As promised, Lord of the Rings Online’s Book 13 update included fishing!
For no good reason, I have done fishing in every MMO I have played that made some sort of angling mechanic available. I have had characters with fishing skills at the cap in EverQuest, EverQuest 2, and World of Warcraft.
Therefore I knew when Turbine announced fishing for LOTRO, I would be there.
Friday night I found the NPC that grants the fishing skill in Bree. He sends you off to another NPC in Staddle, by the pond of course, who finishes up the “how to” and will sell you some bait.
LOTRO follows the WoW model, where bait enhances your ability to catch fish, but is not required. This is compared to EQ where, at least back in the day, you needed bait for every cast and EQII where not only don’t you need bait, but you don’t even need a fishing pole. One just appears miraculously when you need it.
Equipping my new pole (and hat), I was soon fishing.
In my usual haste to get to the good part, I skipped through all the… well… words… and just started casting. So it took me a minute or two to figure out that you have to hit the fishing action button both to cast your line AND to reel in a fish when you get a strike.
I noticed other people making the same mistake, so I passed along that tidbit wherever it seemed appropriate.
And speaking of getting a strike, LOTRO’s fishing, like so much in the game, is a quality experience. You actually see a fish in the water approach your bobber and take the bait. Granted, it seems to always been the SAME fish, one that bears almost no relation to what you actually end up catching, but it is a damn good looking fish, there in the water, and it makes the experience that much richer. See, look:
So far I have caught weeds, goldfish, minnows, and, no doubt in homage to EQ fishing, rusty daggers! (Too bad my weaponsmith cannot sharpen them for skill improves.) All of them are vendor trash as far as I can tell.
Of course, also like real fishing, once you find a decent spot where the fish are biting, everybody else in the world seems to show up.
The final LOTRO touch, as you might expect, is titles. I fished until my skill hit 10 (out of 200) at which point I got the first fishing title, Apprentice Angler.
Now I just have to make my way to Nen Harn for some fishing.