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I'm gonna take a hit and disagree, I think PC voicelines can cut back on a lot, It creates less options for a player to choose when wanting to say something, the reason why this would be, is because of budget and how much voice actors cost. Not to mention creating multiple for different voice types, we saw some PC voice lines in Divinity: Original Sin, but that was minimal, and that is 100% fine. I think we should also take into account about how dialogue may feel to a voice actor saying it- opposed to a player reading it in their head. It gives the player the ability to feel like they are their character. Not just playing someone else's character. Another point I would like to add is that it will also limit quests, dialogue options, and so on due to a studios budget. The amount of voice lines that would have to be read for characters- this isn't including the fact that there are multiple "Voice types" for characters, we can look at Fallout 4 for example- a game of which player voice acting brought it down heavily, and with it only having about 13,000 voice lines for the male and obviously 13,000 for the female voice actress and 4 dialogue options each and many being repeated for the game. PC voicelines to me sounds nice at first but when looking into it deeper, it may feel like it strips away from the core values of player freedom.

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Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by Pandemonica
I mean this all started in Dragon Age, where everyone spoke except the PC, but I mean even they integrated PC voice in DA 2.


And just like that, the quality of roleplaying and dialogue options from Dragon Age to DA2 got extremely downgraded. Unfortunetely this is unavoidable as quality of roleplaying and dialogue options are diametrically opposed to PC voice acting in video games, due to resource constraints.

I think that really depends on the developer and production quality. So far, this game has exceptional voice talent.

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Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by Pandemonica
I mean this all started in Dragon Age, where everyone spoke except the PC, but I mean even they integrated PC voice in DA 2.


And just like that, the quality of roleplaying and dialogue options from Dragon Age to DA2 got extremely downgraded. Unfortunetely this is unavoidable as quality of roleplaying and dialogue options are diametrically opposed to PC voice acting in video games, due to resource constraints.

DA2 had quite a few problems (*cough* reused assets *cough*), but I am not convinced that voiced protagonist was one of them. For one thing, in DA:O everybody else was already voiced, so your options were still highly constrained by the lines that they recorded for NPC's. On top of that, the Warden would stand like a doofus with his/her arms crossed and nod during every conversation. Oh how I hated that!

Hawke was reasonably well voice acted, and entertaining to watch. The dialogue wheel (or whatever they called it) was often frustrating to use, and I hated not knowing what I was going to say until after I started saying it... but at least I didn't stand there like a moron while everybody else did the talking.

If you want more roleplaying options (and I agree that this is a very worthwhile goal) then that probably means that voice acting for NPC's must be replaced or heavily subsidized with text. I would be thrilled if BG3 went this direction, but I really do not expect it. Failing this, I really hope that they record dialog for <charname> so that I don't stand there like a mute Warden again.

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The issue is that it would be very very expensive. Think about it, the game doesn't just have a standard 1 male and 1 female. Different races may sound different, and then we add in Origin characters (I dislike origin characters as PC but it's in the game). They would have to record every single companion character being used as PC on top of standard customized character.

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Originally Posted by Hilarian
The issue is that it would be very very expensive. Think about it, the game doesn't just have a standard 1 male and 1 female. Different races may sound different, and then we add in Origin characters (I dislike origin characters as PC but it's in the game). They would have to record every single companion character being used as PC on top of standard customized character.

In 2021 you would think this being doable with some kind of sound engineering software tech that filters a single voice into many types.

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Originally Posted by Hilarian
The issue is that it would be very very expensive. Think about it, the game doesn't just have a standard 1 male and 1 female. Different races may sound different, and then we add in Origin characters (I dislike origin characters as PC but it's in the game). They would have to record every single companion character being used as PC on top of standard customized character.

This isn't the 90s anymore, it isn't some hardcore difficult thing to do. As a matter of fact, for the majority of modern RPGs it is standard. When the origin characters record their characters lines, they then record the PC text. Then it is chopped up and assigned to certain variables (like if the origin character is playing as a PC). You seem to be insinuating that they would have to have multiple VAs for all of the origin characters and that is so much more difficult, when in fact, they already voice EVERY OTHER CHARACTER in the game, besides the PC.

I mean I get it, it is not something you want, but don't act like it is something super difficult to do. I mean you can even use filters to change up tone and base of voices to use them for different characters. A lot of voice actors can in fact do a few different accents and voices to begin with. It is not uncommon.

