Demon Hunter’s Resource Bulb Color Change?

As soon as we got our first (ninja!) look at the DiabloWikiDemon Hunter‘s DiabloWikiHatred/Discipline resource bulb back in early August, fans began debating the color choices. The fact that the split circle is essentially identical to the health/mana display in Torchlight 1 (but with moar spikes!) was good for some laughs, but the main issue for most was that the colors were sub-optimal. Red/Orange for DiabloWikiHatred and blue for DiabloWikiDiscipline seemed odd, given that we already had red for health, yellow/orange for DiabloWikiFury, and blue for DiabloWikiMana. Were there no other colors discernible to the human eye?

The obvious color choice, given the names “Hatred” and “Discipline” is black/white. Except that black wouldn’t be visible in 90% of the dungeons in the game, and white was already taken (sorta) by Spirit. After all, look at it in function, not beauty. The priority isn’t the appearance of a full bulb when you’re studying it in your browser, but whether you can tell how much of the resource you have, in a millisecond, while fighting for your life, with your peripheral vision, on a wide variety of monitors/video cards/brightness and hue settings/etc. And that’s why the resources have to be brightly-colored and unmistakable, and you can’t use black or dark brown or dark red or anything along those lines.

That said… couldn’t they have avoided repeating dark blue?Well yes, actually. If you’re set on blue as a nice contrasting color for orange, then how about changing Mana, the other blue resource bulb in the game? Long before the DH’s bulb was revealed, Blizzard had floated the idea of renaming the Witch Doctor’s resource to “voodoo” and turning it into a bubbly, slimy, swamp green. (At that time they were considering changing the Wizard back to mana, and switching the WD to something different.) I like that idea for the WD, and if they did that today they’d free up blue for Discipline. Alas, it seems like they’re set on the colors, as those nifty animated gifs showed.

The DH resource color debate continues though, at great length, on forums. Here’s a partial quote from a CM’s reply; click through for the whoooooooole thing.

Zarhym: 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.

– The current colors were chosen so you can easily distinguish them while focusing on the game world.
– Red is a color of anger, perfect for the Hatred a demon hunter feels for adversaries.
– Blue is more a color of calming, reflecting the Discipline a demon hunter has for advanced combat tactics and strategies.

One thing that’s odd about what the CM is saying there… isn’t the left side of the DH’s bulb dark orange? It’s not just my monitor, right? As I see it, that color is nowhere near red, which is the color of the health bulb. I’d actually prefer the DH’s color to be a much darker red, more of a maroon or burgundy, if I had my way. But perhaps if it were that color it would be too dark to show up clearly on some very dark monitors, which is why they can’t use black for the color in the first place.

The whole post is below. The conversation eventually turns into some more DH play stuff, rather than all just color comments.

Personally, I’m not feelin’ the Red/Blue for Hatred and Discipline, especially because both Red and Blue are already used Health and Mana, respectively. I propose that Black (Hatred) and White (Discipline) be used instead, as they portray both ends of the spectrum, which is exactly what the DH’s split resource is supposed to portray. Hatred sounds to me like a style that is reckless, harmful, and like the Sith, whereas Discipline is supposed to be the complete opposite: calm, cool, collected, and pure. I just feel like Black and White would represent those Ying/Yang styled emotions much better than Red and Blue would. Perhaps, if people have trouble seeing the Black portion, we can have White orbs floating around the Black side and Black orbs floating around the White side, to even further represent the Ying/Yang.

Some of you may say, “Sixen, we’re already using White for the Monk’s Spirit!” Without changing much of anything else, I would then propose we use either Green or Yellow (preferably Yellow) for the Monk’s Spirit. Although I understand why White would potentially be used for Spirit, as everyone imagines ghosts and actual spirits as white figures… In which case, if White is still the preferred color for Spirit, the DH resources could be Black and Yellow instead (no, I’m not a Steelers fan), which I still think represents Hatred and Discipline better than Red and Blue do. Obviously this isn’t game breaking, I just think that these color changes would fit the style of the resources much better.

