At BlizzCon we learned that the Cataclysm would change the fishing "mechanic": Gnomish engineers would improve anglers' reels, and make better fishing poles. But another major fishing change is now expected in Cataclysm: The Aquarium.
Storing dead fish in bags or bank vaults is smelly. And nobody can see your rarest catches. Fish tanks allow anglers to keep their rarest catches alive - and gain rewards from doing so. They also let other people see precisely what rare fish you have caught!
The aquarium finally brings the best of "social fish-gaming" to Azeroth.
An aquarium can be purchased from Breanni (in Dalaran) or "Fishing Suppliers" across Azeroth, for 5g. Using the item will add a "Fish" tab to the "Pets" part of your character screen.
Add/remove rare fish, or items of scenery, by dragging the items between your bags (inventory) and the lower panel on the Fish tab. Only uncommon (green) or better quality fish can live in your tank. Fish caught before Cataclysm can be placed in the aquarium if they have not been used. For example, a Sea Turtle that you have already learnt to ride, cannot be added.
The Fish tab also allows you to:
- Feed: Feed your fish Stranglekelp from your inventory.
- Clean: Change your aquarium's water. You must be near a source of water.
- Show: Assemble your aquarium so everyone else can see it. 5 minute cooldown.
Fish Growth and Decay
Your fish will grow if you provide enough food and keep your aquarium clean. An aquarium fish with a green-tinted icon is currently well-fed and growing. Fish in your tank grow in "stages". Without bonuses to growth (see below), the first growth stage takes 2 weeks. Later stages take twice as long as the previous growth stage: 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and so on, until the dwarves lose count.
Fish in your aquarium will start to "decay" if you forget to feed them. Or you don't change the water each week. A fish with a red-tinted icon is currently decaying and should be fed (and/or watered). Fish decay twice as fast than they grow. If a fish decays below its starting size, it dies. You will have to catch another fish and start again.
To grow fish, and gain rewards, you must feed and clean regularly!
Feeding and Cleaning
Fish should be fed daily. The fish in your tank eat Stranglekelp. You must feed 1 herb per fish, each day. Add Stranglekelp to the aquarium using the "Feed" button.
Your aquarium's water must be changed at least every 7 days. Travel to any area of open water (coastal or inland), click "Clean", and wait 30 seconds for the cast-bar to complete. Alternatively, you can use one of several special waters:
- Abyssal Water - Fill your fish tank from the altar in the Abyssal Maw (requires level 81 or above). Increases fish growth rate by 10% (non-Heroic) or 20% (Heroic).
- Brewfest Beer - Clean the aquarium while standing next to a Brewfest Pony Keg. Reduces fish decay rate by 25%.
- Moonwell Water - Clean your tank while standing in a Moonwell. Makes your fish shine and sparkle.
Several items can be placed in your aquarium as scenery. These items are not consumed, and can be removed from the tank at any time. Scenery in your aquarium will help your fish survive or grow. For example:
- Dustbringer - Reduces fish decay rate by 30%.
- The 1 Ring - Random chance of growing a fish by one stage.
Expect to catch other items of scenery while fishing. Or find them sold from stores, via the Trading Card Game, alongside actual goldfish, in promotions for Rumsey Rum Black Label, or through any number of enterprising Goblin sales techniques. You'll be amazed how much space there is inside in your aquarium for more stuff!
Each stage of fish growth grants a reward. These rewards are bound to the owner of the aquarium, and cannot be traded. Most rewards are still unknown, but one example has been discovered by dwarven data miners (thanks Bibi):
- Mr. Pinchy - Every growth stage grants a new wish:
- Stage 1: Grants a "Brunch Box" (presumably containing food).
- Stage 2: "The Complete Guide to Dingo Dash" - vendors for 10g.
- Stage 3: "Mr. Pinchy's Birdinator" - gun that casts an area-of-effect fear spell on critters.
- Stage 4: Mr. Pinchy becomes epic quality, and can now be served as a feast. Eat for a "Hot Bath" buff, which grants +110 Fire Resistance (likely to be useful against Deathwing).
The Sea Turtle will also grow, gradually improving the Turtle's swim speed - eventually reaching 310% swim speed. The Sunken City of Vashj'ir is entirely underwater, so an "ultra-fast" turtle could be very useful. And will only take half a year of flawless fish-feeding to gain...
- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Official preview information about the 3rd expansion.
- Hi, My Name Is Mike And I Was A FishVille Addict - Michael Arrington enjoys fishing too (much).
- Farmville Killed Gaming, V-Worlds, And Your Dog - Scott Jennings puts the WoW Aquarium in context.
- Catching Djakar - How to catch Djakar, the rare fish rumoured to be caught before one can gain the key to the Black Temple. 1 April 2007.
