Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Future Fishing: Celestia and Zafaria

In the recent Update Notes for Fishing, Kingsisle made a brief promise: 

"Fishing is currently only available in Wizard City, Krokotopia, Grizzleheim, and Mooshu. Fishing has only just begun in the Spiral and more Fishing Holes and species are just waiting to be discovered!"

This seems to suggest that an update expanding fishing to the Morganthe-Arc worlds is inevitable. All worlds from Celestia to Khrysalis could be updated all at once, or only several at a time. So, until then, why not theorycraft? (or theoryfish, if you will)

Celestia is nearly all underwater, albeit mostly covered by an underwater dome. As stated in the Update Notes:
You currently cannot fish in underwater areas.

It's a long shot, but could fish be being pumped in from the ocean? Possibly small creatures, like plankton, anemones, or other reef fish. In that sense, underwater fishing could happen. However, Celestia's only above-ground area, the Floating Land, is a more distinct possibility.

The Floating Land in itself could bring many more fish to the Spiral. Wouldn't it be great to catch more sharks, squid, and other exotic fish? There could even be a theme on the Sun, Moon, and Star schools that make Celestia stand out. For instance, the Sunfish is actually a huge fish in real life, and coincidentally, its scientific name sounds more like a Water Mole - Mola mola, to be exact. The Starfish, of course, is also well known. 

Any way you look at it, Floating Land's so-called Blue Sky Beach is pretty large, and may house a surprising amount of new fish. Freshwater species are a likelihood too - there's a little river that runs by Tupa Taua, for instance.

A water-mole fisherman offering new spells - or even a small quest - would be sweet, too. There's only two ranks of fish currently, and as such only the Lesser and Minor lures. It would make sense that there will eventually be a Rank 3 lure (Major, perhaps), whether in Celestia or beyond. As for fishing levels, the current fish count (63 throughout four worlds) places an experienced fisherman only up in the Level 7 range. With fishing spells of levels 8-10 in Grizzleheim, reaching these heights with new fish species makes sense. If enough fish are added with Celestia and Zafaria, the peak level for experienced fisherman may go up to Level 9. 

Celestia is interesting to think about, but Zafaria's long rivers and watering holes make it a much more likely hub for fishing. It has one major river (possibly inspiration from the real-life Nile or Congo), which in itself could host more than a few new fish. In addition, the Great Baobab tree is the source for several likely fishing holes, including infamous Mirror Lake.

Why go underneath Mirror Lake to defeat an evil zebra when you can catch, maybe, a Zebrafish? (Which is an actual species of fish, by the way)

The Savannah's watering hole is the only Zafarian fishing spot that does not have a clear source, aside from rain that we never see. The water here is initially diseased, but is purified near the end of Savannah questing. This would also make this spot unique, as a low-level wizard could fish anywhere but here.

 Next up, the Zamunda Outskirts wild rapids. This appears to be a tributary of the major river that goes from the Drum Jungle to Baobab Market.

Stone Town rhinos control the side rendered impassable by the broken bridge. That other side is likely an island or strip of land that separates Zamunda's tributary from the main river. 

Given the rapids and rather remote location, it's likely that some of Zafaria's hardier, wilder fish reside here. For some examples, I looked into some of the species endemic to the Congo River in Central Africa. 

A common fish in the Congo that would fit perfectly in Wizard101 is the Elephant Fish. Like actual elephants, they are very intelligent compared to other fish.

Put a slightly more believable trunk on this guy, and we have a perfect W101 fish species. Perhaps it would look like Dumbo, with the ears/wings acting as gills instead?

Adorable cartoon creatures aside, the Elephant Fish is a prime candidate to be Zafaria's one rare fish. If you're not familiar with the four rare fish in-game, there is one in every world, found in every area of its designated world (i.e. the Bearracuda is rare, but can be found anywhere in Grizzleheim). Why not have a large, aquatic pachyderm in Zafaria?

Going back to Zafaria's geography -- Shown on the left are the outskirts of Stone Town, forming the eastern edge of the barricaded rhino-controlled island that is integral in separating Zamunda's tributary. This leaves those wilder rapids cut off from Zafaria's main river, also shown above.

For the main river that goes from deep into the Drum Jungle to Baobab's Marketplace, there are even more places just ready to be fished. Who knows what we'll encounter among Zafaria's fishing holes?

Last and least seriously, I came up with some creative possibilities for Zafarian fish species, and equally bogus descriptions for each. Do you have a unique ZF fish idea? I may end up doing a little contest on Twitter (@arlendawneyes), so stay tuned :D

  • Bao Barbel: One of Zafaria's oldest fish, and still firmly rooted to its home.
  • Belloq Barbel (Epic): Shady black market dealers. Find them hiding in the shadows of Zafaria.
  • Carp Diem: Catching this fish is a real confidence booster. Lives without regrets in Zafaria.
  • Elephant Fish (Rare): Don't bother trying to fool this fish, as it never forgets a face. Seen stampeding around Zafaria.
  • Finoceros: Large and in charge of their environment. Only dangerous when their weight is joked about.
  • Painted Finoceros (Epic): The main mischief-makers of Zafaria. Not to be confused with the Zebrafish.
  • Gazeel: Can outswim most Zafarian predators, but inevitably ends up on the dinner menu anyway.
  • Hatuna Matata: Laid back and always worry-free. Found in relaxing, still waters.
  • Lion Kingfish (Epic): Poised to rule its fishing hole. Remains wary of other scheming fish.
  • Spider Witch Fish: Don't get on the dark side of these fish. Found performing magical rituals in Zafaria.
  • Silverback Gar-illa (Epic): Leads by instinct, for better or for worse. Find them making questionable decisions in the jungles of Zafaria.
  • Zebrafish: Keeps safe by travelling together, but often gets split up from its group. Seen getting mixed up in Zafaria.

(My favorite is the Hatuna Matata, obviously)

Happy Angling!

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Have a splendiferous day! :)