I’ve long held the opinion that one of the most underrated elements of effective MMORPGs is a really good sound design. I’m not just talking about the soundtrack — although I love that music too, mind you — but all of the other noises that the sound production team adds to give heft to the visuals.
Great audio can add “punch” to combat, deeply immerse you in regions, and help to transform a game world into a living one. Sound design also extends to the foley noises your character makes, emotes, and even voice acting. It’s much harder to share sounds the way we do with visuals, but I figure that we can at least talk about it today.
My nominations for best sound design? Guild Wars 2 is amazing with this, as is Lord of the Rings Online and World of Warcraft. All three excel with sound in different ways. What do you think? Which MMO has the best sound design?