Up to date as of Jan. 2018.

Skill gain on Outlands works a bit differently than many other servers. Each skill is divided into brackets of 5 points worth of skill - so 0-5, 5-10, etc. Each bracket is given an expected number of uses of the skill to gain through the bracket, which determines the chance to gain per attempt. This is just an expected number - gains are still random and will vary around the expectation. As long as you have some chance to fail and some chance to succeed, your skill gain rate is determined entirely by the bracket you are currently in. Again, which spell you cast or which item you craft, as long as you have some chance to fail and some chance to succeed, does not change skill gain rate.

There are no location based bonuses to skill gain (except the newbie Dungeon). You'll gain at the same rate in a dungeon, in town, or in your house. There is also no bonus to skill gain from being well fed. There is, however, a 5x bonus to the gain rate of some skills after killing a non-tamed, non-summoned creature. This currently can be anything - even a bird in town. This applies to all skills except crafting, harvesting, and animal taming.

There are a lot of skills, so it helps to group them into categories. One key way is the following:

Crafting Skills: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Carpentry, Cartography, Cooking, Inscription, Poisoning, Tailoring, Tinkering

Harvesting Skills: Fishing, Lumberjacking, Mining

Combat Skills: Archery, Fencing, Macing, Swordsmanship, Tactics, Wrestling

Magic Skills: Magery, Resisting Spells

On-Use Skills: The rest of them

Another way to categorize them is whether the skill gain rate is balanced around time or resources. Time-based skills are designed to take a certain amount of time to raise, assuming you are using the skill as often as possible. Resource-based skills are designed to consume a certain number of resources. The resource-based skills are the crafting and magic skills. The time-based skills are the harvesting, combat, and on-use skills.

The time-based skills can be further categorized into 3 groups - easy, medium, and hard. Easy skills are designed to take 80 hours of constant use to go from 0 to 100. Medium skills should take about 120 hours, and hard skills should take about 160 hours. These numbers are without the 5x bonus, so under the bonus it is 16, 24, and 32 hours of constant use. Later in the post each skill will be labeled as easy, medium, or hard accordingly.

The gain rate for combat skills are further normalized for your current swing rate, which is based on your stamina. This means that skilling up with a halberd will take the same amount of time as with a skinning knife - you'll swing many fewer times with the halberd but gain more often to compensate. There is no reason to chug red pots or use a fast weapon for these skills. Most skills, in fact, are normalized in this way where applicable.

Crafting Skills

No 5x bonus. Thank you to Campari for doing full skill up runs for each crafting skill on 3 separate characters to collect average resource costs.

Alchemy

Resources to GM: 110,000 reagents

Notes: It takes approximately 13 hours of crafting to max the skill.

The optimal path from 50-100 is: 50-55 Lesser Poison, 55-75 Lesser Magic Resist, 75-95 Greater Poison, 95-100 Deadly Poison

Blacksmithing

Resources to GM: 220,000 ingots

Notes: You can recycle items as you go, so the total needed is less than 220,000. Full test runs show that you can expect to use about 150,000 ingots in practice if you recycle everything. It will take about 36 hours of straight crafting as well.

Carpentry

Resources to GM: 220,000 boards

Notes: You can recycle items as you go, so the total needed is less than 220,000. Full test runs show that you can expect to use about 150,000 boards in practice if you recycle everything. It will take about 24 hours of straight crafting as well. Thanks to Campari for the data.

The optimal path from 50 to 100 is: 50-65 clubs, 65-75 tambourines, 75-100 bamboo flutes.

Cartography

Resources to GM: 11,000 maps

Cooking

Resources to GM: 22,000 ingredients

Inscription

Resources to GM: 65,000 scrolls

Notes: This will take about 12 hours of crafting to raise.

The optimal path from 50 to 100 is: 50-60 Magic Reflect, 60-80 Energy Bolt, 80-100 Spellbooks

Poisoning

Resources to GM: 27,500 reagents

Tailoring

Resources to GM: 220,000 leather

Notes: You can recycle items as you go, so the total needed is less than 220,000. Full test runs show that you can expect to use about 150,000 leather in practice if you recycle everything. It will take about 24 hours of straight crafting as well. Thanks to Campari for the data.

The optimal path from 50 to 100 is: 50-65 leather gorgets, 65-70 leather gloves, 70-75 leather caps, 75-85 studded gorgets, 85-90 studded gloves, 90-95 studded caps, 95-100 tailoring repair kits.

Tinkering

Resources to GM: 110,000 ingots

Notes: You can recycle the items crafted between 50 and 80 skill, so actual resource usage is approximately 100,000 ingots. It takes about 36 hours of crafting.

The optimal path from 50 to 100 is: 50-75 Laterns, 75-80 Iron Lockpicks, 80-100 Sextants

Harvesting Skills

No 5x bonus.

Fishing

Difficulty: 80 hours

Note: Assumes 30 seconds per attempt. You can fish a lot faster, but you have to find non-depleted spots.

