Announced today by PC Gamer, SOEmote implements facial tracking into Everquest 2 to allow your character’s face to move how yours does. You blink, your character blinks. You stalk talking, it looks like your character is talking. Did we mention it also includes voice? and voice masking?
While SOEmote can be used for anything players can think of, it’s main goal is to increase the level of immersion for players.
PCG: So it’s being designed primarily as a roleplaying tool?
DG: SOEmote is, of course, a fantastic roleplaying tool. That method of gaming got pretty seriously beat down when we added VOIP to MMORPGs. Of course, it’s far easier to voice chat than to type in a text pane, but that ease-of-use improvement had a high consequence. Once players revealed their real voices to each other, it suddenly started feeling awkward to pretend to be a big gruff troll or a high elf princess… and roleplay took a serious nosedive.
But now, with SOEmote, you can make your character’s face come to life, and also filter your voice to sound like your actual character (thus restoring anonymity and enabling roleplay again). It’s amazing how much life suddenly springs into your character when those two elements combine to make your character become believable.
Our objective with SOEmote was to enhance people’s ability to immerse within the game. Yes, that definitely makes roleplaying a lot easier, but it’s also great for anyone that just wants to hang out and talk to their friends. It really has to be experienced to fully understand the impact.
You can read PC Gamer’s full interview and catch the announcement video here.