Express Yourself: Everquest II Adds SOEmote Tech

By John Walker on August 9th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

People are still playing EQ?!

The continued support and updating for EverQuest II never fails to surprise me. The MMO is now eight years old, but still played and receiving regular updates and content, and now some tech that I’ve not seen used elsewhere. They’re awkwardly calling it SOEmote, a thing where a webcam pointed at your face will translate your expressions onto your in-game character. You can see it in action below.

The feature is now live in EQII, which itself is now free to play. The new feature allows you to not only express yourself with your avatar, but also to adjust your voice when speaking to others in-game to match how you think your character would talk. In theory, it even offers lip-syncing, but the demo below shows that’s not quite there yet:

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68 Comments »

  1. AmateurScience says:

    eRPers will be ecstatic at this news. And now I’ve creeped myself out.

  2. Njordsk says:

    FISHFACE !

    • c-Row says:

      EVERFACE!

      • apocraphyn says:

        Staring Eyes!

        I, uh, I mean. FACEQUEST

        • Dowr says:

          World of WarFACE!

          • Sea-Bear says:

            Warhammer 40k: Face Marines

          • pqmnwsd6 says:

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  3. Jeremy says:

    There is something unsettling about this.. the mouths on the characters seem gigantic.

    • Askeladd says:

      somehow those lines came to my mind:

      Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear
      And he shows ‘em, pearly white

      Now the unsettling feeling just gets stronger.

      • JackShandy says:

        Sometimes it seems my blood spurts out in gobs, as if it were a fountain’s pulsing sobs. I clearly hear it mutter as it goes yet cannot find the wound from which it flows.

        Before I met you, baby, I didn’t know what I was missing.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      As if it is about to continue opening forever, gradually curling backwards over the person until they are fully enveloped in an inescapable cocoon of their own lips?

      That’s just a silly thing to be afraid of…

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s not as bad as the frog they used the last time RPS covered this.

      Still bloody amazing.

  4. RF says:

    Who the fuck talks like that.

    • Njordsk says:

      Some americans in TV show I’d say.

      “So aMAAAAzing”.

      Other than that…

  5. thepaleking says:

    Now I just have to figure out how to make my face look like a penis.

  6. haradaya says:

    I’m all for this. After I tried the VoIP in ArmA 2, where your friends’ voices came directional and depending on distance, I was sold. Made the avatars come to life, made them more than an animated 3d model.

    • woodsey says:

      My friends and I use it in DayZ along with Vent running in the background to make echoing zombie noises at each other.

      Sometimes I wonder if I’m really making the most of my free time.

    • TheApologist says:

      Me too. I can’t see a bit of this that isn’t fun. Definitely something other games should pick up.

      • Richie Shoemaker says:

        This exact same (ok, similar) tech was announced for Eve way back before Incarna became a one-room joke. I’m sure it will be announced again at some point in the next 5-10 years.

  7. ElvisMZ says:

    I want this in TF2, it’s the perfect game for it.

    • Berzee says:

      It absolutely is :D
      but…theoretically you’re supposed to be fightin’ dudes in TF2. This tech would be great for people who instead like to stand in front of snipers and yell “Hey there’s a spy around here”.

      I still want it to be there. =P

      • CrookedLittleVein says:

        “This tech would be great for people who instead like to stand in front of snipers and yell “Hey there’s a spy around here”.”

        THESE PEOPLE SHOULD BE PUT UP AGAINST THE WALL AND SHOT!

        Ahem. I mean . . . suitably discouraged.

  8. Bobsy says:

    Having been part of the RP scene in WoW for several years*, this looks like both a great idea and a terrible one. There’s something comforting in RPing only through typing – a cosy buffer that lets you get away with how unlike your character you really are.

    F’rinstance, I was a florid, well-spoken rogueish thespian guy who spoke all Shakespearean. To try and do that live over voice comms would quickly collapse into:

    “Forsooth and marry, fine compatriots, well met by the silvery light of Elune, to… to… ah fuck it my character’s a mute now. Yes a mute. Stop talking to me. And stop looking at me. Fuck you. Fuck you, elf.”

    *until quitting

    • wccrawford says:

      I use to RP on a text-based game, and I initially felt the opposite. I’d love a chance to actually RP the characters with visual representation.

      However, after thinking for a bit, I think it would get old. It means you need to keep your gameface on the whole time, and there’s no opportunity to be yourself in private, while still playing that character publicly.

      For an introvert like me, that would be very tiring. I probably wouldn’t enjoy it for more than about an hour at a time.

  9. NathanH says:

    It’s a bit creepy and the mouths are huge, but it’s not really terrible, is it?