(Note: I’d have put this in the DH Class Forum if it didn’t also have to deal with the Monk.)

EDIT: On the same topic, I also like the idea of giving the WD a Green “Mojo” resource to get rid of Mana completely. Though, in my idea, if we end up using Green for Spirit, Mojo can be Yellow, :).

Here’s some mockups of my proposed DH resource, courtesy of OneTwo:



Zarhym: The decision to go with the colors chosen for Hatred and Discipline was made very carefully, and after a good deal of deliberation. In a lot of instances, it came down to what wouldn’t work, as opposed to what would work.

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.

So Sixen, with all of the above perspective and design thinking in mind, is there still a strong feeling we should change these resource colors? Before you answer that, I’ll also note that the colors of Hatred and Discipline do tie in thematically to many of the demon hunter’s abilities. You’ll see a lot of abilities that cost Hatred have red hues, while Discipline abilities have a blue and sometimes purplish effect (purple wasn’t chosen for the resource orb since it shares red properties).

While I await Sixen’s answer to my above question, I’ll ask everyone else: should the beta be delayed further for Sixen so we can overhaul the resource orbs and color kits for demon hunter ability effects? :p

The bottom line is the look of the resource orbs is easy to pick at when you stare at them in the article I wrote, especially given you can’t currently play the game to find something else to discuss. But their colors weren’t chosen under the idea that you’d be staring directly at them — they were chosen so you can effectively manage your resources peripherally while focusing on killing lots and lots of dudes!


– The current colors were chosen so you can easily distinguish them while focusing on the game world.
– Red is a color of anger, perfect for the Hatred a demon hunter feels for adversaries.
– Blue is more a color of calming, reflecting the Discipline a demon hunter has for advanced combat tactics and strategies.
– Sixen is a weirdo. 😀

If your goal is to make Discipline stand out by using complementary colours (aka. opposite colours), according to our visual cortex, the proper selection should be green, as you will NEVER be able to mistake one for the other. As for how it fits into the lore and the dungeon design? I have no idea :P.
Zarhym: 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.

And, to be quite frank, I was blown away by him making such a thread. I pretty much consider it an abuse of his power.
Zarhym: MVPs don’t have power. They’re given a distinguishing text color in recognition of them being valuable posters within the community. His feedback was perfectly constructive and that’s what we look for on the forums. 🙂

I was just giving him a hard time ’cause he knows I’m aware how enthusiastic he is about Blizzard games.

Why delay beta for this? Why not release beta with the colors as they are now, and get feedback from testers as to whether or not it should be changed? I mean, there’s a good chance it’ll look better in game, so this is probably something that should be decided based on testing feedback, rather than reactions to a couple screenshots.
Zarhym: I was totally kidding. In my experiences with the demon hunter, paying attention to resources in the heat of battle is pretty easy with the current colors and layout. It feels real good. 😉

Honestly, I’d love to see a system where it’s one resource ball, but if you don’t balance your uses of hatred/discipline skills then skills of the type you overuse cost progressively more resources. While I realize this isn’t quite the same as what we have now, I think it’d be 1. interesting, 2. better in terms of UI simplicity. Either that or combo points, what’s not to love about combo points (and their sisters: holy power, warlock shards, dk runes, etc).
Zarhym: That’s just really not how the demon hunter is fundamentally designed. The abilities that cost Discipline are much different and more situational than the abilities that cost Hatred. We don’t want there to be a balancing act, per se, in managing these resources. The vast majority of damage you do to monsters is based on your Hatred. The abilities to escape monsters or keep them at a distance cost Discipline. So you will tend to jump back between them, but it’s not at an equal rate — which is why Hatred regenerates much faster than Discipline as well.

As someone with some knowledge of basic visual design, I would just like to point out at everyone who got smiley face stickers on their color wheels in elementary school that the spectrum of color is a much more complex beast than pigment-mixing can handle when it comes to appealing to the human eye.

