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Today, Bashiok replied to a couple of threads giving more info on how dyes and the new socketing system using Artisans work and answering concerns about the graphic quality of in-game models. The Diablo III community manager also mentioned that Gambling may be replaced by high level crafted items with few or no fixed attributes, though a gambling system may appear in the game. He also revealed that Leonard Boyarsky has written the majority of entries in Abd al-Hazir's journal, though other people have also contributed.
I wouldn't take the mechanics of how dyes will be accessed as gospel just yet, there have been many ideas on integrating them with other systems, but for the sake of implementation they're drops. They could stay that way, we'll just have to see.
Bashiok, will the dyes be used solely on individual armor pieces or will there be patterns that change the entire scheme of the character's attire as well?
There are specific slots that are able to be dyed, and it's generally the slots where dying them would actually matter (ie they have some surface area to be dyed).
The dye system is also not a tinting system. And by that I mean we don't apply a color shift to the entire piece of armor. Each piece of dyable armor is specifically designed and built with certain areas that can have their color changed. It could be as simple as a strip of cloth running down a chainmail chest piece, or as complex as an entire robe. We hand craft and designate these areas, and in combination with specific colors we've chosen, we can allow players to have a lot of additional visual variety, while maintaining a controlled look and style to the game.
Are these dyes single colors only?
They're technically a two color gradient, which allows us to achieve a more natural looking coloration, but for the sake of simplicity, yes they're presented as a single color.
I think the idea of having dies apply effects in different ways is awesome, but don't forget there are plenty of other things going on gear that could be the basis for those types of effects as well.
I can see there being a possibility for some high end crafting recipes to have fewer or no fixed attributes, which in the latter case would be gambling, essentially. But better.
As far as a system dedicated to gambling, there are no current plans, but as I just said gambling could be pulled off a whole lot better through the crafting system directly. If we thought those types of recipes were a good idea.
Which I have no idea if we do. 'We' being other people that decide these things. ;)
Blunt answer incoming, only because this has been addressed a whole lot.
There's no reason to pump up poly counts and texture res for a model you're going to see from a fixed camera 30 feet up in the sky. At that distance the detail is lost, and so essentially we'd be building a model so it looks pretty on the website.
Which might actually be cool to do, we would love for the close-up characters on the website to look better than they do, but that's allocating resources to what is essentially throw away material. So we haven't deemed it worth the effort.
In general we also want to keep graphic requirements low so that a wide audience can enjoy the game, and also so we can have a lot of enemies on screen.
As far as I last heard it (and this is subject to change of course) the blacksmith can add one extra socket (max) to specific items, up to the maximum allowable. So if (for example, I'm not claiming max socket numbers) a sword can have two sockets, but drops with none, you can add one socket to it.
How do items that take up 2 slots in the inventory have more than 2 sockets?
Requiring you to equip the item to gem?
Also, will they all looks visually appealing like for the Shield example, or will they just be stuck to the center.
The shield one was stuck to the center.
I believe Leonard has written the majority of the updates, but I know our creative development team has chipped in.