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I Finished the Tutorials... Now What?

Duffy Swiftshadow
Just a slight correction to Aeryx, you'll only find shiny rocks in mountains, hills, or meteor hexes. They do not appear in plains or forest hexes.
@Duffy, True. I simply spend most of my time in those, so I'm just a victim of my perception.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Don't want the new guys wandering the woods confused like me on day one :-)

Side note you can find ore in midden heaps through out all the hexes, tho it's not as reliable a source.
Ryan Dancey
Read more about Settlements here.

PS: If any Settlement wants to update that text, just email with your revisions.
Thanks for the advice.

I see a lot people and guides telling me to "Join a settlement." But what does that mean? How do I do it? Where do I go, whom do I talk to, etc.? How do I know what a good one is? The guides I've seen talk a lot about "big picture" goals, but are light on the details about how to go out and do it.
This is the tricky part:
A good settlement depends on your definition of 'good'. (This is where I'd normally tell you to join PFU for 2-3 weeks while you check out the different groups, but instead I say thissmile

1: The most important factor is the people - however just about everyone in the game so far as nice people, so it comes more down to playtimes, playstyles (pvp, pve, casual, rp), sense of humour, how seriously you take the game etc. Bascially you have to hang out on the voice servers or go fight escalations with people to get to know them.

2: There are some mechanics differences too, and in time there will be more. Type and level of training offered, proximity to terrain types (for gathering/crafting), monster home hexes and trade hubs. In time, settlements will focus on different buildings, have different alignments, support different deities etc. Longer term, settlements will either try to be exansive power blocks that cover all bases, or will be specialized niche settlements. But at the moment the only meaningful difference between settlements are the people.

I'm tentatively focusing on playing as a divine smiting type, and mining/metalworking on the side (based loosely on one of my PFS characters). Are there particular areas where I can find specific resources I'm looking for, or at least where specific nodes are more common? Or is it all randomly generated?
This is the simple part!

As covered above, everything with metal requires coal and ore - both found by mining rock nodes (and some places by scavenging trash). The system is mostly deterministic:
-Terrain type and geographic region determines what base resources should be available. Some mountains are rich in iron, others in copper. Northern forests have pine, southern have yew.
-Some hexes have a variation in this table: a single hex on a big plain has coal in the trash nodes.
-Harvesting pulls a random resource from those remaining in the hex (and available for that node type). If the hex becomes depleted you will start finding heavier versions of the resources.
-Higher skill gives faster gathering and a chance of more resources. Ranks 7 and 14 give access to new tier resources.
Foxglove - of Pathfinder University (PFU/Riverbank)
Silkworm - of Phoenix Industries (TEO/Brighthaven)
On these boards I never speak for TEO, only for myself or PFU. Contact me if you want to hold a guest lecture for PFU
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