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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Elder Scrolls Online: Why Notable Voice Acting in ESO Makes Sense

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  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13787

 
OP  1/28/14 5:36:17 PM#1

In just a few months, players will be able to embark on a brand new, AAA subscription MMORPG with a fully-voiced central storyline adapted from a familiar IP. With the recent announcement that The Elder Scrolls Online will feature a roster of notable voice acting talent, some gamers’ sense of deja vu has been rising. The voice cast is another warning sign, some say, and has sparked a fiery debate among those awaiting the game’s release and others curious how it will perform.

Read more of Christina Gonzalez's Elder Scrolls Online: Why Notable Voice Acting in ESO Makes Sense.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  Nemesis7884

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/21/10
Posts: 508

1/29/14 10:30:33 AM#2
Bad voice acting would kill good writing and vice verca...see skyrim
  User Deleted
1/29/14 10:46:32 AM#3
Sounds like a way to waste money.
  JJ82

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/02/13
Posts: 1012

1/29/14 11:03:10 AM#4

Damage control to Major Tom. Initiate BS sequence Alpha!

TESO is an MMO heavily focused on END GAME. Mostly PvP, but also attempting near raid/group instancing.

The idea that spending the time and money on voice-overs for content that gets you to end game is a WASTE because its done ONE TIME. SWTOR learned this the hard way, the idea that this makes it more like Skyrim or Oblivion makes no sense since the entire defense for creating racial/faction locks and closed off faction lands for this style of PvP is supposed to be "Sacrifices need to be made to create an MMO, because some SRPG aspects cant work".

Right, its the SRPG voice over content that doesn't work, however we have seen MMOs without racial/faction locks and closed off faction lands.

This game is bass ackwards and is repeating the same mistakes SWTOR made. With such a weak story and base game, the time and money was needed elsewhere. It could have created a far larger PvP land along with more PvE end game content.

"People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is." ~Raph Koster
http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

  Lord.Bachus

Elite Member

Joined: 5/14/07
Posts: 8641

I believe in life before death... So dont forget to enjoy it while you still can.

1/29/14 11:06:14 AM#5
Originally posted by JJ82

Damage control to Major Tom. Initiate BS sequence Alpha!

TESO is an MMO heavily focused on END GAME. Mostly PvP, but also attempting near raid/group instancing.

The idea that spending the time and money on voice-overs for content that gets you to end game is a WASTE because its done ONE TIME. SWTOR learned this the hard way, the idea that this makes it more like Skyrim or Oblivion makes no sense since the entire defense for creating racial/faction locks and closed off faction lands for this style of PvP is supposed to be "Sacrifices need to be made to create an MMO, because some SRPG aspects cant work".

Right, its the SRPG voice over content that doesn't work, however we have seen MMOs without racial/faction locks and closed off faction lands.

This game is bass ackwards and is repeating the same mistakes SWTOR made. With such a weak story and base game, the time and money was needed elsewhere. It could have created a far larger PvP land along with more PvE end game content.

If stories and lore are the star of your PvE game, choosing for full high quallity voice acting is the only smart roite to go

Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  User Deleted
1/29/14 11:10:13 AM#6
It's not a good selling point in video games. Music rides a fine line as well when it comes to selling points and I have loved some of the music in games. It still isn't why I play and voice acting unlike music really doesn't take a high level of talent to achieve. So when your bragging about your voice acting ESO, you might as well be talking to a wall.

Here's what's shaping up, Wildstar has fallen off my radar, ESO is proving to be clueless, and Warlords of Dreanor is looking better and better. Who would have thought?
  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

1/29/14 11:11:25 AM#7
Originally posted by JJ82

Damage control to Major Tom. Initiate BS sequence Alpha!

TESO is an MMO heavily focused on END GAME. Mostly PvP, but also attempting near raid/group instancing.

The idea that spending the time and money on voice-overs for content that gets you to end game is a WASTE because its done ONE TIME. SWTOR learned this the hard way, the idea that this makes it more like Skyrim or Oblivion makes no sense since the entire defense for creating racial/faction locks and closed off faction lands for this style of PvP is supposed to be "Sacrifices need to be made to create an MMO, because some SRPG aspects cant work".

Right, its the SRPG voice over content that doesn't work, however we have seen MMOs without racial/faction locks and closed off faction lands.

This game is bass ackwards and is repeating the same mistakes SWTOR made. With such a weak story and base game, the time and money was needed elsewhere. It could have created a far larger PvP land along with more PvE end game content.

It's a MMORPG, not just a MMO.  If you fail to get the RPG right, lots of people don't bother to stick around for the MMO.  TOR's "mistakes" have led to it being the second most successful MMORPG that offers a sub option, so if they were going to emulate someone, it's not a bad choice.

