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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Currently, sounds are volume-levelled as if they are being heard by the disembodied third person camera, not not the ship or player character. This weakens immersion and can occasionally be rather annoying.

  • You are standing three meters away from a noisy machine or console. Your camera is zoomed out three meters from your character. Without moving your character, you spin the camera around. When the camera is positioned close to the machine, the sound is at its loudest. When the camera is positioned six meters away from the machine, the sound is at its quietest. The player character's ears haven't moved, but the "ears" of the game have.
  • A torpedo hits another ship's shields, ten kilometres from your ship. Your camera happens to be positioned next to that ship. The sound of the explosion is deafening (especially if you are using headphones or bassy speakers with the volume up). Then a torpedo hits your own ship's shields. It isn't anywhere near as loud.

Hearing centred on the player's avatar, completely ignoring the current position of the camera, makes more sense and would be much more immersive.

Even if it is not changed globally for everyone, an option in the audio options menu for those that want it would be nice. A similar option was added in a patch for one of the Tomb Raider games and with the sound centred at the character instead of the camera the game felt so much more impressive and polished. It is like actually being the character, instead of being an invisible spectre stalking them.

I made a thread on this about a year ago, but it didn't get beyond a single page and didn't get any Dev response. The few people who commented seemed to support it though.