Did SW:TOR Make You Find the Lack of VOs in Other MMOs Disturbing?
Whilst waiting on Blizzard to sort out the back-end for their Diablo 3 log-in servers, I got lured into the TERA Beta. Hey - it's happening at the same time. Better than staring at a log-in screen stubbornly refusing me entry. I kinda dug the core combat mechanics. Could have a lot of potential. I was instantly put off by the 'silent' NPCs though. I think Bioware poisoned the well for lower-production value MMOs forever. VOs or bust for me. Even if I don't actively listen to every quest in detail, marinating in its noise and information is much preferred over reading a questtext or not knowing at all what's going on.
Haven't played WoW since playing SW:TOR. Wonder if it'd negatively impact my perception of it aswell.
Not really. I've played more MMO's where it's just text so that still seems normal to me. I also started to get really annoyed with Old Republic and having to wait for the quest givers to get through their spiel before I could go and do it, so that might have had a negative effect on my opinion.
I only played during a free weekend, but I actually couldn't stand the voice acting in SWTOR. When I play MMOs, I want to grind and kill stuff. I'd much rather have quest text, not so that I can read it but so that I can skim it and get straight to the killing stuff.
It may not be voice acting alone. For me it is more that I get to interact with the quest NPCs and see my own characters reactions rather than just reading one piece of text. This can help give context to what you are doing also. Every now and then I actually laugh with the story - even if I don't get into the emotions of it I can understand motivations. The other nice thing about the quests in SW:TOR is how they lead into each other and form legitimate chains nearly every time.
As well done as SWTOR's voice acting was ( in parts ... it wasn't all fantastic, and some of it, and it's deployment, was absolutely horrid ) ... I think it all comes down to presentation and style.
What made SWTOR's voice acting work was that you were seeing some cut-scenes for major plot points in the quest chain. It was interesting to hear that done in a quality way.
However, the downside to that approach is that it's really off-putting to go through some sequences a second time. I got a serious impression of "I've heard this dialog ... and I have no interest to hear it again." Would I like to see how the Imperial Agent story-line plays out if I did things differently? Sure. Am I ever going to find out? Nope. Not interested.
There are other ways to do things, and as long as the game does it in an equally quality way, I'd be fine with it regardless of voice-overs. I can think of ways to do it without voice-overs that I would be interested to see if it'd actually work and be memorable. I'd prefer designers build their games with some originality ...
On a related note ... the stark contrast between the high quality voice acting and animations of the characters during dialog cut-scenes has always made Bioware's approach to how to deal with your "camp/castle/house/ship" an even more stark and offputting contrast than the bad or repetitive dialog sequences. I've seen my favorite companions/characters through the lens provided, and they have some personality. They move around and have an opinion. And then ... they do their best impression of a cardboard standee.
This imitation of decoration was actually sorta "plausible" in a world that was devoid of life. But, now you've given parts of the game life? The lack of life in other parts only seems more poignant.
I'd like to see more voiced quests/events in MMO's however, like how WoW started to use it in Cataclysm but there needs to be more story focus in the future if they want to keep the gamer's attention.
I love reading through all the quest windows in Lotro or WoW, but I'm in the minority there.
Personally I can do without VO, but I think people will want it more and more eventually.
I think the voice acting was well done and did help the feeling that it was a big budget RPG and not just a typical MMO.
But it gets grating, it wasn't long before I put on subtitles so I could just read it myself and get through it faster. Having VO for the story stuff would have been enough.
I would actually say it was quite opposite for me. I needed to "prepare" myself for all the cutscenes in Swtor. If I had just played some random MMO and it started doing cutscenes like that I would probably just start skipping, as I (like almost everyone else) don't play MMOs for story. It's just not what makes the genre interesting. I gave Swtor a real chance at convincing me I was wrong (by not skipping a single cutscene on my first character), but it didn't succeed. I can confidently say I much rather prefer MMOs where I can just skip through whatever exposition there is, without feeling lost.
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