Foraging is a survival ability that is used to find a range of items in nature. These are primarily used as base ingredients in alchemy, Shaping_discipline, and other creation systems.
Healing herbs are the best-known of the foraged items, but one can also forage to find wax for candlemaking, limbs and sticks for Shaping_discipline, firewood, tea leaves, coffee beans, alchemical catalysts, grass and vines for braiding, branches for carving, or even items that can be used as improvised weapons, such as rocks and logs. There are also a number of fluff items that can be foraged such as grungy feathers, old buttons, a variety of roses, and Imperial coins.
Foraging is controlled by the Outdoorsmanship skill and Perception skill.
Foraging is primarily trained via the FORAGE and COLLECT commands.
Forage Usage: ------------------------------------------- FORAGE <item> FORAGE <item> careful FORAGE <item> precise ------------------------------------------- COLLECT <item> is also an available option.
Survival primary guilds and Empaths can use all of the options. Other Survival secondary guilds cannot FORAGE PRECISE. Survival tertiary guilds cannot FORAGE CAREFUL or FORAGE PRECISE.
The careful option searches for a higher quality example of the foraged item, and thus has a slightly higher level of difficulty, and gives a longer roundtime. Precise is similarly more difficult still, with an even longer roundtime than careful, and results in an even higher quality example of the item. The more foraging skill you have, the better quality item you will find.
Collect will give a pile of the target item if successful, with a minimum roundtime of 15 seconds. The greater your foraging skill, the more items will be in your pile. The appearance of a pile will vary based on the guild of the person who collected it.
The order of quality from lowest to highest is as follows: collect, forage, forage careful, forage precise.
Currently (June/2012) the best strategy for training Outdoorsmanship is to use the collect command. Difficulty of the item being foraged doesn't matter much as the easier item you collect, the more you will get, which grants more experience. Many players simply use COLLECT ROCK.
As of July 15th, 2009, all experience timers have been removed from foraging, and experience gained has increased significantly. This means it is now possible for survival terts to lock the skill without fishing, and easier for everyone to lock it in general. The experience from fishing has not increased. Fishing, however, also teaches Skinning.
It is easier to forage during the daytime as opposed to night. It is also easier to forage in good weather. Heavy rain greatly penalizes your chances of finding something.
Difficulty raised by rain
Difficulty raised due to night
Difficulty reduced due to kneeling
Difficulty raised due to hand armor
Things that help boost foraging skill: ranger's raccoon, Wolf Scent Spell, any perception boosting ability/spell, any intelligence or wisdom boosting ability/spell. The Tenebrous Sense spell reduces the night-time penalty to foraging.
"Personally I trained by repetitive foraging of sticks, then moving on to dirt when I could find it, then vines. Vines still teach pretty well at 170." - --Khazera 16:53, 23 March 2008 (CDT)
"Still getting mind locked by COLLECTing vines at 150 foraging" - Ithschaade 02:56, 6 July 2010 (UTC)