Coming as I have from the old days of World of Warcraft
, the ever-escalating use of voice acting in WoW
is a bit of a change for me. I'm used to quest givers just standing there. To a degree, I'm a bit surprised to find out that's what Khadgar sounds like, or Ariok, or to have so many voices I'd never expected to hear out and about in the world having conversations with me. It's not that this has never been the case - other expansions have had npc's talk when you met them. It's just that this time, there's a lot more of it, and many of them are quite frankly familiar voices. As the video above points out, Warlords
isn't fully voice acted - quest text isn't just read to you or anything.Warlords
has taken the Mists of Pandaria
approach with Lorewalker Cho and other important NPC's and it's rolled it out to almost every single NPC you'll interact with. I don't agree with the video's view on Star Wars The Old Republic
but then again, I played TOR
as a single player game. I do
agree that the voice acting is much improved overall. It's kind of hard to differentiate some of the orc voices after a while, because you know, they're orcs and it all gets kind of growly, but for an example Farseer Drek'Thar is insanely well done, subtle, a voice that could absolutely belong to an orc but doesn't sound like any other orc.
Voice acting makes cut scenes and side moments much more immersive and alive. One of its best and most underestimated uses is in moments between
questing, when NPC's talk to each other. It makes something that could be just another boring fetch quest seem significant, and it really helps you to get a sense of what the situation that's unfolding really means - having Khadgar and Cordana snark gently with each other helps move the story along and informs you of their relationship in a way that having a big box appear on your screen with a third party telling you about them can't.
I'm definitely recognizing a few voices - I swear I know Khadgar's voice actor, I already mentioned Frank Welker, and whoever's doing Drek'Thar is very familiar. For some people that might be a problem, but I like it - these are definitely actors who've done a lot of work in the industry. (It may not hurt that I recently watched I Know That Voice
and saw Blizzard folks in it.) It's definitely a welcome change in terms of how they're going about their VO, and it takes the Mists
approach and broadens it. It's a huge leap forward from, say, Cataclysm