And keep up, if you pre-order there are no race locks.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5946

1/29/14 11:18:09 AM#8

The author never  really made an argument why notable voice acting makes sense. They threw out a weak premise why early budgeting won't affect other systems and leveraged that to say the user should just accept it.

Poor budgeting decisions early on in the process don't excuse poor budgeting decisions. It's that simple. If a poor budget decision was made from the get go and the money could have been better spent elsewhere, then that decision is still open for criticism.

Then the author infers that notable voice acting will mean a quality experience and the lack of it a poor experience. That's not true.

So I think voice acting is good (my opinion). I like it in Neverwinter and TOR. I don't think this is about voice acting adding to the immersion and polish of the experience. I think this is about touting notable names to sell game copies. Zeni should start being honest about their game. Notable voice acting is a marketing scheme. P2P + cash shop isn't about a fair "no nickel dime" experience, it's about maximizing revenue through marketing appeal. Just be honest for once Zeni and Firor.

Curse you AquaScum!

  Spawnblade

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/02/05
Posts: 197

1/29/14 11:23:58 AM#9
It's no coincidence that Oblivion was not only Bethesda's first major introduction into voice acting, but also their first game that -required- a plethora of mods to be installed in order to be enjoyable.
  JJ82

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/02/13
Posts: 1012

1/29/14 11:25:40 AM#10
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by JJ82

Damage control to Major Tom. Initiate BS sequence Alpha!

TESO is an MMO heavily focused on END GAME. Mostly PvP, but also attempting near raid/group instancing.

The idea that spending the time and money on voice-overs for content that gets you to end game is a WASTE because its done ONE TIME. SWTOR learned this the hard way, the idea that this makes it more like Skyrim or Oblivion makes no sense since the entire defense for creating racial/faction locks and closed off faction lands for this style of PvP is supposed to be "Sacrifices need to be made to create an MMO, because some SRPG aspects cant work".

Right, its the SRPG voice over content that doesn't work, however we have seen MMOs without racial/faction locks and closed off faction lands.

This game is bass ackwards and is repeating the same mistakes SWTOR made. With such a weak story and base game, the time and money was needed elsewhere. It could have created a far larger PvP land along with more PvE end game content.

It's a MMORPG, not just a MMO.  If you fail to get the RPG right, lots of people don't bother to stick around for the MMO.  TOR's "mistakes" have led to it being the second most successful MMORPG that offers a sub option, so if they were going to emulate someone, it's not a bad choice.

And keep up, if you pre-order there are no race locks.

 SWTOR is the second most successful sub game?!? HAHAHAHAHA.

Its so successful that EA fired two full development groups on it, kicks out their CEO and hasn't released a single SWTOR number without combining it with other games in over a year, something they DONT do with their successful games. Also, Lineage 2 sold over 2 million copies and retained over 1.5 million of them for 4 years, 1 million of them for another 2 years and didn't go F2P until around 8 years after launch. Thus, far more popular than SWTOR for far longer.

BTW, I pointed out race locks for a reason. They placed it because they said the MUST, for realm pride, for the lore and to shape their end game yet other MMOs have proved you don't need it. That would be the point you MISSED but thanks because it allows me to now say this!

Now you can get around it, for money. A cash grab move that proves the games design is meaningless and un-necessary.

"People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is." ~Raph Koster
http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

1/29/14 11:29:48 AM#11
Originally posted by Torvaldr

The author never  really made an argument why notable voice acting makes sense. They threw out a weak premise why early budgeting won't affect other systems and leveraged that to say the user should just accept it.

Poor budgeting decisions early on in the process don't excuse poor budgeting decisions. It's that simple. If a poor budget decision was made from the get go and the money could have been better spent elsewhere, then that decision is still open for criticism.

Then the author infers that notable voice acting will mean a quality experience and the lack of it a poor experience. That's not true.

So I think voice acting is good (my opinion). I like it in Neverwinter and TOR. I don't think this is about voice acting adding to the immersion and polish of the experience. I think this is about touting notable names to sell game copies. Zeni should start being honest about their game. Notable voice acting is a marketing scheme. P2P + cash shop isn't about a fair "no nickel dime" experience, it's about maximizing revenue through marketing appeal. Just be honest for once Zeni and Firor.

I care more about the argument itself than how well the author expressed it.  Good voice acting makes good writing even better.  Unless someone has proof that money was "taken away" from some other aspect of the game and re-allocated to funding the voices, there is really no rational reason to be opposed to this.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  Agent_Joseph

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 922

1/29/14 11:34:57 AM#12

I love voice acting  in SP games,Oblivion & Skyrim are great ,but can't see sense in an MMORPG,give us players interactions,I don't care what about about NPC talking.Game companies & SP (solo players ) constantly ruining MMO genre in few last years.

