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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Voice Acting Ups and Downs

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,619MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

One of the most discussed features in Star Wars: The Old Republic is the voice over quest dialogs. Not only is the main storyline quest arc voiced, so are ALL quests. Today we discuss the pros and cons of the voice acting in SWTOR. See what you think and then leave your ideas on the subject in our comments.

For me, Star Wars: The Old Republic has exceeded expectations. Any doubters out there can say what they want but it has for this gamer. It’s had a very smooth launch; it plays well and has enough to do in it to keep me interested. If I get bored with leveling I go play PvP. If I get bored with PvP I go play space missions, and I’m always bossing around my companions for crafting. Overall it’s a good solid game. There is one area however that I feel like Bioware has gone too far, Voice Acting. There are elements of voice acting that I do love in the game and having VO in your main class story line is fantastic. However I do think Bioware should have been more strategic in their placement and not used it in every quest.

Read more of Garrett Fuller's Star Wars: The Old Republic - Voice Acting Ups and Downs.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • MimzelMimzel KristiansandPosts: 375Member

    You like pvp, crafting and spacemissions - the three most shalllow parts of the game. You dislike the fully voiced part of the game. I see. Make sense much?

  • SkillCosbySkillCosby Trenton, MIPosts: 684Member

    The Jedi Knight voice work was terrible. My character sounded like some anti-drug Captain America-type person at the end of some 80s cartoon.

    The Sith Warrior, however was pretty decent.

  • aslan132aslan132 Tampa, FLPosts: 378Member Uncommon

    I agree the game was done well. The graphics are impressive. The launch was smooth. All said and done its a fum game. However:

    All the VO in the game is exactly why i dont play anymore. Its a small excuse to cover up the fact that this game is still exactly like every other MMO there is. All the cutscenes do is pull you away from the action, and after everyone gets thier say you still have to go kill 10 of this or that. 

    I love Mass Effect and Kotor and other dialogue based RPGs. Building relationships with the NPCs allow for a sense of immersion into the world. Unfortunately, it just doesnt work here. In single players console games its nice to build relationships with the NPCs because you are playing by yourself. Here its just an annoyance. Its an MMO, the social aspect should be gained from other players, but the best experience i have in SWTOR is playing with just one other person. The entire game is fun as a duo, any more (or even solo) and the game is no fun at all. Remarket it as KOTOR 3 with co-op and its a win. As an MMO with a recurring sub fee, its just not worth the money.

  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    For me this game has more to worry about than the quality of the voice acting which I though was one of the best things about it. I'm not going to rime of all the things that are a let down as its been done now so many times everyone already knows where the problems lie, lets just say its not voice acting or the structure of the quests that are the problem in my opinion. 

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,277Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by precious328

    The Jedi Knight voice work was terrible. My character sounded like some anti-drug Captain America-type person at the end of some 80s cartoon.

    The Sith Warrior, however was pretty decent.

    The knight was alright... the male consular, sounded  like a confused english teacher.   The smuggler is awesome.. though all of the canned answers gets annoying.

     

    I agree with the article.  I find it interesting though that we can hear a story for a couple minutes,  and respond with answers that take a couple seconds.  I think thats part of the issue,  the responses always sound like they could be interesting to listen to,  then you click the choice, and find out he just said the same response he told someone else 100 times before. 

     

    Its like BioWare created every character to be that one guy at the party, who thinks he's completely awesome,  and goes around to different people telling the same joke even though it stopped being funny hours ago.

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


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  • Master10KMaster10K LondonPosts: 3,065Member

    Yeah, they should have done it like The Witcher 2. Have tons of VO in the story and lots of NPC chatter in the open world (not just with the companions). But then have noticeboards, in hub areas, with a bunch of "Kill X of Y" contracts that you can do whilst you're out adventuring. It just seems better than the way Bioware did it with their side quests and it cost less.

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  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    Problem with Bioware dialogues is that they are:

    - cheesy

    - naive and wrote like for young teenagers movies

    - too simple and litimed (always 3 options ' good neutral bad' decsion - rly?)

     

    Text dialogues were much better , they could be more in-depth and have many options due to cost of production.

    See games like Balur's Gate 2 or Fallout 2 or Arcanum or Planescape: Torment for how-to

     

    Voice over shouldbe left for few most importnatn quests, cinematic trailers and stuff like that.

