Did you know that about 1 in 10 men have some form of color blindness?  Let that sink in for a sec.  And now look at your raid roster.

Throughout all my gaming career, I hadn’t up to this point met someone who was color blind – or at least not in a situation where it would matter.  But in raiding, it matters, as I’ve discovered with our newest recruit who is, in fact, color blind.

How many instructions in your raid group involve “get out of the red shit on the floor”?  How would you rephrase that to make it understandable to someone who sees shit on the floor differently?  With the red “Fire” raid marker hard to see, what would you use for first target in kill order?  These are all little things, and definitely easily fixed, but it does make you stop and think about how you frame a fight.

Particularly this one:


Yes, that’s right.  Terror from beyond – the boss that most people refer to as the “color boss.”  The colors are orange, yellow, blue, and purple.  With blue and purple looking about the same, and orange and red looking about the same too, there is no easy way to simply assign the color blind person to the color “easiest to see” because there is none.

On the first phase, it’s no problem.  Each color goes in turn, and it’s pretty easy to call out on voice chat when the appropriate color comes up.  But then there’s phase 2, where you have to find your musical chair before the 10 seconds is up.


Now, how the fucking hell would you, could you, explain to someone which circle to stand in?  It’s just not possible!


In story mode, it’s possible to simply have the color blind member’s color-partner run through BOTH circles of the appropriate color, but that apparently cannot be done in hard mode.

It has completely changed the way I think about this fight.  The first time I was in here, I thought “wow! This is fun and inventive!”  Now I’m frustrated with the damn thing because it’s virtually impossible for someone with a fairly common and mild disability.

So, yeah, not really sure what can be done.  “Not standing in red shit” is a fairly common raid boss trope, in many games.  But a fight that hinges on being able to make these fine distinctions between shades should probably be avoided in the future.

EDIT: Jaspor (check out his blog, guys) was nice enough to make one of my pix into a black-and-white rendition.  Yeah, I can’t tell the circles apart worth a crap now!



Flying Colorblind — 12 Comments

  1. Yep – I had the same problem in Cataclysm with one of our guildies who was trying his hand at raiding for the first time. He’s quite colourblind, and it was really quite a challenge trying to frame my explanations without referencing colour.

  2. Very thought-provoking post. I suppose you’d need others in the raid to act as some kind of crutch, by jumping up and down next to the right circle, but that would still add quite a bit of extra challenge.

    On a slightly off-topic note, how are your operations going in general? Considering they seem to be one of your main interests in the game you haven’t posted about them much lately.

    • Ops are actually going fine. We’ve done the first 2 bosses in EC HM and in TFB HM. I haven’t posted much because I’m working insane hours and I barely have time to raid, let alone post.

  3. It’s also important to note that there are different types and degrees of colorblindness, so what works for one sufferer might not for another. If you’d like to see the fight as various different types of colorblindness would render it, check out http://www.colblindor.com/coblis-color-blindness-simulator/

    Interestingly, while they all vary in their details, many of the different types of colorblindness have the same end effect: you end up with two distinct colors of circles with no way to differentiate between the two colors that have been collapsed to form each one.

  4. We have a guildie who is color blind and one of, if not the best DPS we have. His idea was to number them 1-8 clockwise, 1 being the north point. His partner calls out the number (or whoever else sees it). Its not perfect but it works. Of course this was after consirible cussing of Bio when we first went into this in hard mode lol.

    • Someone suggested that. We also use clock numbers for which pylon is up for us to dps. Unfortunately, even though I am of the age where I did wear a real watch, I haven’t in so long that I just cannot be the one to shout directions or it sounds like… “10.. fuck, I mean 2.”

  5. I occasionally thought about the problems a red-green colour-blind person must have in warzones. I also had it in the back of my mind that there was a setting to change the display to suit colour-blind people but it looks like there isn’t, although apparently an option did exist in beta for a while.

    • I *thought* wow had a high-contrast visual option to compensate. In general, in the ops there are a bunch of things that don’t depend solely on color. For example, on the puzzle boss in EV, we may THINK of the puzzle as colors and refer to it as colors, but each color corresponds to a unique shape, so it’s obvious what matches. With the “color boss”, if each color had its own shape projected on the floor (for example, hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades) would that partially solve the problem?