Enemy VO and sound design are lacking (compared to even V1)

I need to put a disclaimer here in big bold letters: THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE SILENT SPECIAL SPAWNS. That’s a very obvious bug, and one that slimdolphin never seems to quite get rid of (even if right now the cause seems more so that they spawn so close they don’t have time to announce themselves). I’m raising a different issue that I’ve seen almost no one ever bring up.

That now said, the actual sound design of the enemies is lackluster. This affects both flavor (a much more valuable aspect of the game than most players realize) and gameplay. I’m going to be going over problems with enemy soundwork by using V1 as a comparison, meaning it’s hardly invalid critique when these devs have already got so much right at one point.

I’ll start with what’s absolutely the greatest issue, and one that affects the gameplay the most:

  • Maulers are completely indistinguishable by sound.

I’ve played V2 for 220 hours. 40 more in the closed beta. I have no idea what in the blazes Maulers sound like. Do you know how long it took me to learn what a Stormvermin sounded like? One run of Horn of Magnus.

You can never tell that there’s a Mauler close by in a fight using sound. Maulers are incredibly dangerous enemies, yet they seem (?) to just blatantly reuse the voices of regular marauders. If somebody’s fighting a Mauler and you don’t see them, you don’t know there’s a Mauler there. That’s kinda bad.

It boggles belief that one of the main enemy types in this game has absolutely nothing to distinguish it in terms of sound design.

But moving on from here, it actually gets worse! Less damaging though.

  • Shieldvermin use slave rat voice sets.

You… can’t even copy the stormvermin voices?.. Really? This isn’t as big of a deal since they aren’t as deadly as Maulers (annoying, sure, deadly, not so much), but it’s just…

I mean, you gave CLAN RATS WITH SHIELDS their own voice sets (!!! ???). But not SHIELDVERMIN? Uh, if you can’t be bothered, then can you at least take the shield rat voices and give them to the shieldvermin? They already kinda sound like stormvermin. V1 had nothing like this. It’s just so unbelievably cheap…

Oh and speaking of unbelievably cheap.

  • Maulers, Shieldvermin, Savages and Plague Monks are never called out by the heroes. Neither are Chaos Patrols.

You give us a gorillion of Stormvermin tag lines, but none of these new elites get their own? Did GW take all of your lunch money away? Did all the VO budget go into making all the endless wasted heal conversations? How is this even a thing? I bet you that most people playing this game don’t even know what a Mauler is. Or a Savage. They’re NEVER acknowledged under these names in the game, aside from loadscreen tips no one reads.

I do not understand how, now that more lines are being added, these still aren’t in. Though, actually… some of them are.

In the voiceline dump that shartfart gave us a few months ago - which contained almost nothing from the game but instead gave us pretty much everything from V1 so that’s nice - there are lines for the Shieldvermin and the Plague Monks. Yeah. They EXIST. They’re recorded. They’re THERE! But they aren’t used. Don’t you guys think that we might want a little more warning for:

Maulers - arguably the deadliest elites in the game; Shieldvermin - definitely the most annoying enemies to fight, ones that are visually very similar to stormvermin until they put their shield up; BERZERKERS THAT CONVENIENTLY STOP DOING THEIR SOUNDS WHEN THEY BEGIN ATTACKING? And if the Chaos Patrols don’t start with their HUH! HUH! chant, you can’t tell a mini-patrol from a real one often times, cause all those are to our heroes is chaos warriors.

There’s no explaining this other than with laziness. All of these enemies need their own callouts. V1 gave you an idea of what to do with each enemy judging by how the heroes reacted (aside from telling you to duck under hookrats, that’s a lie). There’s absolutely room for this. We can tell if there are berzerkers if somebody’s told to parry, but that’s extremely slapdash and not enough.

Maulers are big and heavy and hit very hard, so topple them; also, don’t shoot them in the head, enchanted helmets or whatever. Shieldvermin need to be opened up and killed before recovery. Berzerkers are to be taken out either at range or keeping your calm in melee.