Obviously blue is not the opposite of red. However, from a design standpoint, consider this: green and red would look stupid together in the orb. People would see it and call Blizzard idiots. Just, never been a dumber pack of morons ever.

SO, now we move on to other complementary colors. Fun fact: yellow is not a very good opponent to red. They fit too well together. Buddies is what they are.

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.

Whew, now that we’re done talking about blue and red as opposites, I will just say that the red looks like dark, evil fire; and the blue looks like deep, clear, slightly-dyed-more-blue-for-effect water. Fire and water are not only good opposites, but they represent the themes of hatred and discipline quite nicely, so I’m a big fan of the DH orb.
Zarhym: This post is boss.

I absolutely agree that Red and Green would be terrible choices due to the inability to distinguish them apart for RED-GREEN COLOUR BLIND PEOPLE. From a visually pleasing perspective for the average person, I think a Deep Red and Deep Green would look good with visual enhancers that are already used on the various orbs. It just isn’t practical.
Zarhym: Yea. Even ignoring the fact that green very strongly represents poisons in the Diablo universe, giving Hatred red and Discipline any shade of green makes me feel like singing this:

I wasn’t trying to be very technical about the color spectrum or light wavelengths in my original post, so for those pointing at the flaw in me saying red and blue are color opposite, well done. 🙂

As I said before, we narrowed it down to red and blue after determining all of the looks that wouldn’t work, then mixed in some black to fit the demon hunter color kit and distinguish Hatred and Discipline colors from those of Life and Mana. What we’ve ended up with is an orb that (a) looks and feels a way we’re satisfied with, (b) clearly distinguishes the two resources, and (c) is easily readable for demon hunters in the head of battle.

i dont like the idea of a split resource orb. looks lame and [email protected]#.

“lets just put a line through it”

edit: i also think it deviates too much from the other resource orbs. when looking at them all together it looks like an odd ball or a sore thumb in comparison with the others. all blizzard had to do was give it mana and be done with it.
Zarhym: But the gameplay of the demon hunter is actually very fun and much more dynamic with these resources. Trust me! If you think this orb split looks weird stacked up next to all of the other ones in my article, I’m really glad then that you’ll never see them stacked like that while actually playing the game. :p

The feedback about the various orbs — in particular witch doctor Mana, monk Spirit, and demon hunter Hatred/Discipline — has been passed along to the development team. That said, we’re very confident these orbs appropriately support gameplay and will not be a point of contention once you folks are ravaging ghouls. 😀

So can I get new stress ball colors then? I want a white one cause I’ll be rollin a monk.
Zarhym: I support this idea. 😉

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41 thoughts on “Demon Hunter’s Resource Bulb Color Change?

    • TLDR for you:
      Zarhym knows green is opposite of red, not blue.
      Red was chosen because anger/hatred is associated with the color red.
      Blue is visually distinct from red and easy to tell apart in heated situations so it was chosen as the color for discipline..

    • “This wall of text. What. The. Hell.”

      Hey, I warned you in the intro. 😉  That’s why I quoted the key bit and put the rest below the fold.  Though the mock up different color resource bulbs were pretty cool.

  1. I think all they need to do is make it a darker red color, I think that would go quite well with the black that is already mixed in.
    I also think the black/white orb looks pretty sweet. They could change fury to red (fury sounds like it should be red to me), then spirit would be changed to yellow.

  2. Yeah, I’m not feeling the split orb either. I think it looks pretty cludgy. Like they just couldnt think of a sleeker idea. I’d much prefer if they could come up with a way to remove the divider, and just have the two halves of the orb contain the appropriate colour swirls, or some other way to have the two resources play off each other (maybe the more you use one type of skill the more it dominates the bulb, so you have to balance to make sure you have enough of either at any time?)

    I wouldn’t even mind if they just went to a single resource. Aren’t these kinds of quirky mechanics exactly why they bailed on the “stoplight” Fury and Instability mechanics?

    And yeah, the colors are bad. If green is too closely tied to poison in the Diablo world, well, red and blue are even more closely tied to health and mana… Not sure how to fix that, though, except giving the WD a new resource, or going with something with a lot of depth and flow like the wizard.

