Hey folks! I made a post about fishing back in 2017 which did get some love but now that fishing has changed and improved so much since then, I'd like to revisit my old post and say a few new things. Old post: https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/fishing.101522/#post-888076 TLDR, scroll down to list! Not sure what B. Cotton's forum tag is, someone give me a hand with that please! But, I did drop him an email about a week ago about this and haven't seen a reply yet. I'm sure the guy is overwhelmed with work! But, I want to get my ideas down regardless of busy schedules. I'm sure some of my ideas will overlap with other people's and be uninteresting to others. That's fine and rest assured, I don't mean to step on anyones toes. But, please keep discussion civil. I'm not making this post to have a huge debate. Just want to fill out another wish list on the wish list sub forum! Firstly, let me say that I've done an enormous amount of fishing before and after the big fishing update. I had Fishing well above GM (I've since lowered my base fishing to GM) and bait recovery GMed before any new additions to the tree were made. I GMed it without any help from a guidance potion or another player with fishing GM. I raised it raw. A bunch of you know how much of a pain that is. The point is, I'm dedicated. Since the new portions of the tree were added, I GMed the rest of it as well. If given the opportunity, I can help make this particular system even better as it progresses. I'm extremely happy with the progress so far. I know quite a bit about fishing in fresh, brackish, and salt water. As a day 1 player, UO player, and an even longer time RL fisherman, I'm in a unique position to provide some significant and useful feedback and design suggestions. I've been fly fishing, used lures, live bait, and cut bait. I've used a cast net, various rods, several crab traps. I've been shark fishing (and caught sharks). I've surf fished and smoked blue fish the same day as catching them. I've caught skates and stingrays. I have even caught a bioluminescent jellyfish (No, I'm not kidding) the freakin' jelly fish gave off light on it's own and it was incredible. So, yeah! And that's not even all of it. I could go on for hours talking about fishing trips and varying amounts of success. While I do believe the changes are going in the right direction, I do have some issues with the current design and feel of the fishing system. I realize it isn't done, but I hope to offer some input on the direction. List: 1. Plain water vs a "Fishing Spot" (water with bubbles coming up) I've fished a LOT in every type of water, including lava. I've fished in the bubble spots for the increased % chance to catch something. In the bubble spots I sometimes see 80-90% vs the 50-70ish I see everywhere else. Yet, even in these fishing spots, I don't seem to get any significant variance in results. I still catch the same common and uncommon fish at roughly the same rate. I don't recall ever seeing a rare fish come from one of the bubble spots. Others have claimed otherwise, this is just my experience. 2. Likelihood of a fish being caught based on a seemingly arbitrary % (insert what is often referred to as "Port Math" here) I've been the defender of "Port Math" on occasion. But, in the case of fishing, I'm not on board with it. At best, it's misleading and at worst, it's flat out wrong. A better understanding OR a more polished experience is in order here. Just my humble opinion. 3. Chance to catch a certain type of fish based on time of day and tide (or lack thereof?) I'm not sure this is a thing. I do hope it's a thing in the future if it isn't now. Not only would this give the entire experience a new level of depth, but I believe it may tie in well with the talks of "Celestial Events" that I've heard you guys talk about on Livestreams a few times. 4. Missing bait types that might be considered crucial by some amateur - professional fisherman. Guys, GUYS! Seriously, you gotta believe me on this one. Cut bait, and whole Bait fish is a big deal in salt water. Basically, chunks of fish flesh/partial fish/whole fish on a hook (or hooks) are tossed in the water to attract and hopefully catch a larger fish. The idea is that a fish will see some fresh meat and possibly some blood, and think, HEY! Easy meal for me! Woo! Then they bite the hook and they become your meal instead. Also, shrimp are a very common bait in salt water. Possible the most common. After shrimp would probably be squid or mullet. But, honestly, the bait used can be very influenced by whatever type of fish are running in the area at that time. There are even specific worms that you can fish in salt water with. (side note, you can fish with shrimp in fresh water too and actually catch fish but mileage may vary) shrimp can be used alive or frozen as bait. shrimp shrimp shrimp!! There's also sardine, herring, and blood worms. The list keeps going for a while. You get the point. For fresh water, we need some earth worms and night crawlers! We need chicken livers for catching catfish (or some other "stink bait") Crayfish are also a great fresh water bait! I could go on for hours about bait. There are effective lures for salt, fresh, and brackish (fetid? I guess replaces brackish) water as well. But, that's another story. 5. Realism vs Immersion. (This is a game and should feel like one. Work should be rewarded) As you can see, I've done a lot of fishing in game. See pictures below: The fish I haven't processed, vendors, or simply destroyed: Of course, hundreds of them are stacked or processed into meat as well. This doesn't even account for the hundreds, nay, 1000+ fish I caught before the fishing update. This isn't meant as a bragging post either. There are people with far more impressive catches than me. But, those people are far more lucky than me. Actually, many of them, and probably the majority of them, haven't even fished a fraction of the time I have and yet, have the RNG-luck to catch the fancy big ones. This is frustrating at best. Hard work should be rewarded within a system (especially in a game). Otherwise, burn out will occur. I've done all the "tricks" and used all the special baits. pale leech>drudge leech>blood leech>shark and so on. But, no. No luck for me. In reality, fishing is called fishing for a reason. You often put bait on a hook, throw out your line, and hope for the best. You fish but do not catch. If you always caught something, it would be called catching instead. I'm not suggesting there should be no effort involved. I'm only suggesting that since this is a game, effort should be rewarded and not just with the same common stuff over and over, especially when the common thing that you catch has nearly no value to speak of. On the other side of the coin, in reality, you can actually rely on predictable behavior from schooling fish in the ocean, structures, shade, and feeding areas in brackish and fresh water. Fresh water has an even easier way to catch fish. You just go to where they spawn and they'll bite nearly anything. 