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Hmm I do not know if you can say this is the reason for it, or if it is just correlation. I would say that it has been a natural process to have less text in a medium that by nature gets more and more visual. Twenty years ago immersion was mostly doable by setting the mood via textboxes. 30 years ago computer games were as close to books as modern games are to movies.

 

 

It is very true though, that full voice acting is a really costly product and something that not many companies can afford on a broad scale. Also bad VA is something that sticks in minds and can kill any immersion.

 

 

All I'm saying is, you can read information much faster, than a good voice actor, who pronounces everything correctly etc., can say it. So you are automatically in the situation to cut down text or have an audio book for a game. This is about so much more than just money for VO. No one wants to listen to 10 minutes of VO every few steps.

 

btw: JS just answered a question about VO https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/171942616176/how-much-vo-should-we-expect-in-deadfire

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Yay, hope it will be for companions and crit path only.

Edited by Daled
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I know my english is not the best, every single post will be a step closer to proper english, please bear with me until then  :)

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And shop keepers/merchants!


Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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Good voice acting can add a lot to a game but full voice acting for a game like this is a waste of resources. I'd rather they focus on very high quality voice acting for the core companions and any especially plot critical moments and leave most everything else unvoiced.

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Hmm I do not know if you can say this is the reason for it, or if it is just correlation. I would say that it has been a natural process to have less text in a medium that by nature gets more and more visual. Twenty years ago immersion was mostly doable by setting the mood via textboxes. 30 years ago computer games were as close to books as modern games are to movies.

 

 

It is very true though, that full voice acting is a really costly product and something that not many companies can afford on a broad scale. Also bad VA is something that sticks in minds and can kill any immersion.

 

 

All I'm saying is, you can read information much faster, than a good voice actor, who pronounces everything correctly etc., can say it. So you are automatically in the situation to cut down text or have an audio book for a game. This is about so much more than just money for VO. No one wants to listen to 10 minutes of VO every few steps.

 

btw: JS just answered a question about VO https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/171942616176/how-much-vo-should-we-expect-in-deadfire

 

Oh yeah, I just thought you brought up an interesting point. Yeah in short time you can really process a lot of information by reading a text, especially if it is well written. At the same time you are likely to overread stuff, if VA is not in or at a minimum. I had that in PoE, when you could read on these souls. When I figured out they were not relevant to the gameplay I stopped reading them, but I would have listened for 30 seconds.

 

There are really good fully voiced RPGs out there and you are right that it needs to be limited more than a text box, but there are many good RPGs out there that are fully acted out and still deliver enough of their story. But yeah, Skyrim or Fallout are vastly different from PoE. How did Divinity Original Sin handle it, I wonder?

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I'd argue the Witcher 2 and 3 are pretty much the pinnacle of the fully voiced movie like RPG. Mediocre or bad voice acting is worse than no voice acting at all though, and most games won't reach that point. Plus Pillars is too expansive and low budget to put that much into a pure presentation issue. A game like Witcher 2 is basically a political thriller/fantasy film, where as Pillars is a novel. There's no right answer there, they're simply different products with different aims and requirements.

 

Oblivion, meanwhile, is a game that was hurt by voice acting. the low quality and lack of range added to the blandness of the whole thing.

 

Personally what I most want out of Pillars 2 sound is a more expansive soundtrack. The only tracks i remember in a positive way from Pillars 1 are Shadow of the Sun (or the "Gods are doing something dickish in the past" theme) and Thaos' theme. I'd like for each kind of location to very clearly have its own sound, and for pivotal conflicts to actually have their own music. The fact that Thaos's fight has the same track as any other big boss battle is a disappointment. I would have expected some intimidating yet resigned and melancholy combat music using Shadow of the Sun as a leitmotif or something, there.

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I'd argue the Witcher 2 and 3 are pretty much the pinnacle of the fully voiced movie like RPG.

At the same time Witcher series have a benefit of being more confined - you play as Geralt. This is a weakness and strenght not many RPGs will have. It leads to more defined characters and interactions, which lead to more character and overall a more direct voice acting. As an actor you know who character is, what their attitude is toward the person they are talking and they can craft several arcs of how this conversation could develop. It also helps that Geralt as a character is emotionally muted, making decision making more natural.

 

A lot of voice acting in RPGs (especially from PC character) is very generic to make space for interpretation. And this is where unvoiced characters work better, making more space for interpretation and expression.

 

I do agree about soundtrack. I like it overall - I think main title theme is excellent, but I could use more unique tracks. Looking forward to shanties.