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First, you should research how much voice actors actually make for games. Unless they are some huge name they are not as expensive as you think. The charge by the day. Second, that is YOUR opinion about reading in your head etc. That was fine back in the day but not so much today. I think your making a mistake associating YOUR personal play style with the majority of players today. There is a certain production value that is expected.

I mean I respect you have your own opinion, that you just don't want that much voice work. But you can't expect to speak in regards to what the cost factor, production factor etc and try to turn that to your advantage. The average pay for a lot of voice actors in the industry make around $200-300 per hour of voice. You have any idea how many sentences can be read in an hour if the VA is prepared and is familiar with their script?

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Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by Pandemonica
I mean this all started in Dragon Age, where everyone spoke except the PC, but I mean even they integrated PC voice in DA 2.


And just like that, the quality of roleplaying and dialogue options from Dragon Age to DA2 got extremely downgraded. Unfortunetely this is unavoidable as quality of roleplaying and dialogue options are diametrically opposed to PC voice acting in video games, due to resource constraints.
You're reading into this what you want. DA2 was, for all its failures, part of the natural evolution of RPGs. The dialogue choices always tended to be overrated filler material that to a very large degree only lent the illusion of choice. DA3 was all voiced, including some of the overly convoluted "text-style" conversations, that and at least for me, boring, conversation with characters I didn't really care all that much for. I dislike "lore scrolls" that some RPGs consider staple with a passion as well..I have no inclination reading through hundreds of pages of text if the developer did not deem them important enough to have voiced. The days of text adventures has long passed for me.

I'm not sure how real those "resource constraints" when it comes to voice acting really are anymore. At least generally speaking. They certainly were back in the day before gaming became mainstream, but now with more people working for longer periods of time on AAA games than on most Hollywood movies? Not so much. It's all about prioritizing, and for many this issue is pretty vital. That said, I completely understand why Larian don't do it. Their "origin system" in effect requires mute protagonists as all the companions can play the role of the player character/protagonist. So we aren't really talking about just adding female and male voices, but the voices of all the companions too. The "origin system" is Larian's baby, but I would gladly throw it out with the bathwater for a fully voiced protagonist. I believe the large majority prefer making their own player characters rather than use Larian's, even in DOS2 where you were more clearly punished for doing so.

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I like the idea of a voiced protagonist, but I experienced the difference between a silent hero (DA:O) and a voiced hero (DA2) and it did not improve the game, it actually made it worse.

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Originally Posted by Maikaz
I like the idea of a voiced protagonist, but I experienced the difference between a silent hero (DA:O) and a voiced hero (DA2) and it did not improve the game, it actually made it worse.
You're conflating different issues. The reason DA2 is considered a failure isn't more prolific voice acting. It wasn't even only the game itself, but how much it changed from the rather rigid expectations of how the game should have been set by DA:O. Bioware hasn't been afraid to evolve their art throughout the history, and there has been hits and misses all along the way, and not the steady decline some people like to rationalize their bias with.

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Originally Posted by Pandemonica
I think that really depends on the developer and production quality. So far, this game has exceptional voice talent.

NPC's can have good voice acting, PC's can't, because that is our character and how they should sound is a subjective opinion and varies from one character to the next.

Originally Posted by dwig
DA2 had quite a few problems (*cough* reused assets *cough*), but I am not convinced that voiced protagonist was one of them. For one thing, in DA:O everybody else was already voiced, so your options were still highly constrained by the lines that they recorded for NPC's. On top of that, the Warden would stand like a doofus with his/her arms crossed and nod during every conversation. Oh how I hated that!

Hawke was reasonably well voice acted, and entertaining to watch. The dialogue wheel (or whatever they called it) was often frustrating to use, and I hated not knowing what I was going to say until after I started saying it... but at least I didn't stand there like a moron while everybody else did the talking.

If you want more roleplaying options (and I agree that this is a very worthwhile goal) then that probably means that voice acting for NPC's must be replaced or heavily subsidized with text. I would be thrilled if BG3 went this direction, but I really do not expect it. Failing this, I really hope that they record dialog for <charname> so that I don't stand there like a mute Warden again.

I will take MY doofus vs someone elses voice acted character every day. That's the difference between the Warden and Hawke, Warden is more or less MY character, Hawke is an established Biowares character, same as Shepard for example. I don't have a problem with playing an established character, but I prefer my own.

