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Armor Dye


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Armor Dyes are a new feature in Diablo III, revealed by Jay Wilson at Gamescom, in August, 2010. [1]

There are 20 known colors of armor dye, plus two special types: dye remover and transparent dye (which makes the item not display at all). Players find or purchase dyes in the game, then use them to recolor their equipment. Dyeing (not dying) will modify the color of an item; not the whole thing, though. Just some portion, often a border or sash, or else the background of an item while the metal remains a silvery hue.


[edit] Function and Form

Armor dye examples, shown in a GDC 2012 panel.

Armor dyeing is purely cosmetic; there's no change to the item's stats or effectiveness(at least not to monsters; other players might be awestruck by such colorful garb). Though many players have suggested that higher level dyes could grant some stat bonuses or other benefits (+10 fire resistance on a special fire-red dye, for instance) they remain purely aesthetic in function.

Dyes are found in various levels of rarity, and there will be some ultra-rare dyes. Dyes can not be salvaged[2] though, so dyes that are not going to be used by a player are likely to become a trade commodity, or even achievement fodder.

Dyes are single use; when it is used to color a piece of armor, it's gone. A dye is a consumable in the same manner that a health potion is. A player will need to find multiple samples of the same dye to color all of their equipment the same hue. However, the exception to this rule is the Collector's Edition dyes, which are unlimited use.

Most pieces of armor (but no weapons) can be dyed. Confirmed as dyable are body armor, pants, shoulders, gloves, boots, and helms, meaning that a full set of dye will be six altogether, if the player wishes to dye every piece of armor that they are able to. Jewelry, bracers, and belts cannot be dyed because they do not show on the character model to begin with.

Dyes do not have any special visual factors to them outside of coloring a piece of armor. They do not, for instance, have extended animations or particle effects.

Legendary and Set Items cannot be dyed with any pigment, nor with special dye such as vanishing.

[edit] Dye List

Dyes are purchased from vendors, and more dyes will be available as the player progresses through the difficulty levels. Each level of difficulty unlocks several new dyes; Nightmare presents 5 more, Hell gives 4 more and Inferno another 5 more, bringing the total number of dyes up to 20. The prices of dyes get higher at higher difficulty levels but dyes available from easier tiers are still available for their cheap prices in later tiers. All normal dyes cost 360g, Nightmare ones cost 1020g, Hell ones cost 2160g while Inferno ones cost 5040g.

Dye Name Color Difficulty Description
IconDyeAbyssal.png Abyssal Dye "Black" Inferno The inky blackness seems to grow even darker when exposed to the sun, as though it were drinking in the very light that touches it.
IconDyeRemover.png All-Soap's Miraculous Dye Remover Original Color Normal The miraculous, mystical tonic that removes stains, cures rotfoot and tastes great! It's got what plants crave! Warning: Do Not Drink.
IconDyeAquatic.png Aquatic Dye Light Blue Normal Sailors from Lut Gholein distill the waters of the Twin Seas and apply the mixture to their sails in order to blend in and avoid detection by pirates.
IconDyeAutumn.png Autumn Dye Orange Nightmare The monks from the Order of Yir crush the first leaves of autumn into tea, and apply it to their robes during the Ceremony of the Harvest Moon.
IconDyeCardinal.png Cardinal Dye Dark Red Nightmare Once reserved only for nobility, this bright red pigment is now donned by both the influential and the courageous.
IconDyeDesert.png Desert Dye Light Brown Nightmare Carried by the merchant caravans of the Dry Steppes to reflect the sun and hide dust.
IconDyeElegant.png Elegant Dye Fuchsia Hell The bright colors of the Hezna flower are always a favorite amongst the fashionable elite of Caldeum.
IconDyeForester.png Forester's Dye Green Inferno The Wardens of Duncraig wear coats of this color while patrolling the woods for poachers and wolves.
IconDyeGolden.png Golden Dye Gold Yellow Inferno Flecks of gold are melted into boiling oil to create a rare pigment used strictly by nobility.
IconDyeInfernal.png Infernal Dye Red Inferno The bottle is warm to the touch, seeming to flicker with liquid fire.
IconDyeLovely.png Lovely Dye Pink Hell Named for the beauty of Queen Asylla, who once had a thousand gowns created in this color as a gift from King Leoric.
IconDyeMariner.png Mariner's Dye Blue Hell Officers of vessels navigating the Skovos Isles wear deep blue garments to indicate seniority.
IconDyePale.png Pale Dye (Removed from game) Beige Removed Many commoners use sunlight and minerals to bleach their garments an off-white color. Possibly removed from the game. Same as "Bottled Cloud."
IconDyePurity.png Purity Dye White Inferno This mysterious mixture seems to make any material it is applied to impossible to soil, swirling and coalescing like a cloud.
IconDyeRanger.png Ranger's Dye Yellow Green Nightmare Hunters and bandits alike use the bark of the Gorsenna plant to blend in with the shadows of the forest.
IconDyeRogue.png Rogue's Dye (Removed from game) Dark Gray Removed The preferred shade of those who do not wish to be seen, especially at night. Possibly removed from the game. Same as "Bottled Smoke."
IconDyeRoyal.png Royal Dye Purple Nightmare For many years this color was forbidden to all citizens of Kingsport outside the Royal Family.
IconDyeSpring.png Spring Dye Light Green Normal Traditionally worn during the Hearth Festival in Bramwell to celebrate the first thaw of springtime.
IconDyeSummer.png Summer Dye Yellow Hell This brightly colored dye is extracted from spices shipped from Kurast at great expense.
IconDyeTanner.png Tanner's Dye Brown Normal Leatherworkers use a variety of oils to seal their skins with a rich, natural brown pigment.
IconDyeVanishing.png Vanishing Dye Invisible Normal Causes materials to vanish before your very eyes! Be sure not to apply this to your undergarments.
IconDyeWinter.png Winter Dye Gray Normal Jars of crushed Veilwood petals are buried in the snow throughout the winter to create this popular hue.
IconDyeBottledCloud.png Bottled Cloud
(Exclusive collector edition dye)
Cloudy White CE The gentle wind of the heavens cools the air, infusing the area with a soft glow. This dye has unlimited use.
IconDyeBottledSmoke.png Bottled Smoke
(Exclusive collector edition dye)
Smoky Black CE An eerie howl emanates from within as creeping shadows spill forth. This dye has unlimited use.