Lumberjacking

Difficulty: 80 hours

Note: Assumes 30 seconds per attempt. You can chop a lot faster, but you have to find the trees.

Mining

Difficulty: 80 hours

Note: Assumes 30 seconds per mine attempt. You can mine a lot faster, but this accounts for searching for ore, smelting, etc.

Combat Skills

These skills do benefit from the 5x bonus and the gain rate is normalized to your swing speed.

Archery

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Note: The chance for an arrow/bolt to fall to the ground after hitting a target is scaled based on the attack speed of your weapon, so it will always consume about 19,000 arrows/bolts to GM archery.

Fencing

Difficulty: Medium (24 hours under 5x)

Macing

Difficulty: Medium (24 hours under 5x)

Swordsmanship

Difficulty: Medium (24 hours under 5x)

Tactics

Difficulty: Hard (32 hours under 5x)

Wrestling

Difficulty: Medium (24 hours under 5x)

Magery Skills

These skills are resource based and benefit from the 5x buff.

Magery

Resources to GM: 11,000 reagents (4866 casts) under 5x

Notes: 0-30 Magic Arrow, 30-40 Fireball, 40-60 Lightning, 60-70 Energy Bolt, 70-90 Flamestrike, 90-100 Summon Air Elemental

Resisting Spells

Resources to GM: 11,000 reagents (4866 casts) under 5x

Notes: 0-30 Magic Arrow, 30-40 Fireball, 40-50 Lightning, 50-60 Mind Blast, 60-70 Energy Bolt, 70-100 Flamestrike.

There may be more efficient paths using field spells or grouping up with AoE spells, but this is the path it is balanced for.

On-Use Skills

These skills, with the exception of Animal Taming, benefit from the 5x buff.

Anatomy

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 2 seconds

Notes: You also gain anatomy passively by swinging a weapon. It is normalized to swing speed such that you'll gain at the same rate passively by using a weapon as you would actively using the skill.

Animal Lore

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 2 seconds

Animal Taming

No Information Available Yet

Item Identification

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 1 second

Arms Lore

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 2 seconds

Notes: You also gain arms lore passively by swinging a weapon. It is normalized to swing speed such that you'll gain at the same rate passively by using a weapon as you would actively using the skill.

Parrying

Difficulty: Hard (32 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 1 second

Notes: This assumes you get hit once a second for 32 straight hours under 5x. You can only gain if the attacker hits you. It may be best to gather a large number of very weak animals and let them hit you while you have 0 weapon skill.

Begging

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 5 seconds on failure, 10 seconds on success

Peacemaking

Difficulty: Hard (32 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 5 seconds on failure, 10 seconds on success

Notes: The formula for peacemaking is such that you always have a chance to succeed or fail on any creature if you have less than 100 skill. The best way to raise this is to attempt to peace the hardest thing you can find so you fail all the time.

Camping

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 3 seconds

Notes: This will take about 9600 camping attempts. Kindling is not consumed on failure.

Detect Hidden

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 10 seconds

Discordance

Difficulty: Hard (32 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 5 seconds on failure, 10 seconds on success

Notes: The formula for discordance is such that you always have a chance to succeed or fail on any creature if you have less than 100 skill. The best way to raise this is to attempt to discord the hardest thing you can find so you fail all the time.

Evaluating Intelligence

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 2 seconds

Healing

Difficulty: Hard (32 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 9 seconds

Notes: This is balanced around a 9 second cooldown, but the fastest you can heal yourself is 10 seconds. You can cross heal at 5 seconds with maximum dex though, so that's the fastest route. You can expect to consume about 6400 bandaids. It isn't clear if you need to switch to cures or resurrections yet.

Forensic Evaluation

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 2 seconds

Herding

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 7.5 seconds

Notes: This may be a 5 second on failure, 10 second on success thing. Needs to be verified.

Hiding

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 10 seconds

Provocation

Difficulty: Hard (32 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 5 seconds on failure, 10 seconds on success

Notes: The formula for provocation is such that you always have a chance to succeed or fail on any creature if you have less than 100 skill. The best way to raise this is to attempt to provoke the hardest thing you can find so you fail all the time.

Lockpicking

Difficulty: Hard (32 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 3 seconds

Notes: You'll need to attempt about 19,200 locks

Snooping

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 1.5 seconds

Musicianship

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 5 seconds

Notes: You also passively gain this while using the other bard skills.

Spirit Speak

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 2 seconds

Stealing

Difficulty: Hard (32 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 10 seconds

Taste Identifcation

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 1 second

Notes: No

Tracking

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 19 seconds

Veterinary

Difficulty: Hard (32 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 5 seconds

Meditation

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 1.5 seconds

Notes: Meditation ticks passively every 1.5 seconds as long as you do not have full mana, whether you are actively meditating or not. You'll gain skill 5x faster while actively meditating, though. The 8 hour number is assuming constant use.

Stealth

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 15 seconds

Remove Trap

Difficulty: Easy (16 hours under 5x)

Cooldown: 3 seconds