Originally Posted by Seraphael
You're reading into this what you want. DA2 was, for all its failures, part of the natural evolution of RPGs. The dialogue choices always tended to be overrated filler material that to a very large degree only lent the illusion of choice. DA3 was all voiced, including some of the overly convoluted "text-style" conversations, that and at least for me, boring, conversation with characters I didn't really care all that much for. I dislike "lore scrolls" that some RPGs consider staple with a passion as well..I have no inclination reading through hundreds of pages of text if the developer did not deem them important enough to have voiced. The days of text adventures has long passed for me.

I'm not sure how real those "resource constraints" when it comes to voice acting really are anymore. At least generally speaking. They certainly were back in the day before gaming became mainstream, but now with more people working for longer periods of time on AAA games than on most Hollywood movies? Not so much. It's all about prioritizing, and for many this issue is pretty vital. That said, I completely understand why Larian don't do it. Their "origin system" in effect requires mute protagonists as all the companions can play the role of the player character/protagonist. So we aren't really talking about just adding female and male voices, but the voices of all the companions too. The "origin system" is Larian's baby, but I would gladly throw it out with the bathwater for a fully voiced protagonist. I believe the large majority prefer making their own player characters rather than use Larian's, even in DOS2 where you were more clearly punished for doing so.

The reason you think voice acting is better is because your tastes are conventional, you are part of the majority crowd that is easy to satisfy. I agree that in an ideal world voice acted PC is obviously better than a silent one, however not a single PC voice from any bioware game ever even remotely fit the kind of character I had in mind. When I am talking about unreasonable voice resource constraints I am talking about satisfying all the needs for custom characters, it would be a 500+GB game with ATLEAST 50 different PC voices + maybe same voices but different demeanors to fit every niche custom character concept, imagine the cost. As it stands i would rather have a silent PC than to have another generic one size fits all voice that doesn't fit the idea of my character in any way shape or form.
When the PC is silent I can just roleplay and imagine them having ANY voice I like in my head. Having no voice is better than being stuck with one that you don't like. I play RPG's like this one to create MY characters, not play another Geralt.

Originally Posted by Pandemonica
You seem to be insinuating that they would have to have multiple VAs for all of the origin characters and that is so much more difficult, when in fact, they already voice EVERY OTHER CHARACTER in the game, besides the PC.

Properly voicing the PC would take much more work than voicing every single other character in the game. 50+ voices that talk all game long in every single scenario.

Last edited by Kadajko; 18/02/21 01:41 PM.
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Originally Posted by Pandemonica
Ok, I have to say this because it just really is bothering me. Not to mention it literally KILLS immersion. So bear with me...

You have to have PC voice in your interactions with other characters. I mean I get it, I have BOTH Divinity games, but in todays game environment it really just comes off as lazy. It totally breaks the immersion, not to mention, there are times in the game that the PC speaks during random conversions while in the world. So why not just go all the way with it? I mean this all started in Dragon Age, where everyone spoke except the PC, but I mean even they integrated PC voice in DA 2.
Yes, and DA2 was a bad, confused game. And no, it didn't start with DA:O, it started in KOTOR1, when Bioware was aiming for a bigger market and a console release. Full VO has the same problem as "close up camera" has - it involves player less and less as more control the devs take away from the player. RPG becomes less about roleplaying, and more about watching a poorly directed film. It can work fine when a lot of effort goes into cinematics and when characters are well predefined (Mass Effect2, Witcher3) but goes against the design of a cRPG.

Honestly, devs give too much attention and sink too much money intro presentation. Yakuza games switch between fully voiced, fully animated cutsenes, to slideshows with VO, to no VO and stock animations for less relevant content.... and it works great! Still, modern games are not to be played, but are to be streamed and watched - and in that regard Larian excells.

That said, I am afraid you might get your wish, there are rumors based on devs quotes that VO might indeed be full. The few recorded lines are a sign of things to come, I think.

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I usually don't mind the silent protagonist since I have a tendency of reading the lines in my head -and sometimes aloud, lol-, but I definitely wouldn't be opposed to the addition of fully voiced main characters.

