I should build a category for this topic. I keep coming back to it.
I love to fish. I’ve found that most people who love to fish love it for the same reason, and it’s a reason that’s hard to properly explain. Getting fish into the boat is the perk. The act of fishing is the reward.
I’ve been somewhat fascinated by fishing in video games. I mean the real act of fishing, not the Bass Tourney type games. Where fishing is a side thought, a pastime that takes a 180 from the rest of the content.
Ultima Online’s fishing was like this. For the longest time it provided no benefit – just more fish. Boats were used as a method of transport – and once you had runes, then there wasn’t a whole lot of point to boats. Eventually they revamped fishing to be its own world. You’d fish up messages in a bottle, go out to sea to fight serpents and collect maps, then dig up treasure on islands. At the time, I had done most everything the game offered and this was an awesome combination of the best parts. I had 2 character builds that I built up and kept selling those accounts to fund real life things (FWIW, they went for $600USD then or ~$900USD today).
Fishing in MMOs since then has been relatively simple. Rift is the gold standard in terms of it as activity. You only need a pole, but can craft lures to get better, and it’s not a 1-2 click event. Rewards are achievements mostly, with some pets included. FF14 is close, but the leveling system makes it less fun. Its a profession versus a pastime.
WoW takes a weird approach. Pat Nagle is the most famous NPC who has never thrown a punch. For 15 years he’s sent anglers to their death chasing the weirdest of quests. There have been raid bosses that needed fishing. The common part between expansions is that fishing is a core requirement for the best food buffs. So there’s some reward to being a fisher, rather than anything else. But the fishing meta usually involves some super convoluted plot to have you explore the world and get some super rare set of fish and unlock a neat gimmick.
- Vanilla: Stranglethorn fishing tourney, time-based and you needed to get a special fish first to win.
- TBC: Daily fishing quests for pets!
- WotLK: Daily quests, the fountain coins, and a new fishing tournament
- Cataclysm: Daily quests like TBC.
- Pandaria: The anglers faction node – with the ultimate reward of a Water Strider (and the Raft).
- WoD: More daily quests for rare fish, with cosmetic rewards. There’s a water strider here too, but it’s much harder to get than the Pandaria version. Pat Nagle lives in your garrison though, so that’s neat.
- Legion: A fishing pole artefact that requires fishing ultra rare fish. Can breathe underwater, walk on water, teleport to nodes and avoid combat.
- BfA: A simple start of catching all fish types in Mechagon, which goes to 11 quickly with special goggles that cause fish bubbles to spawn. Clicking the bubbles in certain zones / time of day / being dead catches different fish. Reward is a personal ocean to fish from.
I’ve never won a fishing tournament. The timing just doesn’t work for me, and the only time I did well (3rd place) I didn’t even realize it was going down. Aside from that, I’ve completed 90% of the fishing activities per expansion. The Angler faction was amazing. The Legion fishing quests were a ton of fun, and the pole artefact is still amazing. BfA feels more like finding a secret to get the ultra rare drops figured out, more tedious than actual fishing (since I need to move to collect bubbles).
It’s still impressive that I keep falling back into the fishing mode. After all these years and all these games. If it has fishing, it automatically gets a play. Now give me my Weather Beaten Hat and give me a cold one.
I like fishing too. 🙂
Small nitpick: The NPC is called Nat Pagle… Pat Nagle is the RL Blizzard employee he was named after, heh.
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I have been making that mistake since he first appeared!
Fishing in Black Desert and ArcheAge is also more involved than just clicking the mouse a few times. To me both sytems are quite fun, though I prefer ArcheAge’s.
It’s also pretty lucrative to boot in ArcheAge, and can even be done in lakes nowadays, which negates any possibility of unwanted PvP if one so desires.
I should read up more on those. I’ve been dismissing them for some time due to the PvP aspects.
In my experience non-consensual PvP is all but absent in Black Desert. I’ve been attacked like three times total in quite a lot of hours played, and it was always about claiming a grindspot. Having been attacked just for the hell of it: zero.
Fishing and sea content in general is pretty great, but not quite as great as in ArcheAge for my taste.
In ArcheAge the PvP is a bit different. It’s possible to avoid it completely, but to do so is a bit cumbersome to say the least. As I said sport fishing (which is the ‘real’ fishing via minigame) can be done in safe zones though, so fishing in peace is no problem at al.
If you’re interested about the games in more detail, I’ve written a lot about both in the past few years. #shamelessplug 🙂
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