Birdshot

It’s been a while since I last wrote a post in this series and today marks a change in the content. I decided that this periodical which has been based around The Hunter – Call of the Wild should also be about Fishing; More specifically, The Fisherman – Fishing Planet. I covered the free-to-play Fishing Planet game some time back and reported that it was very addictive. I then took a break as I tried out other games to report on. The Hunter – COTW was one of those. At this point, some history will be of use – The Hunter was originally a free-to-play title. Then, after raising enough money to proceed, the developers released the purchase up front version which I have been covering in the Birdshot series. Fishing Planet has now gone down that same route with ‘The Fisherman’.

Just like The Hunter, the changes made to The Fisherman – Fishing Planet are relatively minor. However, the effect is major in terms of playability for most people. One of the key improvements is in the changes to the cost of travelling to each fishing venue and the purchasing of licenses to fish. It was one of the key gripes about the free-to-play version that travelling to locations other than your home pond was very expensive and so were the licenses to fish. If you wanted a permanent license then you needed to buy one using the baitcoin currency which did cost actual money. From personal experience this constrained my ability to go fishing elsewhere a lot. Like other players I found that I needed to go ‘money’ hunting to get the cash needed to go to other venues and once I was there it was very important to make sure that I covered my costs by catching valuable fish. The effect was that no one could go to a higher level venue and try to catch smaller fish that might be less common but had little monetary value because of that need to cover expenses.

The developers have clearly listened to the complaints. In The Fisherman – Fishing Planet (which is a pay up front game), the travel fees are half what they were in the free-to-play game and full permanent licenses are bought with the in-game cash rather than baitcoins. The result is that, apart from having to achieve the required proficiency level to open a venue, you can now choose freely without real-world financial concerns which ones you buy those licenses for. And when you go to a venue, there is no longer that pressure to catch the ‘cash’ fish. I don’t think I’ve explained that as well as I would like but hopefully you’ve got the gist.

The other key change was a much more detailed set of tutorials than in the free-to-play version (although those are now being added to that game too which is a good thing). This makes the game much more accessible to non-anglers and those who may have limited fishing experience like me, to get a fuller understanding of the equipment and how best to use it.

So, the upshot is that I can now afford to choose specific venues that I couldn’t afford in the free-to-play game like The Tiber River where there is this intriguing remnant of a dam……which, drifting a float tackle past the end with a minnow as bait tends to result in a bite by one of the species of Trout to be found here. From a different viewpoint you can see……a monastery that sits on the hillside above the dam and perhaps explains its presence. Did the monks construct the dam in medieval times to make a pool in which they could catch fish for the abbot’s table? Certainly, the still waters beside the dam provide some very nice Carp if you have the patience to wait for a bite…..There are Crucian and Common……to be caught here. In other parts of the river where the flow is swifter you can get some very large Trout like this Marbled that I caught……that was a battle as I use quite light equipment and lines – I haven’t reached a level yet that allows me to buy the most powerful equipment. But, in many ways, I love using this lighter gear as you can have some real tussles with the fish and sometimes they get away – isn’t that how a sport should be? 🙂 Here’s a couple of my favourite rods and set-ups……The one above is a feeder style rod with a quiver tip to indicate when there’s a bite – I tend to use it in this weighted configuration to hunt for bottom feeding fish when the current is slow. A large fish that I hooked below the dam (probably a big Common Carp) stripped all the line off the reel on this one resulting in the leader line breaking. So I had to try my larger sinker rod with the 10lb line and that brought in the trophy Common Carp pictured above……Below is my lightweight spinning rod – dragging the lure through the water attracts predators to take a bite……I’ve caught some great fish with this rod and reel but I lost two large Trout while fishing on the Tiber because they were able to out-manouever me and slip the hook so I pulled out the Jester – which is my joker in the pack……the heavier set-up with 8lb line brought in that trophy Marble Trout although it was still a long fight.

I think the developers have made a great pay-up-front version of Fishing Planet and I’d recommend this game for anyone seeking a different challenge to shooting zombie hoards or driving fast. There is one other aspect of this game that I should also mention – it is so peaceful and relaxing when fishing for small fry. I’ve needed that sort of relaxation this week and the game has helped me de-stress 🙂

Oak Glen Farm

In my last post from the farm, I was heading up to my freshly purchased field with an equally new Claas harvester.  So now I’ll tell you about the harvesting of the barley crop we bought with the field.

I hauled the header up the lane behind the harvester but, as mentioned in the first post, things are tight around entrances to fields.  So, at the entrance I uncoupled the header trailer and then reversed the Tucano into a handy track.  The tractor was then brought up from the farm with the trailer which was the uncoupled in the lane.  I could then use the tractor to move the header to a more suitable position for the harvester to hook up……Here we are hooked up and ready at the entrance to the field to make a start on harvesting……The first task is to create an open area on this side of the field so that the tractor and trailer can drive in ready for when the harvester is full. Looking at an aerial image on google maps, it seems this is exactly what the real life farmer does too! Here’s our beach-head with the tractor on the land ready to unload the harvester…

After the initial clearing cut, I can then proceed around the field in any way I like. The crop will produce around 2.5 trailer loads of barley. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the prices that the various businesses in game will pay for my barley as these vary over time. Here’s a screen that shows the various crop types in game and their symbols……and here’s the current prices……You can see that the best payment for barley is £559 but Willow Brook Stores’ offer is going up – neither represents a good return. With ample silo space on the farm, I can choose to store the crop and wait for the offer to improve and that is what I am going to do. Here’s the Arion dropping off a load at the farm silos……By the time I finished the harvesting the price was up to £615 and still climbing, so I’m going to wait some more 🙂

Here’s the last load going into the trailer……and then we can decouple the header and tow it back down to the farm……where the harvester can be parked up in the large shed…

In future harvesting operations I hope to have a second smaller tractor that will tow the header to and from the fields. I will be talking about buying that tractor, getting our Chickens and some of my other plans in the next post. In the meantime we’re left with a field full of straw that needs lime and to be ploughed before I can plant another crop.

Tiaga

Eternal winter cloaks the land

Trees bow and creak

Under its heavy skies

And wind moans

Beneath a bitter Sun

 

Rocks shivered to rubble

Crunch beneath careful step

And twigs crack like pistol shots

In spiteful revenge

Acknowledging a passage

Where Footprints once distinct

Disappear under fresh blown snow

 

The Deer hide in plain-sight

their calls seeking love

Mournful in the solitude

And Lynx passes unseen

Ghostly grey in a haunted land

Poem – Martin Addison, 18/11/2019; Screenshots from The Hunter – Call of the Wild, Medved Tiaga Reserve