May 10, 2014
Five of the six crafting skill lines in ESO include a skill called Keen Eye that helps you spot crafting ingredients in the wild. The first point in each Keen Eye skill causes gathering nodes for a particular craft (e.g., ore for Blacksmithing) to glow when your character is within a 20-meter radius. Additional points increase the radius to 30m and 40m respectively.
The usefulness of this skill varies greatly from craft to craft and, to an extent, from player to player. That said, I’ve found (through experiment and informal polling on guild and zone chat) that some variants of Keen Eye are almost universally helpful, while others don’t help much at all.
Keen Eye: Reagents
Worth it? Yes.
There are all sorts of plants in Tamriel; many are useful for potion-making, but just as many are purely decorative. A point in Keen Eye: Reagents will help even experienced alchemists to distinguish useful herbs from the mundane shrubs and saplings that dot the landscape.
Keen Eye: Ore
Worth it? Probably not.
Ore nodes tend to be found in fairly predictable places — at the edges of zones and alongside rock formations. Additionally, many ore nodes have a telltale color (Orichalcum is bright green) or texture (Dwarven Ore has an eye-catching metallic luster).
Keen Eye: Cloth
Worth it? Yes.
The situation here is similar to Alchemy — fibrous plants are tough to spot, and many zones have decorative “decoys” that cannot be gathered. Low-level plants (i.e., Jute and Flax) are less of a problem, as they have showy, brightly-colored flowers. However, the mid-level reagents (Cotton, Spidersilk) are wispy, neutral-colored plants that blend into a wide variety of background textures.
Keen Eye: Rune Stones
Worth it? No.
Unlike most other crafting reagents, the rune stones used for Enchanting glow all on their own. Their red, purple, and green flames stand out like trail blazes against most natural backgrounds.
Keen Eye: Wood
Worth It? Probably not.
Like the ores used by Blacksmiths, the rough lumber for Woodworking tends to be easy to spot even without the help of Keen Eye. The nodes themselves are large and stand out from most grass and stone surfaces, and they almost always appear underneath trees.
Incidentally, I recommend allocating no more than one Keen Eye point per craft unless you’re truly at a loss for places to spend your points. Also, disabling Grass (under Settings:Video) will make most reagent nodes easier to spot. (The effect is especially noticeable for Alchemy and Clothing nodes.) Of course, this makes the game look less realistic and more “spliney,” but you can always toggle the grass back on when you’re not in gathering mode.
Data for this post was gathered in May 2014 using version eso.live.188.8.131.520598 of The Elder Scrolls Online. It may not reflect changes introduced in subsequent patches of the game.