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Putting in a vote for "voiceless protagonist completely takes me out of it". Played through generations of RPGs where every character other than mine was chatty and I'm over it. I can understand that there's arguments against but...both they and the pro arguments always seem to boil down to preference. Hopefully for the Quiet crowd it's an option, but I'm definitely in the Loud crowd.
I REALLY hope that Larian is putting in gameplay options of this level of scope. There's a wide range of opinions on stuff like this, and although I doubt it can go as far as, FI, RTWP, I think it's worth the development time to give people options, even if I have to wait a few more months for game modes I'm never going to use.

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Originally Posted by Pandemonica
Originally Posted by Hilarian
The issue is that it would be very very expensive. Think about it, the game doesn't just have a standard 1 male and 1 female. Different races may sound different, and then we add in Origin characters (I dislike origin characters as PC but it's in the game). They would have to record every single companion character being used as PC on top of standard customized character.

This isn't the 90s anymore, it isn't some hardcore difficult thing to do. As a matter of fact, for the majority of modern RPGs it is standard. When the origin characters record their characters lines, they then record the PC text. Then it is chopped up and assigned to certain variables (like if the origin character is playing as a PC). You seem to be insinuating that they would have to have multiple VAs for all of the origin characters and that is so much more difficult, when in fact, they already voice EVERY OTHER CHARACTER in the game, besides the PC.

I mean I get it, it is not something you want, but don't act like it is something super difficult to do. I mean you can even use filters to change up tone and base of voices to use them for different characters. A lot of voice actors can in fact do a few different accents and voices to begin with. It is not uncommon.
Funny, you seem to make an assumption on what people prefer even without them telling you. I actually love to have voiced protagonist in general over silent ones, but I don't see it as something feasible for this type of game. Yes, it is something that is tough to do as the number of voiced dialogues would be very high. Voiced companions and voiced NPCs are set and limited while for PC, there would be multiple voiced for branching tree, each character you interact with, and a whole bunch of things that are crossover in these dialogues like Shadowheart could have half elf's voice on top of her own dialogues. I don't think you realize the amount of work it has to be put for all of it to work. I recognize the amount of work and how expensive it could get just to get it to work and it would be better spent for other things, so nah, DAI already has a huge issues when they try it and they only have 2 voices for each gender. It seems like a trap that eat up development time.

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I’d prefer my character to be voiced. Why give us the option to pick a voice and all they do is grunt or yell? But I also agree a lot of this voice acting and cinematics are a huge drain in resources and I’d rather Larian use the money on more critical things like say...combat balance.

But if you are going to use voices go all in or don’t.

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I agree, a fully voiced charname would be great - if done with care (like the VO for mass effect 1-3 which I really like (both male/female))

Additionally I really would like to have three game options for voice overs

Enable/Disable charname voice
Enable/Disable 3rd party voices (NPC's)
Enable/disable narrator voice

So that would help the majority here. I really dislike a narrator - that is totally gamebreaking for me. Especially if the charname is not voiced hehe

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I think the main problem with voices , at least for me, is variety. If the game had for example: islander, gritty, deep, young, old, middle age, tone influence, demeanor, softcore, hardcore, etc I don't think it would be as much of a problem. Add in the disable voice and partial voice options and you have at least partly an immersive character.

I mean in the end I'll play the game regardless but those options would really take it to the next level.

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Originally Posted by Aishaddai
I think the main problem with voices , at least for me, is variety. If the game had for example: islander, gritty, deep, young, old, middle age, tone influence, demeanor, softcore, hardcore, etc I don't think it would be as much of a problem.
Question is - could technology from Watchdogs: Legion somewhat address it? I didn't play the game, but from what I understand they generated many character voices from few pre-recorded take due to voice modulation software. I don't know how effective it was - I heard it was mixed, sometimes it worked sometimes it didn't.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by Aishaddai
I think the main problem with voices , at least for me, is variety. If the game had for example: islander, gritty, deep, young, old, middle age, tone influence, demeanor, softcore, hardcore, etc I don't think it would be as much of a problem.
Question is - could technology from Watchdogs: Legion somewhat address it? I didn't play the game, but from what I understand they generated many character voices from few pre-recorded take due to voice modulation software. I don't know how effective it was - I heard it was mixed, sometimes it worked sometimes it didn't.

Oh thats interesting. I haven't played that game so I wouldn't know. The last tech demo I saw revolved around epic games facial tech upgrades. Voice modulation sounds familiar though. I just wish some of this tech money went into A.I.

Better A.I. is underrated.

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