Gathering skills; while nearly every MMO out there has their own flavor of them, how many have successfully found a means to make them enjoyable? Grinding your way through a combat class certainly has its appeal, but rarely has there been as much draw to the gathering and crafting they offer. Final Fantasy XIV; a realm reborn, has certainly added some spices to their recipe thereof that aim to entice.
To begin as it stands now there are currently three types of gathering jobs offered within the Final Fantasy XIV realm; fishing, botany, and mining. We will take a moment to go over each below, but anyone that has not yet tried this game might like to know there are no limit on the 'jobs' or 'classes' that a player can obtain on their characters in the game. While other MMO's might have limitations of such a nature, in the realm of Ezorea its simply a matter of equipping the tools of a trade to then switch to that job. Another thing to keep in mind, is once a player has leveled a job somewhat there are allowances for cross-class abilities. This means that certain abilities offered within a select job can be equipped under other jobs as well. There are definitely limitations regarding cross-class abilities, and gathering abilities are no exception, but with the advent of limitless jobs and the ability to cross some of the abilities they offer to non-gathering jobs can certainly assist with easing some of the aggravation they can typically incite. Not to mention there's no need to create another character to get them all gathered!
The job of botany can seem a little misleading just to take it by name; probably a better descriptor would have been harvester, but who's to say there won't possibly be some later expansion on this job that might make the term more applicable. Only time and the Square Enix developer's can say. As it stands now botany consists of essentially two tools; a hatchet and scathe. Using these tools the player will harvest resources from properly matured trees and bushes. As the player levels up in this job abilities unlock to increase the chances of desired resources can be applied while in the harvest menu, as well as the ability to seek out the nearest or even the closest higher ranking location from which to harvest when not in the harvesting menu. Using these abilities can take from the GP or gathering points of the harvester; working something like mana or MP for casting jobs/classes. There are a wide variety of resources that can be found from the botany skill, but proper use of the GP can really help in making the attempt worth the harvester's effort.
What fantasy MMO that has crafting lacks in some type of mining ability? Certainly not Final Fantasy; and mining works very similarly to botany. Both make use of two different tools, needless to say the pickaxe is the primary tool, secondarily you have the sledgehammer for quarrying. Like botany again mining provides abilities as you level up that can increase your chances for gathering objectives.
Both botany and mining share a great deal in common; similar menu systems, a tool for each hand, and abilities that increase odds in the players' favor. Probably the most worthwhile attribute they both share however is the fact that each harvest location whether in botany or mining; is exclusive to the player. Even if another player has the same spot to gather from there is no competition involved with it, no need to beat out another player to that precious ingredient nor any rare spawn time by which a location ends up crowded with gatherers. While you still need the appropriate level to attempt the gather on either; there will never be a time when you are in a rush to gather the resource before it runs out either. Each spawning point will randomly rotate fairly close by, making for a relaxing gathering session regardless which job you are gathering from.
Which brings us to this examiner's favored gathering job of the three; fishing. Where the other gathering jobs/classes offer repetition and similarities in operation, fishing stands alone. There is only one tool to equip, the fishing rod; but quite a large number of potential baits and lures a player can purchase, craft, or simply acquire from the quests of that job. Just like fishing in reality, using live bait can have faster results than lures, your bait regardless of type can be lost, and different lures will have varying animations to their usage. Unlike the other gathering abilities you only have so much control over what fish you may pull from the waters. There is no menu involved simply selection of your bait and casting the line, to then wait for an indication of a fish on the line.
Other than fish however you can also catch on occasion a treasure map! Be warned however once you have one caught or in your inventory any others you may find will end up tossed back to sea, so either seek out that treasure, sell that map, or store it on your retainer once found. Just like fishing in real life, certain fish are privy to specific lures and bait; while some will even require a high quality smaller fish mooched upon the line to be caught! Mooching does require a bit of leveling before available however.
All three gathering jobs will unlock the ability to stealth for chasing those resources from dangerous places. All the resources that have been found can be looked over from the gathering and fishing logs, and rest assured all three have their specific finds that can provision decent profits for the gatherer. While this examiner may have a fair amount of gathering ahead before reaching the maximum level of 50 this article provids a Quick look at what has been found therein so far.