noun. The act of estimating something to be worthless.
There are things about the fishing skill that I like a lot. It's no accident that I have more than 20m xp in the skill and spend most of my time in Runescape hanging out in a fishing-based clan chat. It's very low-key and relaxed, probably more so than any other skill in the game (except maybe woodcutting, which...well, I'll get to that). In its own little way, it's enjoyable to train. Besides that, as a staple profession in adventuring games (even in some games where it probably doesn't belong...*coughSonicAdventurecoughZeldacoughcough*) and it adds to the flavor of the universe for players to be able to make use of the natural food resources in the water--although we'll skim past some of the stranger aspects of that flavor for the purposes of this floccinaucinihilipilification.
Unfortunately, many players' perception of fishing is...shall we say...out of line.
Fishing has this reputation as a moneymaking skill. People think, "Oh, I need some money. I'll go fish some lobsters." Or maybe somebody will ask, "What's a good way for me to make money?" and someone will answer, "Try training your skills. Skills like hunter, runecrafting, woodcutting, fishing, and so on are good for increasing your cashpile." Or maybe someone is considering training a skill to 99 and a friend recommends, "Fishing is a pretty good one to go for. You earn like 50m from it." I hang around in plenty of help forums and I talk to my share of fishermen in-game, and it astonishes me how much I hear this sort of thing.
Guys, it's not. Fishing is not a moneymaking skill. It just isn't. It never makes good profit. Not even at 99. It maxes around, what, 200-300k gp/hr? After hundreds of hours of training to get to 99? That's not a good moneymaker. If that's your best way of making money, you are poor.
Seriously. People need to stop talking about fishing like it's somehow a money skill. It just isn't.
I mean, how often do you hear people saying, "I need some money right now, so I'm training my cooking"? But cooking is a better moneymaker than fishing. Adding toppings to pizza is faster cash than fishing rocktails, even at 99 fishing, and all you need is a flat 60-something cooking. Did you know I made more money getting 99 cooking than I made from 99 fishing and woodcutting combined? It's true. Hell, compared to some methods that are actually fast, cooking still isn't a good moneymaker, but it's better than fishing. Yet which skill has a reputation as a steady profit machine and which has a reputation as break-even at best?
"Oh, but what about free players? They don't have all the fancy P2P moneymakers to compete with fishing, so fishing is still fine if you're not a member!" Sure, it's a defensible option since there are comparatively few sources of profit in F2P, but it's still mediocre at best and most players can do better. I mean, in the best case scenario, you're still only looking at marginally faster profits than mining rune essence. And that's in the best case, with a high fishing level. And of course, that's to say nothing of the profits you could get at the Runecrafting Guild or mining runite or, hell, even making pizzas again. You can still do that in F2P. If you don't have a high fishing level? Well, at that point you might just as well pick the bananas and sell those instead. Totally serious here--compare the prices. Can you catch lobsters faster than you can pick bananas?
It all boils down to not a money skill. You can train it all you want (low-input, relaxing, blah blah blah) if that's what floats your boat...
...but treating it as if it's a decent source of income is a good way to stay poor.
Now, woodcutting. Woodcutting is even worse. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and make this a two-parter. Come back tomorrow and we'll get to woodcutting.
(Okay, it's tomorrow now. Click here for part 2.)