A couple of months back I made a tentative return to The Fisherman – Fishing Planet. At the time I was thinking that it would probably be least affected by the Windows 10 issue of all my games, after all, you do spend a lot of time stationary 😉

I have posted about this game before but it has been a while, so here’s a quick reminder. There are two versions of the game; one free to play and the other pay up front. They differ mainly in the economic and experience points areas, with the free to play version requiring a lot of grind to progress and offering a number of pay to progress options. The buy up front version is less of a grind and has now started following the paid DLC route to fund further development. The actual fishing is very much the same in both, so if you wanted to get a taste for the game, you could try out the free to play version. Then, if you like it but get fed up with the grind, you can always buy the other version to continue. Your progress in one does not copy across to the other though and you might find yourself actually having a different user name in each! I’m quite lucky having Roach_Pole in both 🙂

At first glance, the game lacks depth – not the watery kind of course – you go to a lake or river and catch fish. But the developers have got around this with daily competitive fishing contests aimed at all levels of player and by continually adding new challenges for the players to complete. Then there is the matter of buying and selecting your gear. That in itself can be a complicated and thought provoking process. When I came back to the game after a two-year long lay off I found that my rod case had quite a disfunctional set of rods and reels. I’ve spent a while rebalancing my collection and now I’m a lot happier 🙂

Let’s talk challenges and fish. The Trophy set of challenges breaks down groups of fish by their type and asks you to collect a ‘Trophy’ sized specimen of each in the group. This is only partly a species definition – Carp are Carp, Pike are Pike – actually, they are also Pikerels, but Sunfish are Panfish 😉 Panfish – You know, fish you catch to throw on the barbie 🙂 So there is a trophy challenge to catch Panfish. It’s quite easy – most of them can be caught with any type of bait, just about anywhere there are weeds to hide in. The tricksy one is the Pumpkinseed – it wants shade from trees leaning over the water (a rare combination). And that’s part of what the game is about – learning about where a species of fish is likely to be and then presenting them with something they would like to lure them into biting. The Panfish challenge is fun because some of the fish are truly beautiful…

Redear Sunfish…

Bluegill…

The Warmouth, with a Punk hairstyle…

And, of course, Pumpkinseed…

…Pretty aren’t they 🙂 You can see a family likeness in these fish too! I made catching them seem easy but as a beginner there will be a lot of experimenting at each location to find the right bait and the right depth to set the hook. And if you want to catch the biggest specimens (unique fish) then you’ll have to do you homework 🙂 I’ve only talked about float fishing – you can always try sinker fishing. That’s a good way of dealing with a river where you want to keep the bait on station 🙂

I think that’s enough for this first return to game posting. Hopefully you got the more challenging than it looks vibe? I hope to do another post soon that will look at my favourite rods and attempt to explain why they get used most 🙂 Tight lines everyone!

I had a set of things, mainly revolving around the computer games that I play, that I hoped would happen this spring. Most of them didn’t and it’s time for some explanations.

Lets start with Farming Simulator. I have often thought about kicking this off again but just like back in December, Truck Simulator has been eating much of my playing time. There was also a lot of time spent on The Hunter – Call of the Wild when I wasn’t trucking. Then Giants Software announced the proposed release of Farming Simulator 2022 – sometime in the last quarter of 2021. At that point, I decided to wait for the new game which will include seasons and other improvements! I can’t promise a return to Boundary Farm to begin with though 🙂

So, if I’ve been hunting, why haven’t I been writing about that? Well, I did, sort of… There were 2 posts in January and I pressed on for a while after that progressing my new profile….

…But there never seemed a good time to write about it and then there was the ‘Dogs’ update. We were going to get Bloodhounds to aid our tracking and to be our companion in the field. It would have made for a good time to post about the game. Unfortunately, the dogs had ticks – or should I say, were bugged – causing a number of issues. I was lucky, because I was too busy in Euro truck at the time of the release, I didn’t get the chance to begin playing with a dog before the issues came to light. Expansive Worlds issued a hotfix to get around the most glaring of the problems but fell into the trap of ‘fix one bug – create two more’. I have stayed away from the game and will only return when the worst of the bugs have been eradicated. Expansive Worlds are a small team and I sometimes wonder if they should take a leaf out of the SCS Software playbook and do open beta’s for their changes – the player base is very loyal and would happily pitch in to catch bugs before the release of a new update.

