The puns abound in the latest ArenaNet blog post. I love Kristen Perry’s enthusiasm though. I just can’t help but smile and be excited as well, even if the information is small or tangential. In blog post we get a pretty thorough review of the dye system along with a lot of new and confirmed information.
The biggest advancement, in my mind, is that dyes will no longer be physical items that are crafted or dropped by mobs and then sold on the auction block. Instead, each account gets an unlockable palette of colors. Automatically from the start of the game, when centaurs are attacking and you are supposed to be saving villagers and killing big earth elementals, you can stand there for ten minutes playing around with your unlocked starter area colors. There is a great video from GuildMag of some player “wasting” gamescom demo time doing just that (more colors, etc. were unlocked for demo purposes).
Ten minutes might seem a lot to Barbie your avatar just so, but when each armor piece has up to four dyable channels, it can take a bit of time. Channels roughly correspond to a particular cut or material on the armor piece. Yet if the piece is dyed one color, the channel might illustrate the dye in a different way to reflect the polish of metal or the softness of leather. So even though there are currently 254 available dyes (possibly more at launch), there are many more colors when broken down in to hue, saturation, lightness, brightness, and contrast.
My favorite part is that they take the mind crushing hundreds of dyes and classify them by name and designer categories. For example, the midnight set consists of the rare black dyes while the racial set will have the immediately unlocked primary colors atoned for that race. Charr red has to look like blood after all; while asura red should look smart. All the dyes will be hot sortable based on quite a few variables.
Finally, I would expect parts of the dye system to become microtransaction-able. Kristen bluntly states that the dyes can be unlocked in-game and out. I believe that later on we will see magazines with dye unlock codes, but it would make sense to have buyable dye packs as well for fashionistas that want a full artist’s palette right away on their level 1 clothes. I think it’s a great idea for a mictrotransaction anyway as long as the dyes aren’t exclusive to the store. Now, let’s see what Kristen has in store for the Guild Wars Halloween costumes!
in the wool