use your "Solid Reason / Ageless Words" after 3 attempts.

      Here is what you should do to maximize your yield for HQ mats from Unspoiled Deposits (I call this the “Solid Reason / Ageless Words Rotation”. It requires 585+ GP):

      (1) Hit the appropriate slot to reach the item.
      (2) Use Unearthed II / Leaf Turn II to increase HQ rate at the cost of 300 GP.
      (3) Gather the item at 95% success rate enough times until you have 300 GP to use "Solid Reason" or "Ageless Words" to add 1 attempt.
      (4) Keep gathering the item until you reach Chain of 4 (meaning successfully gathered the item 5 times in a row)
      (5) Now use "Deep Vigor" or "Brunt Force" to give the last attempt 100% success rate and guaranteed HQ, and finish the gathering.

      If you are lucky, and are able to obtain the item 5x in a row at 95% success rate, then you automatically gets the 6th time at 100% success rate (and it'll also guarantee HQ)... with a total final number of 18 ores, with around 3 to 6 HQ ores within the 18.

      If you are unlucky, and miss 1 attempt, you will still have 5/6 successful attempts, so you will still have a total final number of 15 ores, with 3 to 6 HQ... same as not using Solid Reason/Ageless Words at all.

      If you are VERY unlucky and miss 2 attempts, then sorry, you now get only 12 ores, but you may still have some HQ, which is worth your trip.

      For a long time, I've been using this Solid Reason Rotation to maximize gathering of HQ mats from unspoiled nodes. Until a point which I don’t need HQ mats anymore to craft HQ nuggets/lumbers, then I just stick to the King’s Yield II Rotation for quantity. I would think the Solid Reason Rotation is rather popular out there. Yet, apparently not. From what I can see, many people still stick to Toil of the Mountaineer / Pioneer… Perhaps they just don’t have enough money to meld gathering materia yet? Without enough gathering power, one cannot reach the unspoiled item with 1 hit; and without enough GP, one cannot use the "Solid Reason Rotation" either. So maybe that’s why they still stick to Toil of the Mountaineer/Pioneer.

      In my opinion, there are only 3 viable uses for Toil of the Mountaineer/Pioneer:
      (1) When your gathering power is not high enough, to the point where you need to hit the slot 3 times to reach an item, then please just use Toil instead of wasting attempts.
      (2) When gathering Waterfowl Feather or Bamboo Stick (2 star items), the location of these items are actually randomized in the slots. So you NEED to use Toil to figure out where it is.
      (2) When you're trying to collect 2 different items from the same node at the same time, you can use Toil so that you can reach both items at once.



      Ch7: GP

      600 GP is sufficient for almost everything. However, more than 600 GP does have its advantage for harvesting HQ 1 star items. This is particular useful for harvesting HQ Umbral Rock/ Fragrant Log for the acquisition of Forager's main-hand tools. It allows "Sharp Vision"/"Field Mastery" to be used on top of the Solid Reason Rotation to achieve 100% fidelity on every attempt. This will ultimately lead to 100% activation of Deep Vigor/Brunt Force on the last attempt of gathering, thus ensuring at least 1 HQ item per run.

      [​IMG]
      Dzemael Gratin is the strongest GP food available. HQ adds 31 GP & 8 Perception. NQ adds 24 GP & 6 Perception. However, it is a very expensive food.

      Antelope Stew is a much cheaper GP food, that can be bought with 47 gil from an NPC at Buscarron's Druthers at Upper Paths (East of Quarry Mill, north of Camp Tranquil).
      [​IMG]

      Lentils & Chestnuts is also a very cheap GP food, that can be bought with 34 gil from any city's market place.
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]



      Ch8: Cool Tips/Tricks for Gathering Clusters

      Clusters are needed in large amounts for 3 star & 4 star crafting. Back in Patch 2.0, no one ever needed clusters because there was barely any 2 star crafting happening. But since Patch 2.2, the demand for clusters have been increasing dramatically every patch. The price of clusters have gone up over 4x on my server between Patch 2.2 & Patch 2.5, peaked off at 4K gil each at the beginning of 2.5, and finally stabilized at around 2K gil now. It is a very easy item to obtain, requiring only the stats of a 1 star gatherer. You can be pretty fresh level 50 with some minimal melds, and still able to make lots of gil by harvesting clusters.

