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New to Patch 4.0.1

New to Patch 4.0.1, mining, herbalism, and archeology grant XP. Skinning does not grant XP Frowney.gif. This experience gain is actually larger than a mob kill by 2x to 4x (at pre-60 levels, the multiplier varies wildly as level mismatches between herbs/ore gathered and mobs fought can be great).

Basic Principles Herbalism and Mining

This new system has a few quirks.

  • Like Formulas:Mob XP, herbs and ore from Classic WoW, Burning Crusade, Wrath of Lich King, and Cataclysm have independent experience formulae.
  • Note that it is possible to find Dreamfoil, Golden Sansam, etc. in Outland. However, these are Classic WoW herbs, not Burning Crusade herbs.
  • Experience is determined by the level of the object gathered. Through level 60 (300 skill) the gathering skill required to gather an item divided by 5 is the same as the level of the herb/ore produced.
  • The notable exceptions are the herbs or ore that transition from one expansion to another. For example, Fel Iron can be mined at 275 skill, but counts as a level 60 Burning Crusade ore for purposes of XP tracking.
  • Another exception is that when mining Fel Iron ore, Eternium Ore can be mined, increasing the level of the gather for experience purposes.
  • Ore nodes that have a rich version use the higher level of the gather difficulty divided by 5 to determine the experience award.
  • Rest XP will contribute towards gather experience. (This may be a bug, Blizzard may change this.)
  • XP is not awarded for gathering quest items (be they herb or ore, such as sanguine hibiscus or nethercite ore.)

Basic Principles Archaeology

Each archaeology find yields experience equal to 1/460 of your current level, rounded to nearest 10 or 100 xp. So, with rest experience, 230 finds will net a level. At 3.5 finds per dig site, that's 66 dig sites per level. Now many people point out Archaeology is a slow grind, because you have to fly between dig sites. I recommend using Archy and TomTom mods to allow you to tab-out, and an alert sounds when you get to a new dig site. While Archaeology might not be a good way to level, if you plan to level archaeology, you would be foolish to wait to hit the level cap before doing it, because all that time can net you some free levels.

Basic XP gain from gather

The level of the item gathered determines XP gained.

Data is still being collected to get these formulas exactly right. There is clearly a mitigating factor not yet determined, causing as much as 10% variation (usually < 5%). My best guess would be number of drops or random. Nonetheless, you can get a good idea of the potential XP benefits.

Classic World of Warcraft ~2-4x mob kill
lvl 01-49:  (  13 to  625) XP gain = 12.76 * lvl 
lvl 50-60:  ( 700 to  950) XP gain = 25 * lvl - 550
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade ~2x mob kill
lvl 60-70:  (1000 to 1200) XP gain = 20 * lvl - 200
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King ~1x mob kill
lvl 70-80:  (1400 to 2400) XP gain = 100 * lvl - 6600
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm ~1-2x mob kill
lvl 81-85:  (2500 to 5500) XP gain = 750 * lvl - 58250

XP modification based on character Level

The formula used to determined decreased experience earned from quests is used. See Experience Point. Additionally, there is a small penalty for gathering above one's level.

Character_level  = Item_Level + 2 : (94.8%)   (Character lower level than gather level)
Character_level  = Item_Level + 1 : (97.4%)
Character_level <= Item_Level + 0 : (100%)    (Character level close to gather level)
Character_level >= Item_Level - 5 : (100%)    
Character_level  = Item_Level - 6 :  (80%)    (Character level exceeds gather level)
Character_level  = Item_Level - 7 :  (60%)
Character_level  = Item_Level - 8 :  (40%)
Character_level  = Item_Level - 8 :  (40%)
Character_level <= Item_Level - 10 : (10%)

Presumably, the penalty for gathering at lower level is 2.6% per level; only tested a difference of 2.

Using the System to your Advantage

Herbalism for Powerleveling

Herbalism gives much more opportunities to gain extra XP than mining.

  • For each crafting tier, there are 3 or more kinds of resource nodes. This means there is always an herb to gather near your level.
  • Ore nodes are spaced about 10 levels apart, and the special intermediates (gold, silver, truesilver) share spawn locations with regular node.
  • In my experience, there are fewer herbalists.
  • Because there are so many more kinds of nodes, there are overall more herb resource nodes, so there is more to gather. Especially if a zone has sat for a few days without any attention until you come along levelling.

Herbalism and Mining for Powerleveling

For the ultimate experience gain and get-rich-quick scheme, choose both professions. Now you can track both on the minimap!

Powerleveling tips and tricks, Classic World of Warcraft

Several things about this system make it very attractive as an aid to help level.

  • 2x - 4x a mob kill XP
  • rest experience bonus
  • mounts at earlier levels
  • increase in number of resource nodes in Azeroth with Cataclysm
  • you can now gather with Herbalism and Mining and have both tracked on your mini-map
  • the extra XP is quite dramatic in the level 30-60 range.

In Thousand Needles, Stranglekelp (skill 80, 300XP) and Iron Ore (skill 125, 450XP) are prevalent and there are no red mobs around them. This is a veritable field day. Coming here is possible once hitting level 15, with some clever planning with smelting to level and/or getting herbalism up to 80.

Felwood has a great deal of herbs. It's obscene, actually. Skill starts at 210 and ranges to 260. Coming here at 210 skill will allow you to advance herbalism skill easily to 300 and get a great deal of XP.

Swamp of Sorrows has the lovely level 57 Sorrowmoss in abundance, and you can fight the mobs at level 50. This is around 3x XP per gather as mob kill. Wow! This can result in less than 100 gathers granting a level.

At level 70, mining in Icecrown or herbing in Storm Peaks with fast flying mounts is possible. This will get gather skill up but also produce experience from resource nodes level 75-80. However, at this level, the XP gains are only 2x per mob kill, and jumping 5 levels doesn't have a dramatic effect, so this is not recommended for grinding.