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So I took advice from some guides regarding picking up items for gathering professions early on, and have myself a copper scythe, copper mining pick and copper axe.

In some areas though, whenever I gather I end up with 'ruined ore' or 'ruined wood', which when hovered over for the tooltip in the inventory screen suggests I should get better tools to prevent wasting gathers.

How many different levels of cools are there, and where can I get each level of tool from?

Is it worth getting these early on or are they generally a waste in the lower level areas?

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There are six different levels of gathering tools, and they can be bought from merchants in any of the capital cities. Merchants and Karma vendors located inside of zones will usually sell gathering tools appropriate to the level of the zone as well.

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Pretty much any merchant anywhere will sell gathering tools. –  DavidYell Nov 30 '12 at 15:29

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