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#668961 21/06/20 08:10 AM
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This game is looking AMAZING but can we please get voice acting for the dialogue options?

Pure text is fine for single player, but when playing DOS1 and 2 with friends it really broke our immersion having to ask each other what dialogue option we picked each time.

We ended up either having to wait for everyone to read all of the options and then tell them which one we picked, or awkwardly read out the lines as we selected them.

It would be much more immersive if everyone could just watch your character act out the option you've selected :)

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Voice acting is extremely expensive. This is even worse in a game where you can have 5-8 different main characters who are also voiced as side characters, and will need several different complete voice sets for the entire game for custom characters.

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from a recent interview it looks like well be getting full voice acting
which i personally think is a big waste of money but good for people who want that

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Originally Posted by MicrobicWalnut

when playing DOS1 and 2 with friends it really broke our immersion having to ask each other what dialogue option we picked each time.

Curious. That's what roleplaying is all about:-).

But as someone mentioned it seems Larian is planning to do full VO... It's not something that ever worked to RPGs benefit, but I shall wait to see it first before judging. Larian has proven many universal truths false so far.

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I strongly prefer a fully voiced protagonist, I really like seeing the character I've created come to life.

If all other characters are fully voiced, and your character isn't, there's a kind of devide between your character and all other characters - conversations become rather static.
your character is pretty much confined to always stand still while talking - there's no dynamic intereaction with another character during it.
your character can't do anyhting during a conversation, if there is an action associated with a conversation choice, your character
will have to do that action afterwards while being silent, which feels really unnatural and awkward.

Having a voiced protagonist also adds more emotion to a scene imo. For example, in Mass Effect 2 during the final battle you (Shepard) holds a speech for the crew of the Normandy,
during which you get to see the reaction of the crew, and hear the music build up before going into that last battle. If shepard was a silent protagonist, you'd just click a line of text
and imagine it in your head... no thanks.
This is also why I skipped "the Outer Worlds", even though everyting else about the game looked really good, every time there was going to be a conversation it would take me out of the game.

(sorry if my english is a little awkward - not my first language)

Last edited by Lundquist; 21/06/20 03:59 PM.
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I hope there will be full voiced protagonist, maybe they just wait to have all the lines set. It just feels weird when hero is the only one who is silent. And it's also very limiting for cutscenes. I don't really get how somebody could say that they would do such thing for immersion. Come on, it's a budget thing. Immersion is lost, especially when protagonist even now does say some things, scream some lines when castings spells or seeing something without cutscenes. So you just can't fully pretend that it's totally different voice.

Last edited by Salto89; 21/06/20 05:54 PM.
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Originally Posted by Salto89
I hope there will be full voiced protagonist, maybe they just wait to have all the lines set. It just feels weird when hero is the only one who is silent. And it's also very limiting for cutscenes. I don't really get how somebody could say that they would do such thing for immersion. Come on, it's a budget thing. Immersion is lost, especially when protagonist even now does say some things, scream some lines when castings spells or seeing something without cutscenes. So you just can't fully pretend that it's totally different voice.


I can completely understand that for some people a voiced protagonist is better, particularly is you come at games with a Hollywood mindset.

That's not true for everyone, though. I don't even notice that my character isn't speaking in games like Fallout3 or NWN2, because I'm automatically speaking the lines in my head, in the voice I have assigned to my character. Sometimes I will even play out alternate conversations in my head that are not even in the game! Different types of imagination, I guess.

This is preferable for me to spending an entire game trying to accept what I consider to be the wrong voice for a character I build, because there are only one or two choices. But each to their own.

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Originally Posted by Salto89
It just feels weird when hero is the only one who is silent. And it's also very limiting for cutscenes. I don't really get how somebody could say that they would do such thing for immersion.

Honestly, in an RPG I find the humbler presentation the better. Partial VO or no VO at all works the best for me. Here is why:

RPGs are all about creating your characters and interacting with enviroment. The more defined those interactions are, the less room for maneuvering there is. BG2 is not terribly big on choice and reactivity. And yet I was able to make many playthroughs, with various characters and they all felt differently - in a big part because there was a decent amount of blank space through which I could express my character - filling his voice in my head was one of those.

Have Witcher3 or Mass Effect or even Gothic... because how defined the characters are, I don't find subsequent playthroughs interesting. Especially the first two... those are barely RPGs. More like action games with some RPG elements infuesed into them. Shepard will always be out of my control.

