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How important is voice acting for YOUR immersion?

AdelissaAdelissa Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
Hey everyone!

How important do you think voice acting is for your immersion? For me I think its important for major questlines or dungeons to be voice acted if they use humanoid characters. I understand AoC is dynamic and built by the players so this is not a theme park but I feel voice acting is still important when it comes to NPC interaction, especially in the starting areas, as you progress further into a game with a non linear story and custom node systems with their own questlines I can understand that not really being feasible, but when we're exiting that gate for the first time I'd like some voice acting to pull me initially into the story of Vera. What are your thoughts? Do you not like voice acting in games? Do you think its a vital component?
Adelissa | Guild Master | Heathen Lords


  • TalentsTalents Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited June 9
    It's not vital for me.

    If a game does have voice acting, it needs to be good voice acting, not SOLO or LA tier.

    For me, if every character is voiced, then the main character also has to be voiced. For example, I fucking hate how FF14 does it where every character speaks but your character moves his mouth while saying nothing. That is really shit. I like how SWTOR did it where you can pick options and your character will actually talk.
  • PenguinPaladinPenguinPaladin Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Voice acted cutsceenes where appropriate. Text everywhere else. Its too costly for the benefits otherwise.
  • CawwCaww Member
    I play with the speakers turned off...
  • NishUKNishUK Member
    I love cringey voice acting! I mean you can have great voice acting but rare, cringe is better for me than average anime dubbing or something.

    BUT I know all the american kids love anime dubbing, so it needs to be done I guess :/

    Music is most important imo.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I can read, so...
    Having no voice acting is not an issue for me.
    If there is voice acting - it needs to sound pretty good.
  • OtrOtr Member
    Would be cool.
    But I want to be able to skip story dialogues.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Voice Acting is a negative for my immersion.

    If a character is fighting, being hit, or considering something, I will accept 'battle cries', 'hmm', and maybe key signature phrases so that I 'have a mental model of what they sound like' to use for everything I read 'in their voice'.

    Other than that, it generally breaks my immersion even if it is above average, because it's so hard for most voice actors to stay in character or understand the full scope of their character for an MMO, I guess.

    If I had the option to turn off voiced cutscenes but leave 'battle cries', that's what I'd do always.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
  • For me it is very important or not important at all, it all depends on the quality.
    If it is not very good then I prefer to read, but if it is very good then I will enjoy it.

    It also depends a lot on the style of video game that uses that voice, if it is an MMO with a narrative style where they tell you a well structured story then the voice will always be necessary but if it is an MMO where the story is in the background and other things matter more then the voice would not be so necessary.
    I particularly like the narration of a 3 person narrating the events, I think that would be a good addition and could save a lot of voice acting.

  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    Shitty voice acting can undermine great writing, and great voice acting can help compensate for shitty writing (sometimes). The voice acting I find that contributes the most to immersion isn't quest driven, but the trivial NPCs that have snippets here and there about the weather or politics or fisherman that drowned.

    So, given realistic costs of writers to voice acting (and the steep engineering costs), I'd rather read great writing and have the investment avoided from voice acting to go into other parts of the game.
  • HaileeHailee Member
    edited June 9
    I like voice acted emotes and greetings/goodbyes but beyond that I don't really find it immersive when I have to listen to someone drone on for hours like khadgar or lorewalker cho.

    I'm happy enough to read, close the quest window and hear a "good luck on your quest!" And get into it.
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I thoroughly enjoyed SWTOR and all the voice acting there at release. And yes it helps my immersion, but the cost is so damn high I don't want it for Ashes. If Steven was a multi-billionaire and could throw enough money at it, sure, fine, add it as long as it doesn't delay release too much. Failing that, I am ok without. A few neat cut scenes for the most important story quests is fine.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited June 10
    Voice acted quests help me pay attention but don't do anything for my immersion. In ESO, i noticed the random conversations you could hear people having in the world gave me a feeling of immersion.
  • darthadendarthaden Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    They've already said the game won't have voice acting. Being a indy team they'd rather put the money elsewhere
  • ArzenaIArzenaI Member
    edited June 9
    I'd be happy to see AI generated voice lines. Not to promote this service but aws's polly service can generate quite good quality speech from text. Although there are limited voice profiles but the generated speech can be altered any way to make it sound like a different character but, it wouldn't be so immersive without feelings that a proper voice actor / actress can bring to the table.

