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Theodum
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re: Glaying on your own Part 2 - Gatherer

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This appeared originally as a post on the Paizo Board but I did some minor edits and wanted to post it here as well.

Role Gatherer

General
This is likely the easiest role to do play on your own. Gathering resources means you walk the landscape, you look for resource nodes and you gather ingredients. I've spend hours doing this and looking for the elusive ingredients missing in one of my crafting recipes.
To learn gathering is easy - you hardly use any XP and you can specialize in dowser (sparks), miner (rocks), forester (plants) and scavenger (trash heaps). The higher your level, the more raw materials (mats) you get.

Some important information to know:
Level 1-6 allows you to collect tier 1 ingredients. Level 7+ is when you start seeing completely new tier 2 ingredients.
Each hex has a limited number of resources. There are only very few hexes with copper - and you will never find coal in a mountain rock. Knowing what to find where can be extremely helpful if you are after a certain material - so ask or google what to find where.
No spoilers here if you like to find out yourself and this is the attraction for you to become a gatherer. You might even help some of the initiatives to generate an accurate map what to find where.

Meaningful play
To make it long term meaningful and not repetitive you need to plan early on what to do with the materials. Do you have a settlement which uses them and supplies you with crafted items in return? Do you want to trade them - then look further down for trader role? Do you want to sell them in the auction house?

Gatherer is easy to do on your own - as you don't depend on anyone else - but to make it fulfilling you likely want to either go with a settlement / alliance or do some other role as well. So the main issue as gatherer can be to keep it meaningful and interesting for you in the long run. PvP (bandits) is currently not a problem as player looting isn't implemented yet. But look out for developments here if being attacked will cause you to stop enjoying a game.
Being on an unusual time zone (Australia?) could be a benefit for this role as you might have less problems with bandits or other gatherers.

Useful commands / items / feats
Useful command - X - lets you sneak closer to monsters without triggering a combat.
Watch out for encumbrance. Heavy armour and gathering is likely a no-go.
There are feats to increase you carrying capacity. Strong Back increases encumbrance. Certain role/armour combinations also increase encumbrance.
There are items to help (bags, etc) but they are not yet implemented. So watch out for them in the development.
Watch out for smallholding or base camp. Unfortunately I'm unable to tell how good these are if you need defending.

Your role and settlements
As a gatherer you should be welcome in nearly every settlement. A lose association will be enough as it allows you to train higher levels at a later stage. Most settlements are likely happy to have you associated even if gathering is all you will ever contribute.

Downsides
You will need someone who uses your gathered raw materials. So if you don't use the auction house then ensure you are in a settlement with the main users on the same time zone - or at least several at the same time zone. Nothing is more frustrating as piling up resources in your vault that nobody can use because you are never online at the same time and place.

What GW could do to help this role
There are currently some issues plaguing gathering. I assume they will be fixed soon. The main other issue is to be online with other settlement / company members at the same time. A company or settlement vault would really help this game play. Also a better Auction House would be beneficial if you want to sell gathered goods.

My personal thoughts about a gatherer
This is how I started the game and I had hours of fun with this role. It is great if you play on your own. But I feel it isn't enough long term. But it is a role that can be combined well with fighting monsters or refining or crafting or trading. So do this and something else.
They main challenge I see will be to keep yourself interested. Being the first to gather rare tier 2 resources might be a goal for you - but you will need someone capable of using these to keep it interesting. But this is a great role to start off and later or at the same time to branch into other roles.

 

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