Did They Ruin Fishing?

Mists of Pandaria promises exciting and sorely needed additions to fishing.  Looking over what we can expect at El’s Extreme Anglin’ and Wowhead makes me reflect on the state of fishing today and its evolution over the years.

A lot of players complain about fishing, but all the complaints basically boil down to the fact that its core mechanic is a bit mind-numbing.  You cast out your lure, wait for a nibble up to 20 seconds, you click on the bobber and loot your catch.  As far as I know the very very basics of this have not changed over the years.

The “waiting for the nibble” mechanic is annoying because you have to pay at least a little attention after you cast in order to catch the moment to click on the bobber.  It’s hard to type in chat when you fish, or even really watch TV in the background.  (By the way, for those who play with the sound off, sound helps a lot with this, the nibble makes a splash noise.)  And have you ever tried to fish with extreme lag?  Not fun.  Having to loot what you catch is a bit annoying but this can be addressed using auto-loot in the interface options.

What has changed is what can you catch, where you can fish, and the math behind gaining skill from fishing.  They’ve also added quests (darkmoon faire and dailies) some of which reward fishing skill points upon completion.

Fishing in Stormwind

The absolutely fastest way to level fishing skill now is so simple that you can write a fishing leveling guide in one sentence — stand by the fishing trainer in your capital city, catch fish, and train the next level as you need until you hit max level.  You gain skill points based on the number of casts you perform no matter what you catch or where you fish.  If you fish in water with a higher fishing level, you lower your chances to catch something interesting, but you don’t lower your chances to gain a skill point.  And you can fish in pools anywhere at any level without catching junk ever.

Fishing while levitated

By streamlining fishing’s leveling process they took away lot of the profession’s “flavor” without addressing what most people find boring about it — having to wait for the nibble.  I’ve always maxed fishing on all my toons, and enjoyed it actually, but even I find it a bit boring when the incentive of the skill point, mini-ding is gone.  So if I race to max level without experiencing different fish or locations, there is never really any incentive to do so other than farming fish for profit.  They basically ended up making fishing even more boring, something most probably thought wasn’t possible.

I’m sure the game’s design team has looked at the core “nibble” mechanic a great deal and it seems like they are pretty set on not changing it.  They could take away the need to click on the bobber altogether, and that doesn’t seem any more radical than the change they made to mining where now you only have to strike the node once to get everything in it.  They could allow you to click on pools to cast into them as well.

In the absence of making changes to the core mechanics of fishing, which I predict won’t happen, I’m hopeful that the addition of new rewards and reputations and quests for fishing in MoP will refresh the profession for a lot of us older anglers.  Making things too fast or too easy takes the fun out of them just as much as them being too slow or too difficult does.

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Desire

The Blog Azeroth shared topic for June 18 – June 24 is:

What is in game that you want, but you can’t have? Is there an animal you want to tame, a critter you want to collect, a tabard that has the perfect design for a transmog set etc etc.

I thought of three things, all seeming unobtainable for different reasons.

  1. The Salty title — “Salty Frinka” would be the title awarded if I could ever get the accomplished angler achievement.  I’m embarrassed to say I have 8 alts with maxed fishing but I simply can’t win a fishing tournament to save my bacon.  The master angler of azeroth requirement is the only one I’m missing.  I’ll keep trying, but it feels hopeless.
  2. The Fox KitThe fox kit is described by some as the toughest farm item in the game, and I just have had no luck.  For the time being I’ve taken a break from trying.  I did the same thing (taking a break) when I was going for the sea turtle mount, but I eventually buckled down and got it.
  3. The forty person raiding experience — This is probably the only item on my list that I can truly never have.  Although I had three 60s I didn’t raid in vanilla.  My social guild did clear Karazahn in BC but we only dabbled into Gruul’s Lair with barely 25 mostly under-geared characters.  My experience with 25s in WotLK was unpleasant, it felt like herding rats, but that was when we were trying to do both 10s and 25s in the same week.  My guess is I’d hate even semi-serious 40-person raiding over the long term, but I’d really like to try it once with a good group at the level and gear that it was designed for.



Reminder: Go to the Darkmoon Faire

Please excuse my tardiness.  It’s my first month blogging, and it didn’t occur to me right away to remind everyone that the Darkmoon Faire is in town this week.  This month the faire ends on Saturday, June 9th at 11:59 pm server time, and does not return again until Sunday July 1st at 12:00 am server time.

In case you’ve never tried the faire before, WoW Insider offers this wonderful guide that explains it all.

Besides being a good change of pace at this time when many players are experiencing an end of the expansion lack of enthusiasm, the faire is of special interest to anyone who has characters with professions below max level.  Faire vendors offer a special quest for each profession that you can complete once per month to receive prize tickets, tokens, gold/XP, reputation, and +5 skill points in the related profession.

  1. You need a minimum profession skill of 75 to obtain these quests.  So do that!
  2. Make sure you have trained sufficiently to receive the +5 skill.  For example, if you are 149/150 in cooking, visit the cooking trainer to raise your cap to 225 before you do the quest.
  3. Some of the quests require materials that you can’t obtain on  Darkmoon Island.  Here’s a list of what to take with you if you have these professions. (The other quests have no outside material requirements)
  4. Make sure you take the items you need to perform your professions if you don’t normally have them in your bags.  For example, grab that fishing pole!  (I’m not sure if you need the items for all other professions, but better safe than sorry.)
  5. Just like a daily quest, when you complete these quests you should make sure to remember to turn them in before the faire ends.  If you are holding a completed quest when the faire ends you lose a chance to complete it for the month.  You’ll be able to turn it when the faire comes back, but that will count as your completion for next month.

Profession quests (primary)

Profession quests (secondary)


New Reference Content

We’re working on adding some reference material to the site for professions and for the auction house.   In my opinion, no one has done this better than El’s Extreme Anglin’.  I’d love to think that in the future that we could offer information half as good for the professions not already covered there.

Please visit the newly posted Auction House Reference page and our Fishing page, and feel free to comment about what reference content you’d like to see in the future.