    It could be cost efficient tho and would fit the idea of a dynamic world.
  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Not important in mmorpgs
  • Barely important for me atleast for the MMORPG genre, but if implemented requires a certain standard of quality to not be counter immersive and detrimental, and that quality usually comes at a quite steep price....
    Aren't we all sinners?
  • keenowkeenow Member
    I mostly dislike it. But it is fun to hear NPCs in a town saying something random as you run around so it sounds more populated, but a far prefer to read the quests myself. When there's a voice actor, we're always going at different paces. They're usually talking way slower than I'm reading it in my head so it just makes it disjointed and harder to take in the info.
  • For me, voice acting is very important for immersion. I can still enjoy gameplay, but, probably won't bother reading quest text, so I most likely won't be invested in the world.
  • AmistAmist Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    For me voice acting can add a lot of immersion to a game, however I think there are much more important aspects than that which need to work before it makes a bigger difference for my own gaming experience. If the world building and lore has inconsistencies or simply doesn't make any sense, then voice acting is really the last thing on my mind but if everything just works, then it's a very nice addition to a game.

    But it is by no means necessary in my book. I'd much rather the team focus their funds and energy on other aspects of the game, as it is quite expensive to get extensive voice acting in big games like MMORPG's. Perhaps having cutscenes VA'ed would be a great place to start!
  • SolitonSoliton Member
    While I prefer 100% voice, I think main storyline quest voice-over is a fair compromise. Like FFXIV. Makes the NPCs feel more real.
  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Not important for me. I'd rather if they use the time/money for extra functionality such as > Optional < proximity voice chat, a basic optional DPK system built in the guild functions/mobile app, support for uploading custom guild emblems to use on armor/flags and all that
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  • MerekMerek Member
    No voice acting unless it's a cutscene, better yet, none at all. It's unnecessary workload, plus, it usually falls flat.
  • AidanKDAidanKD Member
    My main experience was with WoW, and they had some decent voice acting but it was still mostly "filler" for majority of your playtime, i.e. small snips when interacting with an NPC, or more in main story/cutscenes.

    So I think that if the writing is good enough, and it's not all walls of text (think how GW2 splits text into smaller bite sized paragraphs) - that kind of delivery is better and might make people less likely to spam through the writing!
  • If you can't perfect the voice acting, just leave it out imo.
  • ShoelidShoelid Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Absolutely no voice acting is a bit jarring IMO. Filler lines like greetings, grunts and yells go a long way to help my immersion. Some bosses should definitely have VA. I'd prefer "main story characters" didn't have voice acting in AOC.
  • SjeldenSjelden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Chat based communication feels out of place in modern games. I am not expecting to be able to talk to the NPC's (yet), but I would at least expect them to talk to me.

    Now imagine proximity voice chat where players talk to NPC's to pick up the first quest in a starter area, and the NPC responding with "Hey hey, not all at once, who was first?"
  • FerrymanFerryman Member
    Voice acting is not a mandatory and there can be less or a lot depending of the game in question and available resources. However, good voice acting makes the overall experience better but bad acting decreases the value. Voice acting can raise characters to a whole new level and make them more compaling and interesting. For example, Bwomsandi and Sire Denathrius characters truely came alive in WoW because of the great voice acting. And because players like those so much they were written more to the story later.
    Do you need a ride to the Underworld?
  • SongRuneSongRune Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 10
    It's normally negative, to me. It creates jarring transitions between the interactions that have it, and the ones that don't. It's not feasible to give it to shops, or every minor quest or in game interaction to try to offset this, and the quality requirement for it not to feel strange is high.

    It's then FAR worse if you have my own character speak. Unless you manage a voice I can consider my own, and then match my feelings, tone, inflection, it is going to immediately shift me out of phase with my own character, and push me out of the game stronger than anything else can, ripping me away and isolating me from the moments that are supposed to most immerse and engage me, and create actual emotional connection to the story and the world. If nothing else, please, please don't do THIS.

    I'll happily take battle cries and the like if you give me some varied choice of voices on the character selection screen, and this works well in every game I've played, but telling me that some stories are important, and by contrast reminding me that others that I might care quite a bit about, are not, will never really work out.

    If you want clear emotional engagement and context in cutscenes? Use music. Music can shift players' emotional states very strongly and clearly, keep them on-beat as things shift, and give that solid background connection without any of the downsides of voice acting. I fully admit it can be done poorly, but it's also far more flexible, and becomes more potent, not less, when a well-chosen set of music is consistently reused and judiciously applied to the proper emotional spaces. The pure simplicity of this makes it a cheap and effective option that can be applied over far more than just "main story" cutscenes, and when done properly, you don't really even miss it when it's not used.

    Music, not voice acting, is the way to go to enhance immersion and strengthen experiences, without requiring the extreme precision and high costs and luck that voice acting requires to function well as a baseline.
  • CraikenCraiken Member
    I think old school WoW did a great job with voice acting. Greetings and goodbyes are plenty for me.

    "Time is money, friend!"
  • PeggysuegotParriedPeggysuegotParried Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Not at all, usually good voice acting takes a lot of money from a budget, would rather see that on Devs.
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