Exclusive: Massively's interview with Kristen Perry on the Guild Wars 2 dye system

Armor fanatics unite! Our relatively small preview of the Guild Wars 2 dye system earlier this month at PAX was quite a thrill to those of us who love our Guild Wars character armor to look just right.

It was impressive to say the least -- physical vials of dye will be eliminated and the range of colors will number over 100 -- but it left us wanting to know more. Character Artist Kristen Perry is the mind behind this impressive new setup, and she's been having a ball designing it. The beauty of dye in Guild Wars 2 is that it will appeal equally to those who don't want to spend ages experimenting with dye combinations to get just the perfect look and to those who thrive on that sort of thing.

Kristen has added a brand new post to the ArenaNet blog today with all the details of the Guild Wars 2 dye system. Most of the blog entry revolves around the fact that there will no longer be the ability to mix dyes, as is possible in Guild Wars 1. But don't fret! Kristen does a wonderful job of explaining how the new system will be much better.

As an added bonus, we have a little something extra for you. Kristen was kind enough to give us an exclusive interview with even more information, as well as an exclusive screenshot to highlight the range of the new dye system.

Follow along after the jump to see what Kristen had to say about dye in Guild Wars 2.

%Gallery-92890%
Massively: The addition of a fourth dye channel for armor sets is exciting because it provides even more flexibility on large pieces. Are there any small pieces that will have fewer channels? The example you gave regarding gloves was a good one -- it seems like it would be difficult to dye gloves three different colors.

Kristen Perry: Just about any piece has the potential to have fewer dye channels. The priority for the dye channel allocation is to break up the pieces into aesthetic and meaningful areas. This gives a very natural selection to the choices, so the player doesn't have to compromise their color palette due to the mask trying to dye as much pixel real estate as possible. It's fair to say that any piece that logically doesn't need many dye channels wouldn't have them. A piece with less detail (like an old leather boot with a buckle, a mask, or a plain pair of pants) would qualify for less than three channels. Again, our priority is to make it pretty, however we may get there.

It sounds like you're having as much fun with this as the players will when the game launches. Do you plan to keep refining and/or expanding the dye system after launch, based on player feedback or additions to the game, such as new dyable materials?

Given that I'll have wriggle room concerning the grand total of dye colors, if there's something neato mosquito that may have not made it into the mix, I wouldn't see why we couldn't add more colors. The one caveat concerning adding more would be if and only if the new colors are added to the palette overall. If you can barely tell the difference in shades because the hues are so close, there's little reason to create a new color. That being said, I'm hoping to close those gaps before the initial launch, so there may not be much need for additional tones. However, if there's a newly discovered color we absolutely wanted, I'm sure we'd find a way to make it happen.

Finally, what is your favorite part of the dye system?


It's corny, but what I really love about the dye system is that I can make true natural metal colors! So often, the named metal selections offered in dye systems give an approximate hue, but the results usually look more plastic or colorized than is ideal. This is a hard balance for any system, because half the reason metals feel like their appropriate material is due to specularity (shininess) -- which is outside the dye's realm of control. However, the other half of making a metal feel like metal is the control over its other descriptors: hue, saturation, lightness, brightness... but especially contrast. Contrast is the key to show the difference between a steel and pewter, for example. Due to this flexibility, I can make anything from pewter to gold, tungsten, iron, silver lead, gunmetal, and more! Real metals!!! I'm so pleased. ;)

Thank you for your time, Kristen!

This article was originally published on Massively.