Botany is one of the gathering classes in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Botany and it's other gathering classes are all helpfully lumped up in the Disciples of the Land. The class guild for it is based out of the city Gridania, it can only be found there. Surprising, while you would imagine Botanists gather all manner of herbs, it is mostly just logging. Botanists gather wood for the Carpenter class. However, wood is also used as a component in recipes for Leatherworkers, Tailors, Armorers and Blacksmithes. This class also generates secondary resources that are used by almost all other classes, making it worthwhile to level if you want to make some money.
Becoming a Botanist
Like every other class in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, your character must have reached level 10 and completed the level 10 quest for your class. After completing this quest, your class guild master will let you know that you can pursue other classes.
If you find yourself overcome by the allure to be a botanist, get heading towards Gridania. For those with classes that started in Gridania, just head onto the Botanist guild. Your initial city side quests should have already unlocked the atherite crystal for it.
For those of you that started in Ul'Dah, the run should be pretty simple to Gridania. Just take the road from Central Thanalen to Eastern Thanalan to the South Shroud. Once at the South Shroud, hit up the Chocobokeep for quick access to Gridania. Don't forget to tag the atherite crystals for the future.
From Limsa Lominsa, just take the ferry to Gridania or if you are level 15, you can take the airship.
Once at the botany guild, talk to the registrar in which you will be given and overview and the quest to unlock the botany class. You won't see the quest when you walk in, you have to talk to the registrar first. Once the quest is completed, you will be given a hatchet to begin the class.
Gear For Botanists
Frolicking around in your combat gear is a waste when it comes to botany. You won't want to be facing any monster while in this class. You level it through chopping wood, not killing things. For the first few levels of botany, going about in your smallclothes should be enough.
Equip your hatchet and you will officially be changed over to the botany class. Gear with stat attributes important to botanists include gear with Gathering or Perception. Gathering increases your skill with basic harvesting. While Perception increases your chance to notice and harvest rare materials. Any other stats on your gathering gear don't really matter. You can also pick up some food (or make some food) to boost these stats.
Some good foods to eat are:
Rabbit Pie (Gathering 8%)
Parsnip Salad (Perception 8% GP 2%)
Lentils and Chestnuts (GP 8% Gathering 2%)
Apple Tart (Gathering 8% GP 2%)
As you level botany, it is definitely not a bad idea to make yourself or buy some simple pieces of gear with those stats. It makes things easier. Once you do have gear, be sure to save your gear loadout so you can easily swap over without having to manually equip each piece.
Actually Doing Botany
So getting down to the thick of it—Botany. Where should you start doing it? Well, Central Shroud is, by general consensus, a good place to start. It has nodes for beginners all the way up to level 15. Once you reach level 16 botany, you will want to move onto another zone unless you want to grind out materials.
One ability you get as a botanist is the triangulate ability. You will want to keep that up always, it will show on the buff bar on your UI. Typically, this ability is always up anyway. The triangulate ability will allow you to see prospective botany nodes on your mini-map. You will also be able to see them by looking for glittering trees on your screen.
If you don't see any nodes nearby, try using your Arbor Call ability. This will show you what direction and how far you are from a botany node.
Another ability is Field Mastery, which will up your success rate at gathering resources. You should save these abilities for right after you open up a node. Sharp Eyes abilities come in three forms which up your gathering stat by 5,10, or 15. So use accordingly so you do not waste them.
However, the most important ability is Stealth. You won't get this until around level 15, but it is the handiest. It makes it so enemies cannot see you, however you move incredibly slow. So use only when you need to.
Now swagger on up to it, right click or use the interact button if you are using a controller. This will bring up the harvesting interface. Ah, I remember when harvesting used to be simple. Anyway, you will see a list of resources that can be harvested from the node and a percentage.
The percentage represents the chances of your harvesting succeeding. You are allowed six attempts at a node. When you are successful, you get XP and the resource. If you do not succeed, you get nothing. For every successful attempt in a row you complete, you form an XP chain which increases the amount of experience you gain. So try to do a few high percentage resources to build up your XP chain.
Unlike some MMOs, nodes are specific to a player, meaning if you mine a node another player is working on, it will not take away their attempts. So feel free to share.
The nodes in question are listed in 5 level increments. You start off able to harvest level 5 nodes, when your Botany class levels to 6, you will be able to harvest level 10 nodes as well as level 5 nodes. So on and so forth.
At level 15, however, you will find two types of harvesting nodes. One where you need your pickaxes, like usual, and one that will require the botanist's secondary weapon of scythe. These secondary nodes provide different resources in which Tailors and Alchemists use, as opposed to Blacksmiths, Carpenters and Armorers.