Jump to content

Why I think a fully voiced PoE:Deadfire is a mistake


Recommended Posts

Hey remember when Pillars 1 also had shopkeeper NPCs that said the same voiced line over and over when you talked to them?

Yes, though it wasn't the same but was alternating between two-three different lines. This makes it the same as in BG/BGII, so it was a bad example to give. Speaking to random NPCs on the street though is different in PoE than in the old games.

 

 

I am walking around the city central square, or in front of the queen's palace. I hear the same beggar, the same cheese vendor, or whatever, spouting the same "Spare a coin!"/"Buy delicious clams!". As I am going to sleep, after having played up to 3AM, I will still hear these voices in my head. Because the game is fully voiced.

I would agree with you except that this morning I was kicked in the head until I was dead nuyahahahahahaha.  Of course that is all good, because we all know the only good surfacer is a dead surfacer, but I just wish someone could get me outta this hellhole.

 

If you haven't noticed yet, a game doesn't need full VO to have repetitious annoying voices in it.

 

It doesn't? Wow, this revelation totally blew my mind! You are my new edge-god, Karkarov!

 

One important difference though - neither of these lines you quoted has any chance to trigger unless the player clicks on an NPC. Deadfire's inter-NPC dialogues, which as far as I understand are also voiced, happen as you pass by the NPCs. The repetitive stuff will be played unexpectedly, with little chance to be avoided.

A Custom Editor for Deadfire's Data:
eFoHp9V.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its kind of irrelevant to me other than the cost impact to development / limiting dialogue potential consequences.

 

From a practical standpoint as a game player, I read faster than most actors speak their lines and unless the actual acting or scene itself engages me on a level beyond the usual, I'll be reading the text and choosing dialogue options without listening to the VO; in games where the choices weren't fully written out in text choices, I'd have subtitles on, read the subtitles and advance to the next dialogue piece when I was done unless, again, the scene invested me somehow.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just my two cents, the Grieving mother quest exposition text was sorely in need of some voice acting, the birthing bell story was interesting but those large clumps of text thrown at the player was a bit off putting to be honest.

 

As for me I like me some voice acting (quality voice acting mind you), it helps me get into the party member's head.

Edited by nightcobra

6025422_EFPg_C_v1.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should also admit that I'd listen to the voice acting if I liked the voice regardless of scene.  A character being voiced by Tony Jay or Jennifer Hale, for example, were always a listen. 

"Promised?  Promised?  I made you no Promise" - how many times did I listen to that bit of dialogue in Icewind Dale?

 

I was gutted that Rebecca Sanabria wasn't a voice option for Saints Row 4; the dialogue and her voice kinda helped make my Saints Boss character so memorable in 2 and 3.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the sake of adding another opinion to the noise, I reckon that alongside the added expense it'll likely present for future DLCs my other concern with regards to full VO is that to my mind VO in Obsidian has always been fairly patchy in quality the more ground it tended to cover, and have found that their VO work tends to be better the more focused and narrowed down it is. As it stands right now I'm not entirely trusting that Deadfire will prove different to the rule, and that might be a problem since the performance always colours the dialogue/text in some fashion or other and I can see how a bad performance could "taint" what is otherwise a decent line - yet at the same time I'm sure other performances might *elevate* what could be a fairly average on unmemorable interaction instead. The binary decision of "muting/unmuting" voices in the game is a hard one precisely because you'll always be invariably silencing the good along with the bad.

  • Like 2

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Fallout 2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its kind of irrelevant to me other than the cost impact to development / limiting dialogue potential consequences.

 

Naturally, I do not know how things are. But let's be frank here: how many of us genuinely believe that having all dialogue voiced does NOT reduce the amount of dialogue options? It's superb if it does not, but it does not seem realistic at all to me to suppose that this is the case.

 

The OP pointed out that random NPCs on the street will repeat their voiced lines over and over again. This, again, seems like a very poor choice. We have a precedent from Neverwinter Nights, for instance, where some inane dialogues continued to be repeated. In Port Llast, there was this bit of conversation in an inn between "young Alhelor [sp?]" and the guy who turned out to be the werewolf in the end. When you heard it for the fifth time, it really started to break your immersion in the game. Obviously, the game world is utterly and completely fake. But when it continues to announce its fakiness this way, it becomes quite difficult to suspend one's disbelief.

Edited by xzar_monty
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, the preference is text. I always read faster than the voice actor speaks so I get annoyed waiting around for the speech to finish.

