My hobby within my hobby, fishing in ArcheAge breaks new ground in my MMO playing history; for the first time in forever, I’m enjoying this fishing stuff. It caught me by surprise. I’m not a big fan of mini-games, and I’m not particularly fond of cooking professions, but as it turns out, that’s not what fishing in ArcheAge is about at all. No, in ArcheAge, fishing is a fully fledged profession where you brave the dangerous oceans, seeking out bigger and bigger fish to turn in for cold, hard cash – that’s a fishing profession even I can get behind.
Getting Your Feet Wet
While the end goal is exciting, fishers in ArcheAge must start from humble, simpler beginnings. If you’re shy of grinding or light of pocket book turn back now, because there’s a long and pricey road between you and any semblance of profit. Fishing begins with what is colloquially (and accurately) known as “AFK-fishing”, a simple activity initiated by right clicking on the fishing ability and left clicking in water while having worms in your inventory. This initiates auto-cast mode, in which, external interference aside, your character will continually fish until your labor or worms are consumed. Worms, which are acquired by farming seed bundles or buying them from other players, are quite pricey; AFK-fishing will always result in a net financial loss. While disheartening given the thousands of worms you’re going to need simply to begin sport fishing effectively, it makes sense; if it were profitable, gold farmers and botters would have a field day.
AFK-fishing rewards players with basic fish of white, green, or blue quality, as determined by the fish’s species. Multiple fish of the same species can be combined to create Dawn Lake Light Essence, a reagent used in alchemy, with the quantity required to do so lessening as the quality of the fish rises. However, the market value of Dawn Lake Light Essence is not materially greater than the vendor price of the fish, so, given the tremendous burden hoarding fish puts on inventory space, most choose to simply vendor them for gold. Some species of fish are used to create chum buckets by the cooking profession; these are used when sport fishing to prep the waters. In addition to fish, lock boxes can also be acquired and usually contain Gilda Stars and Nui’s Tears (said to be removed when 1.0 hits), rare crafting reagents, or some pieces of gear. These boxes are rare enough that while their contents provide a nice bonus, over a long enough time-line they are not sufficient to make AFK-fishing profitable. During your early grind, you should pick up the fishing quest found in Ezna Harbor for Western players, or Lute Song Harbor for those on the Eastern faction. This quest chain will send you AFK-fishing through several zones and climates, rewarding you with a pair of Treaded Wellingtons, which increase your fishing proficiency by 500 while equipped, and the title Discriminating Tastes, which provides you with another 100 proficiency while active.
Big Game Fishing
After a long and arduous grind, you’ll eventually be able to sail out in the ocean and begin sport fishing; this is where the money is made. Though it can be attempted earlier, I would personally recommend attaining at least 10,000 proficiency before attempting sport fishing, and grinding to 30,000 before getting too serious about it. The higher proficiencies and the better quality rods that come with them will make it both possible and quicker to catch the much more lucrative medium and large fish. Once captured, these fish can be turned in at a fish stand similarly to a trade-pack for gold. Here’s how it’s done.
Find the Fish
Unlike AFK-fishing, sport fishing can only be done by tracking down a school in the wild. On the sea, where sport fishing is most profitable, these locations are marked by flocks of seagulls circling above the area, which can either be seen from a distance, or tracked using the fishing ship’s radar.
Incite the Fish
Once you’ve found a school of fish, you’re going to need to induce a frenzy by chumming the waters; this is where the fish you caught earlier come in. For saltwater fishing, you can use cooking to craft Roosterfish, Sardines, Pike, and Mackerel into buckets of chopped fish from each of their respective varieties; each of these buckets can be used to lure a different type of saltwater sport fish. Dumping the correct bucket of fish into the school will allow you to begin sport fishing.
Catch the Fish
With a frenzy incited, you’re ready to begin fishing. Instead of worms, sport fishing requires pricier lures created by handicrafters out of rare materials. To begin, simply select the sport fishing ability, click in the frenzy with the targeting reticle, and you’ll cast your line. This begins a long channel during which a fish could bite at any moment, but it is possible (and probable at low proficiency) that you won’t get a bite.
Once a fish spawns, you engage in a briskly paced mini-game as you attempt to wear its health down, ultimately securing its capture. The premise is simple; throughout the encounter, your nemefish will gain buffs with icons corresponding to abilities on your special action bar. Press the abilities when the buffs come up, and with a little bit of luck, the fish will be yours. A few tips:
- Your fishing rod abilities can be rebound, which is much faster than trying to click and affords better camera maneuverability if you get a particularly rowdy fish. Under Key Settings: Game Keybinds, bind the keys labelled “Status-sensitive Shortcut Slot #XX” to whatever you’d like. This will affect the skills given by many items, such as gliders, portable harpoon cannons, ships, or a fishing rod.
- The directional abilities control the fish’s ability to move, while the Reel In and Big Reel In abilities deal massive damage.
- Once a fish is on the line, you’ll be able to move around without breaking the line. If a fish gets too far away or breaks line of sight, you can jump in the water to get back in the game.
- As with anything in ArcheAge, sport fishing is best done in a group. Use the buddy system and stay safe. Do your net work socially.
- Don’t get pirated. Pirates love fish.
Liquidate the Fish
You’ve caught a fish, and now you want to turn it into gold. Turning a fish in is easy – simply head to a nearby port, find a fish stand, and turn it in. Unlike trade-packs, sport fish prices are not dependent on the location of the turn in; you’ll make just as much money in a starter zone as you would on Freedich. Once there, cash in your fish, revel in your gold, and do it all over again.
The Deadliest Catch
Well, those are the basics. The life of a fisherman in ArcheAge is exciting, with every outing offering a new opportunity for adventure. Will you narrowly escape the grasp of some filthy pirates, or will you hook the biggest, baddest fish in the sea and bring in over 100 gold? Even that payout will pale in comparison to the fishing contest, which, when enabled, will reward those who get the biggest fish during the weekly contest.
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