Now Fish Flingers. I do like to try out new things, if I've the level to do them, once they're introduced to the game. Sometimes, like Mobilising Armies, I go in and I'm decidedly underwhelmed, so I come out again. At the opposite end of the scale is Fish Flingers. It's taken over my Runescape life. I've tried sobbing and begging at the feet of the fisherman and his wife for more tickets per week. But they just give me strange looks and make me come back on Tuesday. Usually I've used up all of my tickets by Wednesday, though I've been IRL busy this week, so I managed to eek them out until yesterday. Two more sleeps and I can go and play again.
Fish Flingers was released a couple of Tuesdays ago. Vandyballer and I went into what must have been one of the first ever competitions. It was great fun. It was full of people who had just returned from the system update and hadn't had time to even read the knowledge base correctly. We pooled our skim-read information and set about trying to work out what we were supposed to be doing. It took me a good few seconds to even find the cast button. At that point, we only had the vaguest notion that we should be getting 100% fishing efficiency for the best xp. It was probably the worst game that I've played in there, but also the most fun.
The minigame caught my imagination though. I was there as Tune created the cc Fishfling, into which I was introduced by Mister Tulip. I struggled through the early games, before Fishfling had even worked out that we're better off all being in the same world. I was amongst those original voices suggesting that, instead of shouting the range of the weights, we'd be better off counting them. A week later, you can enter Fishfling and it's all so professional. The cc is a sea of green, as everyone lives in world 84. The shouts tend to follow the same format, saying something like 'trout, docks, slim, maggot, 013'. Translated: the trout can be caught from the docks. You need to use the slim hook, the maggot bait, then attach no small weights, 1 medium weight and 3 large weights. It really works!
These days, I have my first fishing tackle box, which tells me when the next competition is running. I'm just a few medals short of my upgraded tackle box. I've gained two fishing levels in two weeks, mostly from the excellent xp that the game affords. I've got a pile of raw fish that I could be taking out to cook, but I want to get all of my tackle boxes first. Bankspace savers ftw! But it's more than the rewards that I'm getting from the minigame. I'm having fun. Real, unadulterated, great fun. It's not about actually ending up on the podium. In fact, those up there might well have received less xp than some of those on the floor. They might not. If they really are on form, then they might have got a lot more xp. It's all about strategy.
This works really well when the cc is full. We just all spread out and allocate at least one person (usually many) at each station. I've been in games where we've had every combo within the first minute, because the (two week old) veterans know what we're doing. These combos are then screamed into the cc and everyone rushes to capture every fish. Two medals right there!
My strategy is this:
* Before I even go to the fishing guild gate, I make my template on a pad beside my keyboard. It has five colums. In the first column, I list the fish - pike, cod, herring, salmon, bass and trout.
* I then enter the Fishfling cc (only useful for W84, if anyone is joining us). Everyone waiting then turns purple on my minimap. When the fisherman arrives, I first ask his advice on the fish. He will give a sometimes cryptic clue, which tells you one or two facts about a single fish. This is useful when you're later trying to work out your combo for that fish. However, I'm also typing this clue into Fishfling where, and this is important, everyone else is doing the same. If enough people get different clues, then you can go in with a lot of information. For example, a couple of days ago, the Fishfling cc people walked into there knowing this: The herring was at the beach and needed a mid-range weight; the trout were at the docks, required cricket or locust bait and a light weight; the cod were at the river, requiring grey moth bait, slim hook and a heavy weight; and the salmon were at the lake, needing a bone or wooden hook. In short, there was only pike and bass that we knew nothing about. That's because everyone there had pooled the advice given from the fisherman.
* Advice given, the fisherman then teleports you into the competition. This is the big moment where Fishfling organise themselves. When you've been in there a while, you start to recognise names. You know where the weaker areas are and where an area is in safe hands. I tend to rush where no-one I know is looking for a combo, because I can usually find it quickly. I note the show of respect when none of the 'names' then announces that they too are heading into that area first.
* We wait and five minutes later the gates are opened. Everyone rushes to their stations and the fraught first fish combos are sought. We all choose a bait and a hook, then I start with just one heavy weight. We press cast and watch to see what happens next.
Note that the bait and hooks will never be used twice. For example, if a herring gains 100% using a shrimp and slim hook, then both shrimps and slim hooks can be discounted from the combos of every other fish. This means that we generally know the combo for the last fish before anyone has even discovered its location.
* Everyone is aiming for 100%. This can be quickly worked out from the movement of the percentages as you change things. In the picture above, I've got 66%. This means that something is right. Two other things might be half right or else one is wrong and one is right. In short, of the three elements of this combo, I have two things bang on.