Then Marshall Mathers should be involved in VO.

  • Like 2

Done this with Moon Godlike Wizard

q22yrpP.png

Perebor steam

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the sake of adding another opinion to the noise, I reckon that alongside the added expense it'll likely present for future DLCs my other concern with regards to full VO is that to my mind VO in Obsidian has always been fairly patchy in quality the more ground it tended to cover, and have found that their VO work tends to be better the more focused and narrowed down it is. As it stands right now I'm not entirely trusting that Deadfire will prove different to the rule, and that might be a problem since the performance always colours the dialogue/text in some fashion or other and I can see how a bad performance could "taint" what is otherwise a decent line - yet at the same time I'm sure other performances might *elevate* what could be a fairly average on unmemorable interaction instead. The binary decision of "muting/unmuting" voices in the game is a hard one precisely because you'll always be invariably silencing the good along with the bad.

I myself do not worry too much about the quailty of voice acting per se - we've seen the cast, those guys are pros. I definately assume to hear 15 Matt Mercers interacting with one another in every third scene, but that was the case in New Vegas for instance - all NCR personnel consisted of nothing but Liam O'Briens and Laura Baileys, and it worked out alright enough in the end. I definately approve of the female voice actors this time around, though. I was not a fan of female voice cast in PoE 1  - Pallegina's faux-italian accent, as well as Sagani's bland delivery was always a bit grating for me. Personally, my only weak link now would probably be Marisha Ray. She's alright, but arguably - and correct me, if I'm wrong on that - the least experienced and versatile from what I've seen and heard (in both various videogames and CR itself) - so, we'll see how she fares. That's the double-edged sword right there, I guess - fans may inevitably judge your future performance based on a goofy Twitch show your'e a part of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't get the need for full voice acting. Pillars is not a cinematic experience, it's clearly closer to a novel with the way it's presented. In a game like Skyrim you want it, because you're face to face with the character and that sort of immersion is important to the game play and standing face to face with a character as you read what they say doesn't work. Here you're like staring at a tiny diorama, so reading text is more fitting. Hell the writers even embrace this with additions of descriptions of character actions between dialogue, which is obviously more a reference to the written word than it is the cinematic experience, so this seems completely unnecessary to the game's overall presentation.

 

I think they said they're only voicing key character dialogue, which I can live with. I don't think anyone needs a vendor yelling about cheeses for hours.

Edited by Ignatius
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At its core, the decision is obviously made to attract as many people as possible. There are infinitely more people who would prefer full VA than those who would prefer partial or not voiceacting at all.

 

And expanding your audience is all well and good. But I think many of the older RPG players may feel a certain dread as to what the future might hold for the Pillars franchise. It was made as a more or less "hardcore" game (and if memory serves, I'm pretty sure that Josh or someone else from Obsidian even praised the fact that it was not fully voiceacted in one of the interviews leading up to the release, don't quote me on that though) and gaming history has a lot of examples of games and franchises moving away from their hardcore roots to something more mainstream in order to get a bigger audience.

I think stuff like this kinda rings those warning bells a bit for some of us.

 

And before anyone says it, of course it's a premature concern. But again, I've had those premature concerns many times before throughout my gaming history and quite often they turned out to be true in the end.

  • Like 2

Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And before anyone says it, of course it's a premature concern. But again, I've had those premature concerns many times before throughout my gaming history and quite often they turned out to be true in the end.

 

Ditto. Quite some time ago, when Neverwinter Nights came out as the successor-of-sorts of Baldur's Gate II, I remember thinking: what will the 3D engine do to the party interactions that were such an integral part of the massive attraction of BG2? What will remain of that particular magic? Well, the answer was, nothing at all remained. And so (for that and many other reasons) the successor was infinitely inferior to its predecessor.

 

I found Pillars of Eternity to be quite fascinating, although, to me, it has no replay value whatsoever, so having played through it once I won't be returning. I'm still very interested in PoE2, although this particular piece of news, the voicing bit, does cause some concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

This really feels like setting money on fire just because someone at the top read an interview with Bioware that full VO is something that the kids like these days.

No, they didn't need to read any interview from anyone.  Common sense says people like full VO.  Amazon has an audio books section, and it isn't small.  This implies there is a large subset of people who actually don't like reading and would rather get their book in the form of narration.

 

Let's look at big RPG releases over the last few years...

