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Fishing in FFXIV – FINALLY Fishing Done Right

It may sound silly, but one of the first things I got excited about when I decided to try WoW was the fishing. As a kid, I grew up with an outdoorsman father. We’d go out fishing together in real life, and then I’d come home and while away the hours with any of the Bass Pro games we had on the SNES. I loved that I could use the techniques my dad has just taught me in a video game; like it gave me a one up to how to win the game. So, when I heard WoW let you do all kinds of professions, one of them fishing, I got excited.

And ever since, I’ve been disappointed by what MMOs currently offer. I know, it seems like a small thing. But, tell me, how is a skill-less, challenge-less, mini-game any fun? That’s probably the reason more people don’t enjoy it.

Which brings me to FFXIV. They’ve recently axed the bull’s portion of their NDA, so the information is flowing; and, I’m happy to say that FINALLY, we have a game with a skill-based, interactive fishing system. When you fish, you’ll be able to spot different fish in different areas of water, you’ll have to react to the fish as you reel it in, and you’ll have different depth options, and possibly specific fish types, depending on where it is you fish.

The depth and reel in process are the most interesting to me. Presumably, the depth you set will play a role in the type of fish you’re hoping to catch. That type of design lets players build up their knowledge of the waters and species to develop a skill.

As you reel the fish in, you’re given several turns where you’ll choose which direction to pull the rod. Depending on how the fish, you’ll either pull it in, let the fish pull line out, or simply be in a stalemate for that round. We don’t know yet whether this system is randomized or not. It would be nice if there was a visual cue (like seeing the fish swim a certain way) to let you know, but even a random option is welcome. It makes it so the player can’t turn off (fishing is its own class) and hope to succeed. It also means that the player will be left wondering whether they’ll land the catch or not. This can be good and bad, because players will quickly become frustrated if it’s there’s too high of a chance to fail.

Overall, though, I’d say that this system is MUCH improved over what we’ve seen so far. When I finally got to try it in WoW, all I could say was “this is it?” I also like how it’s more in vein with other fishing games, as opposed to Vanguard’s DDR-type system.

Fishing might be a small aspect of play to most players, but for a lot of us it’s about connecting the virtual and the real. I like the excitement of fishing in real life, and I like to see that emulated in games. For me personally, it’s about connecting back to the oft ignored roots of my gamerhood. Bass Pro helped sink gaming’s hook deep into my cheek and open a lot of doors. For this, I’m grateful – and excited to see Sqaure-Enix’s take on it.

For more FFXIV news and info, check out FFXIVCore.com. They’re really an excellent resource and community for the game.

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