Age of Conan crafting guide:
"Harvesting for the Decapitated"

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Introduction
So Age of Conan has come and the grinding has begun. The first Level 80 was proclaimed about 3 days after release, the first crackdown on AoC hackers started about 10days after release. However, you and I (and about 800,000 other players) are still trying to decide if we like the Barbarian or the Herald of Xotli better. As such we have spent time on several classes and are still fresh in the early levels. Now that Tortage is only a distant nightmare (For your future alts, use my Lev 1-20 Tortage Walkthrough) and now it is time to start thinking about bigger things....buying that extra Bag or purchasing that uber cool Mount and eventually Build that city for your guild (which you will name: Dollywood). We need money!

Now, just like you, I've heard about those players on other MMOs who seem to make trillions of gold through crafting. Well, I doubt trillions are in our future, however below I will talk about one way you can make gold in trade and help your guild when it comes time to forge your shiny metropolis. It is time for us to return to our hunter-gathering roots....with the emphasis on gathering.

This article is about what to expect from AoC harvesting...a bit more than what you get from FAQs or boards) and an in depth look at my experience playing this game. I am not declaring myself some sort of expert, but I hope that you will gain from my experiences and insight.

To see other articles I wrote about Age of Conan, try these
Reviews
Age of Conan Review: "A great game with a fatal Flaw"
Age of Conan Vs Warhammmer Online
Leveling guides
Age of Conan Leveling guide: Level 1-20 "Tortage, its not just for breakfast anymore"
Age of Conan Leveling guide: Level 20-40 "Life as a Hyborian Tween"
Age of Conan Leveling guide: Level 40-60 "Mommy, are we there yet?...No!"
Age of Conan Leveling guide: Level 60-80 "And your journey to the Dark Side will be complete! "
Aoc Guides
Age of Conan Crafting guide: "Harvesting for the decapitated"
Age of Conan PvP Guide: "Mama Said Knock You Out!"

So, with that introduction, lets begin.

Basics of AoC Crafting
Crafting will be a significant part of AoC. However it is still unclear as to how significant it will ultimately be. It is likely that the end game crafting will be comparable but slightly less than those you obtain through questing and raids. However, like many MMO's some crafted items will be slightly better in 'Niche' categories (Like resistance, etc). Time will tell. What we do know is that in order to make any item, you will need Resources.

professions in this game are divided up into 2 parts in AoC: gathering, and crafting. The gathering professions can be learned by any race/culture and any class at level 20. The crafting can only be learned when you reach level 40. A character can learn as many gathering skills as he/she wants. However, one character can only learn one crafting profession.

Resources are items you gather that are spread throughout the game world and dungeons. Their placement are often referred to as resource nodes. There are several types of resources...
Miner
Minerals like copper and iron
Prospector Precious metals like silver and gold
Skinner Skinning the hides from beasts
Stonecutter gathering stones such as sandstone and basalt
Weaver obtains cloth from plants, such as cotton
Woodcutter cuts wood (Brilliant!!) like ash and oak.
Each one of these resources is used in crafting weapons, armor, potions, and in creation of the guild cities.

How to learn Harvesting
Once you have left the paradise known as Tortage (located somewhere in southern Florida) and have returned to your homelands, check your Level. If you are still level 19, go kill a couple of roaming beasts and ding to 20. After that, its time to take a journey to learn the gathering skills. Unlike other MMOs (which I will not mention by name but rhymes with 'Hurled of Bore Shaft') you will not find crafting trainers in major cities. In age of Conan, crafting trainers are reclusive and tucked away in far off zones which you have to travel to. There are three zones in all, one for each race.

Stygians can go to the Purple Lotus Swamp
From Khemi take the boat to Khopshef. Once there find the Road south out of Bubshur and go all the way to the zone border. Staying on the road keeps you away from a lot of the agro mobs ..but keep your eyes peeled and be ready to sprint if need be. You will see signposts along the way directing you. In the middle of the southern zone border you will find a caravan. Click the caravan and you'll zone into Purple Lotus Swamp.

