I’m going to try to document here what I’ve figured out about gathering collectables in FFXIV, because there is almost a 100% chance that I will forget this someday and a future version of me will need to re-learn it.
Collectables are similar to the Grand Company Provisioning missions you can do once per day, which look like this:
Collectables are a bit better, though, because you can hand in a lot more every day. (By the way, my spellchecker insists that I should be writing “collectibles” but the game spells it “collectables.”)
First, open up the Timers in the Duty menu, and then click on Rowena’s House of Splendors. That will tell you which collectables you should gather. (It does you no good to gather collectables if they aren’t listed by Rowena.)
You can see in the screenshot above that Rowena’s House of Splendor is looking for Yellow Quartz, Yellow Copper Ore, and Dragon Obsidian from Miners. The Yellow Copper Ore is highlighted: That’s because I had already collected one at the time of the screenshot, which shows as a 1 under the Inventory column.
You can right-click each item and choose the rather unintuitively-named “Search For Item by Gathering Method” to discover where to find it, if you don’t already know. You will need to “unlock” each item before you can collect or gather it, just like the good old days before level 50. Everything is “hidden” until you gather it normally at least once.
In the above list, Lv. 50 Dragon Obsidian can be obtained at any mining node in Western Coerthas. You don’t have to do anything special or wait for the timed nodes that only appear at certain times of day. Accordingly, they award the least experience. You could simply mine those all day long and turn in hundreds of them, but that would be a bit boring. Also each collectable consumes one inventory slot and they don’t stack, so there’s a soft limit on how many you can carry.
How do you actually acquire the collectables? To get, for example, a collectable Dragon Obsidian–the easiest one–you go to a mining node as usual. (This one is in Western Coerthas.)
Activate your Collector’s Glove ability (which you should have gotten at level 50 when you started Heavensward). You can do this at any time. It’s like a buff, so once it’s activated it remains on.
Nothing much will change, but you should see the word “Collectables” appear at the top of the Mining window. (It took me some time to figure that out.)
Now you can mine the Dragon Obsidian by clicking on the Dragon Obsidian slot. But instead of a chunk of ore going into your inventory, you’ll get a different gathering interface that looks like this:
Here is where you use the new abilities you picked up when you got into Heavensward. You should have gotten a new ability called Methodical Appraisal. There are many varieties of Appraisal abilities that do different things.
Each time you use an Appraisal, it uses one gathering attempt and moves the Rarity bar to the right, and adds 10 Wear. In this example, we can perform three Appraisals before Wear is at 30/30. (In my experience so far, the gathering attempt is wasted if you go over the maximum wear.) As with all gathering and crafting, you can juggle everything by combining various abilities from your hotbar, but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.
Once you’ve gotten the maximum possible Rarity you can get, click on the Collect button. You can do this once for every remaining gathering attempt. In the case of this Dragon Obsidian, I usually only have one attempt left so I’ll only get one collectable.
Notice back in Rowena’s list of collectables, she provided a Collectability rating. She will only take this Dragon Obsidian if the Collectability ends up at 240 or higher. The Rarity you achieve, along with other factors I don’t fully understand, is what determines the final Collectability rating.
You can see in the above screenshot that the Collectability ended up being 385 despite the Rarity bar sitting at 372. I have no idea why. Random? Based on your equipment and item levels? Who knows? That’s beyond the scope of this post. :)
Now for the most important part, the part which took me days to figure out which apparently nobody took the time to write in any of their guides. What the heck do you do with collectables once they are sitting in your inventory??
I knew that there was a Collectable Appraiser in Idyllshire, but she wouldn’t talk to me:
This left me so confused for so long, until I finally stumbled upon this other Collectable Appraiser in Revenant’s Toll:
Finally, I found someone who would take my collectables! I had written off Revenant’s Toll as a place I never needed to go again, so I never thought to look there.
Anyway, click on the Collectable Appraiser and you’ll get the standard interface for handing over items, and then you’ll get your experience rewards. (You have to hand them over one at a time, unfortunately, which is a pain if you’re returning with a dozen of them.)
I showed the example of Dragon Obsidian above, but you don’t really want to focus on that. To maximize your experience, you want to go for the Unspoiled nodes which appear all across the land at timed intervals.
I suppose it’s possible to go out into the world and discover where and when the Unspoiled nodes appear by careful observation and note-taking, but you might find it easier to go to any of a number of FFXIV timer web sites. I used to use ffxivclock.com but lately I’ve grown fond of ffxiv-gathering.com.
The idea is that every 2 hours (Eozean time, which is, I don’t know, 20 minutes real time?), an Unspoiled node becomes available somewhere in the world. Fly to that spot and gather from it, and you get much better stuff. In these cases, though, you have to “reveal” the items before you can collect them. If you did any gathering at the level 50 endgame, before Heavensward, you probably know the drill.
Use Toil of the Mountaineer or Toil of the Pioneer to reveal the “out of reach” items.
If this is the first time gathering at this node, you’ll need to use your abilities to reveal the “Unknown” items. In this case I happened to know I wanted the Old World Fig in slot 2:
From there you collect as shown above with the Dragon Obsidian. Enable Collector’s Glove, increase the Rarity as much as possible, and Collect. Typically I get three or four collectables from an Unspoiled node.
If you are lucky and hand in a bunch of starred items, you can level pretty quickly. I leveled from 51 to 57 on both Miner and Botanist over this past weekend.