Fishing – Don’t Mess With It

I’ve proclaimed my love of fishing on many an occasion.  To me, you’re not an MMO if you don’t have fishing.  UO got me hooked (bad pun) and I’ve needed it since.  I think you can clearly see that the games I stick around with for the longest all have fishing.

Today’s post is about WoW’s fishing system.  And how the devs don’t seem to understand what to do with this bastard stepchild of a profession.


Vanilla fishing was 100% useless, outside of flavor and pastime.  I maxed it anyways.  BC had nothing to do with it until later in the expansion and the funtacular Mr Pinchy grind.  Daily quests started here. WotLK was a bit better, fish gave some rather decent food buffs.  I wouldn’t say mandatory but pretty darn useful – including a new fishing tourney.  Cooking as a whole was pretty neat here.  Cataclysm… let’s not talk about that ok?  MoP brought about a fishing faction.  Hell of a grind but you could become best friends with Pat Nagle, with some pets and vehicles


WoD.  WoD changed fishing and didn’t at the same time.  Where before you needed to fish in pools to get a certain kind of fish, now you could also fish in any water in a zone provided you had bait.  You could only carry 1 bait for a type of fish at a time mind you, but it was common enough to keep you going.  3 types of size of fish, each giving different amounts of flesh for cooking (and first aid and alchemy for some reason).  For an expansion that broke dependencies between the professions, fishing was suddenly super important.

A few interesting notes.  Daily quests in the garrison gave you +1 fishing.  This required you to fillet a fish to get eggs.  Which is fairly reasonable, compared to the progress we’ve had in the past.  It’s a long slosh but that’s ok.  Fishing folk have time right?  Well, given that it was such an integral part of the grind, the devs bumped that to +15 per turn in.  +15 in normal casts is somewhere near the 200 mark.  Each is about 10s or so… do the math on that.  And a level 3 fishing shack took 700 specific fish, so somewhere of 2000 casts at max level fishing.  Not kidding a long slog.

6.1 first pass

So the first patch notes for 6.1 came out and said the following:

  • Fishing Shack
  • You no longer catch bait in your Garrison. However, Nat Pagle (Level 3 Fishing Shack) will give you any of the standard baits if you ask nicely.
  • Lunkers can now be caught from fishing pools and have an improved catch rate with higher fishing skill.
  • Summoned Cavedwellers now drops random fish flesh and drops less Worm Supreme.
  • Fish Eggs used as turn-in for the Fishing Shack Daily quest are now bind on pickup and no longer have a sell value.
  • Fishing
    • Fish caught in Draenor are now automatically filleted.
    • Different sizes of Savage Piranha have been consolidated into Savage Piranha and can be consumed directly for the transformation effect.
    • Players can now always catch enormous fish from pools, regardless of skill.
    • Fish that have already been caught can be converted to the appropriate amount of flesh.
    • Draenor fishing bait now lasts for 10 minutes (up from 5 minutes) and needs to be used within 15 minutes of being caught or it’ll spoil.

When I read this, I thought to myself – the person who wrote these notes doesn’t fish.  

One Day Later

So to give you an idea of how bad this was received by the fishing community, 1 whole day later we get the following:

Thank you all for your feedback regarding the auto-fillet change that was set for Patch 6.1. Based on your sentiment, we’ve gone ahead and made a change we hope will be beneficial for all anglers.

In 6.1, rather than have fish auto-fillet as you catch them, we’re adding a new consumable item called the Bladebone Hook which when used, will enable auto-filleting for one hour. This new item can be purchased from fishing vendors in Draenor.

Just a couple notes: Despite the tooltip, you won’t need a fishing pole to use this item, and it won’t overwrite your lure, bait, fishing line, or anything else.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us!

I have a few more updates for you guys regarding bait which I’m sure you’ll appreciate. These are also slated to be in Patch 6.1 so please be sure to test them out on the PTR and give us your feedback.

  • We’re reverting the change where bait would spoil.

  • Reverting the change where bait could not be caught in your garrison; Nat Pagle will still grant you the bait of your choice (because Nat Pagle).

  • Bait duration is now 10 minutes (up from 5) to mirror the duration of lures.

So can you say 180?

What’s Going On?

On the plus side, it’s nice that the devs are paying attention to the fishing community.  These are the people who spend hours just casting a line in the game.  The amount of effort a dev has to put in for the return is the smallest I can possibly think of.  I mean, I’m sure my Monk has more time spent fishing than leveling.

On the downside, when a dev attempts to put out a change and they have to revert it within 24 hours, it really makes you wonder what the thought process is within their shop.  That the feedback is so unanimously negative in a game of WoW’s size says a lot about the type of changes that can get through to the public.  At some point, you’re hoping that they look at their metrics, their design plan and say “this makes sense, players will understand”.  Then they put it out there and defend it.

Because the alternative, just throwing stuff against a wall and hoping it works out, just isn’t something I want to consider.

4 thoughts on “Fishing – Don’t Mess With It

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s