Is SWTOR Being Fully Voiced Pointless?

One of the big key points for BioWare with Star Wars: The Old Republic was that it was going to be the first MMORPG on the market to be fully voiced. While it seems to be a giant step forward in terms of immersing players into the game and story-line, one quickly realizes that it’s probably going to be pointless in the long run.

I know for me, unless there’s vital info in the quest description, I’m not going to read it.  Lord of the Rings Online was a good example where you had to read the quest descriptions because there were no quest nav points, so you needed to figure out where to go.  However most other MMORPGs these days include nav points so it’s a simple click, accept and start running.

Most players, or the one’s I’ve gamed with, are the same way and are always trying to figure our the most efficient way to maximize their time in order to progress the fastest way possible within the game. MMO games today have thousands of quests, so if you’re actually going to bother and read every quest, you’re going to be spending a good chunk of your time reading and not gaming.

SWTOR has nav points, so in the same way most gamers skip reading the quest, aren’t they also going to skip the talk? If anything, you can at least skim a description, you can’t skim someone talking to you, so I’d imagine it’s even slower. I see the vast majority of gamers skipping the talk and just viewing the short descriptions in the quest log.

Not that I want to diminish what BioWare has done with creating a fully voiced MMORPG, I just don’t think it’s going to be what they though it would be. For some, those that don’t care about end-game content and are more interested about the journey, rather than reaching the level cap, will surely enjoy the fully voiced NPCs, but for most of us, I think will be spamming the skip key.

21 Comments

  1. pointless only if you have to wait and hear it out. In Dragon Nest, and Wow, you can read script or click away as they just ramble on. IT should be like or face the wrath of doom.

  2. I think this is actually going to be very important being that your choices actually change the outcome of the game and environment for your character.

  3. Exactly my opinion too. It is a nice feature that will probably please a category of players, but considering how huge the investment (both money and time) has probably been, I wish they had focused on more critical gameplay elements.

    Even more, with it in the game, the next logical step in my opinion would have been to abandon map navigation points, like you said LotRO has. Leave the option to skip the dialogues, but let players know they will have a harder time and will actually move slower if they don’t pay any attention to the quest description.

  4. The story is what this game is all about. The voice acting is top notch and your choices do matter in more than one way. Any one who just wants to skip story, this isn’t the game for you.

    From all those who have played, every one says the story is awesome, best part of the game, and no one skips it on their first play through or class stories because it’s so good.

  5. I think it is overrated, yet nice if done well. I played KOTOR the first time this year, and found it to be surprisingly nice. Yet as a LOTRO player, I like well written copy, and that does as much to add to the game. Reading the quests and such in LOTRO, was like adding to the books for me.

    What I don’t like, and have seen nothing to change my view, is the lousy “acting” of the characters. The silly motions, constant moving, etc. Poorly done. Less is more sometimes.

  6. It makes the game a more immersive experience. You learn background stories and become more emotionally attached to your characters and companions.

  7. If you want to power level.. go play WoW. I dont remember a damn thing during my WOW playing (multiple level 80s). I’d like a game where I learn more about the universe or game im playing. I tried to do a WOW quiz and couldnt figure out any of the answers because you can skip that. I love this fully voiced MMO idea. So instead of complaining about skipping quests, play another game. If I go and kill 10 mobs.. I want to know why. Thats the story behind it? Not just “go kill 30 mobs.. get 1000xp”. Really? Just dont play the game and you’ll be fine. No harm.

  8. When I was playing Wow I remember a few times having to go back and reread the quest text to try to figure out where to go, and thats how it should be.

    Nowadays all these games handing the nav points to you on a plate takes some of the fun out of the game – worse still are the games that allow you to look on the map to see the nav ref and click on the map to autorun you there.

    Then there are others that in the quest log highlight the name of the character your looking for, you click on the name and again you auto run there —- whats the point! you dont even have to play the game anymore these days it plays it all for you.

  9. ……………. On another note tho, fully voiced over is a nice addition, it indicates the money and effort they are putting in and hopefully in turn is an indication that this quality of work and effort is going to be put into the other areas of the game.

    May not be the be all and end all, but is a nice addition.

  10. I bet it will be just like kotor and ME where you can skip the VO and get right to your choices. I wouldn’t over think this too much.

    After one playthrough you’ll probably be skipping dialog you’ve seen before if you start a different toon.

