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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Beep, Beep

So, SCS have broken with tradition! Last Thursday they announced that the New Mexico map expansion for American Truck Simulator will be released to an expectant computer truckers community this coming Thursday. I can’t remember SCS ever giving an actual release date for an expansion – at least, not in recent times. Usually we get teaser posts on the SCS blog and then one day we see a game update downloading on Steam and the new DLC is available in the store. You get in the habit of estimating how long the open beta testing will take based on previous experience 😉 To be actually told when an expansion will be available??? Never in a month of Sundays – at least until now!

New Mexico will bring some important changes with it. Perhaps the stand out change will be the arrival of Random Events in the game. Until now things like road works and broken down trucks have been hard coded so you know where they are. If this new feature works the way I hope then we will see such things appear from time to time at random locations. Quite how random remains to be seen but it will make each trip a little less predictable which is a good thing. We’re also going to see potholes and the like as we drive along – I wonder if they will cause damage if you bounce through them?

Not content with bringing a new state and random events into the game, SCS are also revisiting some of the existing states and adding sections of road that were missing from the original rescale of the map. We’re going to get CA-190 through Death Valley! US93 is getting extended south from Kingman down to Phoenix. All-in-all a total of over 600 miles of new road are going to be added to the existing states when version 1.29 drops in on Thursday! The AI is also getting ‘improved’ – which could mean all sorts of things. I do know that we will see cars parking at service stations. But out on the road, I think I’ll wait and see what the experience with the programmed nutters is once we start driving 😉

All these improvements will mean that certain mods will stop working pending updates by their authors. Cyrus’ Kenworth K100 will almost certainly need a new download as the author usually ties his versions to the game versions. Whether Viper2’s Peterbilt 379/389 will be affected I don’t know but I anticipate problems in the first couple of weeks. Much of my driving in that period will probably be in my main profile with the official SCS trucks as they should have been tested by the developers.

And once we’re driving in New Mexico, I wonder if we’ll see aliens around Roswell? And will we meet Road Runner and Wile E Coyote going about their cartoon capers? Beep, Beep…

Doubling Up

The recent upgrades of Euro and American Truck Sim to version 1.28 introduced double trailers.   The fans have wanted these for a long time 🙂   Because of regulations varying from one country to another, the European doubles can only be found in Scandinavia.   The US doubles appear everywhere.   Triples are also in the American game now, being available to haul in Nevada where they are legal.

Tug hauling a load of Almonds between Vaxjö and Oslo.

 

Nightshade runs into Tucson with a load of Office Supplies.