      (1) Clusters are always at the St Coinach area in Mor Dhona. Clusters for Miner always come at pm time (1/5/9 pm), very close to the encampment; while clusters for Botanist always come at am time (1/5/9 am), a bit more to the right of the encampment.

      (2) You only need 450 GP for gathering clusters, since it takes only 400 GP to activate an Elemental Ward for +2 yield, and 50 GP to increase success rate to 100%.

      (3) Those red-neck giants at St Coinach are a terrible pain in the butt. ALWAYS use “Stealth” before you engage a node at St Coinach. If a giant attacks you after you engaged a node, you will lose the node.

      (4) When you’re gathering clusters at Mor Dhona, it is a freaking pain to try to remember which kind of cluster is in which slot (I get confused all the times!). One wonderful trick is to use your Elemental Ward buttons to create a list for yourself. Line up your buttons for your MIN/BTN according to the slot numbers for those elemental clusters. Now you know Wind Clusters are in slot 4 because your “Wind button” is the forth button. Easy huh?
      [​IMG]
      Well, as you can see from the above pic, my arrangement is off by 1 slot, but you get the idea! It's really convenient! ;)
      *Since Patch 2.5, the 8th slot is now "Unaspected Crystal".

      (5) Unlike other unspoiled mats, since clusters constantly appear every 4 Ez hours (12 min in real life) at Mor Dhona, you can just camp at the area forever to grind them round the clock if you have both MIN & BTN. To utilize the waiting time, it helps to be a crafter, where you can just craft or quicksyn something on the spot while waiting. Be ware of the giants though, don't craft anything too expensive there. You will soon learn by observation where the "safe zones" are to avoid the sudden-popping FATEs and random mobs. Otherwise, the encampment at St Coinach is always safe. You can keep crafting and wait until the next Unspoiled Node appears before switching back to MIN/BTN. Since it takes only 450 GP to harvest clusters, it's a very short wait for GP.



      Ch9: Unspoiled Nodes Before Patch 2.2

      I have visited many websites to try to get the best chart for Unspoiled Nodes, and the charts I obtained from http://xivwiki.com/Unspoiled_Locations was by far the best. Unfortunately, the site is now dead. Luckily, I have saved screenshots of the charts from the above link, which you can now easily save from here:

      Unspoiled Nodes for Miners:
      [​IMG]

      Unspoiled Nodes for Botanist:
      [​IMG]

      Other charts on the internet works too, but just not as condensed, not as beautifully illustrated, and not as logically organized as the one above. The only criticism I have is that these 2 charts do not include coordinates of the nodes. But they do specify map regions & specific areas, so it's not that difficult to find when you have your Truth of Mountains/Forests turned on.


      Ch10: Unspoiled Nodes in Patch 2.2 – The Golden Age of the Forager’s Tools/Hat

      Since Patch 2.2, new 1 star & 2 star nodes have been added to the game. Below is a list of them:
      [​IMG]
      Reference:


      2 special UNTRADABLE 1 star items have been added to the game – Umbral Rock & Fragrant Log (untradeable). These items are needed to obtain the “Forager’s Dolabra”, "Forager's Hatchet" & “Forager’s Hat” which were introduced in Patch 2.2. These Forager's Tools/Hat are very strong, and certainly worth your time to acquire them, since they will allow you to access 2 star nodes.
      [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
      - Forager's Tools provide 31 more gathering & 18 more perception than the original level 50 class quest tools. Forager's Hat gives 18 more perception than an unmelded hat, or 7 more perception than a fully-melded hat.