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Yes, I completely agree. And POE's player character should remain completely unvoiced. A voiced player character in an RPG only works if the roleplaying amounts to different interpretations of a standard character, not making decisions for a completely customized ones. At times that added a lot to the Witcher, at other times the writers clearly struggled to make choices work. An RPG like POE has a different problem. In trying to allow as much choice as possible, you can easily stretch your resources so thin that no choice is particularly deep or meaningful in regards to what it says about the characters. Hopefully they have the resources to at least put in a few good examples. POE could be lacking in that regard, outside of some of the backstory stuff with Thaos and Iovara.

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I'm not sure its too fair since Deadfire and Divinity OS1&2 are Crpg's, not action oriented.

 

Witcher games are character driven action/adventure games, which would put them a bit closer to action rpg's so it's no surprise that they were fully voiced as games more similar to it have been for years.

 

As of right now, I'd say Divinity OS1 and 2 are basically the pinnacle of full voice acting for Crpg. Not sure if anything else could come close to that level because they are really the first to take it to the extreme, like Pillars, there is alot of writing - as it was essentially text based dialogue, whereas The Witcher 2 and 3 and similar action/adventure games are made with full voices and in-game cut-scenes in mind from the start. The development process is much different.

 

This is my word based on experience with Crpg's and action/adventure games. Take it as a grain of salt and not a pinch of pepper.

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Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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Full VO really isn't necesarry and a bit of a waste of money in CRPGs like PoE and DOS imo. Don't get me wrong, VO in DOS2 was great but most lines I skipped because I was done reading the text while the VA was still in the middle of the dialogue. VO should be used to set the tone of the character. VA voices a couple of words and you imagine the rest with the VA's voice. First line and after a couple of clicks another line is all that's needed. 

And unless you only have a very limited choice of PC variation or you have the budget of SWTOR, VO for PC just isn't feasible. Not necesarry either since chances are you'll be given a crappy dialogue wheel. (I can understand why the dialogue wheel was chosen, but not why it was praised back then)

Edited by Hybridsalmon
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Was Divinity's voice acting that bad? Usually what I imagine in my head isn't better than what a good actor can deliver so even if I've already read the dialogue I'll listen to the voice overs, unless the voice work is just crap.

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Was Divinity's voice acting that bad?

My problem was more with writing. Or at least it annoyed me, personally. There is a lot of writing in Divinities, but little character, meaningful story or anything memorable whatsoever. I skipped through a lot of voicework as well, simply because I wanted to skim through dialogue. Rarely anyone has anything interesting to say. They will give you quests or hints, but there is also a lot of filler to hide useful stuff. Conversations rarely “go” anywhere - what I mean by that they don’t have an arc. I feel it’s more coop oriented. I don’t think that you as a player are expected to pay close attention to everything or discover everything by yourself.

 

VO isn’t bad by itself - there is some really funny stuff. Impressive chicken voices.

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VO is only as good as the writing. Sure some people just don't like it, that's fine everyone has preferences, but for most people if you're skipping through voiced dialogue before it's done it's likely because of one or more of three reasons: the VO is not good, the content is not good or the prose is not good. Good VO adds greater character, nuance and emotion to a conversation. It can be as compelling and useful as any other audio/visual technique to help enrich the experience and introduce additional layers to an interaction or event. 

 

When a game has good VO I love to just sit back and soak it in, not bothering to read the onscreen text if I can't disable it. One of my biggest issues with PoE was the fact that it was partially voiced in very unpredictable ways. How I physical sit and approach dialogues as well as mentally engage with them is quite different if I'm reading text versus listening to VO and the fact that you could go from voiced to silent to voiced dialogue in one conversation was incredibly annoying and a drag on the experience for me. 

 

PoE had good VO and the quality of its content was for the most part quite good. But two issues that I've seen mentioned quite a lot are complaints about the verbosity of the writing and the overall density of its delivery. Not only could you find yourself in very long conversations that felt needlessly wordy, but just the way large chunks of text were delivered instead of discreet one or two sentences at a time effected the experience. And from the looks of it they've addressed that issue in Deadfire with conversations being delivered in much smaller chunks at a time and other things like not having voiced dialogue be broken up by flavor text.

 

If you don't like VO then there should be an option to turn it off completely save for in the field dialogue or only have an opening line spoken to set the stage.

Edited by Enduin
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Sorry if this has been gone over a few times before, but will there be full voice acting in Pillars 2? Like Divinity 2 style? 

 

Also, some of the characters voices' in Pillars 1 were a little flat. Unemotional. I'd really like for everyone, including that random monk who's hiding up a tree eating bird eggs (actually, especially that random monk who's hiding up a tree eating bird eggs) to have, you know, personality in their voice. 

 

Wait so you didn't like the voice acting so you want more of it?

 

Full voice acting is expensive and makes changing the dialog later impossible. It reduces the amount of dialog and choice present in the game. Not a fan.