6. Existing baits not giving reasonable bonuses. Hoppers? What? Cool idea for a bait but nothing special here. They don't seem any different from minnows. Minnows do seem ever so slightly better than worms. The whole leech thing is strange and not intuitive. I mean, sure, I get it. Leeches get better leeches that get better leeches and they all allegedly give a higher chance at catching better fish. But, I haven't seen this to be true, with the exception of catching more leeches with leeches. Why aren't black cutworms some sort of rare useful bait? They already exist in game and don't do anything right now. It's already a worm, why not use it? Sardines? I rarely get those and haven't bothered fishing much with them. I saw nothing special when I did use them. At the end of the day, I have not seen a meaningful difference between any of the baits. 7. All POT's being fresh water regardless of placement on the world map. I have to assume this is temporary? If a POT is on the ocean, it should be salt water. If it's inland, it should be fresh or fetid. 8. Sharks aren't hard to get on your hook IRL. They are hard to get in your boat/on the pier/on the beach. If you go to a place where there are sharks swimming around, or simply a place that sharks are known for swimming around. There is a good chance, that if you use a bait that they like, and it's not super obvious that it's bait on a hook, they'll bite it and you'll hook them. This is NOT the hard part. In a boat, you have to fish them up to the side of the boat and shoot or gaff them (a gaff is like a spear). If the shark is too small to keep and you don't intend to bring it in the boat, you will often leave the hook in its mouth if it isn't very easily removed with special long pliers. The hooks usually get stuck. Some people bring them on the boat first, then decide if they will kill them for food or throw them back. There are relatively safe methods for doing this but I've never gone this route. There are other cruel practices that take place as well, but I consider those unsportsmanlike and not worth mentioning here. The hard and dangerous parts about catching a shark are the fight they might give once they realize they're hooked. Their attempts at biting off your hands, arms, legs, or face once they're physically close to you. The sheer weight of lifting one out of the water if it's a really big one. Unless you have a pulley system or a winch, you're going to have a hell of a time getting a big shark out of the water unless you have help. Ohh, and if you catch a baby or adolescent shark, the mother WILL swim around your boat and try to jump in or bash your boat and try to tip it over. They aren't stupid creatures and they do care about their young. The hard part really is not just finding where to catch them or using the right bait. The like meat, they like blood, they like whole fish, they like shrimp, and they like cut bait. They'll eat loads of stuff. You want to fight a RL monster? Fight a shark. In a sense, Sharks. Are. Monsters. But, be prepared, because they will kill you and they don't drop 5-15 gold and some cloth gloves when you loot them. Just some meat and some shark teeth. 9. I like the idea of rare stuff, even with fish! But, the RNG has been a problem in sota for many loot situations, for a long time now. It may be time to take a fresh approach to this. Coming up with something better with fishing could be a good place to start! How about a progressive rating or luck score, or something like that. Some sort of visible or hidden "luck meter" for lack of a better term. Where if you have done X task 1000 times, then you have a bonus hidden % of Y to succeed in that goal. (Loot and how to obtain it is an ongoing issue that should probably be discussed in another thread but it's relevant here too) 10. Cooking - Fish dishes. Not to sound too mean. But, most of the current fish recipes suck. Sure, a few of the impossibly rare ones are kinda neat (HEY INT FOOD FINALLY!!! OHH HAPPY JOY JOY!!) but they're wayyyy too rare. The low level fish dishes are good for RP situations at best. They have no functional value. Unless improved upon either by the cooking skill improving or the recipes themselves improving, they have literally been a waste to create and a waste of time for players to make. Also, dear devs, INT food is NOT over powered. It really isn't. 5 INT isn't going to make or break a scenario where damage is being dealt by magic. Or by giving a slight focus boost to an archer. I digress, please fix fish dishes <3 11. Getting a bite, losing your bait or not, fighting the hooked fish. So, when you get a bite when fishing, sometimes it is absolutely unmistakable. Other times it's like nothing happened. Sometimes if you're holding your pole, you'll feel these slight vibrations on the pole and other times you'll feel nothing. And then, in other instances, your pole will just bend over and if you aren't ready for it, your pole will just fall in the water, never to be seen again. I get how implementing this level of detail in what is essentially suppose to be a "gathering skill" could be a little unreasonable. But, fishing is a very special gathering skill that has a big impact on the player base. A lot of people are interested in fishing being something incredible in Sota. I'm among those players. It's hard not to make it a sophisticated mini-game unto itself without giving other gathering skills an equal amount of love. However, if you are going to give a gathering skill some extra love, this is the one to do it with. This really could go a lot of ways and I suspect however it ends up going, will be really fun and rewarding! Please consider me at your disposal to help with this in any way that I can! (please forgive my typos) Thanks for reading!