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Jerich's Guildwars 2 Crafting Guide Part 4: Gathering Explained (More Than Just Nodes)

By: Jerich

Make Sure to visit if you stumbled across this guide from the web. That is where I am actively updating it.


Part 4:  Gathering Explained (More than Just Nodes) (Back to part 1) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

You need to gather raw materials in order to start crafting.  Fortunately Guild Wars 2 gives you a large variety of methods to do this…


Gathering Basics Part A:  Sending your Materials to Your Bank (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

 The most important thing you should know about gathering in Guild Wars 2 is how to manage your inventory.  Typically crafters always have a ridiculous time managing their bulging packs in MMOs.  Guild Wars 2 helps in this regard by giving you the option to send your materials directly to your bank while on the field.

 How to Deposit your Materials to Your Bank


You have two options…

  • The first (easy to miss because you have to pick the dropdown on the top of your inventory) is to send all the collectables in your inventory directly to your bank.

  • The second is to right click on each collectable one at a time and send it to your bank.


There are  two small issue, however, with this feature right now:

  • First, your faithful mini-pets are not safe!  Unfortunately, mini-pets count as a collectable.  This means that the send all feature will boot them directly to your bank.  There are two solutions to this problem. 

    • One is to have a copy of your minature already in the bank collections.  This will prevent your inventory one from being sent. 

    • The second is to get a tailor made craftman’s bag.  Materials will be placed here first and therefore be easy to right click one at a time and send to your bank.

    • Cetacea theorized in this thread that it is possible that invisible bags might make them safe.  We will have to test this at launch to know for sure.

  • Second, sometimes items don't get sent.  The reason is that your collections tabs in your bank can only store 255 of each component.  As soon as you have this many, items will no longer be sent to your bank.  As you probably imagined, there are ways to work around this too (Other than just use or sell it)…

    • Move the material from your collections tab to your bank proper.  If you are a crafter, you will be able to access your bank at the workstations at every major crafting station.

    • You can mail the excess to a secondary account or friend and have them return the mail to you.

    • You can jump on another character and mule the item to them.  (You have a mule parked directly outside a bank don’t you?)

    • Now would be a perfect time to visit the Mystic Forge and transmute the component to the next tier!

    • As soon as the collections area is no longer jammed, you can start sending the material to your bank again.


Gathering Basics Part B:  Harvesting Nodes (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

If you have played Guild Wars 2 for any length of time at all, you have seen harvesting nodes both in the field and on your mini-map.  They look like this:

 Gathering Explained

 How Node Harvesting is Different than other MMOs

If you have played other MMOs, you are familiar with having to share harvesting nodes or being annoyed when a group member runs off to harvest.  GW 2 is not like that.  Everyone in your party can see the node and every one chan harvest it.  The node refresh timer is personal.  You also get a TON of experience for harvesting (about three monster kills worth) and nodes can drop rare items like gems and dyes.  This means a couple things.

  • You should always have the appropriate harvesting tools at hand and harvest most nodes you run across.

  • If you are grouped, you should make harvesting part of you scheme and all harvest every node you run across.


Gathering Tools

You would be surprised to know that more than fifty percent of the people I have talked to have never harvested one of them.  The primary reason, I believe is that they can’t find the salvaging tools…


The first thing I do after making a new character is do one or two hearts.  As soon as I do this, I have enough money for a set of basic salvaging tools.  While there are multiple kinds of salvaging tools, you only need a set of the copper ones to harvest newbie zones.

 Salvaging Tools Explained

  • There are three types of salvaging tools.

    • Harvesting Sickles gather cooking nodes

    • Mining Picks harvest ore nodes

    • Logging Axes harvest wood nodes

  • Each salvaging tool has a limited number of uses (30 nodes worth in the case of picks and axes, 50 nodes worth in the case of sickles).  I typically carry a spare of each type with me in case my tool breaks on the field.

  • There are multiple grades of picks ranging from copper to orichalcum.  Basically each new level of pick gathers a new tier of component.

  • You can equip them by right clicking on them.

