World of Warcraft (WoW) Classic players can now enjoy full NPC voice acting thanks to a fan-made add-on called VoiceOver. The add-on was created by Evan Pierce, also known as MrThinger, and it generates high-quality AI voices for NPCs based on their race and gender. This makes the game more immersive, less text-heavy, and accessible to players on the move, all while retaining the original charm of the 20-year-old game.
The VoiceOver add-on has been rolled out for WoW Classic, but Pierce is seeking to raise $2,000 to expand the project to the game’s The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. The add-on is based on AI voices and takes into account the race and gender of the NPC giving quests when generating voices. It enables players to replay NPC dialogue via the quest log, so they can listen for their next objective while on the move instead of scanning paragraphs of text.
AI voice-over technology gain traction
AI voice-over technology has become prevalent in recent months, leading to concerns that the technology could eventually replace voice actors. However, as the VoiceOver add-on is a fan-made product and unlikely to replace voice actors in the future, it has not attracted any serious backlash.
Current state of WoW Classic
The VoiceOver add-on couldn’t have come at a better time. Currently, WoW Classic is seeing a boom in popularity, thanks to the rise of a fan-made hardcore mode that features permadeath. The mode has led to speculation that Blizzard might soon debut official Hardcore WoW Classic servers, an idea that is supported by evidence from a recent WoW public test realm build.
As for the modern version of WoW, Blizzard has kept the new content flowing for Dragonflight as part of their 2023 content roadmap. Dragonflight’s next major update, Embers of Neltharion, will introduce a brand-new underground zone, raid, and include the long-awaited arrival of cross-faction guilds when it arrives on May 2.
Overall, the VoiceOver add-on has breathed new life into a classic game, making it even more immersive and accessible to all kinds of players. While some may remain skeptical about the future of AI voice-over technology in gaming, the VoiceOver add-on offers a fresh and exciting perspective on how the technology can be used to enhance classic games.