 

Last year according to IGN (you can say what you want, they are one of the most visited gaming sites on the internet) the winner of best RPG 2017 was Persona 5.  Gee that game is like 90% voiced.  What was the runner up? Oh Divinity Original Sin 2.... 100% voiced.  Hmm.

 

What about 2016?  Dark Souls 3.... yeah fully voiced.... not a ton of dialog though give you that.  Runner up?  Final Fantasy 15, yeah like 95% voiced.

 

You know what, this must be a fluke, lets check 2015, surely we will get a reasonable result.  Winner of RPG of the year?  Witcher 3, fully voiced.  Runner up?  Fallout 4, fully voiced again.

 

Maybe it is just me but I am noticing a pattern.  Looks like most major RPG releases have full VO, or really close to it.

 

 

Having just replayed it, I can say that Persona 5 was less than 50% voiced. The main story had decent amount of voiced content, but almost none of the side content was, and there's a _ton_ of side content.

 

So an RPG doesn't need to be fully voiced to be very good, even in 2017.

"Wizards do not need to be The Dudes Who Can AoE Nuke You and Gish and Take as Many Hits as a Fighter and Make all Skills Irrelevant Because Magic."

-Josh Sawyer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

For the sake of adding another opinion to the noise, I reckon that alongside the added expense it'll likely present for future DLCs my other concern with regards to full VO is that to my mind VO in Obsidian has always been fairly patchy in quality the more ground it tended to cover, and have found that their VO work tends to be better the more focused and narrowed down it is. As it stands right now I'm not entirely trusting that Deadfire will prove different to the rule, and that might be a problem since the performance always colours the dialogue/text in some fashion or other and I can see how a bad performance could "taint" what is otherwise a decent line - yet at the same time I'm sure other performances might *elevate* what could be a fairly average on unmemorable interaction instead. The binary decision of "muting/unmuting" voices in the game is a hard one precisely because you'll always be invariably silencing the good along with the bad.

 

I myself do not worry too much about the quailty of voice acting per se - we've seen the cast, those guys are pros. I definately assume to hear 15 Matt Mercers interacting with one another in every third scene, but that was the case in New Vegas for instance - all NCR personnel consisted of nothing but Liam O'Briens and Laura Baileys, and it worked out alright enough in the end. I definately approve of the female voice actors this time around, though. I was not a fan of female voice cast in PoE 1 - Pallegina's faux-italian accent, as well as Sagani's bland delivery was always a bit grating for me. Personally, my only weak link now would probably be Marisha Ray. She's alright, but arguably - and correct me, if I'm wrong on that - the least experienced and versatile from what I've seen and heard (in both various videogames and CR itself) - so, we'll see how she fares. That's the double-edged sword right there, I guess - fans may inevitably judge your future performance based on a goofy Twitch show your'e a part of.
Rob Schneider's a professional actor, that doesn't mean he's a *good* actor. :p

 

With regards to the Critical Role cast, I've had pretty middling experiences with their resume. Mercer and maybe Johnson aside I can't say I've yet heard a performance of them I'd deem great, whilst the anime dubs I have heard have all been pretty invariably awful (as is the nature with dubs in general). I don't necessarily think that translates either way for their work in Deadfire but I don't think their involvement automatically guarantees anything either.

 

What I will also add is that whilst they are all involved with voicing the main characters, it's not these as such that worry me so much as the plethora of secondary characters that are bound to be voiced by as of yet unknown (to us) actors. These actors don't comprise the entirety of the cast.

Edited by algroth

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Fallout 2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest 4ward

At its core, the decision is obviously made to attract as many people as possible. There are infinitely more people who would prefer full VA than those who would prefer partial or not voiceacting at all.

 

And expanding your audience is all well and good. But I think many of the older RPG players may feel a certain dread as to what the future might hold for the Pillars franchise. It was made as a more or less "hardcore" game (and if memory serves, I'm pretty sure that Josh or someone else from Obsidian even praised the fact that it was not fully voiceacted in one of the interviews leading up to the release, don't quote me on that though) and gaming history has a lot of examples of games and franchises moving away from their hardcore roots to something more mainstream in order to get a bigger audience.

I think stuff like this kinda rings those warning bells a bit for some of us.

 

And before anyone says it, of course it's a premature concern. But again, I've had those premature concerns many times before throughout my gaming history and quite often they turned out to be true in the end.