[edit] Special Dyes

In addition to the normal dyes listed in the table below, there are two additional "dyes" which are not pigments themselves, but have special functions:

  • All-Soap's Miraculous Dye Remover: Returns a single piece of armor to its original color.
    • Lore: The miraculous, mystical tonic that removes stains, cures rotfoot and tastes great! It's got what plants crave!

Warning: Do Not Drink. (Note: "It's got what plants crave!" is an Easter Egg reference to the film Idiocracy.)

  • Vanishing Dye: Renders a single piece of armor invisible.
    • Lore: Causes materials to vanish before your very eyes! Be sure not to apply this to your undergarments.

The vanishing dye will remove the graphics for the piece of equipment in question, leaving the character in their native or "naked" state. The "naked" state is the basic look of the character before they put on any items. So it will appear that, for whichever item slot, that the character is not wearing an item, even though the stats and benefits of the item are still in effect. The dye remover, then, is able to remove the vanishing dye, making the vanished piece of gear "reappear", and also is able to remove any pigment-based dye as well.

The short video below shows the process of vanishing and then removing the vanishing dye:

[edit] Purchasing Dyes

Dyes are purchased from vendors, and the dyes that can be purchased are separated by difficulty level. Note that Bottled Cloud and Bottled Smoke are only available in the Collector's Edition and cannot be purchased in-game. Dyes that are sold in a difficulty level will also appear in the next difficulty level, but their cost isn't increased. Dyes are not guaranteed to spawn on a vendor; they have a randomized assortment. Re-rolling a game will cause the vendor to have a different stock of dyes.

[edit] Dye Costs

The cost will vary for dyes depending on which difficulty they are purchased in.

  • Normal Mode: Dyes cost 360 gold.
  • Nightmare Mode: Dyes cost 1020 gold.
  • Hell Mode: Dyes cost 2160 gold.
  • Inferno Mode: Dyes cost 5040 gold.

Some special vendors, such as Rodger the Alchemist or Javad the Merchant, will offer special discounts on items after a vendor-based event. For Rodger, once the player begins The Sacrificial Hermit event, he will sell the player dyes at half cost.

A dye purchased for 360 gold in normal mode will still cost 360 in nightmare mode, and so forth for the higher difficulty levels as well.

[edit] Normal

The following dyes can be purchased in normal difficulty:

  • All-Soap's Miraculous Dye Remover
  • Vanishing Dye
  • Tanner's Dye
  • Winter Dye
  • Aquatic Dye
  • Spring Dye

[edit] Nightmare

The following dyes can be purchased in nightmare difficulty:

  • All-Soap's Miraculous Dye Remover
  • Vanishing Dye
  • Cardinal Dye
  • Ranger's Dye
  • Desert Dye
  • Autumn Dye
  • Royal Dye

[edit] Hell

The following dyes can be purchased in hell difficulty:

  • All-Soap's Miraculous Dye Remover
  • Vanishing Dye
  • Lovely Dye
  • Summer Dye
  • Elegant Dye
  • Mariner's Dye

[edit] Inferno

The following dyes can be purchased in Inferno difficulty:

  • All-Soap's Miraculous Dye Remover
  • Vanishing Dye
  • Infernal Dye
  • Abyssal Dye
  • Forester's Dye
  • Golden Dye
  • Purity Dye

[edit] Dye Vendors

The following vendors are able to sell dyes to the player:

[edit] Official Comments

A Barbarian who, quite frankly, doesn't care what you think.