Aquilonians should go to Poitain
From old Tarantia, take the east gate and follow the wall all the way to the dead end. There you will see a Wagoner who will take you to the Wild Lands of Zelata. In Zelata, find the road North to the zone border following the signposts to Poitain. At the end of the road you will find a stagecoash driver. Click the driver to zone into Poitain.

Cimmerians You poor bastards have to lug it all the way to the Lachish Plains
from Connarch head into Conall's Valley. Take the valley all the way to the city and then enter the field of the dead (its the one with all the dead people...and flowers...blood makes the flowers grow). You will see signposts along the way directing you and find a LOT of lev 28 mobs who want to stick you on the end of a pike. Its a tough slog for a lev 20. One Idea for you Cimmer's...instead of going to Conall's Valley, take the coach to old Tarantia and go to the Aquilonian zone. I believe you can get the harvesting quests from any gathering zone ..I'll need to look into that.

ok, you made it to the promise land. The hills are just bubbling with resources ..you think. Find the main village and you will see the yellow '!' on your minimap. Those are your trainers. To learn the harvesting trade you will need to do quests so make sure you have 6 quest slots open in your quest log. Since there is no limit as to how many resources you can learn to harvest, I suggest you may as well learn them all. So go to every harvester trainer and get the quests.

Harvesting quests do give exp.

Advancing in resource Harvesting.
After Speaking with each harvesting trainer, you will receive a quest to gather 20 resources. Luckily, those nodes (and some advanced nodes) can be found in that very same zone. Head out of the village and start looking. It is about this time where you realize how cushy you had it in WoW especially with the addons like Gatherer. Well, AoC doesn't have that kind of addon (yet) or online maps of resource locations (yet). So you will need to use your eyes. These zones are not graphically intense as others, so for those who have settings set to LOW, you can up your terrain distance a bit. Also it helps if you turn off the grass for the time being.

Resource nodes in AoC are fixed. So if you find one, it will always be there (shouldn't be long before node maps will be online). Resource nodes look like part of the terrain and are appropriately distributed. Sandstone looks like a bunch of rocks made of sandstone, cotton bushes looks like bushes, trees look like trees. The trees I found the hardest, since it can be tough distinguishing tree resources from plain ol tree scenery. As I mentioned , resource nodes are appropriately placed. you wont find a large collection of Iron in the swamp, head into the mountains along the side of the zone. Similarly, you wont find a tree node if your in the middle of a desert ..you gotta go where there are trees.

As I said, resource nodes are fixed. That means on heavily populated servers they may be camped, and on PvP servers they Definitely will be camped (you have been warned). Since they don't despawn when mined what they have are basically hitpoints. When you find an untouched, pristine, virgin node (Virginity in the world of Conan..yea, right!) it will have 100% HP. When you harvest the resource, you gain 1 item and the node loses 10% life. Using my 5 year bachelors degree, majoring in analytical geometry with a minor in theoretical mathmatics...I ran the calculations and found out you can harvest a node 10 times before its depleted! Over time (a long time) the nodes life goes up (I'm guessing at least 30 minutes from 0 life to full life).

To harvest a node, just right click and you go into harvesting motion which I timed took 3 seconds. You can only get one resource per click. That makes harvesting a VERY boring thing to do. Constantly right clicking a node. I'm guessing that after 80 levels of harvesting, you will have a 'carple tunnel fatality', where your wrist will explode and splatter real blood on the screen. To make the experience in the Crafting zone more enjoyable, on occasion when you are harvesting, the node will spawn a few mobs which will interrupt you by attacking. So be ready for Ol Prospector Pete when your mining that silver. In my experience nodes located outside the crafting zones do NOT spawn mobs.

Key Strategy: To save you from the afore mentioned fatality, Select the node by left clicking it once, then just hit the 'U' key. A lot easier on the wrist.