      Patch 2.2 requires gatherer's to achieve 370 gathering & 332 perception to be able to harvest HQ Umbral Rock & Fragrant Log. Since Patch 2.4, requirements for harvesting HQ Umbral Rock & Fragrant Log has been lowered from 370 gathering to 353 gathering & 332 perception. Once you have obtained 60 HQ Umbral Rock/ Fragrant Log, you may go to Revenant’s Toll, and speak to Talan to exchange for your Forager’s Tool. 30 HQ rocks/logs is needed for the Forager’s Hat. Use the Solid Reason Rotation to get HQ, and you should be in great shape. NQ rocks/logs can be used to exchange for Cordial at Talan. Using food to add more GP is also advantageous for obtaining HQ Umbral Rock/ Fragrant Log. Please see Ch7 above for details.

      Once Forager's Tools / Hat are obtained, one needs to achieve 408 gathering & 389 perception to be able to harvest from the 2 star nodes. If you had listened to my advice in Ch4 of reaching over 377 gathering via overmelds, then the Forager's Tool's extra 31 gathering stats will push you over the threshold of 408 gathering, allowing you to immediately access 2 star nodes.


      Ch11: Patch 2.3 + 2.4 - Supra Tools - Insane Amount of Work/Money Just to Obtain a few kinds of 3 Star Mats

      [​IMG] [​IMG]
      Since Patch 2.3, new mainhand tools & gathering accessories have been introduced. The new "Supra Tools" have 10 more gathering & 6 more perception than the Forager's Tools. The Supra Tools are related to the new “Desynthesis” introduced in Patch 2.3, which infuriated a lot of people since not all gatherers are crafters.

      In Patch 2.2, you can be a pure gatherer and still obtain the top notch Forager’s Tools, and access the 2 star nodes. In Patch 2.3, if you’re not a crafter, you can’t even learn desynthesis. And if you’re not a level 50 crafter, it’s almost hopeless to train a class’s desyn to max. You may harvest thousands of HQ Umbral Rocks/ HQ Fragrant logs so that you obtain hundreds of Forager’s Tools/Hats to train your desynthesis, and in turn obtain the necessary Mastercraft Demimateria & Fieldcraft Demimateria III. But that’s just insane! That's not a fun gathering game! That's just pure torture!

      My suggestion? Unless you really want to proceed to gathering 3 star mats, then go ahead and work on Supra. Otherwise, Supra is not worth your money/time/effort! If you really want them, work with an all-50 crafter to provide you with the Mastercraft Demimateria & Fieldcraft Demimateria III. Otherwise, you may just buy all those Field III from market board if you’re a billionaire. Yet, this is not the end of the story... Two special "2.5 star nodes" have been added in Patch 2.3. You will need to collect 99 of the new 2.5 star items (NQ Antumbral Rock & NQ Redolent Log, untradeable) in conjunction with owning 3 Mastercraft & 10 Field III to exchange for one Supra Tools.


      The Small Impact of Obtaining Supra Tools

      In Patch 2.3, Supra Tools made no difference to your gathering life. Because all new nodes in Patch 2.3 were just 2 star. You can handle them all with Forager's Tools. Since Patch 2.4, 2.45 & 2.5, six 3 Star Nodes have been introduced (Platinum Ore & Ebony Log, Pumice & Cypress Log, Virgin Basilisk Egg & Rosemary... and none of them sell too well except Platinum.), which require 420 gathering to harvest, and 420 perception to get HQ. Supra Tools or/and the new Forager's Offhands ("Forager's Sledgehammer" and "Forager's Scythe") are required to reach 420 gathering (unless you use strong gathering food while equipped with Forager's Mainhand Tools). As for 420 perception to get HQ, it requires the new Forager's Offhands (Forager's Sledgehammer/Scythe) with proper melds to reach (unless you use food).


