Old School Fishing!
So things are different, I can see that. How exactly? I'm not entirely sure yet. I've done the quests up to level 25 and I've mostly enjoyed the content. However, I'm not as big a fan of fishing as I once was. That's most likely because I liked it "the way it was..." It makes me feel old.
I have heard about and unlocked some boat thing where you can speed through your levels and unlock some stuff. I will definitely do that someday, but for now I wanted to relive the old ways.
For the first 25 levels I can say this: Gathering and Perception actually matter now. 5+ years ago I could have completed these quests naked. I can still... but it takes way WAY longer. Now the beginner gear actually makes a difference where it once made absolutely none. Of course you could just buy the fish for turn ins, but I wanted to test the system out. As a result I can affirm that early gear is now relevant and unless you like torture, it could be considered necessary.
Another change is the skill ups. Square Enix has "simplified" many systems and I suppose this is one of them I can't be sure, but I suspect there is an invisible skill up system that is less important than it used to be.
It sure feels a lot more like fishing now, which is fantastic for those of us who enjoy fishing.