Behold, the Trout Master.
For no apparent reason, I’ve become enamoured with Lotro’s fishing. I’ll leave it to Wil’s theory crafting as to the grander role of fishing in MMO’s. I’ve dabbled a bit with fishing in EQ2, but only really spent any significant time fishing in WoW. And even then only really as a means to speed level cooking.
Lotro’s fishing has a few distinguishing features I find interesting. First, like all things grindy in Lotro (e.g., virtues), there is a daily limit in how much you can increment the skill in question. Despite your best efforts, one may not level from start to the cap in a day. Fishing permits an increment of 10 skill points on a 1-200 scale daily. For anyone interested in exploring Lotro fishing, check out the Angler’s Guide to Fishing in Lotro.
At first that bugged me, then I adjusted. Smell the roses, etc. Second, despite the relatively simplistic mechanics (click to cast, click to retrieve, not much else) the actual fishing animations are quite nice with a classic red/white bobber kerplunking into the water and fish under the water’s surface circling the bait and striking.
Of course, most of the catch is vendor trash, although a few (though much less than WoW) are inputs for the Cooking trade skill. Others, however are trophy fish. These fish you can turn in to a taxidermist to be mounted on a plaque and then hung on your wall.
Of course, to hang them on a wall requires a wall upon which they may be hung. Mrs. P and I threw down for standard houses early on if for no other reason that the house vault which is in effect shared storage (both among your own characters and, if you choose, your kinship). With several alts, a small kinship and relatively high postage costs, this made quite a bit of sense for several of us to purchase houses. Enaldie (Mrs. P), Silinus (Wilhelm2451) and I purchased adjacent houses in the same neighborhood and freely drop tradeskill materials in each others houses, but I digress.
Likewise, a full discussion of player housing in MMOs is WELL beyond this post, but deserving. TL, DR, Lotro is fair, but EQ2 (see, e.g., Saylah’s posts) kicks ass. (P.s., I’ve stopped by your shop in EQ2X Saylah and it is fantastically awesome. I wish there was a guest book to sign…).
Yes, the fishing trophies are “small wall” items of which there are several “hooks” in the standard house. The wee ones such as the Magnificent Minnow or Giant Goldfish are amusing in that they should come with a magnifying glass so as to distinguish the mounted fish from a speck of dust on the plaque. As one progresses, however, the trophy fish do grow in size. I can easily see populating the walls in a larger house with several trophies.
One can advance in skill by simply fishing wherever you are up to a point. Thus, fishing literally off my doorstep in the stream in the housing township would result in skill ups early on. Soon, however, you’ll want to seek more challenging species are located in higher level areas to continue advancement, so I quickly found myself looking for a better fishing hole.
With a house in the Bree Land Homesteads, I was fairly close to the Lone Lands, so I headed out to the Last Bridge (no Beryl in sight). Apparently there is no fishing from the last bridge, so as a high level 20′s character I gingerly ventured across into the Trollshaws.
Sticking close to the bridge presents little danger and several opportunities for scenic vistas, so I settled into the zen of Lotro fishing in the River Mitheithel. Not only did my skill ups increase, but I quickly discovered the Trout Master deed. At first I thought, ho hum, another amusing title (not that I don’t enjoy them). Then I realized that the attainment of the title also rewarded the Trout Group Trophy as seen above.
Now that’s what I’m talkin’ bout. Fishing is fun and all, but that is a really nice plaque. Sure it didnt’ take very long, but stuff like that has a way of setting the hook, so to speak and sucking one in. No idea whether I’ll ever see the 50-Pound Salmon, but with fun rewards like this, its certainly worth the effort to me.