  11. You can skip the dialog by hitting space, so, it’s not like you HAVE to listen to it. I feel it adds a lot of depth to the game, as a lot of the voice acting is top notch (although some of it needs work)

  12. It’s a nice addition. Having played both Mass Effect games, I found myself not only understanding the story better, but becoming muched more engaged and immersed in it.

    HOWEVER, most people don’t stick around at end-game for the dialog trees and facial animations. The stay subscribed because the gameplay and combat mechanics are fun. I have to be honest with myself, personally, the dialog and story seems to be the only thing going for it. But it’s not enough to keep me playing.

  13. I can’t imagine you have actually experienced it for yourself… but in anycase if I want to read this kind of crap I can get it on the forums.

    So… you’re unfollowed.
    bu-bye

  14. A fully voiced game is a lot like artwork. Most people will look at the big picture and decided if they like it or not and then move on to the next piece. There are some people though, who will stare at a single piece for an hour, exploring all of the minute details that are easily glossed over at first glance. Those people will appreciate all of the finer details and the time and effort that went into it, becoming a fan of the artist(s) in the process.

    Are the majority of players not going to care about this at all? Yep. But for those few that do really love this, they’re going to get completely immersed in the world. We all play games for different reasons, and to each their own. Do I care about the voices? Nope, can’t say that I do. I like the fact that they’re there so that I can get that immersion if I do feel like listening to it, but I like that we have the ability to skip through it as well.

    It’s also a feather in Bioware’s hat that not every other gaming company is going to be able to match. The MMO market is a constant melee to see who has the most to offer and the best game play to go with it. It might turn out to be a complete waste of time and money, or it could turn out to be a new standard in the industry. Only time will tell.

  15. Mike, are you saying you wouldn’t even listen the first time?

    How can you say your into end-game content? WHAT content? This IS the content and your skipping it? What do you do, get to the end and then stop skipping? Or you don’t mean end game content, you mean end game upping your numbers – do you mean your into end game spreadsheet? Because that’s different from end game content. If your into end game spreadsheet and upping numbers, fair enough, but don’t say your into content if your not actually into content.

    Watching it the first time, but then on an alt, skipping it because you already heard it, I get. But your obsession with what you call “end game content” is the same as skipping to the end of a book. Which means your not into content, not even the once.

  16. @callan No, I would definitely listen to them in the beginning just to see how it goes and for any missions related to the main story-line, but for the run of the mill quests I think I’d eventually just start skipping it. But if every mission is somehow tied to a grand story-line, they yes, I’ll probably listen to everything.

    As for end-game content, I mean being able to get into the high level dungeons, missions, PvP etc. I don’t play alts, but I love building up my character with the best gear possible, so once I get to the level cap I end up spending my time with the content that provides the best gear incentives.

  17. @Mike That’s what most players are currently doing; listening to the main story line dialogue and skipping the side-quests. Even though the side quests can have lightside or darkside options it isn’t necessary to listen to that dialogue. Once you get past level 15 or 20, the majority start hitting the space bar to skip the dialogue (unless it is has to do with the storyline). I even go as far as to spam 1 and the spacebar, not even listening to what I say back to the quest giver (as in most Bioware games 1=lightside 3=darkside and 2=either or).

    And yes, the only thing this game has going for it over other MMOs is the storyline, voice acting and the Star Wars theme; the rest of the game is pretty basic, kind of meh. I’m far more interested in GW2.

  18. Really? This isn’t very well thought out. You are basing what you believe to be the needs of gamers as a whole, on the needs of you and people you know.

    There are tons of gamers who will be playing SWTOR who were huge fans of single player Bioware rpgs. KOTOR and the like. There are MMO players who’s only version of fun isn’t power gaming all the time.

  19. Mike, so you do listen to them? And I don’t know why your even doing ‘run of the mill’ quests – are you a run of the mill person? Really, I think either you should avoid such quests altogether (unless you think your run of the mill), or if you can’t and you have to do these quests but don’t find them interesting, it shows this game isn’t for you. It’s for people who like those sorts of quest and will listen to the voice over.

    I think one of the main issues of quest skip is that mmorpgs are so graphically orientated – you can’t show people graphics for ages, then expect them to suddenly just read text. If they were playing a mud, they’d read the quest text (because in a MUD your always reading – it comes naturally to read)

  20. Agreed, the majority of players will be skipping most of the the voice scenes. Voice will appeal to the RP crowd and PVPers will despise it. Before seeing it in beta I wasnt too fond of the vioce idea. After playing it in beta I couldnt skip through it fast enough. Sorry, dont be a hater!

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