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Quest Voice Acting Presentation

voxnorvoxnor os, CAPosts: 121Member

Morning fine folks of MMORPG -

 

I was chatting with my wife this morning re: GW2, and discussing this feature and that. She mentioned something that hadn't dawned on me but I think has some validity, at least for me.

 

I think the current method in which the voice-acted quests are presented, with a nice backdrop and one character on each side at a time, is actually a hindrence to immersion. I would have liked to see a SWTOR stile voice over, where the camera adjusts and you appear to still be in the world with the character talking.

 

I am curious what made them choose this style, and what your thoughts are on it?

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Comments

  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Webster, MAPosts: 4,813Member
    Originally posted by voxnor

    Morning fine folks of MMORPG -

     

    I was chatting with my wife this morning re: GW2, and discussing this feature and that. She mentioned something that hadn't dawned on me but I think has some validity, at least for me.

     

    I think the current method in which the voice-acted quests are presented, with a nice backdrop and one character on each side at a time, is actually a hindrence to immersion. I would have liked to see a SWTOR stile voice over, where the camera adjusts and you appear to still be in the world with the character talking.

     

    I am curious what made them choose this style, and what your thoughts are on it?

    I like it, it reminds of me old single player RPG's. 

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member

    I agree that SWTOR's story presentation is better.  But I think they chose the backdrop style because it is zounds cheaper to do than making a custom animation for every cutscene.

    I really think that, that is a large reason why SWTOR is in trouble.  The story content was just too expensive to sustain.

    In the end, I'm really not thrilled about single player story inside of an MMORPG...and if an MMORPG is going to have one, I would rather it doesn't dominate the game.  So I'm actually happy that the story didn't receive a huge amount of the game's budget :).

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • kartoolkartool Hamilton, ONPosts: 472Member Uncommon
    The voice acting itself is terrible and the presentation doesn't help. I would have liked to see more TSW style cutscenes for the main quest, but keep the rest as it is. I have a hard time getting over how terrible most of the voice acting is, it really is awful. TSW showed how voice acting and cutscenes can be done right. Oh well, it's not a game breaker in any way.
  • DoomedfoxDoomedfox Elmhurts, NYPosts: 685Member Common
    Originally posted by kartool
    The voice acting itself is terrible and the presentation doesn't help. I would have liked to see more TSW style cutscenes for the main quest, but keep the rest as it is. I have a hard time getting over how terrible most of the voice acting is, it really is awful. TSW showed how voice acting and cutscenes can be done right. Oh well, it's not a game breaker in any way.

    I agree with this statement.

    GW2 Voiceacting and the CS certainly are not terrible if you measure them by MMO standards but coming out right after TSW the difference in quality is pretty obvious.

    I also agree that it is not a game breaker.

     

  • DrakynnDrakynn The Pas, MBPosts: 2,030Member
    I think the number one reaosn for the presentation....it'll be cheap to produce more in the future.I'd rather they foucs on gameplay and cotnent rather than cutscenes.
  • KrytycalKrytycal Miami, FLPosts: 520Member
    Originally posted by Creslin321

     

    I really think that, that is a large reason why SWTOR is in trouble.  The story content was just too expensive to sustain.

    Not necessarily, TSW proved that it was possible to out-do SWTOR's writing, cutscenes and voiceover with a fraction of its budget. I still have no idea where the 300 mil went to be honest.

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon

    TSW doesn't have branching dialogue or famous VAs. It also has a silent protagonist, not much variation between factions and no variation between classes (because it doesn't have any) storyline wise. So, in the end, it doesn't have anywhere near as much voice acting as TOR does.

    I think GW2's dialogue sequences do their job quite well. They tell you what the world is like, show you where to go next, etc. They're also (usually) not awful and the backgrounds are pretty. I don't think they're supposed to be "immersive" and don't know what's so immersive about TOR's wooden dialogue or TSW's disturbingly silent protagonist, anyway. Sure, TSW has a vastly superior story, but its lackluster animations aren't much better than GW2's talking heads IMO.

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,928Member Uncommon
    Yeah, SWTOR did the voice overs better.  But they also voice overed everything which was completely unnecessary.
  • Angier2758Angier2758 Mt. Prospect, ILPosts: 1,011Member

    I really like the game, but boy do I hate my character's voice.  I stopped playing the human male because he sounds like buzz lightyear ot me.

    That being said I do like how people yell out when they are hit.. when they get snared they say "ahh my leg!"

  • BadaboomBadaboom Moose Jaw, SKPosts: 2,380Member
    I personally don't like cut scenes in an MMO.  If you are going to do one though, I prefer GW's over some of the other ones.
  • WickedjellyWickedjelly Yahoo, COPosts: 4,990Member
    Originally posted by voxnor

    Morning fine folks of MMORPG -

     

    I was chatting with my wife this morning re: GW2, and discussing this feature and that. She mentioned something that hadn't dawned on me but I think has some validity, at least for me.

