If you have been watching any of the games from HGC Korea you may have noticed something different. No, I am not talking about the crisp rotations or remarkable mechanical skills. I am talking about the appearance of the game itself.
This is because the stream is being broadcast in Color Blind Mode.
As you can see, the blues are a little bit lighter and the reds are more towards the yellow end of the spectrum.* This change is not only reflected in things like Hero nameplates, Structures, and the Mini-Map, but it also affects how various Abilities are displayed.
There are also other subtle differences, like how the neutral Mercenary Camps are displayed on the Mini-Map. Rather than the familiar yellow color, they show up as white in Color Blind Mode.
While broadcasting competitive Heroes in this mode is something new, there has long been a subset of players who have touted the benefits of playing in Color Blind Mode. These players feel like the color difference provides better contrast and makes it easier to keep track of what is happening in game. I must say after trying it for a few days, I think they might be right.
When I first heard about this trick a few months back, I experimented with it briefly in Try Mode and was not impressed. Although I could see the difference in how each team’s Structures appeared, it didn’t seem impactful to me from a gameplay perspective. After a few minutes, I wrote it off as not for me and went back to the normal setting.
After seeing it again in the Korean HGC broadcasts, and after talking to some other players, I decided to give it another shot. This time I did my experimenting in actual games and I quickly realized that team fights are where the difference really shows up. The more muted colors seem to make it easier to keep track of what is happening in those chaotic team fights where several Heroes are packed into a narrow choke point and there are multiple AOE Abilities going off.
While Color Blind Mode may not be for everyone, it is something worth trying, especially for those players who feel like hectic team fights sometimes become a blur of blues and reds. Switching to Color Blind Mode, or back again, is quite simple. Just go to Options, choose Gameplay, and then either check or uncheck Color Blind Mode based on your preference.
*Now let me qualify all of this by saying that I think I might actually have a slight case of color blindness. I have always felt like I see colors just fine, but recently I have started to realize that there are subtle differences in how I perceive certain colors and how other people see them.
With that said, the premise of this article remains the same. Whether you have color blindness or not, you owe it to yourself to at least experiment with Color Blind Mode. You may just find it is a better way to see the game.