Patch 5.2 brought a refreshing sea breeze to the lonely docks of Limsa Lominsa. Ocean Fishing is a fun, engaging piece of content that breathed new life into the Fisher job, making levelling less tedious, and playing it more rewarding. With new fish to discover, scrips to earn, and cosmetic prizes to win, here are my thoughts and tips for fledgling Fishers before they set sail.
Fishing Used to be Awful
Let me preface this by saying that back when I started playing in Stormblood, I wanted to like Fishing. I started the game in Limsa Lominsa; The Fishermen’s Guild was right there and it seemed so thematically appealing. I knew it was traditionally a boring MMO activity, but as a young sprout I had hopes that it would be as engaging as the rest of the game was turning out to be.
I tried to level up my Fisher the normal way, but there were a number of obstacles that ultimately overpowered my interest. It’s a boring activity in general, but one that requires some consistent attention. I sometimes struggle to focus on two things at once, so even watching a Netflix show is hampered a little by constantly looking over to reel in a catch.
It’s also really confusing to get into without research. With the other gatherers you have an awesomely detailed gathering log, and Arbor Call / Lay of the Land tell you exactly where the gathering nodes are. I’m not a big fan of just looking up a step by step guide to the games I play, and enjoy figuring stuff out on my own. But wandering around as a low level Fisher looking for potential fishing holes got old real fast. It was a headache trying to figure out which bait was for which holes, and for which fish.
Even if you do know what you’re supposed to be doing, the bait, lures, and fish can fill up a significant amount of your inventory. Managing fish sales through my retainer was not an enticing activity, and even desynthesizing the fish is underwhelming because you always seem to get garbage that you just discard afterwards.
I left my Fisher behind around level 35, while all my other gatherers, crafters, and about 10 combat jobs reached the level cap. I always intended to go back and grind it out at some point, and once they introduced Ocean Fishing I decided it was time to dust off the old fishing pole.
Ocean Fishing is Accessible From Level 1
This is maybe the best decision surrounding ocean fishing. It’s available from basically the very start of your journey as a Fisher, so you could level the job exclusively with this content if you had a mind to.
You will still need to do your job quests to unlock some high level skills, but you can go back and do those when you outlevel them and it will be way easier. This is true for all jobs, but for Fisher I find the extra points in your Perception stat to be especially helpful.
After you complete your first quest as a level one Fisher, you’ll have access to the quest ‘All the Fish in the Sea‘ which is literally right there in the Fishermen’s Guild. Talk to the NPC, then go talk to another NPC over by the Arcanist’s guild, and boom you’re done. Ocean Fishing unlocked.
Boats leave from Limsa Lominsa near the Arcanist’s Guild every two real life hours. You can speak with Dryskthota [3.0, 12.7] to check the schedule, route, and register to board when the time comes. You have a 15 minute window to register, and each instance can hold 24 players.
If the first group fills up, their queue will pop immediately and additional players will start filling a group for a separate instance. At the end of the 15 minutes, any partial group will have their queue pop, even if it’s less than 24 players.
Ocean Fishing Makes Levelling Easy
As you might have guessed, Ocean Fishing gives you a tremendous amount of experience. You’ll get a lot of it from catching so many fish on the boat, and High Quality fish are especially rewarding. You’ll also get a large sum of exp at the end of the voyage based on how well you did. The first couple times you jump in you’ll even get extra experience for discovering new fish in your fishing log.
For my alt character I got my Fisher up to level 50 in a few days’ worth of expeditions. It was way more enjoyable than how I had previously been gaining experience, mostly because I was with other people. Having a team working side by side just makes an activity more engaging. You have people to chat with or to ask advice from.
You’re also working together towards a common goal. If someone else catches a spectral fish and spawns a Spectral Current, then everybody benefits. It just feels a lot more engaging than traipsing out to the middle of nowhere in Central Shroud to stand alone for 20 minutes.
Another thing that made the levelling process go by quick was that I was learning how Ocean Fishing works. It was more complex and interesting to me than just where to catch the next fish for a quest. I researched what fish scored the highest points, what differences the weather and time of day made, when was the best time to spend GP on skills, and what bonuses you could get at the end of the voyage. By the time I had figured out the basics, I was already decently levelled enough to practice using abilities at the right time and get consistently high scores.
The high exp value of the fish makes effective use of exp buffs like food and survival manuals, so I suggest having these running if your Fisher is still levelling up. If you’ve got a capable Grand Company Squadron, you may have some squadron survival manuals as well, which you can stack on top of your commercial or company-issue survival manuals (which do not stack with each other).