    • have ever heard of “simplicity for the sake of clarity”
      do you really think you would add to the dh- class by making the ressource bulb a red green christmas tree vortex ?
      im so glad Blizzard has people in charge which do actually design the game with artistic expertise and not just ; opinion – which is easily twisted and influenced by our sorroundings.

  3. A dark red is the only colour that speaks ‘hatred’ to me. I cant understand why black/white is a good idea. It’s crap.

    • so you just figured out that different people have different opinions ? grats-thats gotta be a milestone for you.

    • Well black is more “hatred” than any other color. And white is just the opposite, though I don’t see why it necessarily has any connection to “discipline.”  But dark red = too hard to see for people with dark displays. Apparently.

      What color would discipline be, anyway? I mean assuming this was the first resource in the game, and they could make it any color they wanted. For some reason I think of cerulean (sky blue), as that’s kind of a meditation/peace/clear sky sort of color.  What other color or pattern has a meditation/concentration/discipline connection? Maybe a kind of forest green, like the leaves of a bamboo grove, rustling in a gentle breeze?

      • well ideally discipline is the absence of feelings in your judgment  for that matter i would go with somethign sublte  Blue is good , but i would make it a shade greyer – less saturated , on top i would add a texture with round soft calm forms.
        i like the color scheme of harted so far – but i would make the animeted texture more angular and sharp, which is a pretty good representation of hartred
        that being said i like the color scheme but i think they could improve upon the animation of the texture which animates it

        • Wouldn’t a darker/grayer shade make it harder to quickly and accurately estimate the amount of resource in the orb against a dark background, though? That’s why the mock-ups aren’t really working for me, they’re just too dark to be practical.

      • Red is usually associated with power. Blue is usually associated with serenity. Black is usually associated with mystery. And in the Diablo universe, green is usually associated with poison.

        With that in mind, red just stands out to me as being the most representitive of Hatred.

        Whether it is too hard to see with it being dark and what not is a whole ‘nother matter.

  4. I understand perfectly how people feel about wanting these colors to be more representive, but I’m glad that they’re choosing to keep it as is for those of us who don’t want to stare at our resources for longer than we should.
    As for those downing the system itself, I think people just want a more simplistic resource mechanic. They feel its bad enough they have to keep watch over both their health and one resource, but a second? It’s almost asking for too much.
    For me, I say its fine. It looks cool, is distinctive both visually and from a design perspective, and is an added challenge for those willing to take it on. It will be a nice change of pace from when I retire from my other characters for awhile to try out such a distinct playstyle.

    • ye why do we have ressources at all – we should get rid of them , and make all abilties cost Health. i also think that 6 skills at a time is a bit overkill, how am I supposed to split my attention 6 ways, i only want Whirlwind but 6 times stronger hurr durr 😀

  5. senseless discussion about something thats for sake… it comes as it comes, save your breath for breathing, as long as one doesn’t make his mind up about every shit here and there the breath is not fully a lost of oxygen.

    PS: The Style on the right side fits the most… it’s a bit darker and gloomier… oh wait…

  6. Not too concerned about the DH’s resources but the use of mana for the WD doesn’t feel right. Surely mana, the traditional magic resource used by wizards/mages for decades, would make more sense as the Wizard’s resource. A sludgy viscous green substance like ‘voodoo’ makes a lot more sense contextually and is a better fit for the WD’s colour kit. Blue mana would fit nicely into the Wizard’s kit.
    I don’t buy into the whole ‘green is the colour of poison thing’. Your energy resource is never poisoned. They have no problem using red and blue(health and mana) for the DH. If anything, the already established poison connotations would play into the WD’s character if they used it as his resource.

  7. Why cant we have those colors set on default with ability to attune it or change it to whatever color we want?

    • Because it’s better if educated professionals make those decisions for us, since they’re likely to know what will work out best in regards to gameplay. Ultimately, the job of a game designer is to design the game experience for us so that we (hopefully) enjoy their product as much as possible.

