Just to go back to this idea, do we have confirmation on whether a companion's critical bonus on a gathering skill (e.g. Akaavi Spar on Bioanalysis, or M1-4X on Scavenging) affects node-gathering in the world?
It would make sense if it did, since there are distinct options in game for either having your character gather the node or having your companion do it - which is to say, a node that is close to some mobs, where you can reach it but your companion might take a step too far, would cause you to have to fight those mobs if you want the shot at getting extra materials from your companion's superior gathering skill.
Having said that, there are plenty of people who seem to think that a companion's gathering skill bonus has no effect on how much you'll get from a node (which is usually two, three or four of the item in question).
So which is it? Is it worth having T7-01 out to slice those Durasteel Footlockers on Ilum, does anyone know? Are Inquisitors who force Talos Drellik to dig in the dirt for Primeval Artifacts just wasting their time?
Thanks kindly in advance
You don't critical on nodes. Some slicing nodes occasionally have uncommon items, but nowhere near the level of crew missions. The main reason I (very strongly) believe gathering nodes do cannot 'crit' and do not receive companion critical bonuses, is because efficiency bonuses have no effect whatsoever on gathering nodes, and this I *have* tested.
Considering the chance to get uncommon items from slicing nodes is probably less than 1/100, if you received a bonus 2% chance, you'd absolutely notice. No other nodes give you bonus items regardless, and they would not have slicing nodes 'crit' and the other gathering nodes not.
So, to hopefully lay this to rest, gathering nodes *do not* critically hit nor do companions have any effect whatsoever on gathering them, only on the missions. You are welcome to test this yourself and come to your own conclusions, but this is my conclusion based off the tests and information I have gathered.
PS: Regardless of whether or not you believe gathering nodes 'crit' or not, I can say with absolute certainty, that crew skill bonuses have zero effect on gathering nodes.