Those readers who follow me on Twitter have been treated to several whiny tweets all centering around my NIN glamour over the course of last night and this morning. I’m frustrated about a number of things, from dorky things like not wanting to wear all black when Alahra’s title is The White to general frustrations with the Iga Ningi that I’ve talked about before, but what’s really bugging me right now is that the system for Dyes in FFXIV just doesn’t seem to have strong underlying principles, resulting in the whole thing feeling oftentimes inconsistent. I suspect this is because the team determines how each and every item dyes, individually, rather than the Dyes themselves operating according in a single, codified manner.
There seem to exist three main ways that any given item will dye: 1) the item will mostly take on the shade of the chosen color and another, lighter version of that color; 2) the item will take on the shade of the chosen color and another, darker version of that color; or 3) the item will take on the chosen color and nothing else, with significant parts of the item not changing in color at all. All of these, individually, are often no big deal, but when mixing items from disparate sets, if you have one item that follows the first way and another item that follows the second (or third) way, it can often be impossible to make them really match (this is especially made worse by the fact that many of the “secondary” colors don’t match any of the Dyes we have available to us, so you can’t use different shades of say, blue, to create a unified look). This frequently means that you can only use items together that all fall under the same “pattern” if you want things to be cohesive across your look.
Even within the three given possibilities, the way given items dye doesn’t seem to follow much in the way of a procedure. Take the Iga Attire for Ninja, for instance. By default, the set has two colors: it’s primarily black, with various bits being blue. This holds true across the entire set. While there are other colors, they’re not part of the main aesthetic.
When you dye the set, however, it takes on a two-tone appearance like the second pattern: the primary color and a darker version of that color. The bizarre thing, however, is that the dye splits the black portions of the item, rather than keeping all of the black portions the same color (in the screenshot above, white) and making the blue portions the grey color. The blue largely stays: but the even weirder part is that, on the body, some of the blue does become grey: the chainmail on the sleeves. This results in the dyed Iga items having three colors to worry about, instead of the two that it has in the default color scheme. It just feels like the secondary colors, when dyed, are assigned to the wrong portion of the item, or aren’t applied consistently, and that makes really well-designed items in their default colors have a completely different look just from a simple color change. It’s awkward.
Other times, even items from the same set don’t dye with complete consistency, with shared elements dyeing in different ways, resulting in mismatching. The female Expeditioner’s Attire provides a decent example of what I mean.
The straps on the Expeditioner’s Pantalettes match the default color of the corresponding Thighboots, but the parts that dye on them are different! When you dye the Pantalettes, the straps stay the same color, but everything brown that matches the straps on the Thighboots goes two-tone. They would work much better if, at the least, the leather cinch at the top of the boots would stay brown (or if the straps on the Pantalettes dyed).
I think if I had to choose one of the dyeing patterns to be the default, it would actually be the third type (with one of the item’s main color staying no matter what), as it actually gets around both of these common issues, and also provides a solid basis for combining items from different sets together.
The most recent example is the new Ironworks gear. It actually dyes with a blend of the second and third ways, but the crucial thing here is that the “secondary” color only affects minor parts of the top. That way, it doesn’t become something you need to really work around when you’re creating a new look. With the black color sticking around, you’ve got plenty of ways to pair gloves and boots in black to go along with it, and you’re not stuck trying to match that dark secondary shade with other parts of your glamour.
So, the point of the story is that I haven’t gotten anywhere in my renewed attempts to finally get that perfect look with the Iga Ningi. For now, I’m back to my old standby because I was tired of not looking like a Ninja, but it’s not where I want to be.