To Dye, To Sleep, To Sleep Perchance To Dream

September 28, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 8 Comments
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Arenanet please ban the use of the name Legolas immediately

The Arenanet blog put up another post from Kristen Perry, Supreme Executor of all things dye related, and she really goes into detail. It’s a behind the scenes run down of both the Guild Wars dye system and how that transitioned into the new Guild Wars 2 system. We learned a lot about the dye system at gamescom but this is much more in depth.

It’s actually kind of a complex read, less about marketing and more about the joys of colour design.

The first part of the article covers the fact that we will no longer be mixing dyes. She briefly mentions that there could be as many as 400 colours by the time Guild Wars 2 comes out, but at the moment 254 is what they’re working with.

I would have been happy with 10.

Moving on to Guild wars 2 she covers some material I think she’s talked about before, perhaps in her last blog entry. Not to mention things we saw at the conventions.

Different materials will have different levels of saturation, 3 different materials using the same colour will look like 3 slightly different shades.

There are no more dye bottles either, dye colours are unlocked as you play, and it sounds like you can use a micro-transaction to unlock colours you want too.

There are various ways to sort dyes, and favourite them, in the UI.

Each armour piece will have 3 dye areas, with some small areas that won’t dye.

Most clothing will be wearable by players.

There is some new information however.

For example, we could have an outfit with a large trench coat, an inside vest and shirt, and pants. You’ve seen this before in my previous clothing blog post. That outfit is one piece. However, because we know there’s so much fabric real estate, three dye channels aren’t enough. In cases like these, we have allowed four dye channels.

4 areas? MADNESS!

Part of me both loves and has some trepidation for the following bit of information.

To ensure that the five races have their own identities, we’ve created a cultural palette that reflects the character of the species. This means a red color for a human may not look the same as a red color for a norn or charr.

I think giving an identity to players, through colour based on culture, is kind of ingenious. It only makes so much sense. On the other hand if I have to read a billion forum posts whining about not getting their hands on that specific red RIGHT NOW…. it’s just not worth it. Kill me now.

The last thing of note is what colour armour comes in to begin with.

we are applying a set of basic neutrals to the dyeable areas. Cloth will look beige cream, leather will be calfskin brown and metal will be steel-toned. This makes any new armor drop you have look perfectly serviceable in the interim while you experiment with the color palette you want.

Drops. Cool. And they come wearable, instead of weird colours. Awesome. Great blog post Anet.

I really have to go berate WordPress for telling me colour and armour are spelled wrong.


  1. I was enjoying that blog article until I got to the bit about getting some colors “outside the game”. I really hope they don’t pull the same stunt Aion did, with certain colors only available to be bought with real cash (even though they are obtainable in the Korean version of the game through game play). As long as all colors are available to be obtained with game play (and not crazy like having to max out some of the titles in GW1 before you could get them, or such), then I’m okay if they want to sell an unlock pack similar to GW1’s PvP skill packs.

    The rest of the article is pretty good. I was hoping for a sneak peek at a few great looking armor sets, but those aren’t bad. Not super exciting, but very nicely done. Lots of detail. Boring colors, but nice.

    • I wouldn’t worry about it. Anet has always been about making sure you can get stuff in game. I liked the armour sets too. worthy of its own post mayhaps?

      • It looks like they’ve managed to make the colors all look good on the different materials. I know from my real life work in 3D graphics that it isn’t something easy to do. Making an armor set look good with a few colors is one thing, but what I’ve seen so far is just amazing. The team working on that part of the game is just darn impressive. Can’t wait to see what they’ve done in detail on my own screen once the game is released!

        • the images they use in the post could be slightly misleading, those seem taken straight from a 3d modeling program, not the game engine, but they do look good.

  2. Legolas? How about the dozens who will name their trench coated characters after The Matrix, Equilibrium, The Dresden Files, variations on “Trench Coat Mafia,” The X-Files, Twilight, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

    • i’m willing to bet there will be more legolas than those.

  3. wow cultural palettes?? shows they’re putting alot of thought into the game… you’re making me too excited (Hunter&Anet)

    • haha, sorry dude. don’t get your hopes up. GW2 could turn out to be total utter failure! Just, probably not.

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