The Scrying Pool: To Dye For

What would Legendary Dyes look like in Guild Wars 2?

In each article of The Scrying Pool, I look at what is and what could be. After taking a look at what is present in Guild Wars 2 now, be that lore or game mechanics, I then ask What If? What if this happened in the lore or this feature was added in a future patch.

Since what feels like the beginning of time (or I guess since around launch) I have seen the idea of Legendary Dyes come up. It is not the idea of having legendary dyes that made each thread interesting, but that everyone who has started these threads seems to be of the same exact mindset of what a legendary dye is.

If legendary dyes do become a thing, it is not going to add particle effects to armor or give some different textures like polka dots or animated fire. I don’t think that the dye system works in a way to allow those. So while stripes would be nice to help make my norn look slimmer, any dye is going to be limited to just color changes. Just because we will not be getting super particle effects over everything doesn’t mean we can’t have some new and interesting dyes.

The way I think the dye system works is that each dye actually has two different colors assigned to it: a diffuse and specular color. When you say a box is blue, that is the diffuse color. It is the built-in color assigned to an object. The specular color on the other hand is the color that light reflects as. It is the midnight dyes that lead me to this conclusion. A midnight red looks very dark, but when light reflects off of the gear it appears to be a lighter shade of red. The very dark red would be the diffuse color and the lighter red the specular color that combined becomes a single dye.

If this is truly the way the system works, there might be some cool combinations that could become these high tier dyes. Imagine having a dye that looked green, maybe with a touch of yellow, which has a reflected color that is a heavily yellow green. Having dyes that change color when reflecting light would be striking enough to be worthy of a legendary dye.

What would make a dye legendary in the end is not what color it is, but how players would acquire it. Legendaries are definitely unique-looking, but it is the legendary effort required to make them that sets them apart.

During the first beta weekend event for Guild Wars 2, unidentified dyes were not acquired directly like they have been since launch. Originally, mobs would drop colorful dye seeds that players would take to an NPC in the player’s home instance. This NPC would take the next 24 hours growing this seed into a dye.

I really liked this system. It was a lot more interesting than the current double-click an item to gain a random dye. For these legendary dyes, I would like to bring back the dye seeds. It could be a special item sold by Miyani (the merchant next to the Mystic Forge in Lion’s Arch) that is combined with 30 of three different dyes in the Mystic Forge that would give a seed. Players would then take the seed to the NPC in their home instance just like in the first beta weekend, wait 24 hours and get back…a Gift of Dye.

After getting the gift, players would combine the gift, two stacks of ingredients dependent on the specific dye and something else, like a Flask of Liquid Karma because the liquid would be the base for the other ingredients to be mixed into. I like the karma, because players would need to save the account-bound flask from the monthly achievement reward; this fits the legendary effort by limiting the legendary dye creation to one per month.

The two stacks of ingredients would determine which dye would be created. The Green/Yellow example I gave earlier might require a stack of bananas and a stack of green beans to complete. The ingredients make sense with the creation of dyes, can give some value to typically unused ingredients and rate the legendary dyes by the price of their materials.

The idea behind this setup is that an individual dye is not too expensive or hard to get so that players can collect multiple of them with relative ease, with the flask being the major limiting factor. Everything would then be account-bound. The gift would be bound and, because there is no randomness, the final legendary dye can be account-bound as well.

Matt "Mattsta" Adams is curious if the readers would be interested in a post-patch review column. It would come out every other week and would sum up my opinions on the patch. Let me know!

I like the rock song that was released in the preview earlier this week and I think the contest is pretty cool (especially the guitar), but I don't see how the song or the contest is related to the upcoming release. I guess it doesn't have to relate, but seems a little random.

If you have a question for me or a topic you would like to see talked about here, leave a comment below. You can also tweet your question and topics or follow me on twitter @MattstaNinja.


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