I just don’t get fishing.
To my mind, fishing is a holdover from RPGs and MMORPGs of the past, a vestigial activity that was supposed to represent a “daily life” activity that was something other than killing ten spiders (or spider-monkeys). And so, MMO after MMO, fishing sneaks its way in — usually in the fantasy genre — and players torture themselves into liking it, just because it’s there.
Hey, you know me, I’m all for MMO activities that aren’t directly tied to pig slaughter, but we’ve had a decade of developers trying — and failing — to make fishing an amusing, entertaining and attractive side hobby. What ends up going in is usually a soul-sucking grind that has two buttons: one to cast, one to click when the bob bobs. Then you get to see if you caught something cool or (more typically) not, like you’re playing a slimy slot machine.
I’ve seen enough friends torment themselves with WoW’s idea of fishing to know that it’s akin to walking barefoot on a glass-strewn floor, in agony every step of the way. WoW tries to justify fishing with a couple rare rewards and a tie-in with cooking, but at its core it offers a paltry payout for a repetitive, dull activity.
Some appreciate that fishing is something you can do while you’re waiting around, kind of like pulling out a ball of yarn and knitting a sweater until your friends arrive. Its convenience is probably the strongest thing going for it.
I’m just curious why, even though fishing endures in MMOs, devs have clearly stopped trying to do anything different with it or making it more enjoyable. It’s not as if we lack for video game fishing simulators, sold on every computer game aisle at Wal-Mart and Dan’s Country Discount & Liquor Store. Apparently Star Wars Galaxies and Vanguard at least attempted to make it more skill-based, but I guess it hasn’t caught on.
And I’m wondering why we’ve stopped at “fishing” for the go-to second hand activity — there’s got to be a lot of other hobbies out there for a character just lounging around. Origami, perhaps?