      The Small Impact of Obtaining Dodore Accessories

      For the new gathering accessories introduced in Patch 2.3, they’re not necessary. They may add a bit of stats, but not enough to make big impacts. If you pay attention to the table I listed in Chapter 4, you will see that each of these new accessories only add +1 gathering over the old accessories (plus some other stats too, but gathering impact never goes beyond +1). A fully melded Dodore Ring HQ provides only 1 extra gathering & 1 extra GP over a fully melded Raptorskin Ring HQ. Is this impact worth your money? Probably not... The Dodore Choker HQ & Rose Gold Earrings of Gathering HQ do add quite a bit of GP. So these upgrades can be considered if your current GP level is below 600. The new accessories are crafted using 10x Fieldcraft Demimateria I each. If you want these luxurious accessories, you can just buy them directly from market board (at least, these are much more affordable than the new Supra mainhands), or provide the Fieldcraft Demi, Dodore Wing(s) & other mats to a decent 1 star crafter who has obtained desyn recipes to make them.


      The Impact of Forager's Offhand & Gear (strong upgrades, but worth it?)

      Since Patch 2.4, Forager's Offhands (Forager's Sledgehammer & Forager's Scythe), Forager's Vest, Forager's Wristguards, Forager's Slops & Forager's Shoes have been introduced. Forager's Offhands are class-specific items, while the rest are all shared gear.

      The Forager's Offhand is a very strong upgrade that is worth considering. If you don't even have Forager's Tools yet, you could consider obtaining the Forager's Offhand early to significantly push stats. Or if you don't have Supra Tools, but would like to access 3 star stuff, having both Forager's mainhand tool + Forager's Offhand would allow you to do it. The Forager's Offhands are 3 star crafted items that require 6x Ehcatl Sealant from Ixali Beast Quest.

      The shared Forager's Gear are a smaller upgrade of your original AF gear. The vest & wristguards do give some significant stats increase (see table in Ch4). But the slops & shoes are really just luxury, with very minimal benefits. These shared gear are 4 star crafted items that require 3x Ehcatl Sealant + 1x Mastercraft Demimateria. So they're very extravagant.

      If you really want to play the 3 star game, sure these things will help. But please check the market board first. Because as far as I know, the 3 star mats don't sell very well. Platinum Ore is doing quite fine, but not superb. 2 star mats like Raw Ruby NQ & 1 star mat like Gold Ore or Darksteel Ore sell a lot better. 1 star mats like Gold Ore / Darksteel Ore are always in very, very high demand. Clusters sell even faster (see Ch7), since they're needed by every 3 star / 4 star crafter, and clusters only need 1 star gatherers to obtain.

      Below are the gathering times & locations of the 2 star unspoiled items introduced in Patch 2.3, as well as the new 3 star items added in Patch 2.4 & 2.45:
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
      The 3 star nodes in Patch 2.4 & 2.45 require 2 hits to reach the item if your gathering stats is below 450 (see below). And because the initial gathering success rate is relatively low, I do NOT recommend the Solid Reason/Ageless Words Rotation from Ch6 for obtaining HQ. I'd recommend using a stronger Sharp Vision II or III / Field Mastery II or III to boost gathering rate to 100% in addition to Unearthed II / Leaf Turn II for gathering HQ. For NQ (quantity), just do King's Yield II and add in Sharp Vision II / Field Mastery II.

      When my gathering was 422, initial gathering success rate was 75%, and I get 90% with Sharp Vision II / Field Mastery II.

      When my gathering was 448, it was still not enough to reach the item with 1 shot. Initial gathering success rate was 79%. Assuming you have 600 GP, Sharp Vision II / Field Mastery II raised the success rate to 94%, and it leaves 500 GP for King's Yield II.

      When my gathering reached 451, I found that I was finally able to reach the item with 1 shot. Initial gathering success rate was 80%. Sharp Vision II raises it to 95%, leaving 500 GP for King's Yield II. This led me to believe that the minimal stats for 1-shot reaching a 3 star mat is 450 gathering.



      Ch12: Patch 2.5 - Lucis Tools

      [​IMG] [​IMG]
      Patch 2.5 has introduced the new Lucis Tools. These tools have very strong stats comparing to Supra Tools (26 more gathering & 14 more perception over Supra), and their true functions are yet to be revealed. Just like any other Lucis Tools, they can be dyed, and their colors appear to be semi-metallic.

