Gone Fishing

As part of my diversification into other computer games I decided to give Fishing Planet a try out. It’s quite a departure from driving trucks which has formed the mainstay of my gaming over the past year. The one similarity is that Fishing Planet is a simulation requiring the player to learn the necessary skills to be successful.

Fishing Planet is available through Steam and is Free to Play. Free…? Well, yes but with a caveat. You can choose to pay to play by purchasing premium status for your account – available for various durations up to a year. This ups your in-game money and experience points on each angling session by around a third allowing you to level up faster and afford new equipment faster too. So we have a sort of Pay to Win situation. However, if you have the patience of a true angler and enjoy your fishing then why would you want to buy a premium upgrade?

There are two kinds of in-game currency. Credits which you can view as the greenbacks in your wallet and Gold which can be viewed as a sort of Bitcoin. Guess what, you can also buy packs of Credits and Gold using real money – which might come in handy if you over extend yourself and become bankrupt. That is a definite possibility if you aren’t careful and there’s even an in-game award for it (which doesn’t give you money!). So, as in Euro Truck Simulator, caution with your finances is important unless you want to Pay to Play!

Like most games, Fishing Planet has a number of DLC’s available. These are mainly packs offering fast routes to desirable fishing, opening specific equipment or fishing venues with licenses early in the game – more Pay to Win options. I have to say – they seem very expensive compared with say, SCS Software’s DLC’s for Euro Truck or American Truck so I wouldn’t contemplate them personally at this time.

Anyway, here’s the map with the current fishing locations……several of them are unlocked because in the 10 days that I’ve been trying out this game I have risen to level 18. Currently everyone starts at Lone Star Lake in Texas – highlighted in brown above. Every venue has an info screen like this one……And from the side menu you can check out things like what fish species are present, what the weather is like and how that will affect the fishing…

Everyone starts with a Telefloat rod, number 8 hooks, 2lb line, a float and some basic baits (Bread, Red Worms and Cheese – ignore the others in the screenshot, you get access to them as you level up) Here’s my current inventory screen with the Telefloat rod……You add things like the tackle box, waistcoat and rod bag as and when you can afford them and they become available. I didn’t mention the reel because I can use that to show the shop screen……You can see that most of the reels can be bought with credits but one of the ones on screen requires you to spend gold – this is true of certain items and baits in the shop. choose wisely where to spend your gold!

Everyone starts with the Minispin 800 Reel. If you look back at the inventory image you’ll see that I’m not using that reel any more. I now have the InspireCast 2000 on this rod which becomes available at level 4. If you decide to have a go at this game my first tips to you is – upgrade the reel as soon as possible. The issue with the Minispin 800 is its recovery speed – how fast it reels in the line. You will find when you go hunting Smallmouth Buffalo (which are a type of carp and inhabit Lone Star) that these fish are both strong and fast. They’re also clever enough to know that running towards you loosens the hook. If your line stays slack for too long, you will loose the fish! The rod itself will serve you well – I was using it just yesterday to haul out some large fish at another venue.

That’s an introduction to Fishing Planet. My thoughts on this game are hugely positive with the caveat of the Pay to Win aspect. The fish behaviour seems to be well modelled – there are a significant number of real world anglers playing the game and this is the consensus view. I will issue a health warning on this one – It is highly addictive! Now I need to get my life back – Tight Lines everyone 🙂

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Christmas Came Late This Year

That may seem strange to those of you who live in the real world where shops and streets have had decorations up since early November and the post-Christmas Sales have become pre-Christmas Sales. In a world where Mice Pies are now in store from September. But for those of us who live a half-life in a virtual world, the arrival of Christmas is signalled by the now annual call to help Santa deliver the presents.

Normally the call goes out in early December – around the 7th – and we virtual truckers find ourselves tasked with a set of delivery goals to complete before 1st January in the ‘Christmas Event’. The date usually gets extended beyond that because for some of our drivers the real world and family commitments get in the way of the job. And, as completing the allocated tasks brings rewards, SCS would like everyone to have the opportunity to complete the Event.

This year was different. In a minor planning faux-pas SCS already had an event running to deliver 300000lbs of cargo in the USA using double trailers and that was due to complete on December 3rd. Then, there was the small matter of the Italian DLC which released to an eager community on December 5th. With a new cargo type and the new Scania trucks also appearing it has been a very busy time for the developers.

However, on 20th December the Christmas Delivery Event was finally announced and it should run until 18th January. So if your presents are a little bit late this year…

I was in Sicily where I picked up the first load of gifts from Catania bound for Pescara. This being Mafia country I was very thorough with the manifest but everything seemed in order and we had no problems with the Carabinieri on the trip.
Yesterday morning we took a load from Verona up to Praha. I’m looking to lay up the old Scania over Christmas so I may buy a Renault Magnum from the Praha dealership. I’ve also got my eye on one of the new Scania S trucks for a future purchase. I’ll be dropping Megan off in Praha too as she’s going to her parents for Christmas. I know – it’s a game – but sometimes it’s fun to make up stories as you drive along 🙂
In the US I picked up a load of gifts from the railyard at Albuquerque (NM) yesterday evening and delivered them to Ehrenberg (AZ).
You can see that I’ve put up my Tree now that Christmas has finally arrived… And in the real world the tree has also been erected and bedecked with lights and baubles. Just got to wrap some family presents though my efforts won’t be as professional as the wrapping on the gifts we’re delivering for Santa 😉

Company


Heading north from Bologna with a load of Flowers bound for Wien, I picked up a flower of my own. Megan has joined us for the ride once more. It’s always nice to have company on the road, even if she is ‘virtual’. I’m almost sure she gave me the evil eye when I suggested that we could crash out at the truck maintenance place, so I felt obliged to go to a proper hotel! 😉