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Fishing: What lurks beneath? [Updated]

David Bowers

I had read the news that, in patch 2.1, many more fish would be added to the waters of Azeroth and Outland, so that every time you cast a line in, one of them would bite. So, as I leveled up my draenei hunter, dreaming of one day becoming great like my hero (with a Big Red Lizard or something), I thought, "I'll just wait until after patch 2.1 to start fishing! Then I'll be able to get a bite every time, and level up my fishing a lot faster!" So, soon after the patch came out, I found myself questing along the shoreline of Feralas and wishing I could fish up all those schools of valuable fish and boxes of floating treasure. "Well, self," I said to myself, "Now's the time to give fishing a try!"

I was so wrong. Fishing is still astoundingly boring. After about two hours of fishing in Darnassus with lures, from a skill level of 1, I reached a mind-numbingly dull skill level 19. The abominable sense of wasting time shocked me all over again. Usually your fish will bite, only to get away! Often, your fish will bite within the last 0.2 seconds of your fishing cast time, and latency makes your click on the bait come after the cast time is finished. You actually have to click the bobbing bait thingy before you hear the splashy sound in order to have a chance at catching it.

So there I was, staring like a hawk at my computer screen, ready to click in the last split seconds of the cast time, dreading another "your fish got away!" message, and thinking, "This should be better! How would I improve it?" Then, suddenly, I remembered a certain piece of Blizzard fan art I had seen (which still makes me chuckle whenever I see it) and I suddenly sensed the tremor of monstrous ideas rising up from the depths of my subconscious.

Brilliant fishing improvement ideas after the jump. Don't forget to see the larger version of this art, too!

1. Attack of the Bog Monster! -- What if every time you clicked on the bobbing bait thingy, there was a chance that you would pull up a giant monster or legged shark or something? The difficulty of this monster would vary according to the level of the water your fishing in, but now and then, you could fish up a rare monster with extra special loot of some kind... like... Mr. Pinchy! or even a snazzy fishing pole upgrade!

2. More ways to fish! -- What if you could buy this net and then swim around in the water with it, picking up fish as you go? What if druids in aquatic form could just swim around and open their mouths to catch fish? What if the [Dwarven Fishing Pole] or [Goblin Fishing Pole] really worked? Just BOOM and blow dem fishies right outta the water! Then we could swim around and loot their dead (and already cooked) fishy bodies!

3. Fishing teamwork! -- What if engineers could craft special fishing machines that attracted and caught fish, like steam tonks, only boats or submarines instead of tanks, so that you could speed around and catch fish or blow them up with your friends (and maybe blow up your friends' fishing tonk boats too, while you're at it)? Or better yet: What if you could somehow acquire, through a quest perhaps, a special murloc disguise that would allow you to enter an entirely different MMO within every pond! World of Fishingcraft! You could spend hours every day with your guild school-mates grinding Oily Blackmouth rep in order to convince some of these fine fish to just swim up on to the shore and die for you.

4. Raise the fishing success rate! -- This should be really really easy, Blizz! Just up that chance of little fishies biting your bait! Save on wasted time! Yay!

Blizzard, if you're reading this, please listen to us! Do something to make fishing interesting and fun, not just marginally less tedious and boring! Pleeeeeeeze!

Update: A lot of commenters haven't had the same tedious experience as I had, it seems. Some very helpfully suggested trying to fish in Teldrassil or Elwynn, the actual starting zone itself, not the main city. I had assumed that Darnassus would share the same fishing difficulty with the rest of Teldrassil, but apparently it's on the same skill level as Darkshore, which would explain my frustrating "your fish got away" messages.

This just goes to show you that what seems obvious to you may actually be an assumption, not necessarily be true at all (nor obvious to everyone else). It also shows that not even WoW Insider bloggers are all-knowing or absolutely right about everything, and we all have things to learn from each other. Many of you shared how much you like fishing now, and that may encourage those of us who didn't like it at first to give it another try.

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