by: J. F. Amprimoz
; edited by: Michele McDonough
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Crafting finished products requires getting and preparing the resources that go into the end item. We explain how to track and harvest crafting nodes, along with how to behave when you find yourself competing for nodes with other players.
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You have chosen a Vocation, and understand how LOTRO’s Crafting Proficiency levels work. The next step on your way to crafting some sweet gear is to gather some resources.
Before we start rolling, it’s worth pointing out you don’t really have to try to level your gathering Professions. Unlike production Professions, which require a deliberate effort to level, gathering Professions will largely go up in level if you just process what you find without going out of your way.
The procedure is similar no matter what resources you are gathering. In the case of a Prospector getting metal ores (needed for weapons, armour, and jewelry) or Forester getting wood (needed for bow and staff type weapons and musical instruments), it is almost identical. Therefore, we will look at these first.
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Set Your Tracking Skills
All the gathering Professions include a tracking skill. Press “k" or open your Character Window and select the Skills tab. In Common Skills, you will find Track X, X being related to what the gathering Profession collects. The Prospector gets Track Mines, as pictured.
Drag the skill onto a pop-up Hot Bar, and click to activate it. This will make nodes within tracking range show up on your mini-map as cyan dots, or cyan arrows if they are in range but outside the mini-map area.
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Equip Your Crafting Tools
The Master of Apprentices NPC, from whom you chose your Crafting Vocation, also gave you three Inferior Crafting tools. The name is appropriate, and upgrade them when the opportunity arises. But they are fine for getting started. Equip the appropriate tool for your gathering Profession.
Continuing with our Prospector example, that would be the Prospector’s Tools. It will show up in the slot to the right of your weapons and shield in the Character Window.
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Go and Gather
Depending on where you are and what you are looking for, there are too many options as to the best place to find X closest to Y. Starting areas are pretty full of crafting resource nodes, though. The exception, throughout the game, is that you usually won’t find nodes in towns, villages, camps, and so forth.
For now, go on about your normal activities, but keep your tracking on. When you see an arrow come up on your mini map, head in that direction. When you get right up to the node, right click on it. This will start an induction, the length of which is dependent on how nice the tools you’re using are.
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A Bit of Etiquette
With a wide tracking range, and the point of an MMO being that you interact with other players, occasionally, but inevitably, you will have to compete for nodes. Once a node is harvested, it disappears for a few minutes then respawns, much like a mob.
This makes for a generally no apologies race to the node, first come first serve. When two players arrive at close to the same time, it can be down to who has the nicer tools and can thus finish the induction faster.
There are exceptions, however. If someone is fighting a mob at a node, there is a good chance they want the node. Running up and grabbing the node while they have aggro is a gross faux-pas. If someone is already at a node, in combat or not, it is usually best to just head for the next one.
You will get a head start on it, and the other person will likely skip that one and move to the next one. You can usually develop an unspoken agreement and divide the nodes with little interference.
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Final Notes on Nodes
Some nodes are “Rich" in the case of metal, or “Heavy" in the case of wood. These have more stuff in them, so all else being equal, go further out of your way for them. The exception are Rich Iron nodes, which contain Rich Iron Ore. The special versions of these are called “Bountiful."
Once you have Mastery of a Tier in a Gathering Profession, you get a 5% Critical chance when processing resources. A Critical Success will triple the result of that recipe. So if you were taking to ores to make one ingot, you would now get three ingots, for only two ores.
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Here we need to go in several different directions. If you are gathering wood, you’ll need to look at our tips for Foresters. If you are gathering ore, you need to check out the tips for Prospectors.