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Reader Comments (41)

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 5:10PM (Unverified) said

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I think its one of the most grea thing that bioware do with SWOTOR.
I really like RPG games, in all types and shapes, but when I play a MMORPG I just cant read all the questes after a while because there are too many,and I become tired after reading so much text, it doesnt matter that they are intaresting and good.
Fully voice game will solve this problem

Posted: Oct 27th 2009 9:15AM (Unverified) said

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I wonder if you'll be so optimistic when you see the installation size and the inevitable patch sizes. I realize that installation size won't matter much to anyone since disk space is so damn cheap these days, but I'm sure patch sizes will.

Plus when you consider that quests can't be readily changed after they've been voiced since having a VO session again would cost prohibitive amounts of money/time, I choose to remain skeptical. Not that I have any doubt that Bioware will do everything in their power to pull it off, but until I see it myself, I refuse to fall for the hype and will remain cynical.
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Posted: Oct 24th 2009 5:12PM (Unverified) said

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So the hearing impaired won't feel immersed in SWTOR? I'm more of a subtitle kind of guy and more often than not have the game volume down and the Ventrilo volume up.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 5:30PM Seare said

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I'm hearing impaired and I like voice acting. I can always turn up the volume. Besides, I'm sure they have sub-titles for the people whose impairement is to severe to turn up the volume.
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Posted: Oct 24th 2009 5:27PM Seare said

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I have Strabismus, which makes reading a chore. I read from a computer screen all day at work and it would be a refreshing change not to have to read all of that mission text. I miss out on a lot of the story content of games like CO, because my eyes and head are just too tired to read all that at the end of the day. On the other hand, I can see why STO doesn’t want to do it. They are more concerned with cost and content quantity. Bioware has the money and I think TOR will have enough content to keep us busy until their next update.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 5:33PM AlamoeJones said

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Yeah, that guy from STO is crazy for thinking VO doesn't create immersion.

Along with being fully voiced I hope they have integrated voice chat. Hearing NPCs is one thing, hearing actual players is another.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 7:23PM (Unverified) said

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The point the STO guy made was not that VO suxs, but rather that doing it 100% for an MMO is probably not the best way to spend your dev budget, which I would have to agree with. Does it matter if VendorA, VendorB, VendorC etc etc all have voice. Not to me, I'm gunna skip it everytime.

For example if you only budget for 50% VO, then you can spend that other 50% on something else, like adding an extra gameplay feature or whatever.

Ofcourse, if your budget is big enough to afford everything, then "make it so"....
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Posted: Oct 25th 2009 4:39PM Samael said

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What if you have the money to spend? Which I think BioWare does. And the reason STO person saying that they don't think its important, well what would you do if you did not have the money for it for your game? You would say its not important. Its like saying well that $6000 suit is not worth it, the money can be spent elsewhere. Well for the person who can spend $6000 on a suit, its well spent and worth it.
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Posted: Oct 24th 2009 5:38PM Graill440 said

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Quality voice acting and a good storyline will make the games value much greater than a game without it. The only variable is if your playing a game to get to the end, which a large demographic are or you play the game to truly enjoy it.

Those that gorge on hotpockets and play games for hours at a time since they have little interest in talking to real people, they do not want to listen to the voice acting as it slows down their pace to "finish" the game and reminds them real people actually exist. "They" simply do not have time for it.

Myself? I like to listen to the hopefully great voice acting in an MMO, enjoying it while drinking a nice chianti, and munching on fava beans........

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 5:43PM Belmondo said

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I tend to agree with the guy from Cryptic, and all he's saying is that VO doesn't add a whole lot to immersion. It might add a lot to memorability, as the one blogger goes on about, but what's the connection between memorability and immersion? I don't think players need a whole lot to have an immersive experience. I've gotten immersed in 2D RPGs and text adventures. A person's imagination can fill in a lot of gaps! You have to WANT to be immersed for it to happen, and I think the players who skip over quest text now are going to skip over VOs in TOR.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 5:55PM CCon99 said

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I like VO's if they're done right. The acting in KotOR was superb, the same with Mass Effect, so I expect SWTOR will be getting the same quality treatment.

With that said, when VO's are bad they can take away from a game. Champions Online has terrible VO's that make me suspect they didn't hire any actors and just went around the studio telling their employees to do the game's VO's. In a case like that, I'd rather just read the text because bad VO's just kill the immersion and winds up hurting your eyes, from rolling them to much.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 5:58PM Lethality said

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Voice over isn't a big deal and in fact can end up as an Achilles heel. TOR is making a mistake hanging their entire hat on it.

At any rate, it really has nothing to do with immersion at all... as a matter of fact, it works to break immersion.

Books are still a very popular form of immersion - and there are no words spoken at all! You sit back and lose yourself in the pages - your mind and imagination fills in the blanks for you.

