by: Tony "RadarX" Jones

What do you think of when you hear the word “fluff” in a Massive Multiplayer Online game? Is it something like housing where you can place personal belongings? Perhaps you are more interested in titles, revealing your numerous and difficult accomplishments. To some it could even be pixilated cleavage (I don’t judge because I’m probably among you). The point is, fluff is subjective to be sure but rarely gets the spotlight usually just becoming a footnote to major mechanics. Turbine made it a point last week to discuss this type of content in detail. They refer to them as Leisure Activities (which is fair) and I think it's important to look at what they covered.

Music System

This is truly one of the most unique things I’ve seen in an MMO. I’ve seen this discussed in the forums of at least two other games recently and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were added other places.

I’ll admit at first it did remind me of playing the little piano in Lord British’s room trying to get the Sandalwood Box from Ultima 5. Essentially the number keys play a certain note and you have an 8 note octave to work with. Want to expand? The shift and control keys will actually raise or drop the notes by an octave.

This provides players with the ability to write their own music which I have to admit is a little cool. I haven’t looked around really hard but I would be absolutely shocked if there wasn’t a guide to playing the Legend of Zelda theme song.

Pipe-weed Smoking

Ok now I’m going to be honest about this one. I’m surprised Turbine hasn’t gotten some bad press over smoking. Yes it’s dumb, but in a game rated “T” you are encouraging characters to smoke? I’ll even leave the weed references to Cheech and Chong, but things like this have a way of getting negative attention.

Essentially Farmers, which is a crafting profession, go out in the field and grow pipe-weed for harvesting. I’ve personally done it, and I’ll admit I enjoy farming (my dad would be so proud) so there is a fun factor to it. Also, there are different varieties of pipe-weed you can grow which I’m assuming provides different types of smoke. Can you see the first “Guide to Smoking” by one of the community sites?


This one made me chuckle a little. I’d have preferred capture the flag or kickball but ok, I’ll play along. In the ruins near the Bree festival grounds you can join a game of tag which will have you running around wildly. Get bored with that, and you’ll find a game of Freeze Tag nearby.

It’s an interesting diversion I’ll admit but a little bit of experienced advice from me to you? If you try and play Extreme Tag in the Auction House by screaming “TAG !” it might get you yelled at.


Armor Dyes!? Shhhh the EverQuest 2 fans are going to hear you. There are actual dyes in game? The Scholar crafting profession makes these Armor Dyes and you can dye pretty much anything you’d like. This will differentiate you from all your friends and not just in the normal hygienic way.

In their article they only show one example which is the color Olive. Hopefully Turbine has limited the color palette to things you’d find commonly in Middle-Earth. I don’t think any of us want to relive the pink armor days of EverQuest 1. *shudder*

Pie-eating Contest

I’m not sure why, but I absolutely love they put this in game. There is something intriguing about eating contests and since we can’t have buffalo wings why not pies? You simply head to the Bree festival grounds, talk to Humbert at a certain time (I’ve heard afternoon) and you are in! I went after those pies like a kid who was given chocolate for dinner and if you win? You get a title.

I’d like to see them expand the contest idea a little more. Why don’t the dwarves/elves do anything fun over in Thorin’s gate? Sure they are a more serious race but come on! Dwarves are known drinkers! Where is our contest?

The Leisure Activity article was interesting to me because I’ve rarely seen a game compile their fluff like that. Turbine seems to be really trying to reach in a direction separating them from other fantasy MMO’s. Little touches like this may only have limited return but show how much care has gone into the games creation. I expect we’ll see more interesting content like this in future content releases and I’ll be waiting for my Dwarven Drinking contest.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016