Among other things, actually reacting to like half the enemy types you encounter most frequently will give your heroes more flavor. Flavor is something that V1 brimmed with, and the enemy reaction lines emphasized it. And speaking of flavor…

  • Trash mobs no longer recognize you.

This is now seemingly something only Chaos Warriors do, taunting your specific hero before attacking them. I refuse to believe that just because of this, rats and northlanders are no longer taunting your hero. Actually, the northlanders never did - even though it’d be very cool and interesting to know what these marauders shout at you. But cool and interesting isn’t something bloatfish does a lot of, is it?

If anything, I personally expected for this to be emphasized, with different careers getting one or two different reactions - maybe not all of them, but at least some (can’t call Zealot a hat-man thing since the devs didn’t even give him the hood he was marketed with).

Fighting ambient trash is way more boring without hearing their occasional taunts. It’s just sad. Both the Skaven and Chaos forces lose a lot of character for this not being in the game. Chaos Warriors, the sorcerers and the flame rats try to make up for it with their own chatter, but it isn’t the same.

  • Gas rats forgot how to speak.

All of their lines are in the files, yet they’re now walking around completely silent, only their mechanism causing any noise. I honestly fail to see what stops their responses from being hooked back up. It’s got to be something that got bugged out at some point and then no one stopped to pay attention to the fact none of their VO was in use. They’re meant to signal when they throw, to comment on a good/bad throw, and to warn you that they’re about to kill themselves.

So yeah. Our heroes aren’t the only ones whose VO is full of gaping holes. The pactsworn suffer just as much, and to the extent where it’s honestly sad to see such a thing happen half a year after release. V1 had very good enemy sound design, but in V2, even if the glitches are fixed, there’s things blatantly missing. Bigger and better sequel, eh? I won’t even get into how I hoped we’d get new lines for existing skaven units, or that the Chaos grunts would have more to them than “GRUMBLE GURGLE KILL KILL CHAOS DIE”. Geh.

5 Likes

I thought the heroes called Maulers “rot helms?”

Well Yeah thought so too… and i believe they’re butcher, who dont talk that much + they aren’t so dangerous, like the op call them out.

There are a lot of other stuff about all he said /what he maybe didn’t mention in his playtime.

But first of all i’m too tired to start complaining that much about an aggressive post.

Secondly im convinced , that we don’t need any warnings for every little SV/CW/mauler etc… only specials and patrols are real pain and your hear both miles away.

Last but not least… kerillian already talks too much… so do we really want an endless conversation like:

Stormvermin! Gasrat! Stormgaswarrior! Lumberfoots! Rotvermin! Patrol! Gutterfire! Etc… “first 5m of the map done.”

There should be a deed - mod with no sounds or atleast no warnings… Open your eyes!

Edit: The game already destroys your ears with an awful " somebody attacks you from behind / the side " - sound. Do we really need more warning - sounds or is it just for the range - meta, if someone gets closer than 100m?

For enemies, I think that if they are taggable, they should have a corresponding VO line, but not necessarily an auto-callout. Sound is an important part of determining what threats are around because enemies can be out of line-of-sight, blend in with the environment or blend in with groups of more normal enemies.

It’s a team game where the tagging system is a major component in team communication. It just doesn’t make sense for there to be no audible communication (from the character) to shout out an enemy that is being tagged.

3 Likes

Rot Helms are Chaos Warriors.

Funny thing is there is no voice line for chaos patrol… since beta

yeah so, heres the problem. You probably played the game for a few hundred hours and you don’t even know that that’s what they call chaos warriors.

It doesnt do a great job of the whole sound design thing now does it? I mean, you could have paid more attention, but there hardly would have been any confusion if Maulers weren’t so underdeveloped.

Oh, and as everyone’s probably forgotten by now, patrols, when aggroed, are meant to have their own music. ‘meant to’ is a phrase you’d use a lot when describing features in this game.

