i personally think they should do it on 2 ways, the ones you unlock in-game are char-wide and the one you buy is account-wide.
one is something you earn so it's more a matter of time, the other can take real money so players want their money's worth.
Funny thing is, I do not believe character locks lead to more $$$ at all.
If you want to get people to buy stuff, and feel happy about their purchase (which is always a nice way to get repeat business), account unlocks is the way to go. Make it account unlocks and people will buy stuff they maybe wont even use just to have it available whenever they feel like it. Character unlocks and people wont buy unless they actually want it for that particular character. Which wont happen often enough to make up for the lower prize you can demand for a character-locked feature.
Incidentally, a lot of F2P titles are also moving away from character locks in favour of account unlocks. This is no accident, so it is very weird to see ANet go the other way after had account unlocks in their GW1 cash shop for years.
I'm far more likely to spend on account unlocks.
Character unlocks though leaves a potential that a given person ends up spending more. So it's really a tradeoff between getting more customers vs getting more from individual customers. Personally, I think they should offer the choice.
I understand why they're doing it. I still think it's stupid. I'm likely to spend money on dye unlocks, even random packs, if I can use them on any character. I'm not going to do that if I can only use them on one character. The big draw of the dye system, to me, is the fact that I have such freedom to play around with it. I don't want to make a 1 time choice to use a particular color on one particular character, now and forever; I want to play with the colors, see what I like, to choose not to use it right now and not feel bad about wasting money.
It's a nuisance, and I hope they listen to player feedback on this one. 400 dyes is still plenty large enough to stretch out the time it'll take to unlock all colors on a single account, particularly if they keep the randomization aspect of it. The mystic forge is solution enough to the problem of what to do with extras of a given color.
Maybe the solution is dyes you find in the world are unlocked by character, and dyes you buy in the gem store are account based. That way you still get the exploration bonus for each character, but also get rewarded for spending $$. Of course that would probably cause way too much confusion.
I wouldn't be surprised if Anet addresses this again, it was just a forums answer, and people are not happy. Whether they change their position or not, I have no idea, but I think they have to do a blog post or something to further justify their position.
Imagine paying and then deciding on deleting that character in the future...
I'm OK with the unlock per character but I would much prefer account wide.
I understand why they did it that way, and I can see it achieving what they want to achieve (i.e. individuality and cosmetic progression). Moreover, if the drop rate is high enough, I can see it being quite pleasant for a lot of people.
That being said, I still would prefer:
1) tradeable dyes once identified - I see no reason not to
2) the option to buy specific colors instead of random ones (random being cheaper)
3) the option to buy account unlocks instead of character unlocks (the character ones being cheaper)