  • LowcaianLowcaian NsjoPosts: 265Member

    Originally posted by fenistil

    Problem with Bioware dialogues is that they are:

    - cheesy

    - naive and wrote like for young teenagers movies

    - too simple and litimed (always 3 options ' good neutral bad' decsion - rly?)

     

    Text dialogues were much better , they could be more in-depth and have many options due to cost of production.

    See games like Balur's Gate 2 or Fallout 2 or Arcanum or Planescape: Torment for how-to

     

    Voice over shouldbe left for few most importnatn quests, cinematic trailers and stuff like that.

    Reading is bad for you. Didn't you hear McIntyre?

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  • onelesslightonelesslight Alexandria, VAPosts: 114Member Uncommon

    Attention deficit disorder clearly benefited our early ancestors. Perhaps now, not so much.

    Personally, I like the VO because it distracts me from the fact that I am collecting a variant of 10 bear asses. And if I honestly feel "man, this guy's asking me to do something stupid," then I usually have the ability to give a snarky response, and get enjoyment from that. 

  • SaerainSaerain Barrington, RIPosts: 944Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by precious328

    The Jedi Knight voice work was terrible. My character sounded like some anti-drug Captain America-type person at the end of some 80s cartoon.

    The Sith Warrior, however was pretty decent.

    Yes, it's sad, but the voices of the Knight and Warrior are most of the reason I play the Consular and Inquisitor instead.

    Favorites: EVE, VG, LotRO | Playing: None | Anticipating: SC, ED, TD, EQN, CU
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon

    Ok, I thought, I’ll bite, what does this guy want? Once I clicked on him, it was all over, he launched me into a bonus quest phase on the planet that seemed to last forever. I played through it but it was at this point that I thought the voice acting had gone too far.

     

    You could have just said "no".

    You don't have to do every quest that is presented to you.

  • HatewallHatewall Cumming, GAPosts: 120Member

    The dialogues were cool the first couple of times but they quickly became annoying.

    I actually found myself saying "yeah yeah yeah" after a while when things like "you are the one we have heard so much about" were said. Yes, me and the other 20 people running up to the npc. I quickly started spacing and then mousing over just to see which responce gae red or blue.

    In this case, they lost a sale because I was able to beta. I probably would have bought the retail box although I know I would not have subbed. I made that decision the first day I was in the beta. I also told someone in game that I didn't want to have to do those quests over at launch.

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member

    Originally posted by precious328

    The Jedi Knight voice work was terrible. My character sounded like some anti-drug Captain America-type person at the end of some 80s cartoon.

    The Sith Warrior, however was pretty decent.

    I agree. I would have liked to choose my Jedi's voice from a group of varying voices. I know this would have been too expensive for launch - to have multiple union voice over actors record a script as opposed to 1 actor, however, it would have been a nice customization to have Jedi's with different voices based upon player preferences.

  • ClocksimusClocksimus Barrie, ONPosts: 354Member

    I'm not sure I can take this seriously.  The one thing Bioware stressed that there game will contain is now being complained about also? The only reason to play swtor is VO.  PvP is rather broken, space combat is a mini game, and without VO content is limited for PvE.  Admittingly not always the greatest storylines ingame, the stories can still be fun and interesting at time.

    I'm really confused here.

  • webrenderwebrender Everett, WAPosts: 4Member

     

    Actually I'm a huge fan of this approach and this is a main reason I have (for the time being) switched to this game.  So far I have only played a JC, but with a few weird exceptions I have found the voice elements very well done and it has gone a long way towards a new level of game play immersion, 

    I look forward to seeing what the other stories look, and sound like.

  • WickedjellyWickedjelly Yahoo, COPosts: 4,990Member

    I have to agree about the voice acting being overdone. It actually diminishes the overall effect for me because it is simply worn out being used for almost every quest.

    Not to mention it gets really annoying when the "voice acting" is an alien saying: Unka ba dunka chunka for the hundredth time or your character says the exact same line again and again.

    I think it would have been more meaningful and emotional if it was done more sparingly.

    1. For god's sake mmo gamers, enough with the analogies. They're unnecessary and your comparisons are terrible, dissimilar, and illogical.

    2. To posters feeling the need to state how f2p really isn't f2p: Players understand the concept. You aren't privy to some secret the rest are missing. You're embarrassing yourself.

