Nodes are locations on the map. Nodes can be activated by investing Contribution Points at the Node Manager. If two adjacent ones are activated the nodes become connected. This allows automatic transport between their Warehouses for lower prices (otherwise one pays 3x the fee) and manual trade between them for full pricing (otherwise you only received 30% of the item price).
Furthermore activating a node allows you to invest Energy into the node which in turn gives you bonuses in the node area such as more loot drops.
Activating a node is also necessary to automatically assign workers to gather resources from resource nodes and bring them back to the region's Warehouse. Certain Nodes not only have regular Resource Nodes attached to them but can have additional Hidden Nodes too. The latter become available at the Node Manager if one talks with the Node Manager and pays 35 Energy. Afterwards they are unlocked for workers. Hidden Nodes offer special resource gathering for workers, like the excavation node at the Ancient Stone Chamber for Trace of Earth and Trace of Ascension. Another Hidden Node is at Lynch Farm.
Types of Nodes
There are currently two types of Nodes. These are: Location Nodes and Resource Nodes.
Resource nodes are places you can send your workers to gather resource or make financial investments for you.
Each resource node belongs to a location node. Before you can assign workers to a resource node its location node needs to be connected with a node where you have purchased lodging for a worker. Farms, Forests and Mines belong to Trading Posts, Connection nodes and Dangerous nodes. Investment nodes can be found at Village nodes.
How to Connect Nodes
City or Town nodes you visit are automatically activated without needing contribution points. When connecting nodes it is best to start from Cities or Towns you have discovered then work your way out. Location Nodes that can be connected will have a white line from one to the other. Nodes that are currently connected will have a yellow line linking them together.
To connect nodes you must first go in person (!) to the Node Manager NPC. To find the node manager you can right-click the node icon to set a pathfinder. Once you are at the node manager, speak to him/her and press “Node Management”.
This will open the map and show any location or resource nodes neighbored or belonging to the location node. If there are nodes you haven’t discovered that can also be connected to the node you are at, the locations will be shown on the map.
In the top left corner of the node manager you will see a window showing all the node information such as whether the node has a Trade Manager (sometimes Node Manager and Trade Manager are the same person), the country, territory, node managers name, which guild is currently controlling the node and the amount of contribution points it will cost to invest in the node/activate it. If you activate a note that is neighboring already active nodes, they will be connected.
To connect the nodes, click “Invest”.
To cancel the connection between nodes you can open the map at any time, click on the node icon, then click “Withdraw”. This will refund your contribution points. In the case that you have invested energy to level up the node, withdrawl of contribution points will reset this.
You need to visit a Node Manager in person to activate it but you can withdraw from anywhere any node through the map - as long as it is not connected to two other nodes. Basically you can only withdraw from activated nodes on the outskirts of a node network.
You can also further invest in a node using energy. This will increase the nodes level. The higher the level, the more loot drops you will get from monsters in this area.
The map below shows location and resource nodes along with all the ways that they can connect. Currently fishing and miscellaneous nodes are missing from the map.