To Craft items in Guild Wars 2, you need Crafting Materials, and the main way of acquiring these is Gathering throughout the world.
Gathering refers to the act of collecting Crafting Materials from resource nodes, which are marked on the compass. These nodes include Ore Veins, used for gathering Metals, Trees which are used for Logging and Plants which are used to forage Cooking Ingredients. Once you have gathered from a node, it takes some gw2 gold to replenish. This only applies to your character however; other characters can gather from the node regardless of your gathering.
Each type of gathering requires a Gathering Tool, which can be purchased in all cities and many major towns, as well as from certain Karma Vendors, and each starting area has a place where you can obtain Gathering Tools. These include Horatio in the Shaemoor Pub in Queensdale for Humans, Odgrim near the Horncall Waypoint in Wayfarer Foothilsl for Norn characters.
The different Gathering Tools and their corresponding Gathering type are listed below:
– A Logging Axe is required for Logging
– A Mining Pick is required for Mining
– A Harvesting Sickle is required for Foraging/Harvesting
In the same way that Crafting Materials are tiered, so are Gathering Tools. Picks, Axes and Sickles are all tiered by the Metal from which their heads are made, with the most basic being the Rough variant, and the most advanced the Orichalcum variant. As better Gathering Tools are obtained, rarer Crafting Materials become available for Gathering, for example once a character acquires a Darksteel Mining Axe, only then will proper Platinum Ore become available to them.
The use of the word proper here refers to the fact that if a player attempts to gather from a higher tier node with an inferior Gathering Tool, they are more likely to receive the “ruined” variant of the Crafting Material that they are trying to gather, which is useless. Higher tier Gathering Tool produce more numerous, higher quality Crafting Materials.
It is important to note that a higher tier Gathering Tool can still gather lower tier Crafting Materials i.e. a Darksteel Mining Axe can still be used to uncover Copper, Tin etc.
Gathering Tools come with a set number of uses, and once the tool has been used that number of times a new one must be purchased if the player wants to continue Gathering.
No Race or Discipline has any effect on Gathering; the only factors that determine yield are the node being gathered from and the Gathering Tool the character is using.
The different Gathering nodes are Mines for Mining, Trees for Logging and Non-Tree Plants for foraging. The nodes are randomly distributed in logical areas; Mines are usually found underground or in rocky, mountainous areas, Wood Nodes will be found in forests, and Vegetable Nodes are most often found in farms.
In addition, nodes for collecting Mushrooms are also found underground and in rocky areas, often near Mining nodes. There are two types of Mining Nodes; Standard Nodes and Rich Nodes. A Standard Node can be struck 3 times before it is depleted, and a Rich Node can be struck 10 times before it is depleted. It is important to note that more than one sample of Ore can be obtained in a strike.
The resources obtained from Gathering are only basic Crafting Materials, and need to be refined before they can be used in any of the Crafting Disciplines. The exception to this is Ingredients obtained from foraging; they can be refined into more complex ingredients, but recipes often contain basic Ingredients. The other two Crafting Materials however, Logs and Ore, are useless unless they are refined.
Logs can be refined into Planks with two Logs producing one Plank, and Ore can be refined into Ingots at the same ratio of two Ores to one Ingot. Also, Ore can be obtained from salvaging as well as Mining.
The Crafting Materials obtained through Foraging are not tiered, but Ores and Logs are, with Green Logs and Copper Ore being the lowest tier, right up to Ancient Wood Logs and Orichalcum Ore. The corresponding Gathering Tool, Logging Axe or Mining Pick, must be acquired to mine each tier properly.
That covers the basic principles of Gathering. Gathering is essential to any Craft Discipline, so it is best to familiarize yourself with the process early on and work towards acquiring better Gathering Tools to give yourself access to the rarer, more powerful Crafting Materials contained within the resource nodes scattered around the world.