Monday, August 3, 2009

Mic Check

I did a lot of Aion beta-ing over the weekend, so I don't have a whole lot of WoW news to talk about. Besides, what really IS there to talk about in WoW lately? We're all waiting for this stinking patch, and some people are progressing in raiding, but not a whole lot is going on it seems. Since high school football season is starting, I'm down to only one raid night a week (two if I'm lucky), so my toons are pretty stagnant as well.

I did get on WoW to do some PvPing this weekend, and it may be just me, but did the Ruin server group get together and decide to take Alliance stupid pills? I mean, I know the Alliance isn't normally the pinnacle of PvP awesomeness, but this weekend we just seemed especially bad. I mean, I lost four Alterac Valleys. We NEVER lose AV. I couldn't win a WSG to save my life. At least we seemed to still keep Strand of the Ancients close. I don't know what was up, but it was like we were just doing stupid stuff at every turn.

Anyways, I wanted to go with a more general MMO discussion topic today in light of the lack of specific stuff to talk about. Like I said, I did a lot of Aion beta playing this weekend with two goals in mind. First, we wanted to try out putting a Legion together (WoW Guild) just to see how it works. In Aion this will cost you around 11k Kinah (think copper in WoW, but no other tiers of money, so if everything were in copper. Or, if you've been to Mexico, think pesos to dollars). It's looks bad, but it only takes you about a level of questing between three people to build that kind of cash up. Not too bad.

The second aim was to experience the game with the addition of the voice track. They hadn't added the voices up until now, and, honestly, I hadn't really noticed that they were missing. I mean, something in the back of my mind must of noticed their absence, but I guess in a beta test, I'm not playing critically. That is to say, I'm expecting it to not be completely polished.

After experiencing the addition of the voice track, it was sort of like a revelation to me of just how important that sort of thing is to the feeling of immersion and the vibrancy of the world. I may not have realized it wasn't there, but I certainly noticed what it added. All of a sudden, I wasn't just demoing some game, I was a character in a fantasy realm.

I'm not gonna make the claim that Aion's voice track is stellar. If anything, it's probably pretty average as far as those things go, but it's done well and adds a lot to the game. In particular, the voice overs were added for the quest cut scenes, and those go a long way to pulling you in. It's something I would have liked to see WoW do more (random cinematics), even if it's just little snippets here and there.

So I wanted to ask today: just how important is the voice track to you? Is it something that you're highly critical of? What are your favorite parts of WoW's voice track?

I have to say, for my part, I think the minion voice track for Warlocks is one of my all time faves. I mean, the random sayings usually still make me laugh. Especially since I've really been questing around with my Felguard for the first time, having specced demonology just for random world questing and fun. Also, if you're an old school Warcraft fanboy like me, you have to love the random run ins with classic characters like the ghost footmen or peasants that have the same voices you remembered and loved in the strategy games.

"Right-o."

1 comment:

  1. You nailed it! Very important for immersion.

    On Aion, I felt that some of the tracks were fantastic. Love those Shugos, nyerk! However, some of them, while the acting was fine, just feel out of place. The Asmodean Ascension cutscene is a bit... off.

    Favorite WoW line: "Keep your feet on the ground." -From a Dwarven Flight Master as you fly away.

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