And ESPECIALLY in an RPG where you may voice your character a certain way - but the single voice you have to pick from in the game sounds nothing like what you want. Yup, another immersion breaker.



Posted: Oct 24th 2009 6:04PM LaughingTarget said

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It's all about the money. Cryptic is still a small company at this point, not a mega-million seller company like BioWare. BioWare knows that they'll sell millions of copies of ToR, especially since they're confident the full single player experience merged with an MMO should gather a huge audience (Star Wars license, which is arguably bigger than Star Trek not withstanding). That and the previous Old Republic games have built up a huge audience.

Cryptic doesn't have this level of confidence to work on. They don't have the name, they don't have an established history of blockbuster titles, so voice overs doesn't make sense to them. If Cryptic could be confident that STO would blow through millions of copies, they'd grab Patrick Stewart in a heartbeat.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 6:16PM breezer said

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I'd be willing to bet the percentage of people who sit and listen through all the voice overs they encounter in a game like KOTOR is very small.

Most people will just skip them. Which says to me it's a pretty big waste of time and money. It was cool when KOTOR came out because it was unprecedented. Now it's just a bellnwhistle I think most people can live without.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 6:26PM mysecretid said

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Gameplay trumps everything. If a game is fun to play, all else is secondary.

Quality voice acting can definitely boost a game's appeal -- but as has been said -- cheesy or bad voice acting can actually make a game _worse_, and damage its crucial fun factor.

I'm not worried about Bioware, as they have an established record of great voice acting, but Bioware is essentially the industry king of that game aspect.

By contrast, while I really like playing Champions Online, the voice acting is embarrassingly cheesy and weak.

It's like the CO team just grabbed employees on their lunch hours and said, "Hey you! Read this into the microphone and try to camp it up, okay?"

An older example? EverQuest II. The voice acting ain't all that great. Much was made over actress Heather Graham voicing Queen Antonia Bayle -- except she sounded as natural as an actress in your average junior high Shakespeare play ... all volume, bluster, and phony-Shakespearean inflection.

I think voice in MMORPGs is still a "Get it right, or don't do it at all" proposition. No voice acting is better than bad voice acting.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 7:04PM Lionhearted said

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I think voice acting is overrated. There's so much focus on it sometimes that I think they sometimes forget it's about the games.

Plus, I'm somewhat worried over just how many gigs this game is going to be if it really is 100% voice acted, as well as how much effort will go into that voice acting instead of, say, more content.

All that said, I'm pretty sure both STO and TOR are going to be awesome games, but ultimately very, very different from one another and will ultimately appeal to different players. Some are going to want the space combat and focus on exploration, etc. and some are just going to want to play an awesome star wars game.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 7:52PM LaughingTarget said

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I doubt it will be all that big. My iTunes folder is incredibly tiny at 14 hours, which is right around 1 gig of AAC files. The voices aren't going to take up a whole lot of space. The big space eaters in games are the art assets.
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Posted: Oct 24th 2009 7:53PM (Unverified) said

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People have spoken about how VO can be for good or ill; it is not an abstract benefit. With that said, what do these people think about the VO from SWTOR we've been treated to so far?

I personally found it cheesy, poorly integrated into the actual animations (Another development tedium.) and sounding even worse coming out of some of the wildly inappropriate character models. (See the crew of the imperial transport, very offputting haircuts and body proportions, I felt.) But then, it's hard to say what would take the place of those cutscenes, or even if you can skip through, since the dialogue trees seem to be vital to the game.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 8:31PM (Unverified) said

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At first I was skeptical
but then he clarified:
"You put voice over in the game and the very first thing players want is the ability to skip through and get back to the action."

and I was like: 'yup, that's exactly what I would do.'

I'm thinking about KOTOR, and that's what I did. Skipped everything. Now - having voice acting for key characters, or key mission is definitely important. But full voice acting is a little over the top - but then again, Bioware can afford it. Then again again, will that money be well spent? Possibly. It will help with immersion, but will not be necessary. VO is much more important for a single player games. Most of the time in an MMO the only other words your paying attention to are the words of the other players - as it should be.

On the other hand, since bioware is making a 1-4 player MMO I guess they would need full voice acting to keep people even mildly interested in paying 15 bucks a month for it. (oh snap)

Plus, if you watch what STO is, I don't understand how they would fully VO it. Fully VO the Genesis planets? Um. Right. That wouldn't ever turn out strange. Fully VO bridge crew? Since they're 100% custom, you'd end up with the 1-12 voice options like in BG or NWN. I'm sure key things will have vocal components, but especially in STO full VO wouldn't really work out.

Posted: Oct 24th 2009 9:19PM Muppethero said

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it increases the download size and install time!

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