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EverQuest 2 Receives Facial Tracking Upgrade

By - Source: Sony Online Entertainment | B 13 comments

EverQuest 2 gamers can now add their own facial expressions and voice to their avatar in real-time.

Sony Online Entertainment said that its "groundbreaking" SOEmote technology is now available for free in EverQuest 2. First revealed during E3 2012 back in June, this new tech supposedly puts the "role-play" back into RPGs by bringing the unique personalities of each player to life through their virtual character, both visually and audibly, in real-time.

"SOEmote gives EverQuest 2 players direct access to the kind of facial animation technology which has been perfected for Hollywood, and we cannot wait to see what our community will create with it," said Dave Georgeson, executive director of development for the EverQuest franchise. "The EverQuest franchise continues to break new ground, and we are proud to bring new depth to the franchise by giving players unprecedented tools for personal expression and interaction."

Don't fret: this doesn't mean all characters will now sport the actual faces of their controlling player. SOEmote means the game will track facial expressions in real time: smile, and the avatar smiles. If a gamer is playing as a Ratonga and speaks into a microphone, their in-game voice will resemble that of their character or a Voice Font of their choice.

"Live Driver -- Image Metrics' proprietary, real-time facial analysis, expression tracking and animation technology -- uses standard web cams to analyze thousands of expression measurements per second and then transfer that data so that the character's expressions precisely reflect the player's in real time," SOE said on Tuesday.

SOE suggests that EverQuest 2 gamers should consider purchasing the Logitech C920 Full HD webcam for $99.99 (best), the Logitech C525 Full HD webcam for $59.99 (better), or the Logitech C270 Full HD webcam for $39.99 (good). Otherwise, users can use their current webcam and microphone, but SOE claims that some lower-end webcams tend to "do terrible things" to their throughput in low-light situations, causing very bad framerate issues in the SOEmote images.

"If your webcam has a microphone in it, you can use that. Otherwise, you could consider adding a headset or microphone so that you can use the Voice Font elements of SOEmote," SOE reports. "EverQuest 2 should detect that you activated a webcam and launch the SOEmote interface automatically, but if not, you can launch it from the EverQuest 2 start menu."

To celebrate the launch of SOEmote, SOE is inviting players to create 30-second videos from August 8, 2012 to September 8, 2012 using the new feature, or as SOE states, to "demonstrate the depth and creativity that the new innovative feature will bring to the EverQuest 2 gameplay experience." Qualifying videos will be entered to win a grand prize trip for two to SOE Live, SOE's annual player celebration in Las Vegas, and the opportunity to have their video broadcast to fellow EverQuest 2 gamers at the EverQuest 2 role-playing-themed panel at SOE Live.

For more information on the SOEmote contest, head here. To see the new tech in action, check out the video below.

 

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SOEmote in EverQuest 2

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  • 0 Hide
    southernshark , August 8, 2012 4:54 AM
    This is really awesome. Too bad its being put into a game like EQ2. But hopefully it will migrate to new games down the road.

    I'm still waiting on a full body response MMO.... imagine the Wii exercise model, but instead of exercising you are actually moving. Want to swing a sword, you actually have to do it.

    That would get rid of the idea that MMOs were for fat lazy people and would also cause fewer people to play all day long.
  • 2 Hide
    Pennanen , August 8, 2012 4:55 AM
    Hope that the voice changer thing supports female voice so i can be more efficient at pretending to be a girl. Free loot, here we come-
  • 2 Hide
    leongrado , August 8, 2012 4:59 AM
    Yeah does SOE trying to make up for their lack of quality original games with this? I would love this feature but I would love it to be in an MMO I would actually play. I would love to see this in games. Heck I'd like it if they let put voice chat into MMO's.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , August 8, 2012 6:18 AM
    southernsharkThis is really awesome. Too bad its being put into a game like EQ2. But hopefully it will migrate to new games down the road.I'm still waiting on a full body response MMO.... imagine the Wii exercise model, but instead of exercising you are actually moving. Want to swing a sword, you actually have to do it.That would get rid of the idea that MMOs were for fat lazy people and would also cause fewer people to play all day long.


    yea, i wonder how much everquest 2 changed sense launch, wasn't able to grab me back than.

    that said, the beta footage, at least for the frog was... lack luster... to say the least, would have been better to see it on a more human character.

    and as you describe... you get me full 1:1 sword fighting online, and i will get in better shape than an olympic athlete for that.

    leongradoYeah does SOE trying to make up for their lack of quality original games with this? I would love this feature but I would love it to be in an MMO I would actually play. I would love to see this in games. Heck I'd like it if they let put voice chat into MMO's.


    yea, voice chat should be standard in mmos, hell in all pc games, but most people use third pary services to chat, and it really takes away for the game that i need skype or... what was that other one called... teamspeak?

    but as for mmo... i see nothing wrong with everquest 2... at launch it wanst bad, hell i would have rather played it back than than wow today, but it didnt grab me the same way everquest did, probably because of the stupid way they handled at least the eairly game, and the exploit that i found without trying.

    at first you coulnt level past 8 without doing a quest.
    i couldnt find the quest, but i could kill a higher level enemy than me
    so i killed it till i was board.
    i found the quest
    i did that quest
    and i leveled, from 8 to level 20 in one go... not even joking...

    that was probably the biggest part of the game that just... couldn't grab me at all. they have sense fixed that crap, so it may be far better now than it was back than.
  • 0 Hide
    ET3D , August 8, 2012 8:09 AM
    alidanyea, i wonder how much everquest 2 changed sense launch, wasn't able to grab me back than.


