Saturday, 20 October 2012

Guest post: Guild Wars 2 - An MMO to dye for


I'm delighted to feature this guest post by gaming journalist and MMO aficionado Meredith Watson, who can be found over at ONRPG.com and She Kills Monsters

If you live on this planet and play MMOs then you know about Guild Wars 2. You will also know
that Guild Wars 2 has some great features such as actively evading and weapon swapping. While
these features are great what really excites me is dye. Dye, you say? Yes. The ability to dye ones
gear as well as collect the dyes themselves.

I will always be drawn to games that allow for customisation in the creation and development of
characters be it the option to dye gear, change hairstyles or decorate a personal residence (player
housing). These little things, for me, really add to the fun factor of any game.

Warhammer Online, Rift, LotRO all use the dying mechanic to some degree or another but what
makes Guild Wars 2 special is that the dye drops off mobs unlike the above mentioned games
where the dye is either crafted or vendor bought (Rift). In GW2 dyes come in many, many different
colours (roughly 400) and sets: starter,common, uncommon, and rare. For me, dyes are rather like
shoes-I must have all of them.

Why would dying be important? Well,it isn't really. It certainly isn't game changing or game
breaking but there is an issue with the gear itself in Guild Wars 2 and that is that your character will
end up wearing the same themed items for quite a few levels. My ranger, though she has gotten
multiple upgrades, has looked like a pirate/swashbucker for 20+ levels now. Being able to dye her
gear adds to the interest.

Dyes also add to the roleplaying aspect of MMOs whether you actively roleplay or not. I don't
roleplay per se; I tend to stick to killing stuff but I do like to coordinate how my characters look
with what I think their class is about. The most obvious would be having thieves in dark armour.
Town Clothes can also be dyed which is also an important roleplaying aspect.

There is one drawback to the dying system in GW2 and that is the dyes are not account bound.
It is a tad frustrating getting a colour on one character that could use it and hoping it drops again
for another character that could also use it. For example, thief and necromancer would both want
a black. As it stands now, if a black dye were to drop I'd have to decide who gets it and to make
matters worse it is a rare dye. Making dyes account bound is one little thing ArenaNet could do that
would make some players happy but, again, it isn't a deal breaker.