* I start with the hook. These are in pairs. Standard and Slim. Bone and wooden. Double and large. I select standard and cast out. I then select slim. If the percentage doesn't move, then neither are right. I select bone - the percentage goes up by 33%, I have it right; it goes up by 16%, then it's wooden. If I had tried large or double, neither would have moved. So within three casts, you can usually work out the hook. 0% = wrong pairing; 16% = right pairing, wrong hook; 33% = correct hook.
* I move onto the bait. These come in triplets. Each bait is linked to two others, one of which looks like it and one of which is the same colour. For example, the grey moth looks like the green moth, but is the same colour as the crayfish. If the correct bait is grey moth, then both the green moth and crayfish would give me 16%, while every other bait would give me 0%. The grey moth would, of course, give me 33%. There are eight baits to choose from, but once you are in your triplet, then you can get it within two more clicks. Bear in mind that the triplets overlap. For example, the green moth is both in the above triplet, as it looks like a grey moth, and also in a triplet with the cricket and locust, as it's the same colour as the latter.
* The trickiest bit is always the weights. This is done last, as we know that the hook and bait are correct. I start with one heavy weight, then add another. You're on the right lines when the percentage goes to 83% or 100%. If it goes to 83%, add another heavy weight. If it then dips to 66%, clear your line, add the hook and bait, then stop just before your nerfing heavy weight and add a medium weight instead. If you've reached 5 heavy weights with no 100%, then clear the line and try with medium or small weights instead.
* As soon as I have 100%, then I type it into Fishfling. Hopefully, by now, five other people have done the same and we have all six combos. As I've been doing the above, I've been filling in the columns on my pad. If the other combos haven't been found, then this is where my pad comes into its own. Column one lists the fish; column two lists any advice given by the fisherman; column three lists the hook; column four lists the bait; and column five lists the weight combo.
My pad is full of things like that. As you can see in the middle one, there was a game where we didn't find the salmon. To be honest, I believe that it was glitched, because when we got the combo later, it was one that I'd already tried. This does happen occasionally. But without any sign of that salmon, we knew a lot about it. Someone had taken advice from the fisherman, so we knew that it was at the docks and required a wooden or bone hook. As the pike had already used the bone hook, then we knew for certain that the salmon needed a wooden hook. The bait had to be crayfish, green moth or shrimp, as none of those had been used. Getting three combos correct = a junior angler medal; getting all six combos correct = a master angler medal. Hence we all want all six as quickly as possible, because that is two medals in the bag. That not only adds towards gaining the tackle box, but it provides a boost on the xp that we gain at the end.
* In an ideal world, we have every combo within a minute and we're all sitting pretty on two medals for the next 14 mins. Here's where we stop being quite so co-operative. Ok, it's light-hearted and the winners are all congratulated later. Somewhere along the way, someone will have discovered the heaviest species of fish and let the cc know. If no-one has, then look at your catches. The weights of two will end in a 9. One of those species will be the heaviest, at 199. We all flock to find it. If we know it already, then we all rush there. We've played for our bonuses, now we're playing for xp and a possible place on the podium.
If someone is lucky enough to have 80% of their overall catch on the heaviest fish, then they will get a medal for it, as well as all of that xp from the heavy fish. That's when strategy dilemmas kick in. If your first fish is the heaviest, then do you rush about getting the other five? You miss out on the two medals and their boosts, but if you go, you might miss out on this one medal and the mega catch. There's no easy answer. It really does depend on the way the cookie crumbles and the good nature of your colleagues. I was in a game the other day when someone openly stated that they had the heaviest and they were staying with it. There was only me and him as veterans in there, so that left me considering my options. I could rush around getting all of the combos. He could stay at his spot until the very end, then rush around, using my information to gain two medals. I would be doing this whilst nerfing my own game, because it takes time to do that and I'd be losing out. My decision was to get the combos anyway, but I noted mentally noted his name. I will never, ever do a game alone with him again. He's unreliable. I don't mind at all about the newcomers finding their way. They are the veterans of next week and so can freeload all they want this week. As they learn their craft, then maybe I will be the one hanging out at the heaviest catch until the eleventh hour.
Usually though you'll witness a mass exodus to the site of the heaviest fish after all of the combos are found. I had to smile yesterday. The beach, with the heavy bass, was awash with purple dots. Behind us a lone white dot fished the river. He'd been invited into the party, but he kept ignoring us. He wasn't on the podium.
Anyway, I hope that's shared my strategy and bigged up my favourite new minigame. It also explains why I disappear out of Canting for 20 mins every 90 mins. Canting ftw, of course, but for Fish Flingers, its Fishfling! We own.