Last week, an interesting GameSpy article caught the eyes of a few SWTOR players. Why? Because it critiqued SWTOR in a way that not a lot of press articles and critics are talking about– it critiqued its “fluff”. Fluff, when used to describe MMO features, often refers to the social features that stand out to roleplayers in particular, but every type of gamer can get enjoyment from fluff.
Collectable items, vanity pets, cool mounts, roleplay events held in taverns and cantinas, achievements, mini games, tradeskills, and holiday events can all be constituted as fluff, and if game developers are smart, they use these social features both as a lure for players and as a way to simply show off the game world. Fluff is immersive, which is why it speaks to so many players. It lets MMOs become a virtual home to us instead of just a virtual place to shoot bad guys. SWTOR’s problem, according to the article? There’s too much shooting, and not enough fluff– which is pretty disappointing given the universe it’s based off.