Warframe

The new colorblindness modes are UNACCEPTABLY bad

Warframe7 - The new colorblindness modes are UNACCEPTABLY bad
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To start off: I have protanomaly, which means I don't see red as clearly as most people. This is doesn't affect my life too much, as I can still see red, it just doesn't stand out to me as much as it does to other people. However, it's particularly annoying in many video games, where a lot of important information (health bars, enemy highlights, objective indicators, state indicators, etc.) are typically highlighted in red.

A lot of games, especially more recently, have begun implementing "colorblind modes" to help people like me. Unfortunately, a lot of these games seem to have no idea why these modes are necessary and how they should be implemented. In fact, many games (including Doom, Borderlands, and now, unfortunately Warframe) seem to think that simply removing red altogether is a good fix for protanopes not being able to see red.

I honestly don't know where to begin with how much of a hot mess these colorblindness options are. Firstly, they filter the entire game, mutating the entire color spectrum and tinting everything some shade of sickly green or worse. In a game where fashion and color choices are as important as in Warframe, it's infuriating that the chosen way for colorblind people to experience the game simultaneously ruins any attempt to fashionframe some pleasing colors for others to see. If you're colorblind, you're at least seeing colors roughly the same as everyone else, just less clearly, but the colors you see in those modes are not at all what other players are going to see, and so any fashionframe you attempt is going to look hideous outside of that mode.

And even worse is that these filters don't even help. The protanopia and deuteranopia options seem to simply simulate what it's like to have those types of colorblindness, reducing reds and tinting greens, transforming health bars into the same shade of dead, lifeless gray as"invulnerability". Not even a nice magenta or a deep forest green, just flat gray. For health. I mean come on, getting rid of color saturation for important UI elements for people who already have trouble seeing them is the exact opposite of productive, DE. And I don't even know what's going on in tritanopia mode, it transforms the game into a neon Mountain-Dew-colored rave, omitting a lot of detail and contrast for the sake of being horrifyingly noisy and bright.

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Please DE, you can do better than this. I am so tired of half-assed colorblindness options in my favorite games. I'm tired of games slapping filters on everything and calling it a day. I'm tired of developers knowing so little about colorblindness and how to compensate for it that they end up simulating the disorder instead of actually accommodating for it.

I do think that colorblind accessibility options are a great thing, and good options are ones that I'd greatly approve of, but these aren't it. Some of the custom UI themes are good (I personally think the Deadlock theme is the best for my kind of color deficiency, the ones specifically advertised for colorblindness are… not great.), however there is no one-size-fits-all solution, even within the same category of colorblindness. After all, every colorblind person is different, and have different needs and preferences when it comes to color. And these themes don't impact gameplay UI like health or crits, which is where most issues with colorblindness impacting enjoyment of the game crop up.

Personally, what I'd do is forgo filtering the game altogether, and instead just allow people to customize the colors of specific, individual in-game HUD elements, like health, shields, armor, crit colors, waypoints, mercy indicators, etc. like they can with everything else. In a game where customization and personalization is king, this seems like the most logical step to take for better accessibility options, and even allows for better experiences for people without medically diagnosed color deficiencies, or people who just prefer certain colors over others. This would be much, much better than these new less-than-helpful color filters.

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