And yeah, @Darth_Angeal,I get it, shartfart are perfect and everything they’ve done can be fully excused. They don’t have to hold up to their own standards or anything. Just shut up and put up. Great mentality. Gets you really far in all aspects. Sure. Yeah, how about no?

Also,

yeah. forgot that one. I’ll add it a little later. Because, yknow, full game! Totally not less developed than the supposedly inferior sequel from a few years back.

3 Likes

maulers are huge, towering and extremely obvious visually. if you have trouble detecting them, i’m gonna go out on a limb and say maulers being ‘undistinguishable by sound’ isn’t the thing that’s affecting your gameplay the most.

let me address your points because audio is extremely important to me in this game.

  1. there aren’t anymore silent special spawns. all specials can be heard, they could be heard before, fatshark made them SUPER DUPER obvious now after so many people complained, to the point that packrats are like an ambulance on steroids. no subtlety anymore, which was kinda the point of a sneaky rat.

yes, that’s really bad if you don’t know there’s a huge axe wielding pingable elite about to lay the smack down on someone. you chose to focus on the only elite that doesn’t have a unique sound cue (btw when his axe smashes down on the ground, that’s a very distinct sound only for CW and maulers, and you would have already heard the CW miles away)

  1. whenever shieldvermins are around it’s obvious to tell from their metallic shields constantly getting hit on. all other shield sounds are wooden and don’t give that sort of sound. that’s uniqueness in itself and quite distinct.

  2. maulers/shieldvermin/savages/monks not being called out - agree with you slightly on this one, since the heroes call out everything else already, this should be made sorta consistent. however, savages and monks have distinct audio cues on their own, which are detectable early.

their attacks do a woosh-woosh-woosh sound which is pretty discernable.

i would give all that away again just for more chaos warrior lines honestly. “i’ll grind you into the MUD, DWARF!” “I come for YOU, ELF WENCH!” “SOUTHLANDERS, TEST YOURSELVES!” and all the accompanying hero speak for chaos warriors. very good stuff, feels really good to engage in chaos warrior duels.

since when could they ever speak? even in v1 they didn’t utter a word. their faces are masked.

they’re meant to? since when? you can tell when they’re about to go into a suicide run with their equipment sounding all crazy and wheezy. what’s the definition of a good throw and bad throw? it’s area denial, whether it hits you or not, either is going to be bad in certain situations. and they are now made so loud and yet people still can’t hear them.

V1 had less than half the enemy repertoire of V2. enemies in v2 have to be detected through a mix of visual and audio cues, not just fully by audio only. things that are ‘blatantly missing’ to you might actually be intended by them to be left silent. that opinion is debatable.

man, some people just can’t be satisfied. it IS a bigger and better sequel (an entire new faction, more weapons, skills and abilities, 3 more bosses, variety of classes, couple of LORD fights, longass maps and even free provided dlc maps.

but of course, all that is NOTHING because maulers don’t have a distinct voice on their own.

literally unplayable!

4 Likes

Do you know their standards?
Do you really think , they’re listening to you , if you call them shartfart?
I don’t get, why you’re so peed of because of a missing voiceline.

@mookanana got some good points here. It’s nearly the same stuff , i would’ve written down.

You’ve some good points too. (Next to the flame)

But for real…

You can mention every enemy in some way. Voicelines, special sound , paying attention and open your eyes. It’s less bad than you represented it in your post.
Me personally… don’t even know , why the hero’s should mention more than gasrats, warpfire and gatlings with their voicelines.

“I smell charged powder” or “Gas is in the air”.

That’s some physical, everyone could mention. But why can they smell a silent CW behind the next door?
Assassins? Guys it’s silent… altair and ezio are around us… how could they know that?

The same could i asked for any other enemy type… i do even miss the band/dj on the map , that appears with any boss.

The voicelines are quite good. The game would be too silent without them. But if you ask me , the heros and music shouldn’t warn you from enemies 1000miles away.
Every enemy should get a typical sound, if they move. (The most already have)
The rest should be up to the players. Use your ping and move on with more attention, there could be a stillstanding CW behind the next corner.
That would assist the “stick and play together” aspect too.