I ts why are old mmo's stil great & fun ,almost all new mmo's are bored after 1-3 months,they are asocial,too.

only EVE is real MMO...but I am impressive with TSW

  Azaron_Nightblade

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 1301

1/29/14 11:35:58 AM#13
Well said, Christina - I couldn't agree more.

My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  JJ82

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/02/13
Posts: 1012

1/29/14 11:38:59 AM#14
Originally posted by CazNeerg

  Unless someone has proof that money was "taken away" from some other aspect of the game and re-allocated to funding the voices, there is really no rational reason to be opposed to this.

 Umm, unless those voice actors, sound studio employees and coders inputting the sound worked for free, then it took money away from other aspects of the game.

A game receives a set amount of funding that gets allocated by the producer. They don't receive funding based on each individual design aspect.

"People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is." ~Raph Koster
http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10921

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

1/29/14 11:46:21 AM#15

People who earn a living through voice acting do not cost as much as a "regular" movie or television actor.  For one, voice actors earn an hourly wage, and do not earn residuals off the sales of video games.  Movie or television actors do.  They will also earn a much higher bonus than a career voice actor.  The issue isn't the money spent on voice acting.  This is an Elder Scrolls game after all.  The issue is the money spent on  movie and television actors who are going to cost considerably more than the career voice actors.

 

How much more though?  $100,000?  $200,000 total?  Compared to the total game budget, this isn't a whole lot.  Even if it costs a cool $1M more, it's not a huge part of the budget.  It's going to bring in sales though.  Elder Scrolls players who are fans of the game and of the voice acting are going to see this as a higher quality job than career voice actors.  Whatever it cost them is probably worth it in terms of what it will return in sales.

 

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Dreamo84

Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 3069

I actually still like MMORPGs

1/29/14 11:56:31 AM#16

So tired of hearing "cash grab" on these forums. That term is becoming completely meaningless as literally every type of monetization method now is being referred to as a "cash grab".

Yes, we have cash and developers want to grab it so they can have cash. Doesn't matter who they are, they all want to grab your cash. "I'd rather make less money" said no developer ever.

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

1/29/14 11:57:09 AM#17
Originally posted by JJ82
Originally posted by CazNeerg

  Unless someone has proof that money was "taken away" from some other aspect of the game and re-allocated to funding the voices, there is really no rational reason to be opposed to this.

 Umm, unless those voice actors, sound studio employees and coders inputting the sound worked for free, then it took money away from other aspects of the game.

A game receives a set amount of funding that gets allocated by the producer. They don't receive funding based on each individual design aspect.

Sure, they receive a set amount of funding.  That doesn't mean you have any evidence that the developer had insufficient funding for any aspect of the game to design it the way they wanted it to be.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  JJ82

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/02/13
Posts: 1012

1/29/14 11:58:27 AM#18
Originally posted by lizardbones

How much more though?  $100,000?  $200,000 total?  Compared to the total game budget, this isn't a whole lot.  Even if it costs a cool $1M more, it's not a huge part of the budget.  It's going to bring in sales though.  Elder Scrolls players who are fans of the game and of the voice acting are going to see this as a higher quality job than career voice actors.  Whatever it cost them is probably worth it in terms of what it will return in sales.

 You are greatly mis-informed.

The recording studio alone is going to cost more than that for using its equipment. The digitizing of that much sound is going to cost more than that. Coding that sound to the game is going to cost more than that. Matching the graphical movement of the characters to the sound is going to cost more than that.....and yes, the price of the actors is also going to cost more than that. And yes, paying the people that work in the recording studio, is going to cost more than that.

The average entry level salary of a sound engineer is just under 100k dollars a year and the major studios that work with these people are top level making double that. and that is just ONE person, there is an entire team of people for this kind of work.

There is no way that this is not costing them upwards of 20 million. That's 1/10th the budget if its 200 million and why its one of the biggest complaints about SWTOR, it sucked up way too much of the games funding that could have gone to bringing in another small team to work on things missing from the base game. 

"People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is." ~Raph Koster
http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

  BeansnBread

Elite Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 5558

1/29/14 12:00:29 PM#19
Yeah, Lizardbones, in this case you are severely underestimating the cost of fully voice acting a massive MMORPG like this.

SWTOR is the greatest mmo ever!

  Quesa

Novice Member

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 1265

1/29/14 12:00:37 PM#20
You don't need high-profile actors in MMO's at all, you need good writing and immersion..
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