A Albion Online Guide on surviving solo gathering Part 1
Let me start by saying I'm no pro. I only started playing this game at beta launch so I've been forced to learn on the fly but I have yet to be killed while solo gathering in any red/black zone despite being found/attacked many times by groups of hostile players.
#1:Grow a pair:
Yes, I know. Red zones are where other players can kill you and take all your gear and they are all bullies looking to kill you and black zones are even worse.
Well, unless you have a super secret farming spot in a green/yellow zone you're probably forced to share all the T1-T4 materials with the other million players who want to be nice and safe just like you. You need to be bringing home as many materials as you can in as short a timeframe as possible, that's called efficiency so head to the red!
Now the reason this is a tip is because a lot of players seem to be very afraid of solo'ing red/black zones. Which actually means the more dangerous the location the safer it actually is!
I have never actually run into another player in a black zone while solo gathering. Partly because the beta is still new so many players can't gather most of the blackzone materials and partly because players are terrified of those areas.
So, If you're a big zerg group looking for players to kill. Are you going to go to the black zone where you think you'll find nobody? or will you goto the red zone where you know you'll find people?
So grow a pair and head as deep into the danger zones as you can. It's usually more dangerous getting there than once you actually arrive.
note: check the map into tab to make sure you can actually harvest that zones resources as many range for T5+
#2: Bring a Spear:
There may be better weapons out there that offer mobility but the T3 spear has been working fine for me. It's not the weapon I use for PvE or PvP. I just have 1 laying around for when I go solo gathering in red/black zones because it REALLY helps you escape anyone who is trying to kill you out there. It comes with a mini-sprint (W) and a Dash (E) to help you jump away from the enemy and hit the gas.It's also very inexpensive so if you do die it's not as much of a loss as if you lost your T4-T5 weapon.
It also combos very nicely with the run (F) from most boots (or flee if you prefer) but more on that in the next tip.
#3: Bring weak yet specified gear:
There is no need for you to be bringing your sweet T5 Heavy plate armor out to smash rocks or pick flowers. Toughest non player thing you will have to fight is likely a dire wolf which you can easily escape using the tips above. If you do get caught by a group of hostile players THEY WILL KILL YOU, so there's no need to lose your best gear. Bring just enough armor to make sure you can survive/kill mobs if needed but leave your dungeon/pvp gear at home.
Specify the spells for escaping, not fighting. Things like cleanse might be better than the AOE pull or the out of combat heal because the greatest threat out there are other players and there will be no out of combat time to heal against them. You escape or you die. Cleanse helps you escape by debuffing any cc and giving you a few extra hits worth of protection.
Boots should always have either Run or Flee your choice (i prefer run because it can be more freely used to help me get to locations faster)
I don't have any real experience with cloth or leather armor but I'm sure you can use your judgement to help make your character more evasive in those regards.
#4: Get off your Ox!:
You might choose to bring a horse and an ox so you can more quickly reach your destination on horse and then use the ox to haul back your payload. That's fine but it is higher risk if you do get caught/killed as you will lose 2 mounts instead of just one. Personally I only bring my ox. I go to my location on foot (using speed buffs from boots and spear to get there quicker) and only use the ox to return when I'm so overloaded that I can barely walk (or can't walk at all)
The reason for this is because Ox's are freaking loud! CLUMP CLUMP CLUMP they make a lot of noise and any player looking for a sweet score will hear that noise and know 4 things.
1. There is a player nearby
2. That player is using an ox so likely has more lootable valuables than a player on a horse. (not including weapons/armor)
3. That player is on an ox, an ox is slow, ez kill.
4. That player will not be able to use any evade/speed skills for a period of time after demounting, again, making an easier kill.
Sidenote about using speedbuffs to reach your location quickly. Be mindful of cooldown timers. The worst thing that can happen is you sprint INTO an enemy ambush and have no way to escape.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are returning from a gathering mission while riding the ox and you are caught by hostile players it is probably better to stay on your ox and hope you can get to safety before they kill you. Good luck.
You will need the ox on the way back or you're not gathering right but there is no need to increase your chances of dying before you even reach your location.. so walk!
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