Gathering Tool Update (April 10, 2018)

As of the April 10, 2018 update, all gathering tools purchased in-game and sold via the Black Lion Trading Post have been updated and split into three components: the gathering tool itself, the skin of the tool, and a power offered via a new upgrade component—glyphs! This new, modular system offers the ability to modify each aspect of your gathering tools: utilizing the wardrobe system to select the animation they play when interacting with gathering nodes, and using glyphs to determine what bonuses they provide as you amass resources from around Tyria.

Below is a breakdown of the changes as well as steps you can take to customize your tools in the new system!

How does the new gathering tool system work?

Following the April 10 update, all gathering tools—both limited and infinite variants—have been split into three distinct components:


This is the tool itself, which determines two things:

  • The level of the tool (what types of materials it can obtain).
  • The number of charges on the tool (whether it is a limited or infinite gathering tool).

All gathering tools have also been updated with an upgrade slot for a glyph (explained in greater detail below).

When you purchase a tool, equip it by double-clicking the tool in your Inventory [I], or by selecting a tool slot and clicking the tool on the Equipment tab of the Hero [H] panel.


The skin now determines what animation plays when you use the tool on a gathering node. Using the wardrobe panel and Transmutation Charges, you can select a tool animation from any you’ve unlocked—similar to how you customize your armor, weapons, and backpack:

  1. Open the Hero [H] panel and select Wardrobe.
  2. Click on an equipped tool to see the available skins.
  3. Select a skin to see the gathering animation in the preview window.
  4. Hit Apply to spend a Transmutation Charge and lock in your changes.

Skins are currently only available by purchasing the different gathering tools via the Black Lion Trading Company.


Glyphs are upgrade components that add a bonus power to your tool whenever you gather from a resource node. Historically, this special bonus would be tied to the tool itself: providing additional materials, extra chances to strike a node, or faster animations. In the new system, you can swap glyphs freely to determine which powers your tools offer—independent of the skins you’ve selected for your tools.

Glyphs can currently be acquired via two methods:

  • Black Lion Trading Company: Certain tools purchased via the BLTC will come pre-slotted with a special glyph. You can see whether it has a glyph by hovering over the tool and reading the blue text in the tooltip.
  • Black Lion Chest: Many new glyphs can be obtained as a rare drop from the Black Lion Chest. Glyphs obtained this way can be traded freely until they are used, at which point they will become bound to your account.

You can add a glyph to a tool by double-clicking the glyph in your inventory and applying it to the tool—similar to how you apply runes or sigils to your armor and weapons. You can do this in your Inventory [I] or on the Equipment tab of your Hero [H] panel.

Glyphs can also be freely removed from your tools in one of several ways:

  • You can manually remove a glyph by right clicking the tool and selecting ‘Remove Upgrade’ from the context menu that appears.
  • You can replace a glyph by double-clicking a glyph in your inventory and applying it to your tool. Any glyph already on the tool will fall back into your inventory.
  • If applied to a limited tool, the glyph will automatically return to your inventory when the tool is depleted.

Note that limited-use tools with inherent bonus effects—such as tools purchased from the Living World maps with karma, or the limited-use glyph tools sold by Gathering Merchants—are the only tools exempt from glyph-swapping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What glyphs are available in the Black Lion Chest?

At present, there are four glyphs available as a random drop from the Black Lion Chest:

  • Glyph of the Tailor: 33% chance to receive bonus cloth scraps when gathering.
  • Glyph of the Leatherworker: 33% chance to receive bonus leather scraps when gathering.
  • Glyph of Industry: Gathering completes 50% faster.
  • Glyph of Flight: Increased movement speed for 5 seconds after gathering completes.

You can also buy them from the trading post as other players make them available, so be sure to search for them there!

Q: What's going to happen to the infinite tools I already own?

Existing unlimited gathering tools with bonus effects (i.e. the Watchwork Mining Pick, Lucky Dog Harvesting Tool, and Infinite Unbound Magic Gathering Tools) now contain a glyph when you purchase them from the Black Lion Trading Company:

  • Watchwork Mining Pick (Glyph of the Watchknight): 33% chance to receive a bonus Watchwork Sprocket with each strike.
  • Lucky Dog Harvesting Tool (Glyph of the Scavenger): 33% chance to receive a bonus fine crafting material with each strike.
  • Infinite Unbound Magic Gathering Tools (Glyph of the Unbound): Rewards unbound magic while gathering.

If you already own these tools, visit a Black Lion Exchange Specialist in any major city or lounge to trade them for an updated version at no cost.

Q: Will new glyphs be made available in the future?

Yes. New glyphs will be added to the Black Lion chest over time, as well as new gathering tools that come pre-slotted with their unique glyphs.

Q: Will the ‘Sprockets’ and ‘Unbound Magic’ glyphs be added to the Black Lion Chest?

Eventually, yes! Our plan is to add both of these (and more) glyphs to the Black Lion Chest in future updates.

Q: Are there other ways to get the same bonus effects as the Black Lion glyphs?

We’ve already added a new type of merchant—creatively named Gathering Merchants—to each major city and lounge. These merchants sell limited versions of the glyph tools for 7,350 karma. Search for the sickle icon on your map!

As new glyphs are added to the Black Lion Chest, we will also add an equivalent tool to these merchants.

Q: Do you intend to introduce far more powerful effects than the ones currently available?

No. Glyphs are meant to be (roughly) equivalent to each other—there are no “minor” or “superior” glyphs like there are runes or sigils. The goal is instead to provide a variety of options that allow you to customize your tools to your individual style: allowing you to customize the look and rewards you earn as you gather materials from around the world.

Q: Will the Advanced Harvesting tools (available via the Laurel Merchant) change in this new system?

These tools will be getting a glyph slot, but will otherwise behave and perform the same as they did in the past. They’ll still have a higher number of charges than normal tools, and will retain the improved chance to obtain rare drops.

Q: The Consortium Harvesting Sickle is already faster than other harvesting sickles; is this intended?

It is! The speed of the sickle is inherit to its design, and we don’t want to take away that advantage from players who bought it specifically for its speed. With the Glyph of Industry, we’re okay with you increasing the speed even further if that’s the bonus you choose to slot into your tool.

Q: How do these changes affect skins that collect multiple “hits” on a resource node all at once, such as the Unbound Magic Harvesting Blast?

Similar to the speed advantage of the Consortium Harvesting Sickle, these bonus effects are tied to the skin themselves. Players who continue to use the Unbound Magic Harvesting Blast as their tool skin will notice that this behavior is no different from before the update.

Q: Will there ever be a way to obtain gathering tool skins via gameplay?

While we won’t say “never,” this is not the plan at this time.

Q: Will there ever be a way to earn glyphs via gameplay?

Similar to above, this isn’t something we’re ruling out, but it is not in the works at this time.