    It has changed a lot. Lots of new areas, quests, alternate advancement, class changes. IMO it's a lot easier now, which I don't think is bad. Crafting is much simplified, travel is a lot faster, starting zones give you lots of quests, and, well, it's free, so why not check it out.

    As for SOEmote and non frog characters, check out the video at soemote.com. I think that the low poly characters make this less impressive than it could be, but is still looks like fun. Now if only I had any idea where my webcam is.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , August 8, 2012 11:41 AM
    ET3DIt has changed a lot. Lots of new areas, quests, alternate advancement, class changes. IMO it's a lot easier now, which I don't think is bad. Crafting is much simplified, travel is a lot faster, starting zones give you lots of quests, and, well, it's free, so why not check it out.As for SOEmote and non frog characters, check out the video at soemote.com. I think that the low poly characters make this less impressive than it could be, but is still looks like fun. Now if only I had any idea where my webcam is.


    ok, that looks FAR better than the frog above... only way i can see improvement would be is if they can differentiate teeth and lips.

    how is the game voice chat... do people actually use it? or is it like everquest one, where everyone would rather set up a guild team speak?

    also. most importantly to me, how far does the game let you level? eq1 free to play put major restrictions on items you can use at higher levels, aa you can gain, and only gives you level 1-60 effectively for free, because of the 200aa limit, if you level passed 60 you are completely useless.

    when does the leveling cap hit on eq2, am i able to solo most of the game? in eq1 i waited 6 hours for a group once, and i was the best non raid dps on the server, granted that was pre mercs... what kind of merca re available in the game if they are... in eq1 you are capped at a fairly useless apprentance unless you pay for the journeymen.

    and lastly, is there a way that i can force myself to stop leveling? i assume that the leveling cap is fairly low compared to what you can get to in the game, in eq one, i could set my exp 100% to aa, and never level at all if i so chose, am i able to do that in eq2?

    sorry if im asking allot, but this has me really interested, and i have a month or two of time to kill.
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , August 8, 2012 1:07 PM
    Man EverQuest 2 was some of the best MMO times I have ever had. I always loved that game 1000 times more than World of Sh!tcraft.

    Unfortunately the game was hampered by Sony and peoples hate toward that company combined with the hefty computer requirements needed to play it.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , August 8, 2012 1:08 PM
    cknobmanMan EverQuest 2 was some of the best MMO times I have ever had. I always loved that game 1000 times more than World of Sh!tcraft.Unfortunately the game was hampered by Sony and peoples hate toward that company combined with the hefty computer requirements needed to play it.


    god i remember that, able to take a top of the line computer, and make it cry... putting all the setting to max to see what would happen, i was lucky to get 1 frame a minute.
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    cknobman , August 8, 2012 1:41 PM
    LOL yep. EverQuest 2 was the single reason I finally built a high end rig. Previously I had always built a midrange gaming rig and then when I bought EQ2 and realized even on the most chump settings I was barely pulling 15-20 fps I realized I needed more power.

    Spent $2k building top of the line (@ the time) P4 gaming rig with 9800 pro graphics only to barely be able to get 20-25fps on medium settings. I turned over the 9800 pro quick and picked up an Nvidia 6800 as soon as it came out. LOL still could not turn up settings past medium.

    But damn EQ2 sure was puuurrrrddy!!!!
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    nugenttw , August 8, 2012 6:47 PM
    EQ2 was ok, but the game was ruined for me when I found out that if I took off my super good gear and replaced my awesome weapon with a lvl1 rusty dagger, I did 5% less damage. All my gear and weapon made me do 5% more damage.... The abilities and upgrades did 80% by themselves, the poisons on my daggers did 15%, and my actual stat upgrades and weapon made me do 5% more... I had a big lack of motivation after I found out that.
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    alidan , August 8, 2012 8:04 PM
    cknobmanLOL yep. EverQuest 2 was the single reason I finally built a high end rig. Previously I had always built a midrange gaming rig and then when I bought EQ2 and realized even on the most chump settings I was barely pulling 15-20 fps I realized I needed more power.Spent $2k building top of the line (@ the time) P4 gaming rig with 9800 pro graphics only to barely be able to get 20-25fps on medium settings. I turned over the 9800 pro quick and picked up an Nvidia 6800 as soon as it came out. LOL still could not turn up settings past medium.But damn EQ2 sure was puuurrrrddy!!!!


    first game i got for my 2k computer too... 6800 too... wow did that game bring it to a crawl... sadly, i found glitches and very undesirable aspects to the game which made me quit it in less than a month, its innitial inception didnt give me the same magic that eq 1 did.

    nugenttwEQ2 was ok, but the game was ruined for me when I found out that if I took off my super good gear and replaced my awesome weapon with a lvl1 rusty dagger, I did 5% less damage. All my gear and weapon made me do 5% more damage.... The abilities and upgrades did 80% by themselves, the poisons on my daggers did 15%, and my actual stat upgrades and weapon made me do 5% more... I had a big lack of motivation after I found out that.


    lol... playing the game by percents... i remember doing that. if you play it that way you better be either raiding or so high end group that you need to to figure out what is good for you to use.
  • 0 Hide
    eiskrystal , November 12, 2012 7:05 AM
    Voice fonts didn't impress. But the camera tracking was interesting.
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    cats_Paw , November 22, 2012 11:28 AM
    I should stop watching porn. Everytime i see the word "facial" i get a stupid smile on my face.