      To acquire Lucis Tools, you will need to acquire 99x HQ Antumbral Rock / 99x HQ Redolent Log (untradeable). You will also need 20x Moonstones (purchased with 4000 GC seals each, untradeable) and 60x Magicked Oilcloth / Bamboo Paper (purchased with 600 GC seals or 50 Allied Seals, untradeable). Together with your Supra Tools, you have to turn-in everything to Talan to acquire Lucis. Your Supra Tool will be sacrificed in the process.

      Below is a list of the new gathering items in Patch 2.5. 2 new nodes have been added for Virgin Basilisk Egg and Rosemary. Both items are for the making of "Tinker's Calm" (a great 4 star food that increases desynthesis abilities but only lasts 5 minutes), and both items sell very poorly. Black limestone is not "Unspoiled", but just a regular item that "rarely appears". Unaspected Crystal is Unspoiled, and is collected just like any other clusters:
      [​IMG]
      Please notice that the new 3 star items here are "special". They are harder to get than the previous ones. If you do not possess the Lucis Tools, it will take 2 hits to reach the item. Once reached, the success rates are lower than other 3 star items as well.

      Once again, just like Supra Gathering Tools, I am just acquiring these Lucis Gathering Tools because I want to be able to gather mats for my 4 star crafting. But apart from Platinum Ore, & perhaps Ebony Log, all other 3 star mats hasn't really paid off. The investments in Supra/Lucis Tools cost way more than the money we can earn from selling 3 star mats. Well, I guess they do look cool with the metallic colors on our back! I'll give them that!



      Ch13: Gatherer Retainers

      Retainers provide storage space, sell items on the market, and gather raw mats via "ventures". It is very beneficial to own lvl 50 retainers as they can help gather a great variety of things including shards & crystals for crafting (*Retainers cannot gather unspoiled mats, including clusters. You have to gather unspoiled mats manually).

      We can have 2 retainers for FREE in the game. But we can all have up to 4 retainers if we just pay an extra ~$2 per month in our S-E subscription.

      I have 2 lvl 50 miner retainers, 1 lvl 50 botanist retainer, and 1 lvl 50 hunter retainer (Pugilist. Retainers cannot acquire Monk job. They cannot equip soul crystal. For this reason, we should all save up one set of i70 gear for our hunter retainer. Because i90 myth gear set cannot be equipped onto retainer! i100 can be worn by retainers, but they're too precious!). It seems to work optimally for me, since this arrangement covers everything. If you don't plan to have 4 retainers, set 1 retainer as either a Miner or Botanist, and set the other one as a hunter. Frankly, everyone should have at least 1 retainer set as either Miner or Botanist, because they’re just sooooo good!

      To unlock the venture function of retainers and details of how to do ventures, please see:
      http://ffxiv.consolegameswiki.com/wiki/Retainer_Ventures or
      http://ffxiv.gamerescape.com/wiki/Retainer_Ventures

      IMPORTANT!!!
      Keep in mind that both hunter & gatherer retainers can only be as high as 5 levels below yourself, except when you're lvl 50. When you're lvl 50, they can reach lvl 50. Due to this reason, it is of utmost importance that you set your hunter retainer same as your main DoW/DoM, ideally a class at level 50. For the gatherer retainer, set it to the same class as your strongest DoL. DO NOT try to diversify by setting your retainer to a botanist if you're a miner. It won't work!

