Saturday, June 09, 2007


"Fishing?", you say? How can I make fishing actually interesting? You might recall that World of Warcraft had one of the least engaging fishing minigames (Click on the floater when it bobs), and that lead to a bad impression of the fishing trade to the role players at large; it doesn't have to be so. Fishing has been implemented successfully before, with the Breath of fire series as a prime example. Fishing CAN be fun!


The basic fishing game is a two-parter; first you set your equipment, choosing the pole, lure, bait, floater and/or sinker, then throw the line. In shallow water, you might be able to see shadows of fishes, which helps considerably, but most fishing will be done the traditional way : throw the line and wait for a fish to bite. Hopefully, this is shorter in an MMORPG than in real life.

The second part of fishing happens when a fish bites; the player has to wrestle the fish back to shore. Good physical stats will help against bigger fishes, and so will better equipment. The player has to pull when the fish is tired, and relax when the fish is pulling. You get the fish when you manage to pull it all the way to shore.

Of course, there's more to fishing than fishing poles. Net fishing exists, too, but it's harder and more expensive. For net fishing, you need a boat (or a choke point near land). You go at large and try to spot schools of fish; then you throw your net down, and try to catch as many of them as possible before pulling the net. You probably won't get record fish sizes that way, and some areas might be net-proof, but at least you'll feed the family (and perhaps your guild's families as well).

The third and final fishing game is done with a spear or harpoon; the player stands on the side of a fishable area, typically a river, where the fishes have to come close, and then try to hit fishes with the spear; this is similar to a bear trying to catch his lunch (And might be playable if, say, the player is polymorphed as a bear). This game can also be played underwater, if the player can breath there long enough; it's easier to spot fishes within water, but you'll also be easier to spot and avoid.

With three different games to play for potential fishermen, here's hoping people will demand better fishing games pretty soon. A one-click game isn't exactly the most engaging event in a player's life.

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