Dyeing From The Colors

Of the countless features in Guild Wars 2, there are those which receive nought but praise, of these there are some that are easily missed until presented in front of the players. Almost everyone thinks about WvW, or Dynamic Events, or the ever branching Personal Story, but what about armor dye? The dye system introduced in Guild Wars 2 has come a long way from the original system in Guild Wars; having been over hauled completely in the first game to the point of being unrecognizable, similarly this new system is constantly being changed with every step towards the game’s final release. Still, the changes to the dye system in Guild Wars 2, hasn’t been the first time players of Guild Wars have seen changes to the way they dye their equipment.

The amount of dye combinations available to players meant that anyone could find just about any shade they needed.

Firstly, each vial of dye is still treated as an individual item, and as such still takes up slots in a player’s inventory. With the addition of three colors, then a fourth later on in the form of pink dye, the total number of base color dyes available in Guild Wars is twelve (luckily additional storage options have had been made available to players in the form of buy-able storage panels). Secondly, and this can be subjective from player to player, most armor sets in Guild Wars tend to limit the way a player can dye their armor set as a whole. While most sets, such as some found on mesmers and rangers, allow for flexibility by having pieces appear to be separate from one another (such as coats, pants, boots, etc.); several sets available to professions such as the warrior, assassin, and dervish tend to appear as if pieces of a set were meant to be one large part. That is to say those players can easily dye these parts differently, but visually they would stand out oddly. This limitation makes dying armor in Guild Wars rather dull in terms of customization options for players. Luckily, with the reboot of the system in Guild Wars 2, players will be able to expand the way they dye their armor in ways that are not possible in Guild Wars.

When a player wishes to dye a piece of their armor they not only have the option of dyeing a single part of it as with Guild Wars, but up to three sections of that piece of armor can be dyed any color that they would like. These dye channels on a piece of armor range between single sections to up to three separate sections on a piece of armor. This means that players have the option of changing the way they dye their armor even more differently than in the Guild Wars. Where once they could only mix four dyes in order to change the appearance of their armor, players can now match different colors on different sections of the armor piece in order to find combinations that they feel would make their set stand out the way they would like. Though with this change there comes the removal of a part of the original dye system in Guild Wars, as mixing dye is no longer part of the system in Guild Wars 2,  players now have a much wider assortment from which to choose.

The new UI shows all colors of dye available, and shows how many channels a single peice of armor can have.

As previously stated, there are around 400 reported colors in the dye system available to players. This may seem surprising to some as the intention of the overhaul of the original dye system in Guild Wars, was to limit the amount of vials of dye taking up space in a player’s inventory. Luckily, this problem of inventory management is solved in Guild Wars 2, in that while dye does come in a vial when obtained by a player, these vials do not stay that way for very long. By simply double clicking on a vial, the dye color inside will become unlocked for the player, and the vial is removed from their inventory. The dye color unlocked is then placed within the dye interface with all the other colors the player has obtained thus far. The player will never have to hunt down the same color that was unlocked again as that color is saved within the player’s dye interface and can be selected and applied to as many armor pieces as the player wants. Originally this was meant as an account-wide feature, with dye colors being available to all a player’s characters when unlocked, but has since been limited to individual characters. Meaning that if a player unlocks violet on their charr ranger, they will have to hunt down that same color for their sylvari mesmer. Luckily, if a player happens to obtain a repeat color, they can simply transfer that vial over to a character (via their bank) that hasn’t unlocked that color as vials of dye are account bound when changed from their unidentified state, though this in itself poses problems to many players wanting to obtain all 400 colors.

If the player only has three characters they play with, it is very likely that the longer they play and more frequently they unlock dyes, that all three characters will eventually end up with the more common colors available in the dye system. Since dye is bound to their account, this means that once all three characters have those colors, all subsequent repeats become garbage. Players do not have the option of selling these dyes in the Trading Post, and the only effective way of ridding themselves of the repeat dye is by placing them all within the Mystic Forge and hope they get something worthwhile. One of the biggest issues brought up so far is the randomness involved with the dye system coupled with the fact that dye is not unlocked account-wide, but per character. It becomes difficult for a player that wants specific colors they found they enjoyed on one character on another, when the only option they have of obtaining dye with the current system is by being lucky enough to get it again. With the constant changes happening with the dye system however, it could be possible that these issues may very well be changed later. Though if history repeats itself, it could be a while before anything drastic is done with the system again as Guild War’s dye system didn’t see a big change until the release its third campaign.

The dye system in Guild Wars 2 is constantly changing, and the finished system may not be set in stone until the day the game is released. Even then it could be that the system may be changed later on in Guild Wars 2’s lifespan just as with the large changes to Guild War’s original dye system. Either way it has a bit of a ways to go, and with the game’s release inching closer and closer as 2012 is halfway through, it’ll be interesting to see how the final product is laid out.

What do all of you think about the current iteration of the dye system? Have the changes been positive or do you think ArenaNet should take the system in a different direction? Will you miss the dye system from the original Guild Wars?