More information about how dyes will be obtained and how they will function in the game came from the Diablo 3 community manager, Bashiok, who answered some fan questions about armor dyes after they were revealed at Gamescom in August 2010.

'''Bashiok:'''I wouldn't take the mechanics of how dyes will be accessed as gospel just yet, there have been many ideas on integrating them with other systems, but for the sake of implementation they're drops. They could stay that way, we'll just have to see.

''Will the dyes be used solely on individual armor pieces or will there be patterns that change the entire scheme of the character's attire as well?''
'''Bashiok: '''There are specific slots that are able to be dyed, and it's generally the slots where dying them would actually matter (ie they have some surface area to be dyed).

The dye system is also not a tinting system. And by that I mean we don't apply a color shift to the entire piece of armor. Each piece of dyable armor is specifically designed and built with certain areas that can have their color changed. It could be as simple as a strip of cloth running down a chainmail chest piece, or as complex as an entire robe. We hand craft and designate these areas, and in combination with specific colors we've chosen, we can allow players to have a lot of additional visual variety, while maintaining a controlled look and style to the game.

''Are these dyes single colors only?''
'''Bashiok:''' They're technically a two color gradient, which allows us to achieve a more natural looking coloration, but for the sake of simplicity, yes they're presented as a single color.

I think the idea of having dyes apply effects in different ways is awesome, but don't forget there are plenty of other things going on gear that could be the basis for those types of effects as well.

In a fansite Q&A[3], Blizzard confirmed that there were no special effects on dyes outside of changing an item's color:

Q. Will the Collector’s Edition dyes have any sort of “particle effect” on the items, or are they simply dying them with a unique color?
A. No they don’t have particle effects. For now they can technically only be single color gradients.

[edit] Dye Similarities and Details

Strike a pose.

While it is possible to tell the difference between a separate dye color, it isn't always easy to tell the difference between them. Sometimes the only difference can be gleaned in lighting. An example of this is seen to the left, where the Demon Hunter's shoulder armor is the summer dye, while the gloves are golden dye. Another thing to note from this image is that certain armor pieces, sometimes entire sets, have native colors that cannot be changed. In the case of this Demon Hunter, who is wearing mostly plate gear, the green fabric she is wearing is part of the armor tier's theme, and the color cannot be dyed. It is permanent.

Dye details.jpg

Any "groupings" of colors are going to be similar, sometimes hard to discern depending upon the lighting of the area the player is residing in at that particular time.

However, Blizzard has shown that they've stayed true to their time-honored tradition of attention to detail. In the colorful image to the right, one may notice that even the hairs on the tassels of this Monk's helmet have been dyed, tassels which, from inside of the game, are incredibly small and difficult to see. The same is true for most items. The Monk's Astral boots, for example, are natively blue with silver metal adorning the middle and sides. When the boot is dyed, the blue is dyed the color the player has chosen, but the metal is also given a slight tint towards the color of the dye to compliment the rest of the set the player is wearing, which isn't done with most items, but is needed with such a thematically strong armor piece.

[edit] Mixing and Matching

There is nothing stopping a player from choosing a different color dye for each piece of armor, besides maybe some fear of karmic retribution for all of the retinas that are sure to be burned out. There are even achievements aimed at having the player dye their gear certain colors.

Blizzard has provided a very fair range of colors, perhaps some that players wouldn't deem "fitting" for the Diablo franchise, but options are never a bad thing for most players.

One key observation when it comes to the similarity between the dyes, is that perhaps Blizzard was aiming to not have any single dye dominant amongst the playerbase. There will surely be those fringe players who enjoy entering the arena with their fully-decked Barbarian wielding a two-handed axe and a full set of pink plate armor, but the majority of players tend to gravitate towards the more popular colors in games which allow such things, which are almost always red and black.

Blizzard has covered red with two dyes, Infernal and Cardinal, but the Abyssal dye is not black. There is no real black dye. This may be intentional on Blizzard's part to keep players from all using the same dye and ending up looking identical in the end game, but only release will tell.

Until then, players may feel free to taste the rainbow.

It's my party, and I'll dye if I want to.

[edit] Multi-dyed Items?

Players have often wondered if an item could be dyed in two or more colors. No, or at least the developers weren't planning to enable this, as of December 2011.[4]

Unfortunately, placing say, red with black and gold on a single item is not possible. You will only be able to use one single dye on an item at a time.

[edit] Dye Visuals

[edit] References