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Reader Comments (30)

Posted: May 10th 2009 8:13AM Petter M said

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I guess incidental sounds were one of those things that I didn't pay any attention to until I realised they were missing. Runes of Magic needs a LOT of work in the sound-department. I hope they do keep the wolf pup sounds, I can't help laughing when I hear them since they sound like evil, mutated killer monkeys.

Posted: May 10th 2009 9:43AM (Unverified) said

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I think you hit it on the head there. It's not like we notice it, but we do notice when it's missing. Little things we don't pay attention to normally, because we expect to hear them. But when we don't, our brain realizes something isn't quite right.
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Posted: May 10th 2009 8:14AM MrGutts said

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Must have sounds!

No sounds is unacceptable unless I am jamming to some music while playing, and even then I can hear those background sounds..

Posted: May 10th 2009 8:15AM (Unverified) said

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Sound effects make a huge difference to me, without it, I just cant get into the game. Really, I thought i took it for granted till I played RoM, great game, but the lack of sound really bothers me

Posted: May 10th 2009 8:35AM SkuzBukit said

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Defintely the case proven with RoM is "you don't miss it till it's gone", & the sound in RoM is conspicuous by it's absence.

The other thing is the way background music is so random, & disjointed, I mean there are some great scores in the game but they can start up & stop in a very awkward & abrupt manner, the incidental sounds are the worst though as even if you prefer to off the music in game most leave on the incidental & environmental sounds as a complete soundscape is part of what makes a game feel atmospheric, it's like eating cheesits with no taste of cheese.

Posted: May 10th 2009 9:11AM Holgranth said

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What he said sounds are miserably done and music is random.
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Posted: May 10th 2009 8:38AM (Unverified) said

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I always play with all game sounds enabled, including ingame music. If a game is lacking in either department, like Runes of Magic is, then I just can't enjoy the game. The music and sounds of a game is what brings it to life so without them I don't play which is for me the reason I stopped playing Runes of Magic.

Posted: May 10th 2009 8:49AM (Unverified) said

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They're one of those things you don't notice till they're missing. You just expect them. If only 1 or 2 were missing, it would be fine cause your brain might just fill in the gap.

Posted: May 10th 2009 8:50AM (Unverified) said

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Did I miss something? I just started with Runes and it actually has some very good ambient sounds if you turn off the music. In busy towns the sounds of children playing and people talking. In the citadel of Varanas some spooky big hall sounds. In its administrative district, ambient sounds of footsteps and people coughing.

I'm happy to hear they're working to make it even better.

Posted: May 10th 2009 8:52AM Krystalle Voecks said

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There are certain incidental sounds, but mainly (as you pointed out) in cities. There is a stark lack of them in many other areas. When you've played other MMOs that are sound-rich, you notice the difference very starkly.
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Posted: May 10th 2009 9:08AM bylthe said

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I have been playing runes of magic since launch and have noticed the problems with the sound. But I always cut off the sound in any mmo and listen to my itunes. So no problem here at all. OH and RoM is a pretty fun game for my secondary MMO.

Posted: May 10th 2009 9:07AM (Unverified) said

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Sounds are soooo important

Good examples are LOTRO and have you heard the little piston noises your dog/cat makes in Free Realms if its wearing a cyborg outfit?

Bad example has to be City of Heroes for me, the machine gun noises are the same sample every time drives me potty

Posted: May 10th 2009 10:05AM (Unverified) said

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I almost never play with the sound on for any game. I listen to music while I play.

Posted: May 10th 2009 10:09AM Sunlover said

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Incidental sounds are very important, along with good animations, they can make or break the look and feel of a game. Runes of Magic is an excellent example. The lack of good sounds is actually one of the key reasons I don't play. The other is the art design in some places, especially the character art, just isn't interesting/good enough. Finally, the lack of an engaging story line from the start turned me off. I really want to like RoM, and have played up to level 15, but it's the little things that often determine how great a game, or anything is really.

Sound and music help the game feel more alive and without good sound, RoM and many other games just feel 'dead'. This is something that great MMOs, and great games in general, get right.

Posted: May 10th 2009 10:30AM Myria said

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There's no mining animation or sound in WoW when you're a Brunnhildar (the slave mine at Brunnhildar Village has, appropriately enough, sever sarronite nodes) and I find it very distracting. It's not the lack of a visual cue as much as the lack of the mining sound. I find that I time how long it's going to take and when I can move on not by the castbar, but by the sound. It's not a particularly conscious thing, so it's only in its absence that the utility of the sound becomes clear.

I am finding the somewhat limited soundscape of Eve to be a tad difficult to adjust to. The music (as is the case with pretty much every game ever made) quickly becomes boring, the 'Jukebox' in inaptly named at best, and while there are incidental noises, a lot of them are just the computer echoing your right click (My god, has there ever been anything so right-click happy? It's making my n52 weep...) command in a voice that rapidly gets mildly annoying.

I realize the somewhat limited soundscape and minimalistic use of incidental sounds is appropriate to the genre and setting, but it it does take a bit of getting used to after games like WoW and LoTRO which tend to be audio-rich.

Posted: May 10th 2009 10:51AM Brendan Drain said

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It's a matter of game polish. Little things like sounds synchronised to events add a great deal of solidity to the feel of a game. Diablo 2, for example, has a separate sound that plays for each class of item when it drops. They're essentially just little audio icons but they add a lot of polish to the game.

Posted: May 10th 2009 11:46AM (Unverified) said

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Funny you should mention that.
I was playing Diablo II the other night for a rose-tinted jaunt and my partner (sitting on another computer beside me) said "ring" without looking up.
Sure enough a ring had dropped off of a mob.

I forgot how amazing Blizzard are (in every single one of their games) at creating audio cues and clues.
Plus of course there's just 'something' about the ambient and musical soundtracks in D2 that make it so very special.

'Sound', for me, is all important. And as others here have mentioned, it's the main reason why I don't play RoM anymore. Grinding in silence (and no, iTunes is not a replacement for a game soundtrack, for me) is abhorrent to the extreme.

Really makes you appreciate the ones that are lovingly crafted (Blizz, Turbine, etc).
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Posted: May 10th 2009 10:58AM TheJackman said

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incidental sounds need to be there!

Posted: May 10th 2009 11:42AM (Unverified) said

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I'm always surprised to see those people who say that they play with the sound turned down or that play their own music during the game. Look. You've got all day to listen to your own music - you can listen to your own music a n y t i m e. In fact we are innundated by commercial mainstream music practically non-stop. And you mean to tell me that you like it so much that you simply must have it playing while you game too? Instead of the music designed for the game?

Music (and the incidental sounds) are a large part OF the game imo. If you are eliminating a part of the game that can have such an emotional impact as the music, then you are not really playing the game. Just a part of it.

Now I've played WoW for 14 hours straight before and yes I have turned off the game music, and I always do during raids as well. But those who just always play games without the sound are not "true" gamers in my book, and even more importantly are depriving themselves of the full game experience. Computer games are made up of two things: what you see and what you hear. That's it.

Posted: May 10th 2009 12:50PM engrey said

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Its the little things that we do not catch all of the time but are brains do and we like it. Games just feel weird if the sounds for certain actions are not there. However if the game does have sound it has to be appropriate some examples would be the sounds of mounts in WAR or even the footsteps.

At first it sounded very annoying and different but you become a custom to it, these sounds can make or break a game mechanic though like walking or running.

LOTRO has amazed me in the audio category for MMOs. The different sounds from grass to running on a wooden dock are just so rich and really helps the immersion.

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