Mining in FFXIV:ARR
An Eorzea Reborn Guide to Mining
Note: This guide is in progress. The information is currently specific to Beta-3 and things are subject to change. The advice portions are pretty much done through the mid-teens. However, I haven’t put together all of the item listings I need. Those will be added as I get a chance to work through screenshots and logs. Check back on this guide for updates! Note: If you are looking for specific node locations, click on the harvesting map you are interested in from our Crafting Landing Page.
Mining is one of the gathering classes, grouped together as Disciples of the Land. The class guild is based out of Ul’Dah. Miner’s gather the primary resource (ore) for Blacksmiths, Armorers and Goldsmiths. Additionally, they generate secondary resources for most of the crafting classes in FFXIV:ARR.
Becoming a Miner
You can not become a miner until your initial character class has reached 10th level and you have fully completed the level 10 quest for that class. Upon completing the 10th level class quest, your initial guild leader will let you know that you can pursue other classes.
Players interested in mining should navigate their way to Ul’Dah. For those starting in Ul’Dah, this is nothing more than finding the mining guild, for which your initial city side-quests should have unlocked the atherite crystal.
Gridanians can run to Ul’Dah fairly easily. Just take the route from Central Shroud to South Shroud to Eastern Thanalan. Once you reach Eastern Thanalan, you can hit up the Chocobokeep at Camp Drybone for a quick trip to Ul’Dah. Do remember to tag Atherite Crystals along the way for future teleportation!
Limsa Lominsa starting players are currently in a bind. The Ferry from Limsa to Ul’Dah is currently either broken or prohibitively expensive. This makes it impossible (as of Beta-3) to get to Ul’Dah until you unlock airship after completing your level 15 City Quest.
Upon arriving at the mining guild, talk to the guild registrar. This person provides a brief overview of the class and offers the miner unlock quest. This quest will not be visible when you first enter the mining guild, you must talk to the registar first. Once you have the quest you will be directed to the guildmaster. She offers you a weathered pickaxe which begins your mining career.
Gear for Miners
Upon equipping your pickaxe you automatically shift classes to mining. If you haven’t yet learned about the armory system and gear loadouts, now is the time to learn it. Your armory inventory (accessible from the primary menu bar). It has tabs for every inventory slot and your quest reward gear automatically loads into these tabs. Take a moment to go through your gear to see if you have anything suitable for a miner (probably not at this point, but it’s worth checking).
As with all Disciples of the Land, Miner’s have two gear attributes of importance. You want gear with Gathering as it enhances your skill with basic harvesting. Additionally, you want gear with Perception as this increases your chance to notice and harvest rare materials. All other item stats are relatively unimportant for Disciples of the Land. You won’t want to be getting into fights, so Defense and Magic Defense are fairly unimportant. You have no offensive capability, so STR, VIT, DEX and the other combat oriented stats similarly do not matter. These attributes become important later on, though, although they take a back seat to Gathering and Perception. Rexie in comments observes:
These do matter, and are situational. Many nodes have bonuses on them, and many of those are triggered by MND, STR, DEX, or another stat. If you’re going to go after a really really mining session, it is a good idea to have some jewerly handy for these stats instead of GP gear. GP is mostly pointless in comparison as the 40-60 GP you’ll get from jewerly really doesn’t help as much as being able to have +1 yield, for example.
Most likely you will need to acquire a few pieces of gathering gear, either by crafting it yourself as a Leatherworker or Tailor, or through purchase at the trading post (auction house). Frankly, you can make it through your first few levels as a miner in your smallclothes, but it does go faster if you pickup a few gathering pieces. Some recommended low level pieces include:
NOTE: starter gear forthcoming
Once you have your mining gear on, it’s a good time to save your gear loadout. Open your character panel using either the menubar buttons or it’s hotkey (default is “C”). Right above your paper doll is a gear management button. Clicking it opens your saved gear sets. Choose the + button and save your new mining set.
From now on, you can swap over to miner simply by opening your gear manager, choosing your miner set and clicking equip. You can also easily update your gear saves by right clicking on the Miner set and choosing reassign. Remember to do this every time you get new Mining gear!
Mining 101: Where do Ores go?