  • There is NO benefit to using a higher tier tool gathering tool on a lower tier item.  Don’t waste them.

  • Black Lion Chests have a chance of spawning rare gathering tools that only have ten charges but are "Extremely efficient at gathering resources and uncovering rare components." (like gems and dyes)

 Here are some locations of vendors who sell them:

  • In Queensdale – Horatio in the Shaemoor pub sales them.

  • In Ashford – Kaladrian the Greedy in the Village of Smokestead

  • In Wayfarer Foothills – Odgrim near the Horncaller Waypoint

  • One of the first NPCs in every major starting city sells them.  If you can’t find one on the field, zone into your city and you should have no trouble.

  • At least one vendor in every major outpost sells them.  This is a great place to restock (I typically have a spare set at all times in case my tools break).

  • Often karma heart vendors will sell gathering tools.  This is a great way to get them if you are low on cash.

Seeing nodes (the control key):

Often you will be running toward a node on the mini-map and it will be hard to see.  This is especially the case with cooking nodes that tend to be hidden among a bunch of foliage.  Luckily the Guild Wars 2 control scheme will show all of the nodes, interactable items and enemies when you hold down the control button.  Warning:  If you remap your controls, make sure to remap this key... It is super useful

Using the control key to show nodes


Cooking farms

Sometimes you will come across a dense cluster of one type of cooking nodes like the picture below:

 A Gathering Cooking Farm

Supposedly each zone has one, these are the only places to get the specific cooking ingredients and they are on a 23 hour timer.  Basically they are timed to give you the incentive to log in and farm them each day without feeling like you have to camp them.


Example locations

  • Lettuce Farms:  Queensdale, Metrica Province

  • Potato Farms:  Wayfarer Foothills, Plains of Ashford, Caledon Forest

  • Strawberry Farm:  Kessex Hills, Snowden Drifts

  • Spinach Farm:  Gendarran Fields


Gathering Basics Part C:  Using a Salvaging Kit (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

While you can gather ore, wood and plants from harvesting nodes, the primary method of collecting leather and cloth is to use salvaging kits.

 Salvaging Items


There are two main types of drops that can be salvaged: scraps of cloth, metal etc that are specifically designed to be salvaged and equipment that can be salvaged (but you might also want to use it or sell it).  Typically I salvage everything because there is an achievement for it and I love to get as many materials as possible, but a good case could be made for selling equipment to get money.  I will leave the balance up to you.


Types of Salvage Kits

  • Salvage kits range from Crude (the cheapest) to Master’s (the most expensive).

  • Like harvesting tools, salvage kits have a limited number of charges (15, 20, 25, etc).  Most likely, there will eventually there will be kits with 100 or more charges, but they haven't been added yet.

  • While all salvage kits will give you basic components, higher quality kits have a chance of salvaging rare materials (used to make runes and sigils) and upgrade components.  I suggest using crude if you are poor and at least basic or fine if you have some extra cash.

  • You can also buy a Black Lion Salvage Kit (25 uses) from the gem store that will always recover an upgrade component.  Use this to recover those rare runes that you had to do 10 dungeon runs to get.  If you don't want to pay real money for this, you can always buy the gems from other players.


Where can I buy them?

  • Typically you can buy them wherever you can buy your harvesting tools.

  • That means the first few vendors in every major city and every major outpost.  Make sure you don’t run out!

  • Heart vendors often sell salvage kits for a small amount of Karma.  This is how I typically get my kits at first.

  • Bags that humanoids drop have a chance of dropping them as well.  This is a great way to stock up if you are a cheapskate (like me!).


Gathering Basics Part D:  Vendors (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

You will often need to buy crafting components from vendors before you can complete your finished goods.  These range from someone standing next to the crafting station to a specific heart vendor you need to unlock.

 Gathering by Vendor


Types of Vendors:

  • Master Craftsman:  These are the people that trained you in your discipline.  They sell items you need to either refine your raw materials or make your components.  They also sell rare insignia patterns for karma.  If you are interested in making your own gear or selling gear on the market, these are the recipes to focus on!