      • Moonfrost your answer is not logical. I said default + ability to change it to whatever color we want. That does not mean you cannot use colors decided by professional team. Please do not answer at every cost thanks.

          • Wow, lots of trolls here today. Lets make this clear for you to comprehend.

            Hatred is set by default on red and (+blue discipline).
            I like more black and white and dont give a damn about red and blue.
            I go options, uncheck default, pick from list of colors.
            I set it on black and white for me.
            I like it more now. I dont give a crap about what you like. I like my black and white.
            I enjoy game more now. I did not screw it for anyone else than myself.
            Its your 5sec turn now.

        • If Blizzard is basing their color choice on functionality (i.e. compatibility and readability) then any change players make will only be for the worse, because players know less about game design than professional designers. That’s the whole point of this thread – Zarhym explaining why black/white etc wouldn’t work, because he apparently knows more about basic color theory than the guy who suggested the alternative looks.

          Would I mind being able to change the color, personally? No. Would I mind it if it delayed D3’s release by an unknown amount of time? Absolutely. It would be a waste of development time to implement and test a feature that would probably just make players’ experience worse in the end.

  8. Im thinking a deep red with irregular flecks of black floating inside for hatred with its obvious colour connotations , and a blueish silver for Discipline, colours that represent calm authority & stability

  9. Heh… it’s nice seeing some people actually speaking with some base in color Theory on the thread…

    Personal opinion: To enhance the contrast, red should be deeper and darker (but not so much, for visual issues, still the current choice looks well) and the discipline blue should actaully be more cyan. A bluish cyan would give a great visual contrast between the two and people would attach it easierly to an abstract concept like Discipline…

  10. This is the art controversy all over.

    1. Right now they are in fact dark orange and dark blue, not the highly saturated red and blue of health and mana.
    2. Orange and blue are true complementary colors, and with the low saturation of the orange they don’t jump out and distract your eye, yet they are easy to see and tell apart.
    3. The orange and blue look a lot better than the other three samples in the post.

  11. The cyan-ish blue idea sounds just right to me. But if there was gonna be a wall of text about the resource bulbs, I woulda much prefered it to have been about the WD getting something besides blue/mana. I understand why it shouldn’t be green but there are still other colors that suit the WD far better than bright blue.

  12. If we’re thinking of peripheral vision in terms of color perception, then we should refocus more on the perception of motion.

    For the most part, our peripheral vision is predominated by rod cells, which are very good at distinguishing motion, but very bad at perceiving and differentiating colors and shape. Color is best perceived by our foveal vision, or when we directly look at something, thereby directing the light to our fovea which is densely populated by cone cells, or receptors that are very sensitive to color perception.

    There have been published studies on what colors are best perceived by our peripheral vision. If I remember correctly, yellow is the best perceived color in the periphery, even beating red. School buses are colored yellow using that specific reasoning.

    Lastly, there has been a debate about traffic signal colors being insufficient in sending the proper message to people. There have been studies which suggest motion changes in conjunction with traffic light signals vs. steady traffic light colors to help drivers discern the message better via their peripheral vision.

    Thanks for reading! 😀 /end ^___^

  13. you guys dont know what ur talkijng about get reaal!! i will beat u all in d3 wiht any fcolor bulb u dont know what u talkin bout i tell u waht bobby i sell propaneand propane accseorys

  14. I don’t really care for it simply because it looks kind of cheap, and as was posted before, just like the torchlight resource bulbs.

    I get the reasoning behind the choice. I read the post. I’m not going to argue or flame anyone for it, and it isn’t big deal. I just think it looks kind of meh. I appreciate that they are separated (as I didn’t like the side-by-side bulbs in TL) but I would prefer it if it was separated…more. If that makes sense.

    I really like the rest of them. The WD bulb, if you stare at it, almost looks like it has a skull streaking across it every now and then.

  15. agreed. give the WD voodoo or mojo or some other green resource and switch arcane power to mana. purple is fine though, works well with the color of arcane stuff in d3.

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