|Here is How You Work Lockpicking Post-AoS, by TreasureHuntress of Great Lakes
Ok, I haven't GM'd it yet, but I figured some folks may be able to benefit from my knowledge while I attempt to get my last 50 gains.
When I created my new T-hunter, I didn't start her out with Lockpicking, so I bought it up to 31 from a thief guildmaster. I found out, after the fact, that tinkers can also teach you Lockpicking, but even the tinker guildmasters don't train you quite as high as a thief GM does. The thief guildmasters can be hard to find sometimes, but there does seem to be one in every town. I suggest running around the smaller towns looking for him/her...the south Island of Jhelom seems to be a good place to always find one.
Once I had my 31 skill points in Lockpicking, I also bought up 30 skill in Tinkering and Carpentry and made myself 20 of the little orange boxes. I stuck them all in a bag, along with a keyring with all of the keys on it and I worked on those for quite some time. On a side note here...it's the Tinker skill that matters when it comes to getting Lockpicking gains. Carpentry matters only in the fact that if you have no Carp skill, then you will fail miserably when attempting to make your boxes.
My 30 Tinker skill boxes took me to about 58, before the gains stopped completely. The gains did slow down around 52, but I continued to pick them anyways. I did have a few runs thru my boxes without gaining anything, but as I continued to pick, I discovered, at the lower levels, that you don't necessarily have to get a gain out in the world in order for them to reset. Just keep picking and the gains will come. This isn't true once you hit the GM boxes, but it certainly is at lower levels.
Around 58 Lockpicking, I created a newbie char with 50 Tinkering/50 Carpentry and made myself 20 more boxes. I suggest starting out with about 60 boxes of 50 Tinker skill, if you can, as I ended up adding 40 more in later. The gains slowed down quite a bit until I added more targets, so you might as well start out with the higher number to save yourself the grief of slow/no gains. My 50 Tinker skill boxes took me to just over 75 and at this point, I'd spent all of four hours (total picking time, including macro setting and box making) on my new picker. Not too shabby, I thought!
Anyways, at 75ish Lockpicking, I got my GM Tinker husband to make me 100 GM boxes. Again my suggestion would be to get 200 boxes at the start, as I had to add another 100 in later, because my gains became close to non-existant over 90. I got to 90 picking in another 2 hours of constant picking and than the gains did die down in a major way. Once I added in the second 100, I got to 95 within another two hours of picking all 200 boxes. So yes, GM Tinker boxes do still take you to 95 Lockpicking.
Now once I hit 88 Lockpicking, I did start hitting the dungeon chests just for a little variety. I saw a few gains here and there, but nothing really worth mentioning, although I did rake in alot of cash during this process. I hit a few walls with only 100 GM boxes and picked for several hours without any gains...both dungeon chests and GM boxes, but I have left out those times and included only my actual times of when I was gaining. If you start out with the maximum number of boxes, I think you should be able to get your Lockpicking up to 95 in record time.
Doing things the way I did them, I ran thru very few lockpicks. I was able to open all boxes at the Lockpicking levels I mentioned, except for when I switched over to GM boxes. I wasn't opening them, reliably, until about 80 skill, so I did go thru a handful of lockpicks from 75 to 80. This is a major change from the way things used to be, but a good one, I thought.
On another side note here...this way of raising Lockpicking is very boring, but it's much quicker than if you were to only rely on gains from chests that spawn thruout Sosaria. You certainly make more money picking dungeon chests, but I was out to see how fast I could do it...not how much money I could make while training. Even with all of my walls and such, this took me less than a week to reach 95 Lockpicking, from 0. It can be done much quicker than that even, but I don't have endless hours to play every day and besides...I think less than a week is pretty darn good.
I hope this helps some of you aspiring treasure hunters. I found it quite interesting to see that Lockpicking still isn't a hard skill to gain in up to 95, so long as you have the resources available to you. I still think the hard part is once you hit 95 and have to rely solely on dungeon chests for gains. I will post more findings once I get thru that period and actually GM...again. Good luck everyone!
Edit: Well, in less than two months, I managed to GM my Lockpicking. From 95-96 I was seeing 2-3 gains per hour of picking. Once I hit 96, there were only two times that I gained more than just my GGS gain...once from 96.9-97.2 and then again from 98.9-99.1...other than that, all my gains were strictly GGS. Boy has GGS sure made this skill a snap to GM...it simply takes time.
For those that don't already know it, all of these last 50 gains did come from dungeon chests. I only had 9 locations that I frequented, as they were pretty out of the way places that noone else seemed to pick. I used this link to find which places I wanted to pick. It's a great guide to all dungeon chests and it came in very handy.
I, still, truly believe that you get your best gains from level 3 dungeon chests. I did get three gains (out of 50) from level 4s with this char, but that's still not a very significant amount, IMO.
So there ya have it! GM Lockpicking in about two months. And as I said earlier in this post...I don't play every day...I'm a pretty casual player, and I still managed to GM a treasure hunter in just under two months. Not too awful, considering how it used to be! Once again...good luck to those still trying!
...with thanks to napaaolsiege for lockpicking research...