About the author: TriggerSad was introduced to Guild Wars through a close relative, and although he was very casual about playing it, he never could love another video game the same. His admiration to ArenaNet grew tenfold after discovering how passionate and open they were with their fans during the development of their second MMO Guild Wars 2.He’s even gone so far as to pursue a career in the video game industry because of this!

 

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About TriggerSad

Being born and raised by wolves, TriggerSad has never fully understood technology. That doesn't stop him though, even if it means that he breaks his really expensive toys relatively quickly. His love for video games has lead him to pursue a career in marketing; for his dream is to one day have everyone in the world, even the elderly and those ignorant to video games, to play a video game at least once in their lives. He was attracted to Guild Wars through a close relative, and although he was very casual about playing it, he never could love another video game the same. His admiration to Arena Net grew tenfold after discovering how passionate and honest they were with their fans during the development of their second MMO Guild Wars 2. He wishes to one day work for the company itself, or for one with just as much love for its fans.
  • http://twitter.com/Loremasterkaae Dara Potocska

     I really enjoyed the system as we saw it so far in BWE2! I’m pretty sure in the couple days I had access, I had unlocked between 15-20 new colors just from the unidentified dyes that dropped. I could see how perhaps you might want to be able to get the dyes on all your toons but it seems to me that even with the random chances of specific desired colors, you do get them fairly quickly with the current system and you’d likely find yourself with those colors after a couple hours/days of gameplay. Overall though, I definitely like this system far more than the previous where I was waiting 24 hours for a dye. Good article and thoughts Trigger!

    • http://twitter.com/TriggerSad Marcos Perez

       With all honesty, having dye unlocked by character is the biggest issue with me. I never expected myself to use all of the colors on a single character anyway, and I can also understand how much of a profit booster doing this can be for ArenaNet. What I would like to see however, is making dye packs sell preset dyes that are thematic (i.e. a Christmas Pack, a Spring Pack, etc.) or packs that just sell different shades of colors (i.e. a Blue pack, a Red pack, etc.). That way we can at least have an option when buying dye that we want in large quantities like with how Dye Packs are now. I’m find with Unidentified Dyes being random because they’re free, so that can stay as it is. Overall I like the system too, but I would like some changed to how they sell it in the Gem Store.

      • TriggerSad

        I meant it isn’t the biggest issue for me….

  • https://profiles.google.com/105855840101305745515 anzenketh

    I really wish that the fan sites reporting this would also include that the system is not complete yet. I wish they would report that they are working on a way to allow us to get the exact color that we want. Due to the length of the forum post about dyes after the BWE. But alas we will have to wait for a full complete report on the dye system during the event that this system is ready in (perhaps the next BWE)

    Crystin Cox said:We are working on a way for you to make the exact color of dye you want using the Mystic Forge. You will need to get a specific crafting material for each color but you will get the exact color you want.We really don’t want dyes to be a Gem Store only feature, we understand that some people would be willing to pay more to get exact dyes or all the dyes but we want to keep some aspects of the dyes system in the game.

    • Distilled

      I think trigger’s post is pretty clear that the dye system is still in development. Did you read til the end?

      “The dye system in Guild Wars 2 is constantly changing, and the finished system may not be set in stone until the day the game is released. Even then it could be that the system may be changed later on in Guild Wars 2’s lifespan just as with the large changes to Guild War’s original dye system. Either way it has a bit of a ways to go, and with the game’s release inching closer and closer as 2012 is halfway through, it’ll be interesting to see how the final product is laid out.”

  • http://belzan.wordpress.com/ Belzan

    I really enjoyed your post Trigger, especially with the discussion of GW1 changes. I honestly haven’t yet had the opportunity to play with the GW2 dye system outside of character creation. I like that there are multiple ways to acquire dye and I see the Mystic Forge as an interesting addition to the game that players are going to have fun tinkering with and figuring out recipes for years to come. 

    My 2 cents on the whole thing is that I would prefer the system to be account-wide. I plan on having an alt army this time around (rather than just one character I did everything with in GW1) and that means I will need to unlock 3000-4000 dyes. I would be happier if the dyes were perhaps a bit harder to come by but are unlocked for your whole account. I’m not sure if they are/will be tradeable, but that shows promise if they keep the availability diverse, especially if you have no use for dyes once you’ve unlocked them all.

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  • http://twitter.com/belgeode Drew Bolton

    This is a subject near and dear to my heart, as anyone who knows me in games (from SWG onward), knows I ALWAYS wear purple. It’s become part of my persona… kind of like the “internet pimp” LOL. (Long story, running joke). My goal is to find all the shades of purple and put together the most outlandish, bootsy collins meets Prince costume ever on my norn main, as well as my alts, and run around Tyria. I for one would love dye unlocks to be account wide, and am not sure what the rationale is behind making it character locked. I would love to be able to find “royal purple” on one character, and when unlocked, the next time I log in alt #1, she has “royal purple” already there.

    Either way I will work with the system, but it is a matter of convenience for me… after all, I have a rep to uphold.  😉
    Purple People Represent!

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