I agree that, if you use movie style presentation for everyone else but your character, there is discrepancy there. But while devs managed to create customisable avatars which can act and interact with enviroment... how do you do voice? For that reason I prefer my RPGs more abstract, with top down view, getting the imagination working, but not defining it more then needed.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
Originally Posted by Salto89
I hope there will be full voiced protagonist, maybe they just wait to have all the lines set. It just feels weird when hero is the only one who is silent. And it's also very limiting for cutscenes. I don't really get how somebody could say that they would do such thing for immersion. Come on, it's a budget thing. Immersion is lost, especially when protagonist even now does say some things, scream some lines when castings spells or seeing something without cutscenes. So you just can't fully pretend that it's totally different voice.


I can completely understand that for some people a voiced protagonist is better, particularly is you come at games with a Hollywood mindset.

That's not true for everyone, though. I don't even notice that my character isn't speaking in games like Fallout3 or NWN2, because I'm automatically speaking the lines in my head, in the voice I have assigned to my character. Sometimes I will even play out alternate conversations in my head that are not even in the game! Different types of imagination, I guess.

This is preferable for me to spending an entire game trying to accept what I consider to be the wrong voice for a character I build, because there are only one or two choices. But each to their own.


I don't think it's "my mindset". It's Larian's mindset, It's whole industry mindset. Games now are more similar to films than books, and it's pretty normal with technology advancing. And Larian said they always wanted to create games that way. Of course it would be great to have like 10 voice sets for different approach but there are always some limits. You probably can't create every possible hairstyle or armor set connecting with your imagination. I just think silent protagonist doesn't go with a way games are now. cRPG as well. Cutscenes are created to give some dynamic, not watching your character standing with arms crossed.

Last edited by Salto89; 21/06/20 07:51 PM.
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Originally Posted by Salto89

I don't think it's "my mindset". It's Larian's mindset, It's whole industry mindset. Games now are more similar to films than books, and it's pretty normal with technology advancing. And Larian said they always wanted to create games that way. Of course it would be great to have like 10 voice sets for different approach but there are always some limits. You probably can't create every possible hairstyle or armor set connecting with your imagination. I just think silent protagonist doesn't go with a way games are now. cRPG as well. Cutscenes are created to give some dynamic, not watching your character standing with arms crossed.


Whether an individual gets on with some aspect of a game is not at all related to what Joe/Jane Doe likes, nor what "the Industry" as a whole thinks people like. If that were true, BG3 would not even be made, since the game's sales will be miniscule compared to the 10s or even 100s of million units the most popular games sell.

Cutscenes have been around for 3 decades, and cinematic allegories have always been present in videogames. Voicing characters has similarly been around for a very long time. The only difference between old and new games in that regard is the capacity of modern games platforms to store/use the extra voice files, and the return on investment that allows fully voiced characters to be recorded.

If it were even slightly possible to tailor a protagonist voice, rather than select from a small set, then you would have a valid point. But if you can generally modify dozens of facial features, and select from a wide palette of hair/beard styles/lengths, then having almost zero choice in voicing is not necessarily an improvement over having no voice at all. At least, not for me.

More generally, the real promise of videogames is not to ape Hollywood, but go beyond the limitations of pre-determined cinematic storytelling. For at least 20 years there have been few genuine advances, with each new generation of games simply polishing the turd more brightly, because it's the safe thing to do.

It's beginning to change, partly because there is not much more polishing to be done, but until the day a game can ask me to record a few dozen phonemes and then synthesizes my voice for the protagonist, I will probably not consider voiced protagonists as superior to my imagination.


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I'd rather have just 1 voice per gender for all classes and races than none at all, I can't exaggerate how much I hate the silent protagonist, it's one my 2 biggest pet peeves in games. I hate having to imagine half a game in my head, I want to see, hear and experience all that happens, and see my character FULLY interact with the ingame world.

I don't know, maybe I lack as much imagination as some people seem to have, because in every game I've played with a silent protagonist, my character has just seemed to me to be this lifeless soulless thing.

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Sure, just look at the variety of opinions over what LOOKS good. There's probably just as many opinions over what SOUNDS good. smile

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Originally Posted by Salto89
I just think silent protagonist doesn't go with a way games are now. cRPG as well. Cutscenes are created to give some dynamic, not watching your character standing with arms crossed.

I suppose it all depends what your goal is. Investing in presentation isn't bad in itself, but has consequences. For example, there is clear benefit to designing units with a set, unmovable kit as that gives designers better control over challenges they can pose to the players. Similarly, defining character in a game does allow for a better control over storytelling. But IMO that's missing the point of what RPG is about, just as removing leveling system would be.