- Gnobbers - Suspend your bait in style! 1 April 2009.
- April Fools' Day - Erm. Yes. It's a hoax. Isn't it?
Comments about Aquarium
Below are readers' comments about "Aquarium":
el, October 2008:
By the way, maybe El should fix so that the "One that didn't get away"-achievment is shown as an accomplishment here on the site? ... Waddya say?
I'm planning to add a few more catches to the forum profile "WoW Aquarium" when WotLK goes live. But, I need to rethink the way they are displayed. Since they are your profiles, it's only fair to ask how you think I should tackle the issues:
- The list of catches is getting rather long and cluttered to be displayed with each post: I'd like to keep the forum focused on the content of the post itself, while still allowing some character information to be displayed. One solution may be to only display icons against forum posts.
- In the past we've talked about listing every fish (a bit like Breanni's pet collecting), but that felt like over-kill. When the forums opened there were only a few really hard achievements listed, but I felt that there should be a wider variety, so that everyone had a reasonable chance at getting something to show their anglin' expertise. How rare or special should catches be?
- If achievements are added to the official Armory, it should be possible to automate them based on the character information you add (although we might need 101 character slots to keep everyone happy). However, not every notable catch is an achievement. Plus adding catches yourself gives you a bit more control - for example, the ability to show a fish caught before patch 3.0.2.
Thoughts? Anything else? Keep in mind that a lot can be done here, but there is a trade-off between displaying lots of the information, and trying to maintain a smooth-running, easy to read, forum.
Noodleguitar, October 2008:
Hmm, yeah I like the idea of small icons next to the poster with a mouse-over text function. I think if you sort of group those icons together you are able to get quite a lot of icons near the poster's portrait without it getting huge or clustered.
donquixote235, October 2008:
I also like the idea of a mouse-over. Perhaps you could do something like having a link that says "Achievements" which, when clicked, displays a hidden div with all their achievements. Upon hovering over the achievements you could get more details, such as which fish they've caught for the "One That Didn't Get Away" achievement.
It's a shame that www.wowarmory.com doesn't list achievements, or you could just pull them from there.
Warsinger, October 2008:
I agree with the above, it's fun to know what your fellow fishermans have accomplished. An update to the "My Profile" page would also be appreciated, maybe an Armory-sort of dressing room, where you could put in what gear you use while fishing. Maybe it's too much work though, I wouldn't know. I'm not too deep in website-managing stuff :P.
Vicenti, October 2008:
I too like the idea of a separate armoury style page, adding more items to the current list displayed with the post, may make it too unwieldy. Even if it were reduced to icons only, it could be uneasy on the eye if there were too many.
A separate page could be a little more expansive and show icons for rare fish, greyed out, with the ones the person has caught coloured. Same for pets obtained through fishing and fishing related achievements. As a previous poster mentioned, could also build a list of apparel that provides a fishing buff and even a list of rods.
Theres quite a lot that could be add, its just a question of do you want to keep it as it currently is, a small feature for a bit of fun, or turn it in to something a bit larger and a feature in its own right, which is what it would become if it spilled over on to a separate page.
Pipre, October 2008:
El, maybe instead of posting the icons at the top of the persons post you could list them inside their post at the end, like a signature. I like the idea of small icons to signify what fish/achievements people have gotten, and manually selecting them or using the armory (when/if available) is a great idea. This would be a good way to separate posts as well as give more space for viewing them. Another thing to tie into this would be to use forum titles that are based on the achievements a person has earned. I'm sure all of us would like to be <Nat Pagle's Love Child> !
Maybe with some time it would be possible to make a linkable fishing signature for use on a guild forum or blog that would then link back to this site?
Micha, November 2008:
Well, you seem to have two goals here.
1. Maintain a readily visible "bragging rights" portion of each post
2. Avoid information overload and general clutter.
You're right. Even with the present amount of "achievements" available on your site, there are too many to display in the current format. If you add more, it will become entirely unmanageable.
Your idea with the icons was spot on, I think. However, I'd increase the icon size if you're going to take out the text labels. Having a ton of icons that people can barely make out would only be an eyesore. I would increase the height/width of the icons by 75-90%. I'm throwing out that number because, just glancing at the bar where they're currently positioned, I think you could fit in that increase without increasing the bar size. If it's not too much work, you could then add a mouseover feature which shows exactly what the icon represents.
There's only one major problem with the idea of icons. There are so many rare fish, with some of them so obscure, that even most anglers would not readily recognize them by their icon. Also, just by sheer quantity, some people would end up with a sea of icons. So here's how you deal with that.