The one exception is skinning. Skinning comes from killing beasts. Any animal has a chance to produce a leather used as a resource in skinning, no right clicking on a dead carcass is needed. There are plenty of beasts in the Harvest zones. However, understand that there is a large variation of mob levels in each flock. Attacking one can lead to agroing of nearby beasts. So take care when pulling, otherwise you'll find yourself announcing on guild channel "Dude! I was just pwned by a deer!"Of all resources, Skinning is by far the slowest. You can kill hundreds of animals and still only get a handful of skins.

Also weaving primarily depends on gathing cloth off humanoids. The first tier of weaver gathering requires you to harvest from a cotton bush like any other resource node. However tier 2 and 3 requires the hunting of humanoids for silk. Thankfully silk drops are a lot more common than leather it's easier to progress.

Ok, I know a lot of people have thought "hand in 20 resources to advance?...EASY! Ill just buy them at the Traders (player auction)". I'm afraid that does you no good. Because the gathering of the items is a quest, receiving items from the trader, or from someone giving you the item does you no good. You must harvest the materials yourself to get credit. Sucks, I know...there is no easy path. This sucks a lot when it comes to the rare gems in tier 1b and tier 2b (see below)

Key Strategy: It seems that the resource nodes regenerate faster in the dedicated resource zones (purple lotus swamp, Poitain, Lachish Plains). Dedicating time to just run circles around the zones (Clockwise ...because thats just the way Conan likes it) will pay off in more resources to harvest.

Key Strategy: While harvesting in the resource Zones YOU WANT TO HAVE MOBS SPAWN AND ATTACK. Ol Prospector pete and the nagging nemidians may interupt that harvest cycle but they drop resource materials often when they die. Things like duskmetal, ebon ash and platinum can fetch 20, 40, or 60 silver (Depending on your server's economy). Looting these counts for in your resource collection quests!

Key Strategy: Harvest in your guild's city Zone. Less chance to be ganked (Unless your at WAR with someone) and a LOT less competion for resources.

Resource tiers
There are multiple tiers of resources for every trade. To advance in each you need to finish the appropriate quest from the harvesting trainers. For example, starting off in stonecutting, you can mine sandstone, after completing Sandstone (and quartz) you can now mine granite, then basalt and so on. As you advance in the harvesting tiers you can still harvest those tiers under you.

There are also special items that you can find in Resource nodes. Clear quartz from Sandstone, Black Silver from Silver. These are rare and occur by chance from one of the nodes. I'm not sure exactly what the chance is but I believe its around 1%. These 'Gems' as I refer to them will be the biggest limiting step for resource gatherers. You can literally spend hours running around to nodes and NOT get one. I expect that in the future they will up the rate of these, but till then, expect some frustration.

Key Strategy: The Harvesting of a rare item from a node takes 20% off the node (not like the usual 10% from a regular resource). So if you find a node that is under 20% health, there is a 0% chance of getting a rare. Remember this as your working your way up.

Key Point: Rare Resources are deposited directly into your Resource inventory. If there is NO space in your inventory for another resource it will drop on the ground as a Loot Bag. REMEMBER TO LOOT IT. A lot of people forget.


Resource Tier chart
Minor
Prospector
Weaver
Stonecutter
Woodcutter
Skinner
Tier 1 Copper Silver Cotton Sandstone Ash Rough Leather
Tier 1b Tin Black Silver Cottonwhisp Clear Quartz Black Ash Brindled Leather
Tier 2 Iron Electrum Silk Granite Yew Calloused Leather
Tier 2b Aurichalcum Illustrium Tussah Silk Felspar Amberwood Grained Leather
Tier 3 Duskmetal Gold Ironsilk Basalt Oak Gnarled Leather
Tier 3b Blue Iron
Platinum Gossamer Silk
Adamant Soulwood
Whorled Leather
There are more resources above tier 5. As I get more info I will be adding to this list. There are level limits as to which tier you will be able to harvest. Level 20 you will be able to get quests for tier 1. At level 50 you can get the quests for Tier 2. At level 70 you get the tier 3 quests.

Key for Tier 1 Skinning: Kill bears and dark beasts in wild lands, they have a pretty high drop rate for rough leather.