1 Like

I won’t actually bother debating the rest. You seem to think I’m pointing all this out because the game is difficult for me because of this.

I’m pointing all this out because it’s all lazy as wordfilter and has no place in what’s supposedly a fully finished, released game. It’s a glaring omission - all of these things - that is testament to the lack of care and attention the devs put towards the game. They set up their standards and fail, intensely, to meet them, across the board. Obvious elements of sound design, paid absolutely no attention.

There’s how things should be, which V1 exemplified. V2 fails a lot. It’s not to the level of quality of its supposedly inferior predecessor.

I’m using gameplay effect for two reasons. One, it’s more likely that whoever bulletpoints this for the devs actually pays attention to what I’m saying, because it’s not just a flavor concern - it’s very obvious that fatfish no longer care about flavor in Vermintide. Two, it’s a hook for the people that only care about winning legend games to actually read through and maybe come to realize there are other issues with the game other than face patrols and bad red rolls, but I suppose that the usual tactic of deflection of criticism (that isn’t fix muh red dupes!!!11) applies anyway. Git gud lol ur just mad cuz bad.

Well, no, I’m mad because Shatfark is bad (I might as well say that because it’s not like the devs will actually read the full thread - Hedge more than likely bulletpoints it for them in Swedish or something). I expected something that’s at least as good as the first game, and then I got this. I play this game and all of this painfully reminds me that these people are apparently nowhere near as good as I used to believe, when I played V1 and all but idolized them - while recognizing they were far from perfect and frequently broke things, even back then.

The simple fact is that you people would be fine if Stormvermin also made no noise, or Chaos Warriors, or if the heroes were like the miners in Deep Rock Galactic and had just a few voicelines among a few presets. Yeah, sure, the game’d still function. It’d also be bland, flavorless garbage.

Justify the abortion that is the current state of sound (and game) design all you want. The fact is, it’s blatantly not meant to be this way, and the game deserves a huge “BETA” stamp in the upper right corner of the screen.

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Certainly, sound isn’t in a good spot still with several issues, in some areas just broken/not functioning as intended and in others I agree, it feels unfinished. Personally I find it very sad that STILL voicelines related to the danger of grimoires are not present, one of the immersive indicators to new players especially that grimoires are dangerous to bring along.

Maulers, 'zerkers, plaguemonks all stood out to me for the lack of voice lines related to them; these are dangerous mobs after all, and especially to new players, I would imagine some sort of warning about them should be implemented to avoid frustration. Plague monks only stand out a bit here, since they have their own sound even though I believe this is far from enough, most players completely new to vermintide I doubt is going to try to tag everything they see.

One of V1’s strength was how immersive sound and dialogue was, teaching you much that was needed to know through what characters said about enemies. “Watch out, Stormvermin!” etc with specials.

1 Like

It has been a good few years since I have touched V1 but am I correct in thinking that V2 has a lot more colloquialisms used to describe certain enemies. Seems to be a range of ways characters refer to certain enemy types e.g. Stormvermin/Blackrats.

Over time, I have gotten used to the various ways characters refer to enemies, however, for new players who aren’t well versed in the lore, this can get confusing. Was this the case in V1? Or were callouts from characters less personalised?

I agree with Darth_Angeal in that I don’t feel characters should be calling out every enemy that isn’t considered trash. This wouldn’t be viable in Legend games where you have 5-15% (depending on the host’s CPU) of ambient mobs spawning as elites.

EDIT: Spelt Darth wrong…I will be taking my slayer oath now.

He seems to think I want them to be called out like specials. I’m obviously talking about on-tag lines - if you’re tagging something, you want it to be known. The only items that don’t have voice lines for being tagged are barrels (which are uber situational and not so vital) and most of the game’s elites. You’re not going to be tagging every, single, elite. Even if you have WHC on your team; even then, there are cooldowns (not that it feels that way sometimes). And if you think on-tag lines shouldn’t be added to ‘avoid spam’, then why not remove the eleventy quintillion lines they have for Stormvermin then? Why do they get to be special?