     

    I think the current method in which the voice-acted quests are presented, with a nice backdrop and one character on each side at a time, is actually a hindrence to immersion. I would have liked to see a SWTOR stile voice over, where the camera adjusts and you appear to still be in the world with the character talking.

     

    I am curious what made them choose this style, and what your thoughts are on it?

     I don't care for it although I've gotten used to it. Can't say I'm a fan of it though.

    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.

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member

    Voice acting for the most part in GW2 is very good, but falls short of great or excellent.  The Norn stroyline is the one that seems to be subpar voice acting wise, but Asura, Charr and Human are all above average quality.  

     

    I absolutely hated the presentation at first, but have grown used to it.  I think i would just rather it be done in game, but I can live with whats there.  Personal story takes up maybe 1% of my playtime anyway.

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 5,590Member Uncommon

    Cut scene and VO would have to be really bad in order for them to be a game breaker for an otherwise decent game.

    Yeah the Voice Acting in GW2 sucks. But the cut scenes while different, kinda work for me.

  • gieger808gieger808 Winston-Salem, NCPosts: 165Member
    It's good . Not great. I'm ok with that. Got sick of story in TOR. Having a scripted personal story at all is like getting dessert with a meal. Nice, but not needed.
  • Master10KMaster10K LondonPosts: 3,065Member
    Originally posted by Creslin321

    I agree that SWTOR's story presentation is better.  But I think they chose the backdrop style because it is zounds cheaper to do than making a custom animation for every cutscene.

    I really think that, that is a large reason why SWTOR is in trouble.  The story content was just too expensive to sustain.

    In the end, I'm really not thrilled about single player story inside of an MMORPG...and if an MMORPG is going to have one, I would rather it doesn't dominate the game.  So I'm actually happy that the story didn't receive a huge amount of the game's budget :).

    image  This pretty much.

    ArenaNet went for the stylistic approach to the cutscenes, not only because it goes with what they are trying to do with the rest of the game's asthetics, but also because it is a hell of a lot cheaper than what SWTOR & TSW went for. It is also why the rest of the game, beyond the personal story, doesn't feel severly lacking.

     

    Sure the voice over ranges from OK to awful, I personally think that where GW2 excels (in regards to VO) is with the sense of immersion in open world. From the ambient environmental noise, to the thousands of lines of random NPC & PC chatter that you'll come across, along your journey. That's where the true immersion lies in GW2. Not in some cutscene.

    image

  • voxnorvoxnor os , CAPosts: 121Member
    Originally posted by Master10K
    Originally posted by Creslin321

    I agree that SWTOR's story presentation is better.  But I think they chose the backdrop style because it is zounds cheaper to do than making a custom animation for every cutscene.

    I really think that, that is a large reason why SWTOR is in trouble.  The story content was just too expensive to sustain.

    In the end, I'm really not thrilled about single player story inside of an MMORPG...and if an MMORPG is going to have one, I would rather it doesn't dominate the game.  So I'm actually happy that the story didn't receive a huge amount of the game's budget :).

    image  This pretty much.

    ArenaNet went for the stylistic approach to the cutscenes, not only because it goes with what they are trying to do with the rest of the game's asthetics, but also because it is a hell of a lot cheaper than what SWTOR & TSW went for. It is also why the rest of the game, beyond the personal story, doesn't feel severly lacking.

     

    Sure the voice over ranges from OK to awful, I personally think that where GW2 excels (in regards to VO) is with the sense of immersion in open world. From the ambient environmental noise, to the thousands of lines of random NPC & PC chatter that you'll come across, along your journey. That's where the true immersion lies in GW2. Not in some cutscene.

     

    Interesting thoughts. I guess I am unclear as to how its much cheaper? The voice acting is done in each case - the characters are mouthing the words in 3D in both cases - what exactly is cheaper? (Note that I am not doubting you, I am just curious).

     

    I like your thoughts about the other styles of immersion - I hadn't considered those. I think I am still caught up in launch fever and perhaps now slowing down enough to see things like that.

    0
  • observerobserver Houston, TXPosts: 3,006Member Uncommon

    Swtor's was good.

    TSW's was ok, but i hated the fact that the player character didn't talk at all. (from what i remember)

    GW2's is ok, but they didn't have a huge budget to hire pro voice actors.

    It's good for what it is.

  • MithrandolirMithrandolir The Deep Woods, NJPosts: 1,698Member Uncommon

    I'm not a fan of voice acting and/or cutscenes in mmorpgs at all. I didn't like it in TOR, TSW and I dont really like it all that much here either.

     

    But out of all of them, I like it here the best. Not the voices but the delivery method with the two characters in an old school style conversation.

    Still though, I'd prefer my mmorpgs to have no voice work and no cutscenes.

