Much Ado About Colors

Since the resource page went up on the official Diablo III site, there has been quite a bit of discussion about the - Demon Hunter Demon Hunter's Hatred and Discipline globe. Many people have criticized its colors as being too close to the red and blue of Life and Mana, while other people have come to its defense and noted that red and blue are simply easily distinguishable colors.

In a thread started by our own Sixen, Zarhym made a lengthy response describing the reasoning behind the color choices for Hatred and Discipline.

Official Blizzard Quote:

White and black, for example, would be bad. One purpose of the color scheme is to ensure it's very readable when your focus is on the game world and not the UI. Given the dark vibe of Sanctuary and the way the UI fits in with that feel, black simply wouldn't pop out at all. It'd be much more difficult to track your Hatred (which is the resource you'll be managing most frequently) peripherally when background colors are so frequently on the darker end of the color spectrum. Just the same, the suggestion of white for Discipline seems only to stand in contrast to black which, again, just wouldn't work.

Hatred was given a deep red color to give it plenty of distinction from barbarian Fury, plus red is just an angry color (refer to my avatar and personality). We also mixed in a bit of black with the red to further push Hatred toward the demon hunter's color kit.

Now, given that both resources are displayed in a single globe, it's really important to us that the colors effectively oppose one another. Unlike the color red thematically fitting Hatred, Discipline isn't a concept that has such a universal color representation. As such, the most important thing becomes readability. And the best way to make sure Discipline stands apart from Hatred is to make it color opposite, which is blue. White could have been used, but it would overpower the red-colored Hatred due its value strength (we want the values to be close together) and white doesn’t support the notion of these concepts being opposed to one another. And once again we mixed in some black with the blue to fit with the demon hunter color kit.
As Zarhym points out, its important to remember that you're only really going to be looking at this, or really any, resource globe with your peripheral vision. Otherwise you'll have to be constantly taking your eye off of the action occurring on screen. As a result, the colors have to be extremely distinguishable, which limits the choices more than one might think at first.

Zarhym's response also caused people to point out that red and green, not blue, are complimentary colors. Zarhym was quick to point out that there were other problems with using green.

Official Blizzard Quote:

It's not that we overlooked green, we just definitely didn't want to go with that. It's way too tied to poison in Diablo. It wouldn't feel right.
The same reasoning was also provided for why Blizzard didn't use a green 'voodoo' or 'mojo' resource for the - Witch Doctor Witch Doctor, which was a popular suggestion. Some mock-ups were even made in this forums thread, and although they look cool, it also looks very similar to your health globe when you are poisoned in - Diablo II Diablo II.

Not only would a green resource globe look a bit too close to a poisoned health globe, but red and blue are actually farther apart on the color spectrum than red and green. By pointing out a post on theSkaBoss, Zarhym pointed us all to a small lesson on the color spectrum, which actually matters more than placement on the color wheel when distinguishing colors.

Blue and red, however... step away from your color wheels and look at a map of the spectrum. You seeing what I'm seeing? The thing about blue and red is that as far as the visible spectrum goes, they sit on opposite edges of the map. (Don't talk to me about violet, violet doesn't get to participate in this conversation.) Blue and red take on a lot of roles as opposites when you start talking to astronomers, astrophysicists, and all those smart people. The simplest example: redshift and blueshift. Basically, if something producing light is moving away from you, it looks more red, and if something producing light is moving toward you, it looks more blue. This happens because of the wavelength of the light emitted is "shortened" or "lengthened" (not really, but that's what it looks like from your frame of reference,) by the object moving toward or away from you, respectively.

Look, the point is that the colors fit together in that ONE orb for the same reason that the colors fit together in two different orbs in the last two games. The colors are just good design opposites.

Many games (including the previous Diablo games) use red and blue as opposites, because what matters most is how far apart they are on the color spectrum, not whether or not they sit across from each other on the color wheel. As a result, if you want to make them as distinguishable as possible, blue and red is really the only choice. For the same reason that they didn't go for a 'yin-yang' design as suggested by some members, red and blue allow you to get a good idea of how much of each resource you have while still keeping your attention on the action.

So, after those lengthy and sometimes sarcastic explanations, what do you think about the Demon Hunter's resource globe? Has your opinion changed or does it remain the same? Feel free to discuss your views in the topic below.


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