Additionally, you already get this density of responses during Skaven sections because stormvermin are recognized, and a few extra berzerker warnings go a long way to making the game actually feel complete. It’s a false equivalency that more things to get called out means more vocal clutter. There are cooldowns on lines, and you already get multiple shoutouts each fight. Fixing the incredibly huge range on ambient CW callouts would go a long way to mitigating the fact that oh no, they talk about maulers and savages now!

That was always the case. Everything has 2-3 names, including character-specific callouts (e.g. Gutter Runner - Backstabber - Assassin - Thagi (dwarf); Chaos Warrior - Rot-helm - Kazaki’dum (dwarf)). It’s typically the proper name, the nickname given specifically by the characters, and a general descriptor (packmaster - skaven slaver), plus the elf and the dwarf get to show off and name them something else, too.

It’s really not a huge deal to have to memorize what’s what, especially when it comes together with a helpful ping. If you can’t figure out that “assassin” means gutter runner or that “kazaki’dum”, and armored at that, is a chaos warrior, then… yeahmmmm… If you’re a new player not versed into the lore, it helps you get into it if you can put basic 2+2’s together. Packmaster are skaven slavers, Gunners and Globadiers are from clan Skryre, etc.

Though people who think rothelms are maulers probably just can’t comprehend the idea that fartshart couldn’t be bothered to give any voice lines to the main elite used by Chaos. In reality it’s just the second name used for Chaos Warriors.

It´s not that obvious, if you just arque about sounds and voicelines. The heros run in circle´s and call out CW´s, SV´s, Patrols etc. and the player don´t have to tag anything.

If you tag someone, he is tagged so… everyone who didn´t mention it already to any sound or didn´t saw any mauler /CW/whatever, can hear “something got tagged”. No matter what it is at the moment, but if that´s infight, it´s probably an elite.

And if we´re talking about “infight”… a lot of ppl already complained about packmaster, assassins etc., just because the game got so many sound-inputs/outputs if you face a horde + boss + specials etc. So the player reacts mostly on “what is actually in front of him”. There is just a bunch who can react on specials or elite sounds - kill them and go on without get hit or die atleast. It would be like a metal-concert in your ears. You would mention less than before.
It´s fine like it is already. You can hear something got pinged, you got big circles about your enemies - even through walls. So what is the problem?

of course. that’s because you don’t actually have much of a case and you’re rants are very general and superfluous. i’ve detailed how all the elites and specials have unique ways of identifying them through sound - clue: not everything is identified through them speaking - but of course you don’t want to acknowledge that because it doesn’t help your unfounded case.

i acknowledge that V2 has a few sound issues like patrols not making a marching sound, music not playing for bosses or ambients, but you are making it out to seem like the whole game is flawed, quote ‘no longer care about flavour’ (the whole game’s artwork is very strongly themed to warhammer universe so i have nfi what the heck u are talking about)

all i see about is a lot of negative ranting about how a few bugs irritate you to the point of bashing the game fully in all aspects.

nice assumption. let me put this clearly: all the players wouldn’t be fine with it. let me say again: all the players wouldn’t be fine with it. (you probably won’t be reading this anyway hah) the FACT is that stormvermin and chaos warriors are fine now, but you just love bashing on the playerbase and fatshark anyway. very classy.

i shall justify it here for you in detail. in 99% of the games i play, i can:

  • hear horde horns or ambush music/rat scratchings early
  • all special enemies with their extremely loud audio cues
  • know which boss is coming based on the music
  • hear sound cues to react to surprise backstabs from enemies i have missed from behind
  • hear patrol spawns / patrol pathings from far away (i acknowledge that there are current issues with them spawning too close now and aggroing without a chance to have a march sound)
  • hear chaos warriors and their focus+screenshake on you
  • identify the screams from plague monks in time to ping for party
  • identify zerkers with their different pitch and voicelines
  • identify stormvermin from their loud clanking and voicelines
  • identify snarls from rats or zombies, taunts from marauders, shield-hits on either shieldvermins or bulwarks or rats-with-shields
  • locate my teammates by the sounds they are emitting so that i can position myself while focusing on fighting
  • react to snarls or grunts mid-combat to better decide what to prioritise hitting or shooting.

