Heart Letters

October 4, 2012 at 9:14 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 12 Comments

I heart this game.

I am level 80 now and have been for a while. Would it surprise you to know that, as I said I would, I took my time? Guild Wars 2 is not a difficult game to level in.

Basically you just need to do everything. Complete maps, gather, craft, complete your daily achievements, do events, World v World, personal story. I took my time, did it all, and can’t see why anyone would have any trouble leveling.

I even took the time to read heart letters. I probably should not have bothered.

I’m sure the writers had a lot to write and coming up with new creative ways to write these letters probably became quite a tedious task. Still, they all come out quite generic. Each one thanking you quite extensively for the help you gave.

There is the occasional creative masterpiece like the letter that the ettin sends you in Queensdale and I can recall quite a few snarky letters from asurans and other examples of good writing but by the end I did not want to read any of them.

These letters could have been an opportunity to extend lore, get a good laugh, make the world seem larger than it really is. Instead they’re boring, hit all the same notes, practically form letters.

Some of them are even out of character. Charr should not be gushing with praise for anyone that helps them. Asurans should not be foaming at the mouth with thanks and happiness. Norn were often humble and graceful in their thanks. Huh?

In the end the letters are the quest text from other games that you don’t read. It’s like Arenanet suddenly panicked near the end of production and started doubting themselves, “what if we really do need to stick to convention!?” “What if players want the tactile sense of collecting a reward!?”

It just seems like a waste. All that effort into writing hundreds of heart letters so they could stick to an old convention that nobody likes anyway.

Okay fine yes, heart letters are not of earth shattering importance. Not even close. And it would be difficult to make anything useful out of them, but not impossible. It just seems like this is one more thing Arenanet could have done away with and chickened out a little bit.

Heart letters are not worth reading and I find that disappointing.

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12 Comments

  1. Thanks I am only 62 so far. I remembered you saying you’d read them all so I came with hope to this blog post. I felt guilty when I started skimming them, on my 5th or so letter. I read one last night at 60 just in case they were getting better but now I can save me some time and guilt.
    The only thing I feel guilty about now is that I think I still preferred missions and instanced areas… And that I miss Devona, and Cyn. Do you still feel like you’re in Tyria?
    Really enjoying it, just feels more like a wow replacement that an improved GW. Only lvl62 though! Maybe it gets better!

    • Personally I feel like I’m in Tyria for the first time. Actually being able to explore and interact with the environment helps with that, as does being able to drive the story rather than led through it. I can actually live in the world. I didn’t have that sense in the original, just better clothes. All dressed up and no place worth going again.

      • I have to agree, in no way is the original guild wars a superior game.

    • It feels like Tyria to me, a better guild wars.

  2. So, so true. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t even realized how I treat heart letters until I read this post. Sadly, as I’m sure others do, I will go through an area and clear 3-4 hearts before checking my mail. And when I do, you’d think there was an extra reward for the speed I open, grab the cash, and trash them. Sad indeed. Just can’t get into the lore this time, and these letters aren’t helping.

    • Its the same old quest text problem, no change there from other mmos.

  3. I’ve read every heart letter, so far in my travels. As you have stated, they are not very good. But I’m committed now, I have to read them ALL — personal achievement of endurance.

    • Yeah I keep reading them, I don’t know why. Seems like someones work would go unnoticed otherwise, even though so few are worthwhile.

  4. […] Hunter’s Insight — Heart Letters. “I am level 80 now and have been for a while. Would it surprise you to know that, as I said I would, I took my time? Guild Wars 2 is not a difficult game to level in. Basically you just need to do everything. Complete maps, gather, craft, complete your daily achievements, do events, World v World, personal story. I took my time, did it all, and can’t see why anyone would have any trouble leveling.” […]

  5. I open up letters as soon as possible and read every one. It’s nice to pretend that I actually helped solved a problem, and it’s a welcome little break in the fighting. I dinstinctly remember a charr writing to tell me “we decided you deserved a letter of congratulations and I drew the short straw” as well as an asura telling me that when he publishes his research I will be on the list of acknowledgements under “other”.

    They’re not brilliant but at least they don’t have stilted voice-overs.

    • There are so many heart letters, some are good, but most are just plain forgettable. I’ll take the stilted voice acting personally.


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