Key for Tier 2 Skinning: Kill apes in the Eiglophian Mountains. They have a very high drop rate for calloused leather.

Key For Tier 3 Skinning: Kill mammoths in Atzel's Approach. They have a high drop rate for Gnarled Leather

Key for tier 2 and 3 Weavers: Hit the repeatable Villa quests in the Noble's district. Guards there drop plenty of silk.

Waypoint File Sharing - Maps of where the nodes are


Key Update: Recent updates by funcom have nopw placed nodes on everyones minimap by default. Thus downloading Waypoint Files are no longer required. However since there are other reasons to grab waypoint files and future changes in harvesting may make downloading waypoint files useful feel free to read on.

The minimap and the use of note taking has often been underused in many MMOs. However With the static nodes in AoC many people have marked the various resources for all the zones on their maps..which are then recorded in Waypoint Files. These files can be taken, copied and sent to your friends. You will already find plenty of sites where you can download these files and allows your minimap to display all the nodes. One site where these files are available is at
Waypoints Database
AoC Waypoints

To Add these downloaded waypoints you need to do two things:
Delete all the files in: Age of Conan\cd_image\Gui\Default\Waypoints
and
Delete all the files in: Documents and Settings\YourComputerAccountName\Application Data\Local Settings\Funcom\Conan\Prefs\YourAoCAccountName\Waypoints

For Vista Users the above folder is located in: Users\YourComputerAccountName\AppData\Local\Funcom \Conan\Prefs\YourAoCAccountName\Waypoints

Now just add your new Downloaded waypoint files into those above directories.

The next time you log on the defaults will be loaded and all cached waypoints wiped.

There is now a Mod called Wayfarer.
Wayfarer is a tool for Age of Conan players used to automate updates to Waypoints and Custom User Interfaces. By using the Update Now functionality you can get the latest versions of all of your external add-ons, update your waypoint data, and launch the game instantly! Find it HERE

Understand that these files, and others from other sites will basically mean no node will be 'secret'. This will likely, over the long term, increase the difficulty of resource gathering for the individual player by making the process easier for the masses.

PvP Server harvesting
Life on the PvP server will be hard. Expect nodes to be camped continuously. Characters parked behind terrain or stealthed nearby. Gathering resources, as with all life on PvP servers will be best done in out of the way zones, not using peak hours and off the beaten path. some classes get a 'search' function. Approaching a node is a great time and place to use this ability. Even then if the zone is crowded you may wish to just farm a few times and then move off. Another option, Harvest in groups ...we call that a "Circle Harvest".


PVE Server harvesting
Life on PVE servers will not be that much easier. Competition for resources will be extremely high. This is due to several facts. First, since every character can learn every resource training, and all the trainers are at the same place, there really isn't any reason NOT to choose all of them. This means a LOT of character (who choose to become a gatherers) will be attacking ALL nodes. Also because the nodes don't despawn, their locations will be well known and remembered by those who travel through. People may farm or camp near them. Expect people to come along and start on nodes that you may already be farming, there is no rule against it. Thirdly (is that a real word?) The resource nodes take forever to regenerate and get back to full health. It would be my suggestion to Funcom to up the regen rate or make more nodes as this game grows.

KEY STRATEGY: As you gain in levels, go harvest to areas where all the mobs are grey to you and dont agro. However, when you zone in CHOOSE EPIC. Now, nothing will agro and epic instances will have a LOT less players in them ...thus the resources are more plentiful

KEY STRATEGY : If you are having competition for nodes, remember that your guild city instance is a private instance that only the guilds that own land in can enter (so 2-3 guilds depending which zone you are in).

KEY STRATEGY : If you are having competition for nodes, and your a social outcast and cannot find your way into a guild. Go to a rez point and Choose a different instance. The upper right corner of the screen is a yellow downwards arrow next to the minimap. Click it and select a new instance. You will see a list of available instances, The brightest is the one your are currently in. The lowest instance on the list is the newest instance and most often the least crowded.