the other 1% of the games i have, there are issues like music disappearing, which a restart of my game would fix.

and your list is something like:

  • maulers don’t have a unique voices
  • shieldvermin don’t have unique voices (they clank so loudly around the place)
  • no hero callouts for zerkers
  • no specific hero taunts from trash mobs

i’ll stop here, cos you’re probably scared off by the sheer fact that the audio IS working fine, it IS working quite as intended, but you just prefer to vent out your frustrations on the whole ‘terrible’ system because you are irritated with a few issues. please be toxic somewhere else. if you want to help, give focused constructive criticism instead of just bagging everything and everyone.

1 Like

Consistency. Every Special has character callouts (even specifying them), and all Stormvermin get called out too - but only half of Chaos Elites do (and arguably it’s the more dangerous half, at least with hordes, that lack it), and both Berserkers, while taggable, lack callouts. As do Chaos Patrols, while SV Patrol gets called out as such (even if that particular call gets shouted way too often on The Vanguard Deeds and in Spinemanglr fight). On tag or on notice, doesn’t matter.

I don’t agree with the way OP presents his case, but I do agree with the idea.

6 Likes

If you ping any enemy (and mostly infight), there won´t appear any voiceline. The player´s mention trough the ping - voice and a big blue circle, that it´s a CW, SV etc.

Yes it´s ok to give some out some voiceline for a mauler or berzerk, but it´s not that necessary. There are enough ways to mention their existence and FS could even “overload” the game with such things.

Kruber calls out “Blightstormer” infight with the horde-noise, meanwhile 2 gutter runners run around, you´ve slay and battle-music in the background etc. etc. etc…

Players are able to react faster on things, they see. Every shoutouts or special-sounds for elites could kill/overlap any hookrat/assassin sounds at the same time. So the ppl would start arque about “no special sounds” again.
I really don´t say it´s a bad idea. I just care about “what if…”. It works really good actually for everyone i guess… You can smell specials miles away and normally see every elite, before he even reaches you.
There are just really rare-issues, which are more “spawn - problems”.

  • Specials spawn into you in events
  • Bosses behind walls (halescourge) don´t get any battlemusic as long as you don´t start to fight them.
  • Elite´s from above (the Pit-start)

The overall realtionship between the sounds and vision is in a good state.

While I’m not sure the general tone of the OP is the way to convince someone that the game needs a rework of the sound cues, I do feel that the premise of the Chaos faction being underrepresented when it comes to sound is correct.

I have been on the receiving end of a Maulers axe and a Berzerkers charge due to being frantically engaged with something else. A callout would at least make you aware it’s coming rather than damage received being the first hint you’ve got a berzerker behind you.

The sound in general seems to have taken a step back - Missing cues when a character throws a bomb into nothing, missing chat when a grimoire is picked up, and so on.

I DO get to hear the first half a almost every conversation in the keep before it gets cut off by loading, and some of them after 500 hours play I STILL don’t know the second half.

3 Likes

First off…I didnt state it as a fact did I?
I used the word thought with a question mark. It was a question. You understand?

Second…I have about 700 hours in game.
Feel free to check my Steam profile, its public.
Hanzy the Heretic.

To be frank you have a poor attitude and it seems like almost all you do is lament how bad the game and the devs are.
Not to mention slimdolphin this, shartfart that etc…

While I dont agree with your delivery, I can admit you do bring a few valid points about certain enemies and their sound cues.

It’s strange there aren’t lines for Berserkers and Plague Monks either, despite them being taggable. Can’t tell if that’s an oversight or by design.

Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu