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I would prefer a silent protagonist, barring a basic voice for things like combat expressions, spellcasting, etc (things like grunts, groans, verbal casting components, selection confirmations and the like). A voiced protag I'm cool with too. I prefer one over the other obviously, but either will do.

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Originally Posted by SGTSPIRE

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 ?

It depends? In games like KOTOR, Jade Empire or Dragon Age: Origins I did find it mildly distracting, though I never felt like those games allowed for bit roleplaying anyway. Those, to me, are dwarfed by Mass Effect, which is a solid hybrid - an action game with roleplaying elements.

I like Witchers a lot, but being familiar with the characer I don't look to play as anyone else then Geralt - and in Witcher 3 especially, they did a splendid job portraying him. Funnily enough, a friend of made who didn't read books was getting constantly frustrated, when Geralt would say things he didn't intend him to say.

Fallout: New Vegas is probably the best example of no protagonist VO game - for one it's a great RPG when it comes to character building and expression, and having first-person perspective doesn't draw attention to our protagonist blank face as I read through available lines.

I have no problem with no VO or partial VO - IE games, Disco Elysium, Shadowrun all work for me wonderfully. I am happy to sacrifice a bit of presentation on the altar of RPG-nessness.

*Shrug* I tend to role-play a bit even when I play boardgames. Don't need a game to do it for me.


Originally Posted by Salto89

It feels like you're connecting voiced protagonist with predetermined characters and no options to recreate your vision.

Well, that's kinda a big part of it no? Voice is a very defining feature of a character. In a computer game it is the only part that is comletely handcrafted and outside player influence - you can't simulate or gamefy speach. While you can control actions of you character, you won't change performance and interpretation given by the actor.

I am more curious then upset, because to me doing VO for protagonist seems counter intuitive to what Larian has shown so far. I an genuily interested in seeing how they want to pull this one off.

Last edited by Wormerine; 23/06/20 01:11 AM.
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Wow! Just checking back here after a few days and I'm super happy this thread is actually getting some action. After waiting around for 2-3 hours after my initial post without seeing any responses, I was getting a little disheartened lol.

I can see where the people who dislike voice acting are coming from. In a way, for those who have a bit more of a creative mindset, it can be better to imagine the scene in your head. That is not all of us though, and I think there are a lot of people such as myself who don't necessarily like playing table top DnD but still love a great RPG with cinematics. I for one really loved how Bioware were able to voice Commander Shephard in the Mass Effect series. As someone mentioned earlier, this made it so much more immersive/emotional when your companions died or when your character made an important speech.

Dragon Age 2 and 3 are other good examples of where we had a lot of character customisation going on, but we were still able to comfortably weave a voice protagonist in. Admittedly, I enjoyed Dragon Age 1 the most out of the series, but this was mainly due to the story line.

I think the main thing that people are forgetting is that this RPG is quite unique in that it provides MULTIPLAYER functionality. This is a HUGE selling point for my fiance and I, as we are struggling to find any kind of multiplayer RPG to play together other than the DOS series. Text-only is perfectly serviceable for single player games, but it can be extremely jarring when playing with others. You end up having to ask "has everyone finished reading this?" and "what did you end up saying?" over and over. It is just totally immersion breaking, at least from my experience (again, not a DnD fan and really not into physically role playing my character out loud for others).

Really excited to see that some people have indicated that Larian will include full voice acting. I hope this is true, but I don't want to get my hopes up just in case. I don't think my heart could take the disappointment :'(

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On that note, how cool would it be if everyone was given a choice on how they want their character to respond, then the game randomly picks which character actually responds? I think that Star Wars MMO did something like that, which I think was really innovative

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I loved the voice of Shepard in Mass Effect. It suited that game perfectly. It's not that I don't like a voiced protagonist, it's just that it's unlikely to be viable in a game like Baldur's Gate 3, which will have considerably more customization than say Dragon Age 2 and 3. And even then I felt like the voiced protagonist of DA3 limited the role-playing aspect. There's also the problem of the dreaded dialogue wheel (it exists to prevent having to read and listen to the exact same sentence), which every developer so far seems to have a real issue with implementing. It's too common that your character ends up saying something you didn't really intend, which is always a bummer and can make it feel like you're watching a conversation play out rather than being a part of it.

The multiplayer issue of not knowing what your party members have said is, of course, a problem, but should be easily solvable with some well-timed text feedback.

Last edited by Exclusif; 23/06/20 05:51 PM.
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I don’t think “full voice acting” means we’ll hear our character speak in every dialogue. DOS2 and the enhanced edition of DOS were “fully voice acted”, but that just meant that every line of NPC dialogue was voice acted, as opposed to you having to read most of it.

A fully voiced protagonist throughout would mean recording the other half of almost every conversation for each origin character, plus at least one male and one female custom character voice. That’s a lot of recording, and some people would still probably complain there isn’t a voice that fits the character they want to play as.

I wouldn’t complain if they did, but I certainly don’t expect it.

I disagree with people saying that hearing your character’s voice is essential for role playing. Fallout 4 was mentioned as a bad example earlier, but I think the problem with Fallout 4 was more that it very rarely mattered what you actually said. That’s far more important for role playing to me. That doesn’t mean I think you are wrong, I just don’t feel that way myself. It shouldn’t be very hard for any game with a voiced protagonist to include the option to cut it for those who don’t like it. Not sure why no one does.

I also disagree with people saying it’s weird to see your character just standing there, because that almost always happens with voiced protagonists as well. While you’re reading/deciding what to say, the character stands there looking dumb. Go and make a cup of tea and come back and they won’t have moved. The difference when it’s unvoiced is just that the game skips the part where you actually speak. So that doesn’t bother me either.

The point about not having time to see what was selected in multi player seems easily fixed to me. Just keeping the text on screen longer should prevent you having to ask your mates what they selected.

What interests me most about what we’ve seen so far is that there was at least one point where the protagonist does speak in an animated scene. In the first gameplay reveal, when they set up camp, Astarion says something about doing as the day walkers do. That makes me wonder if certain key protagonist lines are voiced, even if most regular dialogue options aren’t?






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Originally Posted by MicrobicWalnut

I for one really loved how Bioware were able to voice Commander Shephard in the Mass Effect series.

I think ME1&2 strength comes from more then just VO. They put a lot of effort into directing the shots - from camera angles, composition, background sets. You know, using basic visual language, instead of awkward closeups at digital models. Witcher3 succeeded as well - I remember analyzing facial reaction of a small quest NPC and realizing how much work was put into every conversation.

Originally Posted by MicrobicWalnut

I think the main thing that people are forgetting is that this RPG is quite unique in that it provides MULTIPLAYER functionality.

Not at all! My best time with Divinity was in Coop. I can see it being a boon when playing with randoms, but if I play with my close friend I like communicating. Reading our lines to each other and roleplaying was lots of fun... especially as I took care to create a character which would clash with my friend's character constantly. I never liked coop games which don't require constant communication. Still, I prefer board games for socializing over computer games anyway.

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Personally I´m ok with fully voiced NPC but I prefer to be able to choose a portrait and a voice for my custom characters. If that means that my character will be silent and I have to use my voice that works for me.

Voiced protagonists wok better in Mass effect because you have a fixed main character: A Human commander named Shepard. That was also the case in Witcher, DAO2, Last of us, etc.
In this game, you can create your own custom main character, and maybe the voice options they give you do not fit.

That said, as Origin characters are predetermined the voices of Lae`zel, Asterion, Shadowheart, etc will fit just fine.

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I really appreciate voice acting and would have loved a fully voiced protagonist, but I understand why that likely won't happen given the many race/gender combinations. Still a worthwhile goal to pursue imo.

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Also, it can be kind of annoying to read the options, decide a response, and then wait as the char speaks what we just read to ourselves.

It prolongs the length of conversations and weights the pauses with an imbalance on our end, whereas an immediate, unvoiced answer on response selection retains more of the right timing dynamics in the dialogue.

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Originally Posted by The Drow Warlock
Also, it can be kind of annoying to read the options, decide a response, and then wait as the char speaks what we just read to ourselves.

It prolongs the length of....


-Press Space to Skip-

Skip

Sure, but that’s pretty easy to deal with.

Edit: Hurrah! I can finally quote! And in my first attempt am already abusing the system.

Last edited by Dagless; 24/06/20 08:10 AM.
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It makes me really look forward to tech such as Adobe's VOCO (which was a prototype only). It allows you to generate speech based on original content. So you could record x# of voice-acted lines, then use the generator so add more text without needing the actor for modifications, added lines, or original content.

I wonder if the prototype is available to companies. For modders, this would be golden. They could add dialog and voice to characters using the character's original voice, or they could transform to some other voice (think more monstrous goblins speech for example)

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Originally Posted by WizardPus
It makes me really look forward to tech such as Adobe's VOCO (which was a prototype only).

eek I would definitely take no VO over something like that. There is so much more to Voice Over then reading lines.

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It seems like this is something that some of us appreciate, and some of us don't. That's fine, but I hope Larian finds a way to implement it and maybe make it optional? I get that it's super expensive but Larian has always surprised me with how far they will go for their fans so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed.

Worst case, I hope they are least put some thought into how they present the chosen dialogue option to the other players, as someone above suggested.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by WizardPus
It makes me really look forward to tech such as Adobe's VOCO (which was a prototype only).

eek I would definitely take no VO over something like that. There is so much more to Voice Over then reading lines.


This was not text to speech, this was natural. It could be used for example to do deep fakes indistinguishable from an actual person. It was very impressive but may remain a prototype only due to concerns of privacy etc.

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Originally Posted by ZeshinX
I would prefer a silent protagonist, barring a basic voice for things like combat expressions, spellcasting, etc (things like grunts, groans, verbal casting components, selection confirmations and the like). A voiced protag I'm cool with too. I prefer one over the other obviously, but either will do.


Yeah, there are going to be way too many dialog options to have a fully voiced protagonist, but the little vocalizations would be cool if we had an option to record our own mundane voicings during character creation. It would be easy to set up a little list of exclamations such as "OK", "Yes?", "Unnh, I've been hit!", and "Good heavens, I am in need of a rest." We would speak them into the mic, and the game would store them as little MP3 files for playback at the right times. Good fun!

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Where do people find the salaries for voice acters? everybody keeps saying it's too expensive - but it's not like they're hiring Hollywood A-listers.
From what I've been able to find out, unless they are big names in the industry, they don't really get paid that much.

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I don't care whether the MC is voiced or not but if you are not going to voice the MC, don't focus on them from the waist up in dialogues. They look like mannequins.

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Originally Posted by Exclusif
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.


I agree.

Voice acting can be great for specific character (shepard, gerald, . . .) but not if you have tons of races, classes and alignments to chose from.


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this is another one of those topics where a lot of people just go with their knee jerk reaction without thiking about it.

"Fully voiced is always better!"
Well is it? have you played Dragon Age Inquisition? Have you tried roleplaying a barbarian fighter? An old cranky mage? a disgruntled mercenary? A ranger more at home in the wilds than in the city?

If you havent, i invite you to try doing that and then reconsider if you want a fully voiced protagonist.

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