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Keeping Your Eyes & Ears Entertained

Posted by Suzie Ford on Aug 05, 2010  | Comments

Keeping Your Eyes & Ears Entertained - MMORPG.com

The ArenaNet site has been updated by Lead Writer Bobby Stein in a continuing avalanche of blogs and information from Guild Wars 2 developers. In this entry, Stein talks about new ways that the sound of Guild Wars 2 will bring players into the game. Gone are the days where NPCs speak through a wall of text. Instead, immersion is the name of the game.

Stein and his team have uploaded one of their voice actors reading some text to introduce you to the sounds of Divinity's Reach. It's impressive and sounds like someone walking next to you while the sounds of the city come and go as you stroll the streets.

In probably the most astonishing sentence in the entire article Stein says, "We’re voicing the equivalent of more than 60 feature-length films."

Granted, you won’t be absorbing most of this dialogue through traditional cinematics. Instead, we’re evenly distributing story bits, lore, gameplay information, and ambience over hundreds of hours of play. Yes, we’ve got gorgeous, stylized cinematics that will make your jaw drop, but much of what you hear simply happens all around you, or at specific dramatic points in your personal story.

We’re also aware that there can be too much of a good thing, which is why we’ve developed a sound throttling system so you won’t hear the same combat chatter repeated over and over again during fights. Those concerned about the game being diluted with “snappy one-liners” can breathe a sigh of relief. You won’t hear quips every five seconds, and most of them aren’t smarmy in nature. That annoys us just as much as it does you.

Then Stein moves on to a subject that has baffled MMO players for years: WHY does every NPC in an MMO speak in Ye Olde English and in highly formal ways? In Guild Wars 2, NPCs will be less likely to 'forsooth' and 'come hither' to players. There will be some characters who speak more formally, but not all will. There's another sound bite worth listening to that illustrates the point from one NPC snarkily talking to another. It's a hoot!

Check out the full blog post at the Guild Wars 2 ArenaNet site.

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom
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