Introducing Bottom Fishing
Greetings, fellow Anglers!
My name is Chris and I am the Lead QA Engineer for Call of the Wild: The Angler, but I also delve into the role of a Gameplay Designer. Today, I’m excited to shed some light on our new fishing technique released together with the Winter Update - bottom fishing!
In its simplest form: bottom fishing is the act of using weighted tackle to get your hook sitting on the bed of the water body you’re fishing in.
Why would you want to do this? To reach more fish, of course! Under the right conditions, there are a number of species that lurk at depth, feeding in the nutrient-rich environments found on lake beds and in slow-moving rivers. If you want to target, for example, Carp, Sturgeon, or Catfish, then you’ll need to get the bait and hook down where they’re hiding out.
Getting Geared Up
You’re probably wondering what you’ll need to get started with this new technique. We made sure to supply our Shopkeepers with the right equipment so first you should head to the nearby store and get the basics. You’ll need to grab a bottom rod and a sinker and assemble these with a line, a reel, a hook, and some bait. All of our spinning reels are compatible with the new bottom fishing rods, so you may even already have a few of the items required to get going! Better still, if you head to the Mission Board at Diamond’s Peak Outpost in the Golden Ridge Reserve, you can jump into a tutorial that will grant you a full bottom fishing setup for free. Yes, you’ve heard that right - free goodies!
As for bait, you’ll have a whole bunch to choose from. All of the existing float fishing bait is compatible with bottom fish, but we also have introduced a selection of new bait exclusive to this style. There’s corn, pellets, and boilies just to name a few. Corn is the classic “starter bait”, and will eventually get a nibble from most fish. But there are better options, so don’t be afraid to experiment and see what you can catch!
Securing Your Bottom Catch
Getting started with bottom fishing is a breeze - just pick a spot, and cast where you want to fish. Be careful though, because you can only fish as deep as your line capacity will allow! So make sure to pick the right spots to get your bait down on the bottom. The new HUD indicator for this technique will tell you if your bait has hit the ground, or is still moving.
The next thing you’ll probably want to know is how do I know if a fish is biting? Because there’s no float involved, we need another way to show this. For bottom fishing in The Angler, this takes the form of the “Quiver Tip” on bottom fishing rods. Rather than observing the movement of a float on the surface of the water, you’ll need to keep an eye on the movement of the end of the rod, which will twitch and quiver when a fish is nibbling. You can also keep an ear out for audio indication, as well as an eye on the tension wheel on the HUD which will give you some clues too.
More advanced Anglers will want to make use of the new manual bail arm feature. While bottom fishing, you’ll be able to exert much greater control over your tackle by opening the bail arm to drop the bait and hook back down deeper if you’ve retrieved it too far.
Improving Your Angle
Fish can be fussy, so choosing how exactly a bait sits in the water is important.
Presentation matters! True Bottom Lurkers will prefer a bait that sits on the bottom with a sinker, but a fish that’s just passing through might find it a little suspect and be more interested in a bait that’s suspended in the water with a float. Use your handbook to check out fish traits and bait preferences, and plan your loadout accordingly!
Cast accurately! Dragging the bait along the bottom will have an impact on how effectively it will continue to attract fish. A beaten-up boilie won’t work quite as well as a well-placed morsel. The effect is subtle though, so don’t sweat too much if you need to reposition after a cast.
Naturally, there are plenty of fish in all reserves to catch with this new technique, from Sturgeon and Catfish in Golden Ridge Reserve to Bream and Chub in Trollesporet (Norway). In Aguas Claras (Spain), however, there’s even greater variety, with its selection of Carp, Tench, Roach, and more. Nothing beats the feeling of landing a monster Mirror Carp specimen!
There’s more to discover than just the examples above, so get looking in your Handbook for traits and clues, and experiment too!
Working With Player Feedback
Iterating based on community feedback is a big part of our development process, and new features are no exception to this.
In the months leading up to this update, we’ve worked with our amazing Angler Player Council (APC), who have had the opportunity to try out early builds with the new content and features, and let us know if we’re heading in the right direction. Thanks to the APC members, we were able to tune the bottom fishing experience to better match the quality level our players would expect. As a live service game, we’ll continue to work closely with the APC and listen to our amazing community to create a unique and fun experience for everyone.
Wrapping it Up
That brings us to the end of this dev diary about bottom fishing. I really appreciate you taking the time to read through it all. I hope now you have a better understanding of what this new fishing technique entails. And perhaps you picked up a few handy tips and tricks along the way as well? Until next time!
About the Author
Having cut his teeth in QA, Chris is now dipping his toes into the exciting world of Game and System Design. Enjoys history, tanks, and off-kilter pop culture references. Catches the occasional carp too.
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