If riding a tauntaun on Tatooine is wrong, I don't want to be right.
Basically, I really love the little gathering nodes that you can place as decorations inside your stronghold. As far as I'm aware you can only get them from participating in conquests, though since they are not bound, there is always the alternative option of simply buying them from someone else. Aside from the sheer fun I've had with conquests so far, opening that little reward box every time I hit my personal target has added a nice little bit of extra enjoyment to the whole thing for me. There is something of a collectible appeal to the nodes... can I catch them all? I've started to organise them in such a manner that I can easily remember which type of material can be found on which node (which isn't necessarily self-evident, especially with the plants), and I've been pleased to see that the number of gaps (that is to say, nodes I don't own yet) is shrinking every week.
In comparison to previous ways of gathering materials, they have both pros and cons, though I feel that the former far outweigh the latter. Let's get the cons out of the way first:
- A single gathering action from a decorative node takes a whole 15 seconds.
- Each time you gather there is a pretty high chance that you'll trigger the resource exhaustion debuff, which won't let you gather again for four hours.
- Nodes also have an internal cooldown of several minutes, so if you got resource exhaustion and log on an alt to immediately gather from the same node, you'll have to wait.
- After the initial time or money investment, the nodes are yours forever and inexhaustible.
- They can be placed in a convenient location where it's easy to gather every time you log on.
- Every character is capable of gathering from any node, even if they don't have the corresponding crew skill.
- With crew skill missions, there is often a chance that the result will be somewhat randomised, e.g. an archaeology mission for rank 3 artifact fragments could either give you Ancient Artifact Fragments (which I often need) or Prehistoric Artifact Fragments (which are way too common in my opinion). The nodes allow you to specifically target the type of resource you actually want.
It's that last point in particular that has been a real boon to me, because for some reason I always find myself confronted with massive imbalances on any material tier that can wield more than one result. It's wonderfully refreshing to be able to just focus on farming what I need. I suppose I always would have had the option to go farming out in the world, but for some reason I've never considered that a viable alternative in this game - probably because travel can be such a pain.
On a side note, all the crafting material decorations also serve their purpose as decorations pretty well. The metal scrap piles and artifacts are a great way of making a room look cluttered (e.g. a storeroom), and the archaeology crystals add a beautiful splash of colour to any apartment. Many of the bioanalysis nodes also make for great substitutes for "proper" potted plants, many of which can be quite expensive.