Harvesting, Excavation, Logging, and Mining
Harvesting, excavation, logging, and mining are collectively referred to by players as HELMing, and are all done in a very similar manner. First, the player must acquire one or more of the appropriate implement necessary: a Sickle for harvesting, a Pickaxe for excavation and mining, or a Hatchet for logging. Next, the player must travel to the area where they wish to HELM.
The type of gathering that can be done and the items available are entirely dependent on the area; only a couple at most such activities can be done in one area (such as logging and harvesting in Yuhtunga Jungle) and most areas cannot be HELMed at all. The player must locate the appropriate type of targetable point; these spawn at random, only have a few spawned at one time, and do not appear on Wide Scan, but only spawn in a limited number of predetermined locations.
Finally, the player must use the HELMing tool on the gathering point. This may or may not succeed in extracting a random material; the attempt may or may not break the tool whether it succeeds or fails; and upon success, the gathering point may or may not despawn and respawn somewhere else.
While HELMing, one's chances of success may be increased and chance of tool breaking decreased by acquiring certain items. The Field Tunica set (tunica, gloves, hose, and boots) gives enhanced chances of success when worn, but it has nearly nonexistent defense and offers no other stats (the Worker's Tunica set is the high-quality version, and offers very slightly better defense).
The Field Torque likewise increases success but has no other stats. Certain key items sold by the Pioneer's Union in Western Adoulin—the Critical Chop, Critical Smash, and Critical Slice techniques—give a chance to obtain a higher quality result than normal with the appropriate HELMing tool, much like the gathering version of a critical hit. The Pioneer's Union also sells other key items—the Cherished Axe, Cherished Pick, and Cherished Sickle—that give a random chance to prevent a tool breaking. Chances of success are decreased by gathering fatigue, which builds up as the player gathers in the same zone.
Clamming requires players to play a simple minigame involving correctly guessing when to stop filling the clamming bucket. Each attempt costs gil. Wearing the swimsuits obtainable at during the Sunbreeze Festival seasonal event increases chances of success and lowers the chance of the bucket being swept out to sea in an 'incident'.
In order to dig up items with a chocobo, one must be riding a chocobo, and have one Gysahl Greens for every dig attempt one wishes it to make. Chocobo digging does not require finding any sort of gathering point but chocobos can only be ridden in certain zones. One merely selects the dig command from one's character's context menu. Chocobo digging works more like fishing in that it has a skill associated with it (although digging skill total is hidden).
Like fishing, chocobo digging skill lowers delay allowed between attempts (which is the only way that it can be measured at all). Also like fishing, there is a (completely hidden) 'pool' of items (different for each zone) that can be gathered at any given time that is shared by everyone digging in the entire zone; if the item pool runs out, no one will be able to dig anything until it refills (every 60 minutes).
Chocobo digging results are affected primarily by digging skill. Chocobo digging, like fishing, is subject to a hidden daily limit imposed by fatigue. Wearing the Blue Racing Silks obtainable from Chocobo Racing will greatly ease this limit. The Egg Helm obtainable from the Egg Hunt seasonal event adds various eggs and egg-related items to the list of items obtainable by digging. Weather effects will add crystals and elemental ores to the items list as well.
Certain zones have Goblin Diggers that will wander very widely all over the zone; ever so often, they will stop to bury their 'treasure'—actually mostly junk like Rotten Meat, Fingernail Sacks, Chicken Bones, but sometimes Beastcoins. The goblin will jump up and down (presumably to pack down the loose soil) when they do this. If a player has their chocobo dig in the exact spot where the goblin buried their junk, they can dig it up. The items obtained can be given to a male hume named Orlando who lives in Mhaura and collects goblin junk; this counts towards the repeatable quest "Orlando's Antiques".