  10. Skabooga says:

    I’d just tape this picture up in front of my webcam and call it a day:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/12/jul/bf4.jpg

  11. brkl says:

    Those idiots have exaggerated mouth movements so that now everyone stares at whoever they are talking to while keeping their mouth wide open and making movements like that guy Darth Vader strangles with the Force.

    Way to ruin a good idea.

  12. Kaira- says:

    STARING EYES.

    Why is Staring Eyes forgotten. ;_;

  13. SAM-site says:

    I’m going to buck the trend here and say that this looks brilliant! Perfect? No, but it’s a really fun feature.

  14. Askeladd says:

    I’m amazed nobody said it:

    This works better than Kinect !

  15. Lemming says:

    “The continued support and updating for EverQuest II never fails to surprise me. “

    Well, it shouldn’t as at this point it’s probably the only thing keeping SOE alive!

  16. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    You got a purdy mouth there, sonny. Real purdy.

  17. Berzee says:

    Well…
    I guess I’m going to play this game now! At least for a couple hours of makin’ faces.

    Excellent.

  18. tungstenHead says:

    Hmm… Might not be compatible with Oculus Rift.

    • Jigoku says:

      Hey… my thought exactly. An online game with Oculus, this and some kinect would be… a truly unique experience (although tiring, probably)

  19. CrookedLittleVein says:

    I find the top image strangely . . . suggestive.

    • Torgen says:

      I am *so* hoping there isn’t a “kneel” animation. If there is, I’m sure it will be going away *very* soon.

  20. smoke.tetsu says:

    it’s an interesting concept and sometimes it seems to work well but it’s ruined by the terrible facial animation and modeling in the game for the most part in my opinion. Those models make ”acting’” with this sort of like wearing those rubber masks in 60′s planet of the apes movie. Only worse because these faces look horrible!

    I think they should look into getting a facial animation system sort of like the one valve has in source as their next project.

    • LionsPhil says:

      They need to license this the hell out.

    • xsikal says:

      Of late, it seems like they are using EQ2 as a testbed for technologies that they might want to use in EQ Next, so I suspect this (once all the issues are ironed out) will show up in that game eventually. Given that EQ Next should have new models built with this in mind, it will probably be less of an eyesore.

  21. Jesse L says:

    This is awesome. Look how expressive they are! It’s like a Pixar film in real time. Durr, of course it isn’t perfect! It’s an old engine running in real-time, using a webcam. It’s not going to be perfect. But the lip synching here is still better than in half the games I play. Maybe more than half. And look at those eyebrows! Compare this to Skyrim, haters. The graphical quality is consistent with the old tech Everquest is built on, of course. But the eyebrows move! Bethesda is still three Elder Scrolls games away from having moving eyebrows. You know it’s true. And check this out – when the eyebrows move here, they’re actually MY EYEBROWS.

    Mind blown. Kudos Everquest team!

  22. JoeGuy says:

    What if you are snacking? The Avatar would look quite disturbed…

    The possibilities for loot Ninja’s to make troll faces as they swagger off has skyrocket with this too :D

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      I would combine this with duct tape: tape a trollface in front of the camera, provide suitable lighting, and your character is permanently obnoxious!

  23. Enzo says:

    There’s also one other MMO game that is 8 years old and still receives updates to this day. There’s even quite a lot of people playing it.

    Can’t remember the name though.

  24. Snuffy the Evil says:

    This is actually pretty cool. A part of me wants to see this kind of thing in Arma 3.

  25. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    what if I
    glued goggle eyes to my buttocks and performed a goatse

  26. aliksy says:

    This is really neat in a “doesn’t really make me want to play the game” kind of way. A shame it’s in EQ2, because I found that game to be a rather crap.

  27. LionsPhil says:

    Another step closer to the Metaverse.

  28. Naum says:

    I want this in a single-player game, and then I want the NPCs to react accordingly. Imho new input technology will be key in making the now incredibly boring social interaction fun and immersive (along with developers beginning to care about such things, which is probably the more difficult part).

  29. Daedalus207 says:

    I’m curious how well this works with glasses and a headset with boom mic. I suppose I’ll have to download the client this evening and try it out. I got into MMO- type games too late to play EQ2 the first time around, so I’m also curious why people are still playing it (and why SOE is still putting development resources into it).

  30. Shodex says:

    God damn it, not another online experience soiled by those ugly voice filters. Either way, can’t imagine this function helps EverQuest 2′s performance very much. I might go back to Qeynos when they optimize EverQuest 2 enough to be playable on computers with less than 8 cores.

  31. thebigJ_A says:

    People actually spent entire work weeks on this. Fuck.

  32. todrin says:

    someone needs to use this tech for a poker game!