 

actually i think that the jump from no-VO to partial VO is bigger than from partial to full. And currently non-English versions have no-VO. There was a good amount of complaints from players over on the Beamdog forums that originally Beamdog didn‘t include dubs for BG2EE. In Western Europe, eg german-speaking countries, people aren‘t used to subtitles, they expect VO and from tradition they have great voice actors. Perhaps in France it‘s the same. Now, Obsidian has additinal work implementing toggles – work they wouldn‘t have if it remained partial-VO. Seriously, people are informed what kind of game this is, they are motivated to buy this game without full-VO. Think about it, partial-VO can be 30%, 50%, perhaps even 70% of dialogue being voiced – it‘s anyone‘s guess, main thing is that it‘s voiced. Who the heck cares whether it‘s fully voiced or not.

I share the concern what the future might bring - Pillars 3d?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Rob Schneider's a professional actor, that doesn't mean he's a *good* actor. :p

 

With regards to the Critical Role cast, I've had pretty middling experiences with their resume. Mercer and maybe Johnson aside I can't say I've yet heard a performance of them I'd deem great, whilst the anime dubs I have heard have all been pretty invariably awful (as is the nature with dubs in general). I don't necessarily think that translates either way for their work in Deadfire but I don't think their involvement automatically guarantees anything either.

 

What I will also add is that whilst they are all involved with voicing the main characters, it's not these as such that worry me so much as the plethora of secondary characters that are bound to be voiced by as of yet unknown (to us) actors. These actors don't comprise the entirety of the cast.

 

To be fair - aside from Ashley Johnson - who we both seem to agree is quite good (and is in my opinion woefully underused as a goddamn sidekick) I wouldn't call the cast "great" or "exceptional". Mercer himself made a career out of playing "Generic White Dudes" (while  also being "bargain-bin Troy Baker" - but that is just mean), but they're mostly solid "safe" choices that are getting job done where it counts - professionals rather than crazy inspired artists. So I think they will deliver emotional highs if situation calls for it and I can hazard a guess that most memorable interactions will come from companions themselves. As for other voice actors... Mela Lee still voices Pallegina - and I wasn't a big fan of neither a character nor a voice, so I'll give you that one. I expect to hear a bunch of questionable perfomances from some third grade NPC along the way, but honestly that's par of the course for every videogame. I don't believe we'll get David Werner level of performance out of the entire cast - personally I expect something along the lines of Fallout New Vegas in terms of quality - sometimes spotty, but overall engaging and getting job done.

Edited by aksrasjel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its kind of irrelevant to me other than the cost impact to development / limiting dialogue potential consequences.

 

From a practical standpoint as a game player, I read faster than most actors speak their lines and unless the actual acting or scene itself engages me on a level beyond the usual, I'll be reading the text and choosing dialogue options without listening to the VO; in games where the choices weren't fully written out in text choices, I'd have subtitles on, read the subtitles and advance to the next dialogue piece when I was done unless, again, the scene invested me somehow.

If the scene isn't investing you, then the writers and actors have failed you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me elaborate more on my previous statement, why I think that V.O. is good on main questlines and companions dialogues.

The main story has a narration focus, sure you have your choices but the main purpose, in the end, will be achieved, it don't matter if you choose 50 small things differently than me your end will be one of the 3 major endings, a good, sort of good and bad, that is why I think V.O. on the main questline should work, because you don't have a huge pool of choices, now for the companions.

Personality is something really important on a person, that is the main reason why you like someone, and the voice is one way to demonstrate that personality, albeit not the only one and not the most important, but it's a huge gain in terms of showing characteristics in a video game, you can demonstrate how a character is by the way he says "hello", doing this you can avoid a 2 pages long text just with some good V.O. that is why I think V.O. on companions should work. Now why I don't think it works with generic quests.

When leveling my character through generic quests I expect something interesting and a lot of options. It's the only time that the quests designers can go wild, they don't have to fully respect the main story, they can create their own little lore, where they can invest their personality. One quest from POE 1 comes to my mind, The Wailing Banshee - the banshee on the tower in Defiance bay -, if you had perception - both you or your character - the quest could end in such an interesting way, you could learn about the lore, the nature of the banshee - exactly how banshees are created - and help give closure to a loving story, way better than just attack and kill the poor banshee, that is what I expect with generic quests and V.O. don't work with a lot of choices.

So... I only hope I can help a banshee with their depression again.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have a strong opinion on how much should be voice acted, I just hope the scripts and acting are interesting. Till last week I'd never heard of Critical Role, so when the announcement came I looked them up, and they seem like a very goofy, twee group of people. So I'm worried about this aspect of the game, but I'll wait and see. 

Edited by Mack
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...