  • Unlockable Heart Vendors:  Heart vendors often sell specific crafting recipes.  You have to unlock them to access it.  Also, in the case of cooking, they sell ingredients you can’t get any other way.

  • Miyani in Lion’s Arch:  This Mystic Forge vendor sells items for skill points.  Read the advanced section for a little information on the Mystic Forge.

  • Scattered Vendors:  Other vendors are scattered throughout the land.  Honestly, we don’t have much information on them yet.  Be sure to explore and record your findings!


Intermediate Gathering Part A:  Monster Farms (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

NOTE:  If you haven't turned on autoloot in the options tab... do this now.  You will hate life if you try to farm one of these without that.

Scattered throughout each map, there are locations that tend to drop a high percentage of crafting components (either fine crafting materials or cloth or leather).   Humanoid creatures are typically the best because they drop gear, cloth and leather fragments and bags filled with crafting components. The best places are usually tucked away in hidden locations which have a fast enough respawn to keep even a group occupied.  One such example is Beggar’s Burrow in Queensdale.

 Gathering by Monster Farm

You reach it by means of a hidden door covered by shrubbery.  Inside is a bandit farm where the monsters spawn faster than you can kill them and drop a ton of bags.  In just 45 minutes this farmed during this last stress test I was able to come away with 55 jute cloth, 15 leather squares and 30 fine crafting components.  This is typically much faster than just questing as normal will yield.  When grouped, those numbers can rise to over 100 jute an hour.   If you need leather, on the other hand, there are a variety of Centaur Farms in Queensdale that drop at a fairly fast rate.  I recommend being on the lookout for areas like this in your travels.


Intermediate Gathering Part B:  Gathering Routes (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

Node positions in Guild Wars 2 tend to change slightly every time the server resets.  I get into some theory crafting based on my observations in the advanced section.  That being said, every zone has spots where nodes tend to be clustered more often.  If you pay attention to zone layout, you can typically find a path that will consistently yield good result.  For instance… I and SuperHeroGeorge (a fellow Guild member) have ran the below path over five times:

 Gathering Route


Sometimes the nodes are not always in the same spots, but each time I have run this route, I end with over 100 copper, 75 wood and 9-11 gems.  That is not bad for something that can be run by a speed specced warrior in less than thirty minutes.

Respawn time

Unfortunately, as of the last stress test I was running into node respawn times of over an hour.  While some nodes respawned quicker than this, any closed loop you want to run multiple times will have to span an entire zone to be profitable.  I recommend finding a couple favorite paths and running them then doing something else for a while before running them again.  Another solution would be to farm humanoids for a hour (to get the bags with gathering tools), then use those to run your route.  Rinse... repeat.


Intermediate Gathering Part C:  Buying on the Trading Post (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

The global trading post is one of the best places to gather crafting goods.  Typically you will have more than enough of one type of item and too little of another (especially fine crafting components).  The best way to fix this is by using the Black Lion Trading Post.  If you have never used it before, I would make it a goal to sell and buy at least one item within an hour of starting Guild Wars 2.  You can access it by clicking on the Lion Icon on the top of the UI:

 Black Lion Trading 1


As soon as you do this, you will most likely see them Gem Store highlighted.  You actually want the third tab down that looks like a set of scales.  This is where you can search for an item or pick a common one.


Once you select an item you will see something like this:

 Black Lion Trading 2

This is where you want to start playing the market…  You could either buy the item from the lowest priced seller immediately or you can set a buy order.  That allows you to name your price and hope someone will want to sell immediately and sell it to you.


Typically if you set a reasonable price that is near the top of the buy orders, someone will eventually come along and sell you the item (unless it is rising in price).  You should always get in the habit of using buy orders to get materials you need for cheaper.  Plan ahead!

 As a side note... you can buy or sell from anywhere, but you have to go to a trading merchant to pick up your wares.  This is another reason I love to craft in Lion's Arch.

