Exhibit 1 – Dye Another Day

Posted: September 30, 2011 in The Evidence at Hand

There are only so many different armour sets that can reasonably be created for a game, even one as expansive as an MMO. Sooner or later you’re going to run into someone wearing the exact same armour as you, piece for piece. While this can be very embarrassing to all involved (“But I told you I was wearing my Chestplate of Herculean Strength today! Now I have to go and change and these greaves just don’t work as well with my other chestplate…”) there is a way to help players feel that little bit more unique – let them dye their armour.

I’m going to say right off the bat that ArenaNet don’t do anything half-assed. The dye system in Guild Wars consists of eleven colours (twelve if you count pink, which is only available during the annual Pink Day in LA cancer fundraiser). You can mix up to four dyes together to get different blends and each armour piece or weapon has one dyeable channel.

The dye system in Guild Wars 2 is going to weigh in at somewhere around 400 colours. Yes, four hundred. And every colour is going to be handcrafted. Taking on a task like that might be considered an indicator of insanity, or perhaps just extreme dedication to and passion for one’s job. Perhaps the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

To summarise the linked article above:

You can’t mix dyes in Guild Wars 2. There are going to be over 400 choices and if you can’t find the exact shade of blue you’re after I’d be tempted to speculate that your inability to find the exact shade of blue you’re after should be the least of your worries.

Kristen Perry is a material girl. Kristen is the crazy lady a Character Artist at ArenaNet who will be making sure that, when dyed, metal looks like metal, cloth looks like cloth, leather looks like leather and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri look like small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. No matter the material you apply a colour to, it will still look the way it’s supposed to.

Dyes are account-bound. Good news everyone! No need for infinite storage space or market power-trading to support your armour renovation habit, dyes don’t exist as in-game items like vials. Instead, each race will start with their own themed colour palette, and additional palettes will be unlocked as you progress through the game. Each palette you unlock will also be account wide, not character specific, so your alts can look spiffy right away. Re-dyeing your armour will be as simple as opening a window (turn your sound down) and painting your town clothes red. For the truly fashion conscious it is also highly likely that colour packs will be available as microtransaction purchases.

Colours, colours everywhere… Overwhelming (in a good way) would be a fair description of the number of colours available once you have every palette unlocked. Thankfully the colours will be sortable by hue (colour, basically), temperature (warm, cool, neutral) and material (metallic, cloth, leather). Players can also create a Favourites list so you don’t have to go looking for that shade of blue every time you want to use it.

So many channels your pay-tv will get jealous. Ok, so maybe not but still a great feature. Armour and weapons in Guild Wars had one dyeable channel. While weapons won’t be dyeable in Guild Wars 2 (at this stage, see disclaimer), armour pieces will have one to four dyeable channels dependant on the size of the piece. So even if you do suffer the pinnacle of social embarrassment and show up to a dungeon wearing the exact same armour as the rest of your group there’s a good chance your dye jobs will be different.

Game, Set, and Match! What does a developer do when the usual breakdown of armour pieces just doesn’t cut it? They fuse several pieces into a set, and add an extra dye channel. This creates a single armour item (which may span several armour slots) such as pants, vest, shirt and trench coat with a dye channel for each distinct part.

You must remember this. A kiss is just a kiss, a dye is just a dye… Getting a new piece of armour is always exciting, but then you have to dye it to match the rest of your gear. As stated in the blog post, all new armour drops will be neutrally coloured to prevent clashes with your existing armour until you get a chance to whip out your favourite colours. That’s a good idea, and it has since been improved upon (see disclaimer). Now when you equip a new armour piece, the game will carry over the colour scheme you had from the armour piece you are replacing and apply it to the new piece automatically. How cool is that?

Well, that’s the dye system for Guild Wars 2. I can already see myself spending many hours playing a very geeky, grown-up version of Barbie while I tinker with my characters colour schemes. If I’ve missed anything or you have any dye specific questions please let me know and I’ll be sure to set things right (:

Disclaimer – everything written above is true to the best of my knowledge when it was written. ArenaNet have an iterative design policy in place so features are always open to adjustment, tweaking, reworking and/or scrapping. Please keep this in mind should something turn out to be different or completely missing once Guild Wars 2 launches.

  1. M.B. says:

    I am a little confused. In paragraph two it’s stated that “You can mix up to four dyes together to get different blends…” but a couple of paragraphs down it’s stated “You can’t mix dyes in Guild Wars 2.” Which is the correct statement?



  2. unraveled says:

    In Guild Wars 1 you can mix up to four dyes to create colours but in Guild Wars 2 because there are going to be literally hundreds of colours specially tweaked for different materials there is no dye mixing.

    Hope that clears things up (:

    • M.B. says:

      Yes, thank you. I guess I misread the article and thought both statements referred to GW2; I see now that isn’t the case.

      Thanks for helping to clear that up!


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