I would refer to Bioware, who peaked with BGates and went on downard spiral pursuing presentation over anything else... that said, BG3 seems to be amping everything up, so I am curious to see where it will lead. Dialogue system doesn't seem streamlined at all.

EDIT: I should clarify - I liked Bioware games (aside Dragon Age games) up to ME2. But gradually they became more and more passive experiences, and therefore - less interesting. END OF EDIT

Perhaps, this is why I didn't get along with D:OS2 though - for all the mechanical interactivity and clearly insane amount of effort and care that went into the game... there wasn't much roleplaying in it. Luckily, for now, Larian isn't Alpha and Omega of roleplaying, and hopefully for me, it will keep being that way.

EDIT2: Also brilliant Mark Brown's brilliant video on Shepard.

Last edited by Wormerine; 22/06/20 01:28 AM.
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I think reading it is be better, because when you read it you can put yourself in the character position easier, than when you listen 3 character talking, it is an rpg after all.

Of course watching someone else playing is way different than playing it and you notice this way easier, that your main is not talking, if you play you would never question it.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by Salto89
I just think silent protagonist doesn't go with a way games are now. cRPG as well. Cutscenes are created to give some dynamic, not watching your character standing with arms crossed.

I suppose it all depends what your goal is. Investing in presentation isn't bad in itself, but has consequences. For example, there is clear benefit to designing units with a set, unmovable kit as that gives designers better control over challenges they can pose to the players. Similarly, defining character in a game does allow for a better control over storytelling. But IMO that's missing the point of what RPG is about, just as removing leveling system would be.

I would refer to Bioware, who peaked with BGates and went on downard spiral pursuing presentation over anything else... that said, BG3 seems to be amping everything up, so I am curious to see where it will lead. Dialogue system doesn't seem streamlined at all.

EDIT: I should clarify - I liked Bioware games (aside Dragon Age games) up to ME2. But gradually they became more and more passive experiences, and therefore - less interesting. END OF EDIT

Perhaps, this is why I didn't get along with D:OS2 though - for all the mechanical interactivity and clearly insane amount of effort and care that went into the game... there wasn't much roleplaying in it. Luckily, for now, Larian isn't Alpha and Omega of roleplaying, and hopefully for me, it will keep being that way.

EDIT2: Also brilliant Mark Brown's brilliant video on Shepard.


It feels like you're connecting voiced protagonist with predetermined characters and no options to recreate your vision. But I don't think thats fair. Yes, with some developers there is tendency to give less and less choice, focus on action and generally "safe" storytelling but i believe it can be different. For me replayability is connected with choices, complex dialogues and variety of character build. This still can happen with voiced protagonist.

Last edited by Salto89; 22/06/20 04:28 PM.
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I would prefer no voice acting at all. I like to read the dialogue, and having them speaking at the same time as I am reading is jarring (and a bit annoying).

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What I have seen so far in the Voice acting is really great.

I would be willing to voice act player characters on the house, and if we got a community of individuals together, we maybe able to help provide this resource to Larian in a timely fashion.

So interesting to see the different feedback here as well.
Reminds me of the Different player types in the D&D Dungeon Master's guide.

I would say that at least at a Table, all of my players prefer I voice the villain then handing them written text.
Some love speaking and representing their characters, and some are silent. While others create their own story within a campaign, by inserting elements tied to their character.

I would be curious if you didn't want the Voice Over, did you not like the ones done in other AAA games ? Did you prefer text options for dialogue in cut scenes ?

I agree that having the voice overs in some parts and not others does hinder a dialogue scene.

I am very excited to see more of the game.




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First thing, Thank you.
I can't tell you as a creative writer how nice it is to hear some one who actually reads.

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A voiced protagonist works well in a game where you’re playing a specific person, like in Mass Effect.

DnD is about role playing. There’s no viable way to add voice acting to the protagonist in a game with this amount of character customization. Fallout 4 tried it, got massive backlash, and reverted to a silent protagonist in F76: Wastelanders. And that game has a considerably more narrow customization. In BG3, some people will want to play an aging dwarf with a deep voice, others a gay teenage elf. A lawful good human Paladin and a chaotic evil half-orc Warlock won’t sound the same. You would need so many different voice actors to bring every player’s fantasy to life that it’s just not financially viable in such a massive game as BG3.

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What would be fine, I think, is if they do record a few voices, and give you the option to either select one, or no voice at all. Their text is not emotional paraphrase as with many games, so giving both options would work.

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