Resources in the Traders/Auction house, and making money!
In a lot of games, gathering resources were as (if not more) lucrative than the crafting of items. In my opinion the exact same thing will occur with AoC. Several reasons, The biggest is that they are a PAIN to gather. Both in time to travel and find nodes, competition for those nodes, The rarity of needed gem spawns from nodes, and the fact that even harvesting pristine, untapped nodes takes a long time, multiple clicks and is downright unappealing. All those factors put together say one thing...THERE WILL BE MONEY IN HARVESTING.

Now you may say, BAH, I just looked at the traders...there are a huge amount of resources available and dirt cheap prices. The answer is yes, there are. This is NOT a sellers market. MOst everyone is still under 60 and not deep into the crafting of items and armor. Also there are only a few guilds building cities. This all comes down to, there is NO need ...YET. Note the future tense I used in the all caps statement. As this game matures and multiple guilds have crafters and city builders those upper level players will have NO desire to spend the time, and patience to gather hundreds of sandstone, granite, Iron and Orichalcum (is that a real metal?!?!). So it is up to you to watch your servers population growth and maturity. If anything NOW is the time to buy....buy em UP like a foreclosed sub-prime mortgage on EBAY! Then stash them in your account until the time is ripe.

Key Strategy: If there was one resource that makes the most money, its Stonecutting. The reason is based on city building requirements. City building is the main determinant that drives the resource harvesting economy. Stones are needed the most. See the chart below for the relative cost to make a city in west Pontain.
  Metal Stone Wood Precious Metal
Tier 1 City 640 Copper 2220 Sandstone 1420 Ash 210 Silver
Tier 2 City 7000 Iron 23720 Granite 12240 Yew 2100 Electrum
Tier 3 City 10100 Orichalcum 248200 Basalt 123400 Oak 20600 Gold
As you can see, the stones are needed almost 2:1 over any other single material. Thus they sell for more on the market. Work the stones up first and foremost over all others to maximize the return from your effort.

Key Strategy: To get your mount at Level 40 you need 3 gold total. YOU CAN DO THIS. But you must invest time toward making money off resources and not in grinding. They key are those pesky prospectors who interupt your mining. YOU WANT THIS. They drop all sorts of resources both rare (up to 50s each) and common tier 2 and 3 (1-3 silver each). Find any node and mine it then move to the next..keep going and eventually the prospectors/mini bosses spawn. It may be me, but in my experience more come from the preciaous metal nodes than others.

Key strategy: At level 50 you are able to get tier 2 items. These sell for up 1 silver each ..that means finding an unspoiled node is worth 10 silver. Its a HUGE and fast way to get a lot of gold. Its a great payout to those who invested in harvesting at the early levels until they got their tier 1b rares/gems. Often the best tier 2 selling resources include Granite, electrum, iron and yew. Check your server traders for which mats sell best on your server.

Summary
--Harvesting is a simple task that can be learned by anyone after level 20.
--All characters can learn all resource gathering. I suggest you do so.
--You cannot use the auction house traders to buy resources for use in the quests.
--There will be a HUGE competition for gathering resources on PVE servers. Ganking at nodes on PvP servers.
--On new servers (and early after AoC's release) there isn't much market demand for resources....but this will change when the servers mature and several guilds start building cities and leveling crafters.Then the demand for resources will be the highest and the market will be the most lucrative.
--Save the resources you gather in your bank until the market ripens.

For more in depth guides for crafting, PvP and leveling. Take a look at this advanced Strategy guide as well as the advanced Making Gold in AoC Guide

Good Luck and I hope this helps.

Look for my Crafting profession guide soon!

Want to contact me? Email me at Admin@TheBurialGrounds.Com

Level Quickly! Class specific PvP Tactics!
The AoC Class and Strategy guide!
Make your Age of Conan life easier by using the AoC Gold Guide
Know thy Enemy! Get the advantage with
The Age Of Conan: The Ultimate PvP Guide.
Ashlings World! One of the best
1-80 AoC Leveling guides


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