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If you don't like VO then there should be an option to turn it off completely save for in the field dialogue or only have an opening line spoken to set the stage.

 

It is not that I don't like VO. I do. But it comes at a price. A steep price in a necessarily reduced story and options. One I am not always willing to pay. A toggle does nothing to address that at all.

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If you don't like VO then there should be an option to turn it off completely save for in the field dialogue or only have an opening line spoken to set the stage.

 

 

It is not that I don't like VO. I do. But it comes at a price. A steep price in a necessarily reduced story and options. One I am not always willing to pay. A toggle does nothing to address that at all.

This is a fallacy. Sure everything has a cost materially and otherwise but this idea that VO is antithetical to dialogue and choice heavy rpgs is not true. People keep conflating the fact that Bethesda, BioWare and others changed their focus away from classic crpgs with this idea that it was the fault of VO that reduced and diminished dialogue and choice but it was their overall change in game design and target audience that did that. Several devs have shown you can still provide deep rpg experiences with full VO. Troika did it better than almost anyone ever has with VtMB, Obsidian themselves broke VO records with FONV and Larian now most of all with D:OS2 despite their small budget and independent status.

 

Full VO is certainly a big ask for a small Dev with limited resources, but it's not unreasonable nor without potential benefit for them sales wise. It's up to them to determine if that cost and potential return on investment is worth it. All I really hope for is that Deadfire is consistent and not patch worked like PoE. If that means just companions and critical path are voiced and everything else isn't, fine. I just don't want to deal with conversations that go in and out of VO again.

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This is a fallacy. Sure everything has a cost materially and otherwise but this idea that VO is antithetical to dialogue and choice heavy rpgs is not true. People keep conflating the fact that Bethesda, BioWare and others changed their focus away from classic crpgs with this idea that it was the fault of VO that reduced and diminished dialogue and choice but it was their overall change in game design and target audience that did that. Several devs have shown you can still provide deep rpg experiences with full VO. Troika did it better than almost anyone ever has with VtMB, Obsidian themselves broke VO records with FONV and Larian now most of all with D:OS2 despite their small budget and independent status.

 

 

Bethesda never had a focus on classic CRPGS. They always made Bethesda games and have continued to do so. Bioware had full VO for a long time before they shifted their focus. I mean KOTOR came out in 2003. Those examples never even occured to me.

 

The examples you listed as counter-examples are all fine games but they seem to prove my point rather than convince me otherwise. Besides you claim that it is a fallacy to site design and cost limitations and then say it is an expense and it is a limitation but that it is a potential crowd pleaser and would generate sales to offset the expense.

 

I mean if nothing else it creates a ridiculous situation where nobody can ever say the protagonists name.

 

 

I just don't want to deal with conversations that go in and out of VO again.

 

Well that is going to happen anyway unless they create a voiced protagonist and that really creates substantial limitations.

Edited by Valmy

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Well that is going to happen anyway unless they create a voiced protagonist and that really creates substantial limitations.

 

He's talking about when one NPC randomly talk during one line,  and then not say anything in the next line, and vice versa.  It happens a lot during companion conversations (like Durance).  The player character has nothing to do with this.  I think most people are fine with a non-voiced protagonist.  

Edited by bonarbill
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Sorry if this has been gone over a few times before, but will there be full voice acting in Pillars 2? Like Divinity 2 style? 

 

Also, some of the characters voices' in Pillars 1 were a little flat. Unemotional. I'd really like for everyone, including that random monk who's hiding up a tree eating bird eggs (actually, especially that random monk who's hiding up a tree eating bird eggs) to have, you know, personality in their voice. 

 

Wait so you didn't like the voice acting so you want more of it?

 

Full voice acting is expensive and makes changing the dialog later impossible. It reduces the amount of dialog and choice present in the game. Not a fan.

 

 

Some of the voices were brilliant. Eder, I can still remember his mellow voice. Durance's harsh tones. Kana's uplifting words, always happy. 

 

And yes, I know it is expensive, but you can still have fantastic amounts of choice (I turn to DOS: 2 again). Glad to hear that at least the annoying skips in VO will be stopped. 

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I for one would love for Obsidian to have 100 million dollars and eight years to develop a fully voice acted game that sacrificed none of the scope but it's just not gonna happen.

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Come to think of it, hadn't we heard voice samples of the companions in Pillars 1 by this point? Obsidian is playing this lot close to their chest.

That's how I like it!

 

Thing that sucks about funded projects is that so much is shared before release and even if you don't follow the updates, you still hear things. I like to be surprised and hope that Obsidian's next game is not a funded one.


Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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Just get Jim Cumming's to do some VO and I will be happy!

 

They are really missing out not having that guy involved dammit.

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nowt

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