In the background I have continued with Car Mechanic Simulator – a fun game that I play off and on. Here’s a recently restored Chevy Corvette…

…I have stopped playing that game now because… The 2021 version is due to be released soon – can’t wait 🙂

Warframe is dead – for me and my Son. Too many changes that seem to have no real gains for the player. We both stopped playing over a year ago – and there are a lot of other players who did likewise. But the game continues to prosper with new players joining to replace those who have given up on it. In many ways, Destiny 2 has become what we thought Warframe should have been and Alasdair is enjoying playing that.

The Fisherman – Fishing Planet. One of those games that sits there patiently waiting for you to come back. Pushed into the background by The Hunter, I went back earlier this week for the first time in several months and once again fell in love with the relaxed gameplay. There’s something special about waiting for that first bite in the cool mist of dawn…

…It took me a little while to remember what baits might work best for different fish and at different locations, but it’s all coming back. I found that I had a very unbalanced set of rods, floats and baits in my kit along with a plethora of lures that duplicated each other, so I’ve had a late spring clean 😉 Expect a ‘fishing’ related Birdshot post sometime soon!

And that brings me to Trucking… The less said the better as that’s really a subject for a Trucking Digest and you can expect one of those very soon 😉

In this issue…

Actually, I’m not sure what’s in this issue as I’m going to adlib as I go along.

I spent the last 2 weeks testing out possible loadouts for my new profile in The Hunter – Call of the Wild as I wait with many other players for the new scoring system release date. In the course of that wait I’ve photographed lots of Fallow Deer as I’ve re-run the early challenges time and again. They’re still spotty and the males have horns…

I’ve also experienced the missing tracks / corpse issue a number of times. For those playing the game regularly, this has been an issue for a very long time. What happens is… You shoot an animal and you know where you shot it. You go to the spot where you shot the animal and find the blood splatter then, because you saw which way the animal ran after you shot it, you follow where the tracks should be… Guess what – there are no tracks. You circle around because you know they have to be there but… Nothing! I point-blanked a female Red Deer with my shotgun – in self defense I should add (she would have mowed me down otherwise) and this was the blood splatter at the site where I shot her……That looks a pretty major lung wound to me and the little lady should go down within a few yards. In fact, that pink you can see on the hand held device means she’s dead. But – no tracks and no body 😦 Like the rest of the community I’m just glad that consecutive harvests no longer affect your score when you subsequently shoot another animal and actually find the body!

So what happens to the tracks? Sometimes they appear suspended in mid-air – I have seen this myself at night and I’ve seen daytime shots of the same issue from fellow members of the community. Other times they may appear a distance from the actual kill point and the lateral shift seems to also apply to where the body will eventually be found in those cases. And then there will be the no tracks at all variant. In the latter case I have found that moving away from the area where you made the kill and wandering around for a while (10 mins or so) will result in the blood from your victim miraculously appearing for you to track and find the body. This is an ongoing issue that the developers are working hard to resolve and I’m sure they will get there eventually.

It would be wrong to think that only The Hunter – COTW has these issues. I’ve experienced a similar ongoing problem with the fish in The Fisherman – Fishing Planet. Most of the time you sling your hook, suitably baited, and wait for a bite. You hope your choice of tackle, hook size and bait will entice the fish you are seeking. 95% of the time the bite will be a fish that you would expect to take the bait – maybe not the one you wanted but that’s what fishing is about. Then you get the big one… The Really Big one! You find yourself fighting a fish that you tire out… and then it regains its strength and goes on another run… time and time again. You’ve just hooked the Glitch-Fish. How do you know that this is what’s on the end of your line? You check the wear and tear of the line, rod and reel – If they haven’t moved from where they were before then you have a spooky fish and can probably set up a clothing brand 😉 There is only one way out of this. You have to put your line into the red like this……guess what – it won’t snap like it should and after a bit more fight you’ll bring the Glitch-Fish in. At which point you’ll discover another amazing thing about the Glitch-Fish – it then metamorphoses into a run of the mill Bass (for example) that should never have troubled your equipment in the first place!

These are the joys of playing simulation games that do their best to mimic real life – sometimes the behaviour algorithms for wild animals prove to be beyond what the processing can reliably produce. And as for the Truck Simulator games… You can rely on the AI to do some very un-human behaviours – except in France where everybody knows that Cedez le Passage means that some drivers won’t Cedez le Passage 😉 I know the dev’s of all these games are doing their best to get the AI to behave as true to life as possible – my thanks for their efforts.

Earlier this pm, Expansive Worlds tweeted that there will be an important announcement tomorrow – hopefully that signals the release of the new scoring system for The hunter – COTW. I’m looking forward to that release and I’ll then start afresh with my chosen beginners loadout 🙂