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While the Gatherer/Refiner obtains the raw materials from Resource Nodes in the wild, and converts the raw materials into quality materials the craftsman can depend on, the craftsman uses the refined materials of many different Refiners to produce finished goods for market.
Crafting skill levels increase with experience. Each successful harvest of a Resource Nodes will gain experience in the skill used. At level 20, you will gain 5.64% per harvest of a level 20 node, but you will gain progressively less per harvest as your level rises above the minimum skill required to harvest that node. Also, as you gain levels above the minimum you will have a better chance of gaining more harvests before the node is depleted, up to the maximum of 6 harvests per node. There is no need to expend Training Points to raise them. Once a Gathering skill is learned, you will be able to gather from higher level Resource Nodes automatically as your level rises, but to refine the raw materials you will have to visit an Instructor to learn new refining recipes. The same with Production skills, but while some recipes can be purchased from an Instructor, others must be found in the world (or purchased from other players via the Auction House) or earned from quests.
Crafters also have Elite skills, gained by completing the tasks listed under Elite Skills Certificate. Again, Elite skills are gained at levels 15, 20, 25, and 30.
Other than the complexity of the recipes, there is no fundamental difference in the how-to of Refining and Production.
Refining has no level progression of its own, instead deferring to the associated Gathering level, and XP earned from Refining contributes to the increase of the Gathering skill (about .27% per refining action).
Refining uses the tools station of the first Production skill listed next to it, so Extraction requires Alchemy tools, Smelting uses Blacksmithing tools, and Woodcrafting needs Carpentry tools.