As a miner, you want your prospect ability up all the time. Typically this is automatically on and should be visible on your “buff bar,” the part of the UI that shows all effects on your character. As long as this is up, your map and mini-map will update with mining nodes as you get close to them. You will also now see mining nodes as glowing particle effects on rocks.
If you don’t see a node nearby and nothing is visible on your map, it’s time to try out a mining ability. You have a call ability and the initial one you get will give you a direction and distance for the nearest mining node you can hit. If this isn’t helping, a bit later in the guide we provide locations for the Level 5, Level 10 and Level 15 mining nodes!
Walk up to a node, right click on it (or otherwise interact with it from a controller UI). This brings up the harvesting interface. You will see a list of eligible harvests, their levels, and percentages. Percentages indicate your chance to successfully obtain that item on a harvest. Click on a high percentage item (most likely a crystal shard) and you have made your first mining attempt.
You get six attempts to mine each node (more on leve nodes), at which time it disappears and you need to move on. You get xp and items for successful harvests and nothing for failed attempts. Consecutive successful attempts grant xp-chain bonuses. You want to get in the habit of working a few high percentage attempts in a row to get xp-chains rolling.
Every miner shares nodes and your attempts at mining have no affect on others. Feel free to run up to a node others are working and be courteous when others come up to use nodes you are working.
Nodes are listed in 5-level increments. At level 1 you can only find and harvest from level 5 nodes. At level 6 you can harvest the new level 10 nodes as well as the prior level 5 nodes. At level 11 you will be able to access level 15 nodes as well as prior nodes. At level 15 and on you will actually find two-types of mining nodes. The standard mining resources you have been using with your pickaxe still remain. However, you will also find nodes that require the miner’s secondary tool, the sledgehammer. These secondary nodes provide entirely different types of resources, apparently for alchemists and goldsmiths.
You are what you eat
I recommend looking into foods once you get into your 10-15 levels. You will often find yourself GP constrained or needing a bit of gathering and perception. Consider the following (available at your local potwatch in city markets):
- Rabbit Pie (Gathering 8%) – 19g
- Parsnip Salad (Perception 8% GP 2%) – 22g
- Lentils and Chestnuts (GP 8% Gathering 2%) – 34g
- Apple Tart (Gathering 8% GP 2%) – 30g
Depending on your needs, any of the above foods can be worthwhile.
Mining in Central Thanalan
Central Thanalan has Resource Nodes at the 5, 10 and 15 levels of difficulty. The level 5 and 10 nodes are primary types requiring a pickaxe. However, at level 15 you only have access to the secondary node types that require the sledgehammer off-hand item.
Level 5 Nodes are located just outside the Gate of Nald up near the Stonesthrow waypoint to the NW. There are a good 4-6 nodes available in a cluster here, lending itself to a nice rotation of harvesting. These nodes contain:
- Wind Shard
- Lightning Shard
- Copper Ore (used by goldsmith, blacksmith and armorer)
- Muddy Water
There are also level 5 Nodes to the east as you exit Ul’Dah near the Ul’Dah dispatch yard. These nodes are the ones you need to find Bone Chips for the level 5 Mining quest.
Level 10 Nodes are actually quite close-by. You will find them in a corridor just south of the Coffer & Coffin and north of the Royal Allagan Stairway on your map. Level 10 nodes provide:
- Lightning Shards
- Tin Ore (used by blacksmith and armorer)
- Zinc Ore (used by goldsmith)
- Soiled Femur
Level 15 Nodes are near the zoneline to Western Thanalan. Starting just north of the Sil’dih Excavation site all the way to the zoneline itself you will find the secondary type level 15 nodes. As of this time I have had no luck finding primary level 15 nodes in Central Thanalan (they are located in West Thanalan, see below). These level 15 Nodes provide:
- Lightning Shard
- Rock Salt
Mining in Western Thanalan
Western Thanalan has Resource Nodes at the 5, 10 and 15 levels of difficulty. The level 5 and 10 nodes are primary types requiring a pickaxe. At level 15 you will find both the primary pickaxe nodes as well as the secondary node types that require the sledgehammer off-hand item.