Ocean Fishing has Useful Rewards
Another regular reward for players who have reached level 50 is yellow gatherer’s scrips. With a little bit of research and attention, I’ve been getting 300-700 yellow scrips from these outings. Even a bad run still gets a couple hundred scrips. If your Fisher is level 80 you may also earn white gatherer’s scrips, but from what I’ve seen so far they don’t seem to be guaranteed. Perhaps you need to reach a certain score threshold for those more valuable scrips. The duty does take about 25 minutes so try to set yourself up to get better results. You’re more likely to score high points with a big group of players, so queuing in a party with friends or around prime time for your server will average greater rewards.
There are a couple of cosmetic rewards you really have to work to get. The Major-General is an adorable little shark minion that’s pretty easy to get, requiring a score of at least 5,000 points on one of your expeditions. There’s the Hybodus mount you can get for scoring 10,000 points on a trip, which will take skill and a bit of luck. Finally, for the expert sailor, there’s the (kind of underwhelming) ‘Ocean Fisher’ title for which you’ll need to score 16,000 points in a single voyage. I haven’t managed to do this yet, but it seems like players try to coordinate in groups ahead of time to go after this achievement.
If you’re looking for a particular aesthetic in your player housing like an estate or an apartment, you may be looking for a fish to mount on your wall. There are some exclusive models found only on Ocean Fishing trips so if you’re after something specific you might prefer one of these salty sea creatures. Could be useful if you were designing like, a fish & chips place I guess?
How to Score More Points
First, when you register to board the ship in Limsa Lominsa, head over to the Merchant & Mender on the dock while you wait in queue. Pick up some ragworms, krill, and plump worms here so that you don’t waste time on the boat fiddling with the vendor menu there. You’ll want to bring cordials as well; Hi-Cordials are the best. I use this spreadsheet by S’yahn Tia to see which bait to use for different areas, and which fish are available at what times.
Spectral Currents are hugely important when it comes to getting a good score. You’ll earn the bulk of your points in these windows, so missing out on one severely cuts your potential points. Therefore, making sure each zone has a Spectral Current event should be your top priority. Usually someone on the boat will call out a reminder of which bait to use for the best odds to catch the Spectral fish in that area, and that information is also in the spreadsheets and videos people have posted online.
Intuition windows are opportunities to gain high individual points, but they don’t offer a group benefit like spectral triggers do. These intuition fish require you to catch specific fish first, and then you receive a timed buff during which you may catch these exclusive targets.
There are special intuition fish available during Spectral Currents, but the windows are shorter, and they only seem to be available at a specific time of day in-game (day, sunset, or night) which depends on the zone. These are the hardest to catch and also offer a score bonus at the end of the trip for having caught one.
Since Spectral Current events are such concentrated bursts of high value fishing, it’s best to save your GP for Spectral Currents and use abilities like Double Hook, Identical Cast, or (if lower level) Patience II. These skills will help you catch high value fish, catch more of them, or catch HQ versions. Use a Hi-Cordial to fit an extra skill into this small window of time.
The best skill to use is Double Hook, because there is a 10% bonus at the end of the voyage if you have caught at least 15 fish during Spectral Current events. You’ll probably need to see at least two of these rainbow events to ensure you get this. If you manage to catch at least 35 fish during these spectral windows, that bonus will instead be 20%. You’ll likely need all three zones to have spectral currents for a good chance at this.
Having a high Perception stat will increase the likelihood of reeling in HQ fish, which doubles their point value and for some fish lets you use the Mooch skill to catch rarer, more elusive prey. This is important for filling out your fishing log and for catching high point value fish. Having at least 800 GP will allow for two uses of Double Hook in a Spectral Current, or three if you use one of your cordials.
There are some fish in each zone that are only catchable at certain times of the day. If you’re after one of these to fill your fishing log or because it’s worth a ton of points, then check the schedule to see which voyages will be in that area at that time of day. Because of this, some routes will have better point potential than others. Check the ‘Route Analysis’ section of the spreadsheet to see notes on each of the six routes, including which exclusive fish are available and their point values.
If you were turned off from Fisher in the past, I highly recommend giving Ocean Fishing a chance. As someone who thought fishing was so boring, I’ve actually really been enjoying these expeditions. The achievement title still eludes me, but I’ll keep trying, and keep earning plenty of yellow scrips along the way.
What are your thoughts on this new fishing system? Let me know what you think is good or bad, and if you’ve got any sage advice for others trying to get those high scores!