For the main achievements, the stuff we already have, use the icon system. The icons we have for them now are rather easily recognizable. For rare fish, consolidate them into one icon. A fish bowl would work nicely for this. Having the fish bowl would show that somebody has caught rare fish, and you can set it up so that it displays a list of them upon mouseover. You could extend this system to the other icons. Mousing over the ring icon would show whether they've got the 1 ring, the 2 ring, or both. Mousing over the fishing contest icon would show whether they have the rod, hook, or both. Mousing over the bucket would show which of the baby crocs they have.
I think the icon + mouseover system is the best route, personally. This way, you minimize clutter and still have the important information easy to access right next to a person's post. I don't think a separate, armory-style page is a bad idea, but that sounds like a lot of work, and I definitely don't think the current system should be gutted for it.
Utopia, November 2008:
Slightly off topic,but I'm having a problem with my profile,in that I can't seem to update it to include my mr pinchy catch.
I use the dropdown menu on the edit profile page to show the catch instead of net yet,but nothing changes when I click the update button at the bottom of the page.
Is there a problem,or does the change need to be authorised or something?
Confused of Azeroth
el, November 2008:
Utopia: I added Pinchy to your profile, but you should be able to change it yourself. I've tried altering my own, and it seems to work. I'll take a look at the code. Anyone else having problems?
Utopia, November 2008:
Thanks El,but I still can't make any changes myself.I got the magical crawdad box on my first wish,but I can't change it in my profile,or make any other changes
Could it be a problem with me using Firefox?I had no trouble setting up my profile initially.
Kunjana, November 2008:
I think Micha nailed it in their post. A system like what they described would definitely streamline the visuals yet still allow a good deal of information to be accessible.
el, November 2008:
I managed to trigger the same problem while testing out a new version of the profiles. But it is not consistent - the worst kind of bugs to try and fix...
In the interim, try manually clearing the entries from both the password boxes at the bottom before updating. That workaround worked for me.
Utopia, November 2008:
That did the trick :D
I wonder if it could be something to do with FF autofilling (my existing saved?) password into the change password box in the edit profile page.
el, November 2008:
Indeed, auto-filling is an explanation. I don't think it is putting the correct information there, so I guess that something else on the page is confusing it.
Lunaire, November 2008:
Just a quick question. Will the sewer rat be added in this list? :)
el, November 2008:
Yes! Sorry, I should do some work on this. I've been a bit distracted by leveling up to 80...
el, November 2008:
I made a few changes... I couldn't get the icons/fish bowl to "look right", but some ideas here have been implemented. I hope it looks slightly cleaner, without loosing anything important. Utopia's profile bug should also be fixed. Please let me know of any problems.
I intend to keep the profile "aquarium" based on self-selection, rather than use Armory data. I have some ideas for using armory data, as well as providing more features along the lines of a member list. But those will have to wait a while longer.
Cozmic, November 2008:
I like the new idea El, looks very good. Keep up the good work.
Gradiago, April 2010:
Very good! I fell for it! :)
The feeding every day is a little extreme, but otherwise a very good idea. Love it!!!
Durth, April 2010:
If you love it then just download Fish Tap on the I phone. My girlfriend started playing this a few weeks ago and its basically the same thing as the aqarium post without the Wow'ness. Personally I would love to be able to put my 2 Rock Hide Strongfish and dark herring in a tank to checkout and care for. In the I Phone game you can also spend a few dollars to buy fish bucks to get some of the more outlandish creatures.Really if blizzard would take the joke and actually make it happen I dont doubt they could make some extra cash.
Mabye a Poll is in order.
Scrimshaw, April 2010:
So we who have already learned the turtle mount can never get a 310 version?
Druegar, April 2010:
Scrimshaw, there is no aquarium coming. It was an April Fools Day joke.
traconis, April 2010:
Was it realy or how you say druegar?
Scrimshaw, April 2010:
Yikes, i guess they got me. It just seemed a perfectly reasonable idea. (screwing over some players made it more real and likely to me).
Druegar, April 2010:
Don't worry, El had me going until the end.
I actually like (most of) the idea, especially the chance to increase the swim speed of one's turtle.
Oh well.... :)
seaborn, April 2010:
i will say that this could have kept me playing longer if it was real.
Felstalker, August 2010:
You should post this on the offical forums. Would looove to see that ingame >.>
Blizz said they want to improve fishing in Cata, but they havent figured out anything so long.
It would be awesome to see this April Fools joke come true ppl would love fishing more than ever before :>
Sorner, August 2010:
I used to play Ultima Online, and that game did have an aquarium feature do display your catches. Of course, you could only set it in your house. I really liked having the aquarium. And having an in-game house for that matter...
It would be great if Blizz added your idea to Calaclysm!