Level 5 Nodes can be found just west of the Gate of Sultana in the vicinity of Scorpion’s Crossing. Starting just to the east of the Crossing and continuing to the south is a rotation of about six mining nodes. These nodes contain:
- Fire Shard
- Water Shard
- Copper Ore (used by goldsmith, armorer and blacksmith)
- Muddy Water
Level 10 Nodes are a bit further to the west. These can be found in the area near the Hammers. There is a set of level 10 nodes along the southern wall between the East and South Hammer. These nodes contain:
- Water Shard
- Tin Ore (used by armorer and blacksmith)
- Zinc Ore (used by goldsmith)
- Soiled Femur
- Water Shard
- Grade 2 Dark Matter (used in item repair)
Both of the Level 15 Nodes can be found up near Camp Horizon. The primary resource nodes are located in the area adjacent to Copperbell Mines. These nodes contain:
- Water Shard
- Iron Ore (used by armorer and blacksmith)
- Raw Sphene
- Raw Sunstone
- Raw Lapis Lazuli
The Level 15 Secondary Nodes can be found just south of Camp Horizon. These nodes are in relatively hostile areas with drakes and wolf type mobs all around. You may find using Stealth to be helpful when mining here. These nodes contain:
- Water Shard
- Copper Sand
- Iron Sand
Skills and Abilities
This section will receive more attention in updates. For now, there are three ability classes that are worth commenting on.
The first is your Lay of the Land abilities. The lower level version of this ability gives you a direction and distance for the nearest node you are eligible to harvest. The higher level ability gives you the direction and distance to the highest level node you are eligible to harvest. Each have a fairly wide search radius and are intended to help you in exploring new zones. I would expect Beta-4 and the live game to add whole new node areas and there are higher level areas we haven’t covered in this guide, so these abilities will get lots of use.
The second set of abilities you receive influence your success rate. These Sharp Vision abilities cost gathering points (50, 100 and 300 through the first three levels). They increase your harvesting chances by 5, 15 and 50 points respectively. This bonus applies to every harvest on a given node, so you want to use this ability right after you open up a node. These abilities are particularly useful when you first find a node as you have to “discover” each line of the node. The “undiscovered” items will have a base find rate of about 25%, so these bonuses come in handy. It does not appear that Sharp Vision improves HQ prospecting at all, although it may be that you have to “succeed” on an attempt before the game checks for HQ.
The third ability we will address initially is stealth. You receive stealth reasonably early on, about the time you will be trying to harvest level 15 nodes. Stealth does exactly what you would think, it makes it very hard (but not impossible) for enemies to see you. You move incredibly slowly in stealth, so use it sparingly. Additionally, high level and perhaps special mobs can see through stealth. My lowly level 12 Miner was easily spotted by a level 42 in Eastern Thanalan. For moments where stealth fails, I highly recommend the sprint ability!
Your level 15 ability is Unearth, this provides a flat 10% increase to your chance to pull a HQ item. The catch is there has to be a positive non-zero chance for a HQ first. This ability costs 75 gathering points and is of situational use.
Leves, Quests, and Harvesters
Much of this is speculation right now since we don’t really know how economies will play out on the live servers. Given the apparent importance of crafting in FFXIV, mining and botanists (the gathering classes available at the time of writing this guide) stand to be wealthy people in the Final Fantasy worlds.
The shards found on nodes are used by every crafting class. Making any final good requires a shard as well as several sub=combines, each of which use a shard. So, crafters chew through crystal shards very fast. Additionally of interest to miners, it takes three pieces of ore to make an ingot and every smithing recipe burns through multiple ingots. There should be ample demand for your ore.
Taken together, this suggests that you should do most of your leveling acquiring ore, shards and the various components found on standard nodes. This implies that levequests are generally not worthy of your time.
Levequests are important fillers in your harvesting runs. In particular, in the level before you can open up a new tier of nodes, leveling can feel very slow. I find that using leve’s to power through this level (level 5, 10 and 15) can make the harvesting experience a bit more rewarding.
You get a class quest from the mining guild every 5-levels. It is highly recommended that you do these as soon as they are available. Completing these quests provides a decent amount of experience and generally useful harvesting items!
Your level 15 Class Quest, Getting in Deep, is quite a challenge. You need to gather HQ Minium from the rocks just outside of Camp Horizon. These require at least a 31 perception to pull and have a very low prospect chance. You will need to make good use of your Unearth ability and hope for some luck here!