To be honest, the only way to level mining, is patience. For those of you who are interested in using Leves to level your miner, I would suggest you try to mine normally as far as you can stand it, and then find the highest level Evaluation leve you can find, and repeat it until you’re out of allowances — for me, personally, I’ve decided to save my leves for more crafter classes.
What I do while mining, is watch netflix — I use a small program called “Always on Top”, think I got it from a Lifehacker article ages and ages ago. I load up a show in a browser window, and make sure it’s “on top”, and then go mine. That’s the secret, basically. I’m currently level 39, and just finished mining up my 1600th mythril ore chunk (I decided to stick around here since I can use mythri for goldsmith stuff).
Oh and don’t neglect your miner class quests! They come in every 5 levels, and you can gather the mats you need beforehand to speed it up a bit. Here’s a list of what you need for each one:
- Level1 Latex (10)
- Level 5 Bone Chip (50)
- Level 10 Obsidian (99)
- Level 15 High Quality Cinnabar (10)
- Level 20 Grade 1 Carbonized Matter (99)
- Level 25 High Quality Effervescent Water (15)
- Level 30 High Quality Wyvern Obsidian (15)
- Level 35 High Quality Raw Amethyst (20)
- Level 40 High Quality Jade (20)
- Level 45 High Quality Electrum Ore (20)
- Level 50 Darksteel Ore (3)
Oh and if you’re interested in speeding up the process, there’s a few things you can do: For about 2300~ seals, your Grand Company offers an item that buffs experience from gathering by 50% for 3 hours, or until you’ve gained 40k bonus experience (personally I don’t see why it’s capped, since 35+ 40k is almost nothing). Also remember to buy some better gear every 5 levels or so, check out the “Merchant & Menders” for Fieldcraft gear, if you have the gil you might even check the Market for HQ versions (but remember you’ll be replacing the gear in 5~ levels anyway). When you keep your gear has high as possible, you keep the mining chances high as well, which means less misses. Also a high perception stat means a higher chance at High Quality, which doubles your experience for that hit.
For some minor bonus experience, do the provisioning mining mission from your Grand Company, and make sure to turn in HQ mats. That can net you a small, but decent, chunk of experience each day.
Tips and other thoughts
Don’t make the same mistake I did while gathering stuff around 25~30 — anything that can’t be HQ (such as crystals, pigment, etc…) will sink your experience per hour, while I did have a reason for farming some crystals (higher level goldsmith stuff), I farmed way too much pigment, if I could go bag I would’ve found wherever had a “raw something” and farmed it a ton instead.
Also, don’t feel like you have to move on once you’re 4+ levels about whatever it is you’re gathering, I’ve noticed that the experience gained from each successful gather doesn’t actually increase to a significant level (eg: moving on to gathering Jade at 37~ with it’s 70% chance, isn’t likely to net you more experience per hour than sticking to mythril or whatever). At the end of the day, Mining is a monotonous thing to level, you’re really only going to do so by running being 3 nodes for hours on end, only to eventually move on to something else.
Nodes: Make sure you pay attention to node placement, try to keep your route efficient — some nodes might spawn near hostile enemies, but luckily you can effectively “ignore” one node, and make a route of the other 3 (for instance, the nodes near Highbridge, or the ones in Nine Ivies). Even better is if you can keep the nodes that have a better chance to gather, higher chance at HQ, or a bonus gather attempt as your three.
Market! Don’t ignore the Market completely. You can make some gil off certain mats, you might even consider things like selling the mats needed for Mining class quests (stacks of 10 High Quality Cinnabar for instance). Although if you’re really interested in Gil more than leveling, check your market for Shards, and go farm whatever is worth more/has less selling currently. For my realm I see a lot of stacks of shards in the 500+ range, while there might be some crafters who might purchase that much, on average most people will be after stacks of a 100-200. And shards will go FAST like this. Almost without question after listing a stack of 100 shards, it will be sold almost before I leave the retainer bell.
Oh and I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve made more gil on the market by listing things individually, than I have in stacks of 20+ because sometimes people just need 1 or 2 of an item — in fact you can even charge a bit more for the mat because almost no one else lists things in stacks of 1. Ingots are great for this, I’ve discovered. Especially HQ ones.