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Dye Unlocking Now Character Based


Crystin Cox, an ArenaNet employee, in response to a BWE2 forum topic, explains the thinking behind scraping the original plan to allow dye unlocking across an account in favor of character based unlocking only.

Cyrstin Cox: There was a time when the dye system was very different and at that time dye unlocks were account based, but we have since changed the dyes system and we really feel that character based is the right way to go and the system we have now is the best one for the game.

Customized dye should be something that denotes your characters progress, like better looking, more elaborate gear. As you spend more time on your character, they grow and gain access to more customization options. If we make dyes account based, this progression will only happen on one character. We wanted character customization to remain tied to the character but we felt that one-time-use dyes discouraged players from customizing as often as they would like, that is how we arrived at the current system.

There are 400 dyes in the game, we do not think of dyes as something that a character should unlock all of, it is not meant to be a collection feature. Each character should have a unique palette and we have made enough colors to make this possible. Dyes come from world drops, rewards, crafting, the Mystic Forge, and the Gem Store and we expect that over the life of a character you will collect a lot of them.

We are still developing and the dye system will continue to receive attention and improvements, but changing it to an account based system is not something we are considering right now.

The original plan, as outlined by Kristin Perry back in September of 2010, can be reviewed here.

Any thoughts on the changes?


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  • Don’t like it. I want my dyes to be unlocked for the account; Only that will give me real variety in customizing each and every one of my toons. Otherwise each one will have to live with a limited pallet, even if another toon has already unlocked the dye that would make my guardian look perfect.

    Having dyes be purchasable in the gem shop completely undercuts their argument that it is about character progression.

  • As long as the drop rate is high enough, that’s fine. Yes, I’d rather tradeable account unlocks, but meh… not a big deal.

  • Due to they are going to try to make it so I can get the specific color I want I am fine with the changes.

  • I have nothing against the change per se, but Crystin Cox is either incredibly stupid or knows that she’s lying. She says that “customized dye should be something that denotes your characters progress”, but in GW2 you can transfer dyes between characters, so this is complete BS. You can just buy dyes and send them all to your level 1 alt, and that character will have the most dyes without any “progress”.

    This kind of follows the trend of their (also blatantly false) justifications for the trait and skill tiers, and it’s a bit of a worrying sign when a company has an internal culture of lying to their clients. Especially when the lies are this obvious. Do they really think their clients are that stupid?

  • T’is another time I’ve found myself less than excited about something in GW2 (the first being when the crafting system was just announced). I see their point, but to lock the whole thing to a character-only unlock just doesn’t sit too right with me.

    For any dye you find in-game, sure that may be alright. But what of the dye I pay for through the gem-store? There is nothing in terms of progression that connects to the Gemstore dye packs, so why lock it down as well? If I want the same color for another character, must I pay even more to try and unlock it for them then as well?

    It just bugs me. Doesn’t make me regret my pre-purchase, but it darn well bugs me. It also bugs me that the forums seem to be shut down just in time for me to learn of this.

  • “There are 400 dyes in the game, we do not think of dyes as something that a character should unlock all of, it is not meant to be a collection feature.”

    Too bad, it will be a collection feature anyway.