As I've mentioned before, Runescape is one of my favorite MMORPGs and I especially enjoy in-game fishing. As players catch fish, they gain experience points (xp), and having more xp allows bigger and better fish to be caught. Once players reach a certain level of xp, they'll be counted in-game as a master fisher and receive a special cape called the fishing cape. With all this in mind, here's what I've seen in two different fishing spots that lend themselves to different styles of play.
In Otto's Grotto, players fish for leaping trout, salmon, and sturgeon. Fishing here is the fastest way to gain fishing xp, but it requires a method known as power fishing in which players drop fish on the ground as soon as they catch them. When I fished in Otto's Grotto with other players, all conversation was how to gain xp more quickly. It seemed like people only wanted to get the fishing cape and get out of there. One player said, "I hate fishing," but they were doing it nonetheless for the xp.
In the Living Rock Caverns, players fish for cavefish and rocktails, which take a lot longer to catch but require less constant clicking. Some players will fish here and also be watching movies on another computer, but others simply chat with other players while fishing, talking about politics or celebrities or anything else that comes up. In some ways, fishing in the Living Rock Caverns is less about the goal of a fishing cape and more about the journey there.
This certainly isn't a black-and-white issue, but I personally get value from Runescape through the Living Rock Caverns approach, and I think the casual conversation supported by this aspect of the game is an example of what can make multiplayer games worthwhile