Give a toon a fish, and he’ll sell it as vendor trash.
Teach a toon to fish, well that’s a different story.
Both World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online offer fishing.
Mechanically, the operation is fairly similar in both games.
In LotRO you click a button to cast. (The button is where you’ve put your “hobby” ability, and fishing is a hobby.) When you see that a fish has taken the bait, you click the same button to snag it and reel it in. It’s a pretty good graphic. There’s a string out to the bobber. When it lands, it lands with a wet plop, and sinks a bit, with ripples. Then it bobs to the surface, settles, the ripples are gone, and you wait. You’ll actually see fish flicker in and out of the bobbers vicinity. You’ll actually see a fish begin to nibble, and then yank the bobber underwater. Your character reacts a little by bracing himself. Once you see the ripples of the bobber being pulled under, or see yourself react by bracing, it’s time to hit the button again and reel it in. Cast and reel in enough times and you’ll earn some skill ups in the hobby. There’s also a limit to the number of skill ups you can earn in a day. It seems to be 10. At least the first two days I fished I got 10 and 10.
Warcraft is kind of the same. You can have your fishing on a hotkey/button. Clicking it casts your line, and you similarly watch a bobber. When the bobber reacts with a splash, as it’s being pulled under, you click on the bobber, not the button you used to cast, to see if you’ve caught something. The more skilled you are at fishing, the more casts it takes to level up to the next skill point. But, if you’re dedicated, you can get a lot of skillups in day.
In LotRO it would appear you can cast your line anywhere. You’re skill doesn’t matter when it comes to choosing where to cast your line.
Now in WoW, it used to matter. If you weren’t skilled enough yet, you were limited to where you could fish. Without any skill, you could not fish in Menethil Harbor, for example. You had to earn your skill in Auberdine first, then you graduated to fishing in higher level areas. Now, it seems the rules have changed. You appear to be able to fish anywhere, regardless of your skill. It might limit you to what you can catch, trash versus catch of the day, but you can at least fish for the fishing daily items at any skill level of fishing.
I don’t think LotRO offers anything of true practical use that could be caught with fishing. You appear to be able to reel in the occasional trophy, to be stuffed and displayed in your house, but I don’t think they have food fish that get used in cooking. Though cooking is a well developed craft ability in LotRO, it appears farming and gathering is the source of raw materials for the aspiring chef, and not hunting or fishing. (Are they all vegans in Middle Earth?) Because I think I’ve fished for long enough, I’ll get to that, to have fish up something edible if it existed.
In WoW, fishing is almost required to level up cooking. And there’s some pretty good buff foods available to be made with fish. And doing the fishing dailies garner you cash and sundries and the occasional blinged out fishing rod. (I think everyone fishes with sticks in LotRO.)
We try to catch the fishing dailies in Dalaran every chance we get. (As we did in Terrorkar Forest.) They’re varied enough to keep us flying around the map, and I appreciate the opportunity to level up the skill and get something accomplished at the same time.
Now, just recently, for the on-going Summerfest in LotRO, we’ve been required to fish up a storm. See, to get the Summerfest accomplishment, you had to do the following: Visit the Hobbits and get the quest to stock their pond. To stock their pond you need to catch fish from the towns of the Dwarves, Elves, and Men. Once that is accomplished, and the Hobbit pond is stocked, phase II is available. Each race wants to see how many fish you can catch in their pond in 20 minutes. (10 minutes in the Hobbit pond for some reason.) And you need to fish the full duration in each pond at least once to get the accomplishment. (Plus, while you fish for them during this fest you catch special fish that are bartered for tokens you can use to purchase hats, cloaks, dresses, and various other items.) The accomplishment earned the wife and I the title “Sunshine.” I bartered my tokens for summer hats (straw with a smoking pipe stuck in it) and cloaks (spiffy red and gray rays with a sun in the center). The wife and I did this with two characters each. That’s a lot of time spent fishing! (And those “fish here for 20 minutes” quests are dailies, in case you need more barter coins. 50 coins lets you trade in your common horse for a spiffy festival version.)
What prompted the post was the wife’s comment about it being curious that both games really wanted us fishing.
It’s a way to occupy yourself in the game. There are rewards to be had as well. Vanity items in LotRO and some fairly spiffy stuff in WoW too. Pets, gear, and mounts even.
It’s kind of a game within the game, and definitly blunts the feeling that there’s a finishing point that must be reached. Living in the worlds, rather than marching to a goal.