Sound Bites's Carolyn Koh takes a look at what sound means to the MMO experience in an editorial today.

Turn off the sound in a movie and what have you got? A bunch of moving heads and not much else. Turn off the sound in an MMOG and you don’t know that an Orc has come up behind you and is beating on your head like a drum, or that a pesky trooper has dropped down under you and is trying to take your BFR out with a popgun – that seems to be the challenge in Planetside currently – soloing a BFR.

As our senses go, sight seems to be primary. We smell something nasty… we hear the tiger’s roar. But we don’t start running until we actually see the danger. Perhaps it is the nature of most MMORPGs but sound often seemed to be added on as an afterthought. The annoying repetitiveness of Rivervale’s music was enough for many EQ players to turn sound off, but I sure kept it on in zones where there were giants! My character couldn’t track so I listened for their footsteps.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016