     

     

  • Requiem1066Requiem1066 londonPosts: 274Member
    Originally posted by observer

     

    TSW's was ok, but i hated the fact that the player character didn't talk at all. (from what i remember)

     

    I prefer the silent char to my Human Gw toons voice acting .. each to their own I guess

    image

  • KrytycalKrytycal Miami, FLPosts: 520Member
    Originally posted by Scalpless

    TSW doesn't have branching dialogue or famous VAs. It also has a silent protagonist, not much variation between factions and no variation between classes (because it doesn't have any) storyline wise. So, in the end, it doesn't have anywhere near as much voice acting as TOR does.

    I think GW2's dialogue sequences do their job quite well. They tell you what the world is like, show you where to go next, etc. They're also (usually) not awful and the backgrounds are pretty. I don't think they're supposed to be "immersive" and don't know what's so immersive about TOR's wooden dialogue or TSW's disturbingly silent protagonist, anyway. Sure, TSW has a vastly superior story, but its lackluster animations aren't much better than GW2's talking heads IMO.

    I had no issues with TSW's silent protagonist to be honest, but then I have no issues filling in the blanks and imagining how my character would respond. It actually was a welcome pace for me considering your character was usually listening to the background stories of the quest givers, they weren't necessarily telling you to do anything and you weren't actively participating in the conversation in the same way SWTOR did it. It was basically a storytelling experience, with mostly top notches voice overs in my opinion.

     

    Also, the problem with voiced protagonist is that it's really hit and miss. In SWTOR for example, I enjoyed the voice acting of some characters (i.e. Bounty Hunter) and dreaded that of others (i.e. Marauder). Same thing with GW2, I dislike the voice acting of my human guardian because it's nothing like how I imagine my character talking. The fact that the NPC voice overs are just as corny and juvenile certainly don't help either.

  • MMOwandererMMOwanderer LisbonPosts: 415Member

    Well, since this is about the cutscenes and voice actors, i won't talk about the full PS.

    First off, i'm not a big fan of cutscenes in general, specially in mmos. Don't hate them fully, but most break immersion for me aswell. But i do like it if it's used in things like flashbacks, for example.

    On the topic of VO, i think GW2's range from ok to annoying. TOR and TSW had quite better IMO, but also their fare share of mediocre ones.

    The side by side cutscene style as it's charms too, not too bad, not too good. I think it works when it's just 2 characters having a conversation, but, when they try to present an actual situation with more people, the normal cinematic style of TSW and TOR is better.

    Finally, i myself hate having my character voiced, in both TOR and GW2. Cutscenes already break some immersion, but loosing both control of my avatar's movements AND lines of dialogue is killer for me.

  • Master10KMaster10K LondonPosts: 3,065Member
    Originally posted by voxnor
    Originally posted by Master10K
    *snip*

    image  This pretty much.

    ArenaNet went for the stylistic approach to the cutscenes, not only because it goes with what they are trying to do with the rest of the game's asthetics, but also because it is a hell of a lot cheaper than what SWTOR & TSW went for. It is also why the rest of the game, beyond the personal story, doesn't feel severly lacking.

     

    Sure the voice over ranges from OK to awful, I personally think that where GW2 excels (in regards to VO) is with the sense of immersion in open world. From the ambient environmental noise, to the thousands of lines of random NPC & PC chatter that you'll come across, along your journey. That's where the true immersion lies in GW2. Not in some cutscene.

    Interesting thoughts. I guess I am unclear as to how its much cheaper? The voice acting is done in each case - the characters are mouthing the words in 3D in both cases - what exactly is cheaper? (Note that I am not doubting you, I am just curious).

     

    I like your thoughts about the other styles of immersion - I hadn't considered those. I think I am still caught up in launch fever and perhaps now slowing down enough to see things like that.

    Implementing the cutscenes for SW:TOR really was a huge money drain because of the simple fact that they got a lot of high profile voice talent. But when considering both SW:TOR & TSW in comparison to GW2... those 2 games have cutscenes that require a considerable amount of time and effort to get them to the state we see them in. And thus cost more money. Things like motion capture, getting good cinematography and such. However TSW did save quite a bit of cash by having a silent protagonist, whereas GW2 have 2 per race, so maybe that evened things out in their case.

     

    I also remember a dev blog post when ArenaNet finally implemented their new lip-sync and cutscene tech for GW2. It illustrated how easy it became for them to make one of their cutscenes. All they had to do was input the dialogue (in a phonetic fashion) and add the emotional behaviour they want the character to express and that was most of the work done.

     

    Well anyway, the story may not be that immersive but the world certainly is.

    image

  • KrytycalKrytycal Miami, FLPosts: 520Member
    Originally posted by MMOwanderer

    Finally, i myself hate having my character voiced, in both TOR and GW2. Cutscenes already break some immersion, but loosing both control of my avatar's movements AND lines of dialogue is killer for me.

    Ditto. It's amazing these MMORPGs didn't learn anything from classic RPGs regarding voiced protagonists. I think it's a terrible idea to voice them.

  • NaughtyPNaughtyP Edmonton, ABPosts: 793Member
    I actual prefer the storytelling in GW2. I get to play the game more than watch it.

    Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.

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