Part Six of this guide will outline more tips and tricks to using the Trading Post.  In the mean-time SuperHeroGeorge is writing a great general purpose guide on the trading post.   You can read it here.


Intermediate Gathering Part D:  Map Completion (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

Each time you completely finish an explorable map (unlock all the hearts, vistas, waypoints and point of interests), you will get a variety of rewards which will include crafting components appropriate to the Zone’s level.

 Map Completion



I was able to complete Queensdale and Kessex Hills during Beta Weekend 3.  Each time, I got 40 of a specific component (copper ore and thin leather respectively).  While completionists will probably get a lot of materials just exploring the map… this reward is a good bonus.


Advance Gathering Part A:  The Mystic Forge (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

One of the reasons I love Lion’s Arch is that there is a Black Lion Headquarters right by the crafting stations where I can pick up my Trading Post sales and purchases.  The other reason is that it is the home of the Mystic Forgge which has unique opportunities for crafting.


Search for it located near the main traders plaza and it will be fairly obvious… it is a big glowing forge with a column of light above it.  If you run around it you will see a vendor named Miyani.


 Mystic Forge Part 1


She sells items which are designed to be used in forge recipes for skill points.  She also sells recipes that you need in order to make Epic Weapons.  While many of these items are useful for crafting, outlining the intricate workings of the Mystic Forge could fit inside an entirely new guide.  I am just going to focus on a couple recipes that will be immediately useful to the burgeoning crafter.


The cheapest item is the Philospher’s Stone.  You can get 10 of these for one skill point.  While skill points may be in limited quantities as you level, you will keep getting them after level 80 each time you get enough experience to level.  These will add up and you will use them like currency (you actually need a 200 skill point bloodstone shard to make an Epic Weapon)!

 Mystic Forge Part 2


As soon as you open up the Mystic Forge you should be immediately comfortable.  It uses almost exactly the same interface as the discovery tab.

 Mystic Forge Part 3


I put some copper ore into the forge and follow that up with a Philospher’s stone.  I then throw in some iron ore and some shimmering dust and hit combine….

 Mystic Forge Part 4

My 250 copper has been transformed into 153 Iron Ore (which my character found much more useful).  In fact, the research on Guild Wars 2 Wiki seems to indicate that any T1 material + T2 Dust + T2 material + Philospher’s stones will yield the appropriate T2 item.  The recipe also works for T2-T3!  While the forge research is still ongoing, this simple recipe is definitely something to keep in mind.


Note: The iron didn't get used in the process.  The reason I needed it in the recipe was to tell the Forge to transmute the coppoer into iron.  If I had used silver instead, I am pretty sure the end result would have been silver.  You can also do this with wood, cloth, fine crafting components etc (even dust!)


Since I plan on completing every zone, chances are I will have more skill points and low end ingredients than I need.  The forge will let me keep myself in level appropriate gear.


Advanced Gathering Part B:  Node Respawn Time Conjectures (Back to top) (Basic) (Intermediate) (Advanced)

I haven't seen anyone who completely explains how crafting nodes respawn as of the time I am writing this.  I have made some observations of the last few beta weekend and stress tests, however…

  • Everyone seems to always see the same nodes (and be able to harvest them)

  • I watched the servers be brought down multiple times in a row one stress test.  Each time they reloaded different nodes were activated.  There were about 2-3 times the total number of nodes than were activated at one time.

  • When I run a route and come back later, the same nodes seem to have respawned.

  • Some nodes seem to respawn quickly (15-20 minutes), others seem to take longer than an hour. (or 23 hours in the case of cooking timers).


These observations lead me to the following theory:

  • I think nodes are chosen randomly from a possible pool of nodes every time the server resets (which will probably be for maintenance).  These nodes are then frozen in place until the server resets.

  • Different nodes have different base respawn times... whether this has an element of randomness is unknown at this time.

  • When you harvest a node, the it starts a countdown for you.   Once it reaches zero you will be able to harvest the nodes again.


Please let me know in this thread if you can disprove part of this theory or have some more light to shed on it.

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