I’ve been listening to the voice files from Ulduar. I’ve always wanted to do Ulduar but I wasn’t raiding when it was current. This means I’ve made only brief forays into the Titanic prison for weekly quests and I haven’t heard any audio from most of the encounters.
By the Light, the voice acting on the Yogg-Saron encounter is bloody amazing. Sara/Yogg-Saron’s transition into phase two is some of the best voice acting and audio editing I’ve heard in the game. Similarly the Lich King / Immolated Champion vision sent a chill down my spine. Did they actually torture the voice actor for that scene?!
What confuses and irritates me is that this required some quality casting and voice directing, this didn’t happen by accident. Someone went and hired some proper voice actors for this. So how in the name of the Naaru did we end up with some of the horrendous lines in Icecrown Citadel? The final, most epic battles in the expansion, and we get such wonderfully acted lines as (extra punctuation for emphasis):
Sindragosa: Suffer, mortals! as your pathetic magic. BETRAAaeiies yoooouhhhh!!
Sindragosa: Can you feel the cold hand of Death?! upon youhr heaaaahrt?!
Muradin Bronzebeard: A loooone ooorc?! Agains‘ tha might o’ tha’ Alliance?!?! (That one’s Alliance only).
Muradin Bronzebeard: Wha’s this then?! (So is that one. Don’t get me started).
Jaina Proudmoore: It’s nothing, Your Majesty. It’s just…. I’m proud of my King.
King Varian Wrynn: Bah. (That one too. For once I agree with Varian, I would’ve responded the same way).
Valithria Dreamwalker: I have opened a portal into the dreeeeeem. Your salvation lies within, heroes.
Valithria Dreamwalker: I am Renoooood!
Sindragosa’s “Suffer, mortals” line is quite possibly the most horrendously acted line I have ever heard, and I’ve played pretty terribly voiced games before (DarkStarOne’s “YOU will SOON fall INto OBliviON” is a close second). At some point, someone working for Blizzard has listened to a voice actress disgorge that line and has thought
That will be completely acceptable for the penultimate boss of the expansion that we have seen every time we log in for the past year to say every few seconds for ten minutes.
You want to know why the Lich King’s own mount is stationed right at the other end of the citadel, why he doesn’t make use of her during his encounter? This is the reason. It’s also why he doesn’t seem too broken up about a motley band of adventurers slaying her (again).
Ghoul: Sirrrre *hack*! The enemyyy has brrreached our defencess *gurgle*! Sshall I sennd for yourr ssteed, my lorrd?
The Lich King: No, no. That will be fine. Instruct her to remain where she is, and… defend her position at all cost. Yes.
Ghoul: It willl beeeee … aas you ssayy.
The Lich King: Oh, and Brainsplatter? Tell her not to come within the range of my hearing under any circumstance.
I realise that it must be difficult to hear properly over the noise of Blizzard’s platinum and gold encrusted super-airship (powered by burning high-denomination banknotes), but I imagine they could invest in some half-decent headphones. How does a company that’s made of money and filled with creative, competent people produce the Yogg-Saron encounter and then something like Sindragosa?
Sindragosa [distant, echoing from mountains]: SUFFER, MORTALS…
The Lich King [head in hands]: *Sigh*