The current gathering system and how it interacts completely goes against the player experience after the first day. The open world with many different fields feel completely barren when running around after the first day of exploring and collecting everything on the ground and in the trees. How is a system thats meant to enhance the exploration aspect of the beautiful world also made to be so against the players?
The current way the system is set up, a large portion of the player progression system is tied to be able to explore the world and gather materials to enhance weapons and units, unlock potentials, etc. This is a great idea and i personally love the base concept of it. Being a FFXIV player for years and being a maxed out crafter that loves going out and grinding materials in a beautiful open world is something i absolutely love. But respawns are so egregiously bad and so restrictive that it goes against everything that depends on it and heavily breaks player engagement and enjoyment of the system. FFXIV on the other hands does this same system of gathering (not exactly the same but the basis is still there) but it makes it infinitely more rewarding.
Ive walked away from areas for over a day only to come back and find that only half of the nodes respawned. The cave behind the waterfall that leads to a cocoon is a great example of how bad it can be because when you first go in there, that entire cave is littered with nodes to mine. Go back the next day and theres hardly anything there to get. Once you mine the world on the first day you are slowly drip fed nodes and it feels awful.
This leads into how bad it gets when it comes to upgrading weapons. The way nodes are set up its actually impossible to work on more than 1 weapon in any reasonable amount of time. Even if i gather mats everyday, i dont think i can even finish more than 2 weapon on my main class before Braver is released and there are several classes i would love to work on. That is absolutely awful for player experience and it feels like the game is trying to force me to waste time instead of making me want to waste my time.
There is a "workaround" that you can do for this by making and deleting alts but thats not even feasible for people who already filled their character slots with alts they used back in pso2 and no one should have to jump through hoops just to get around such a heavily restrictive system that shouldnt be restrictive in the first place. The world is completely open for people to enjoy or in theory is made for players to enjoy. Let players enjoy it how they want. Theres no reason to artificially inflate play times by making such restrictive systems. People who want to continue to play will continue to play after they finish their main goals and the players who finish what they set out to do and want to go do other things will. But the players who feel like their time was valued and got a lot out of their time playing the game will be back to enjoy it again next patch. Dont make the game feel like people are forced to log in every single day for their daily drippings.
The simplest solution to this entire problem is to make nodes a 3-4 hour respawn. If people clear the map before things start respawning, they at least have the choice to go around and gather more later because they know the nodes will be there. This will make the system feel much more player friendly because youre rewarded for your time. Theres no enjoyment as it is now because youre just exploring a world that feels empty with nodes few and far between.