      For hunter retainers (DoW/DoM), their average ilevel matters a lot. I recommend you making them at least avg ilvl 70+ when she/he reaches lvl 50. For Miner/Botanist retainers, GATHERING stats is what matters. Gathering stats of a gatherer BELOW LEVEL 50 is provided by the mainhand, offhand, chest , gloves and pants. But NOT hat, boots, belt and accessories. This means, before level 50, if you want to conserve money, you can potentially get away with less up-to-date hats, boots, belts and accessories as long as average ilevel is high enough. Whether PERCEPTION is needed for a retainer is a myth. Some people say it may affect retainers' rate of HQ mats return. Others say it doesn't. In any case, you may update the hat, belt and boots once in awhile to boost perception and avg ilvl if you want. Gathering accessories give only GP, which is completely useless for retainers. You can give them a high level crafting ring, or a level 32 meteor ring, and it'll be sufficient to boost avg ilvl. At level 50, you may need to get a full set of HQ gathering gear for your retainer to max out most stats for some special purposes (See Ch12 below). But this is entirely optional. I give a full set of HQ final gathering gear + offhand to all 3 of my gathering retainers to boost Gathering & Perception. But 1 of them doesn't even use gatherer's accessories, and she's still bringing me plenty of HQ mats.

      Many people don't know, you can actually buy extra unique untradable mainhand gathering/crafting tools (blue background tools, obtained from guild masters by completing lvl 50 class quests) from the Calamity Salvager. E.g. If you're a miner, and you own a Mammon (http://ffxiv.gamerescape.com/wiki/Mammon), you can give the Mammon to your retainer, and then buy a new one for yourself from the Calamity Salvager. This way, you can dramatically increase your retainers' gathering powers. For me, I even did some melding of gathering materia on my retainers' gear to boost their abilities. Before I did these things, my lvl 50 miner retainer was only bringing me 20 level 45 - 50 items per run. But after I gave her a Mammon & some materia melds, she can bring back 30 level 45 - level 50 items per run.

      [​IMG] [​IMG]
      The Mammon & Rauni (Level 50 Class Quest Reward). Extra Mammons / Rauni can be easily bought from the Calamity Salvager (Location: Limsa 11, 14; Uldah 12, 13; Gridania 10, 8) for your retainer.


      Ch14: Melding Materia & Obtaining Forager’s Tool for Retainers for Highland Exploration XIV

      There are certain special crafting mats that are only obtainable through retainer ventures, like Floss Silk (http://ffxiv.gamerescape.com/wiki/Floss_Silk), which is used for making the cute Crescent Moon Cone & Crescent Moon Slippers. Floss Silk is obtained from Highland Exploration (XIV). Such ventures require stats of 383 gathering from a retainer.

      I have calculated that, the maximum amount of achievable gathering stats for a miner/botanist with the old gathering AF gear + old accessories (before Patch 2.2) + the use of a level 50 Class Quest tool (like the Mammon) is only 382 gathering even if you overmeld materia to max. So basically, S-E is encouraging us to obtain the Forager’s Tool for our retainers (Technically, you may buy the new Patch 2.3 gathering accessories and overmeld insanely, then your retainer will be able to do Highland Exploration XIV. But honestly, that would be just burning money. Why would you want to meld your retainer to max when you don't even do it to yourself? ...unless you really love her, I guess.). I recommend the acquisition of a Forager’s Tool + a few melds on your retainer’s gear. That should be enough to get your retainer into the Highland Exp XIV. Do NOT waste time on getting your retainer a Forager’s Hat. The Forager’s Hat gives exactly the same amount of gathering as a fully melded Miner/Botanist hat.


      Ch15: Other Useful Resources

      Vidi Burns from Goblin have kindly consolidated all the unspoiled nodes information from different patches, and packed them altogether into 2 compact tables below. Thanks, Vidi!

      Miner:
      [​IMG]

      Botanist:
      [​IMG]


      Useful alarm clock website to remind you when it is time to gathering from Unspoiled Deposits:
      http://ffxivclock.com/#/

      Here's another clock that could be better than the above/
      (cleaner look, and louder alarm):
      http://garlandtools.org/bell/
      Thanks Squand for supplying this.

      This website helps you find out "what and where" for everything that can be gathered (but not enough information on "how"). This website is actually more useful to fisher than to miners/botanist in my opinion, but it is still great even for miners/botanist. Try it, and you'll see what I mean:
      http://www.disciplesoftheland.com/Maps.aspx
      Stopfer and Fybrile like this.
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