It works like this: First, you have to find a node that contains the resource you want to harvest. Thankfully, your handy dandy gathering log tells you, roughly, where each resource harvestable at your current level is located. After a node has been found, you interact with it and a little menu pops up displaying all of the resources that can be gathered from that node and the odds of successfully harvesting each one. You can then use any of the gathering abilities that you’ve unlocked at that point, which can increase your chances of success, make you more likely to harvest high-quality resources, or impart a number of other useful effects.
Then, essentially, you just harvest whatever material(s) you’re Screenshot — FFXIV Gil after until the node is depleted. Occasionally, a node will have a special effect attached to it that can be activated if your stats meet a certain requirement. For instance, some might give you an extra harvesting chance if your perception is high enough, or some might grant you an increase to your success rate. It’s an interesting system, overall, but the fact of the matter is that it’s basically a gambling minigame. The various gathering abilities throw an interesting wildcard into the mix, allowing you to harvest items that you would otherwise be unable to, but I wish the gathering system had been designed a bit more like the crafting one was.
Players from 1.0 might remember that gathering resources back in the day used to entail playing a sort of mini-game. Well, no longer. Gathering has been greatly simplified, and to be honest, this kind of disappointed me. I’m not going to go so far as to say that the gathering mechanics in 1.0 were good, but they were certainly interesting and I was hoping that the devs would bring the mini-games back in a more refined form. Alas. Still, FFXIV does things differently enough from most games that even routine gathering feels like a refreshing change.