    3. Yes, Cpt. Obvious, we're not industry experts. Now run along and let the big people use the forums for their purpose.

  • BergirBergir Toronto, ONPosts: 299Member

    I agree swtor exceeded my expectations too, this is coming from someone who had every shadow of doubt that this would be a good game.

    I've already canceled before the first month was up but I'm probably going to sub back up later next month as I'm getting the itch for some more kotor err tor.

    As far as too much voice, you couldn't be more wrong. It is the staple of what the game is, a multiplayer version of all it's single player games which are completely voiced as well.

    I don't know of anyway to try it outside muting your sound but walk up to any side quest npc and cut the sound every time and take the quest. I think in swtor it would be jarring, i'm sure it would feel wrong and certainly less appealing.

    I know this is going to sound very weird but in wow when i go take a quest i found it absolutely refreshing (after playing swtor) to read a little tid bit and go on my merry way, what i found even more refreshing was to goto a quest hub on a night i'm not in the mood for anything other than hunting and take all the quests and just go for it.

    Having not enough time to play even one mmo, there is no sense in me having two subs running and is why i canceled my swtor account as i was in the mood for some mmo. Feeling the itch for some story telling I'll cancel my wow account for a month and play some swtor.

    Hats of to Bioware, as i'm going to return to their mmo here and there every now and then, which for me is rare as i usually stick to one mmo, sure I'll go try another but i always return to just one and never go back to the ones i tried.

  • TardcoreTardcore MinskPosts: 2,325Member

    Well this game has not exceeded expectaions for THIS gamer so we will just have to have a gentleman's disagreement on that point.

     

    As to the idea of too much VO content, I whole heartedly agree. In fact about a week before launch I pontificated this very same idea that the VO was not really needed on the little side quests. And the effort that went into adding this content could have been better spent on other, in my opinion lacking, areas of the game. Of course I was crucified for my opinion by the regular mob of game defenders.

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    "Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "

  • black_isleblack_isle IstanbulPosts: 239Member Uncommon

    I totally, fully agree with this article and am very glad that it's been brought up. I hated it.I

  • GorillaGorilla Posts: 2,202Member Uncommon

    Completely agree .....well about the VO/cutscenes. I can't buy into the first paragraph listing why you like the game though glad you are still having fun.

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    I'm loving SWTOR, but I actually agree with this article.  I find that only 2 types of quests need voiceovers, and that is the Class quest from 1-50 and each planet's main world arc.  The rest of they pithy side quests aren't deep enough for me to give a hoot about the npc's voice who gave it to me.  In other words, give voiceovers for characters you are going to see a lot of, especially with quest arcs that span the whole planet/galaxy.  

    There are many times, too where I thought...we have instant communication yet I still have to run back and forth to npc's to get my reward and turn it in? Um....this only makes sense when there a cutscene I have to go through to do it, like in some class storylines where an npc stops you on your way to your objective, but all as part of the story.  This is pointless however on those sidequests.

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  • aSynchroaSynchro azeaze, AKPosts: 176Member Uncommon

    It's exactly what ArenaNet thought about and will do for GW2: your personal story will be delivered with special cutscenes while the "normal" dynamic events (ie: quests) will just happened around you.

    imho it's the best solution because it will clearly tell players what can be avoided and what is really important thus requiere more focus.



     

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon

    *does the I Told You So dance*

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • Master10KMaster10K LondonPosts: 3,065Member

    Originally posted by aSynchro

    It's exactly what ArenaNet thought about and will do for GW2: your personal story will be delivered with special cutscenes while the "normal" dynamic events (ie: quests) will just happened around you.

    imho it's the best solution because it will clearly tell players what can be avoided and what is really important thus requiere more focus.

    Exactly and it has also saved ArenaNet a ton of resources, which were better spent elsewhere. It is why SW:TOR, with all it's amazing VO, still feels like it was rushed out the gate. With Ilum not having the proper testing it deserved, in beta and the 2 Fleet hub areas just being slapped in, last minute.

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  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    Good write up - I agree completely.

    Very high quality VO (for the most part) but does it really need to be for EVERY quest?

    No.

    Class story, for sure, and those always seem to be the best quality.

    Major planetary story arcs? For sure - some great, great content.

    Little one-off side quests / bonus series stuff?

    Umm no.

    And I have gotten into the habbit of reading and space bar through the alien dialogue. The long pauses between dialogue segments with the alien speak is what gets to me the most.

     

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