IRE Asks: Should MMORPG quest NPCs have voice actors?

SWTOR parody lol

Voice acting in the MMORPG industry has never really received much attention; that is, until Bioware's Star Wars: The Old Republic went the full voice acting route, leading many SWTOR fans to be divided over the issue. While some fans are embracing the fact that hundreds of voice actors were recorded for every quest denizen, other fans are complaining that voice over dialogue hurts game immersion. They prefer being able to choose responses to form dynamic conversation, instead of watching cutscenes.


It's an interesting development in the MMO community as it has the potential to become one of those genre-splitters. Don't be surprised if in the future you see MMORPGs categorized by those with voice over cutscenes, and those with a wide variety of conversation options presented in text. We can't help but wonder how voice actors would have impacted Iron Realms games early on. Imagine if you greeted Vellis, and he began talking to you through your speakers. Would that have been immersive, or would you have quit the game?


Share your comments below!



I usually imagine the NPC's voice based on their physical description and how they act. Any voice acting would only ruin that for me!

Eh... no... let's not go there. I think voice actors and having characters voiced when you speak with them would be going too far. It just takes you out of the world of a text-based game. It would be like voice chats on messengers, except you have to listen to the NPC finish their speech, when perhaps you've already read everything they're saying.


I kind of ignore MMO plotlines, unless they're especially amazing. I like roleplaying and flavor and stuff like that, but genuinely meaningless flavor is still meaningless to me. D:



Click, yeah whatever, run to do quest

Sounds good


for the story. otherwise, you really don't want to hear some guy asking you to bring 5 beaver balls over and over again.

By all that's holy, NO.

Personally I'd prefer the resources be spent elsewhere, but most of the MMO audience seems to demand voice acting.

Voice acting wouldn't make or break a game for me, but BAD voice acting definitely turns me off. As an anime lover, I can't stand most English dubs for a lot of Japanese anime, but the voice acting in Teen Titan seems perfectly natural considering the art and style. If done well, it's a plus, but if isn't done well, it'll probably turn off more people than attract them.


can you imagine hearing the same "thank you for killing this beastly XXX.  i only need YYY more" quip every time you hand in a corpse?

yes they should and they should give credits too.


it'll hinder the game and with the graphics today won't be very convincing.

Sure, heh.

No it is stupid and irritating. If IRE wanted to do something make an onEnter event which doesn't trigger multiple mobs to say the exactly same freaking thing.

Looks like IRE has 1000s of dollars just sitting around and they don't know what to waste them on.

Lag and spam, I'm sure most would mute the game unless Z goes around chasing people with Morgan Freeman's voice.

I hate voice actors. Same greeting over and over without any consideration that the npc should feel different about you.

For some characters, sure!

depends on what they are trying to do


IRE will ban characters from violating copyright on submissions, but don't seem to have a problem with breaking copyright when it suits them. Can't see how IRE has copyright to the above image.

No, it takes aware the lure

that would freak me out.  No to voice actors in text games.

would it cause lag and would you need some special softwear to send it down an individuals connection and play on there client or anything? I just think it'd slow down the game and or a person's connection depending on how  good there connection is.

Let's start with better writing.

The ONLY problem I have with voice actors for characters in games is that I expect them to sound or look a specific way, and when they don't, I find it jarring. I like text-based games because I get to picture it how I want, and no one can tell me otherwise. (I mean, they can try, but it doesn't even work well with the crap I CAN see, far less what has no proof.)


That being said, I think it'd be cool to let players choose the option to voice-over their own characters from time to time, some kind of config option. Cause I'm sick of being misinterpreted and enemied to places cause text drawbacks include language dynamic confusion for those who haven't the vocabulary, experience with the language they're using, or the insight to seek out an answer different from the knee-jerk reaction! X (





Credit comment.

I've gotten used to the voice acting in SWTOR. I love it. Other MMOs feel unpolished now.


who needs voice actors, the voices in my head are to noisy anyway

for sure

The problem with voice actors in MMOs is that they tend to be too canned. The Dwarf is gruff and asks why are you bothering them even when they're begging you to help them.


Is that even supported?

I never have the sound on on my puter anyways. I don't like the extra noise and definitely don't need to hear all the denizens.

no voices for me.

everyone of them sounds like John Malkovich or Samuel L Jackson

I think it could work.

still no.

toggleable plx

Nuff said.

Want one.

I don't see why not.

Interesting article

Only if Estarra sounds like Michael Clark Duncan. (Yes I know he's dead.)

It would be interesting at first, but one of those things that would lose its novelty very, very quickly.



Not if you can tell who they are and it ruins immersion.

I don't see the problem. Games have cutscenes, this isn't new. It also isn't new to have additional conversation outside of cutscenes. Adding voice doesn't mean they'd suddenly stop one of those practices, does it?