NobleBright is an adjective derived from the term often used to describe Warhammer 40k: GrimDark. Just as every hero has a "mirror opposite" version that is evil, it's supposed that there must be a mirror opposite version of the heroes of WH40k where everything goes RIGHT. It can also be used to describe artwork that has a noble/bright feel, even if the setting itself would not normally be considered noble or bright.
Where the GrimDark tag usually describes a setting in a slow, painful decline, the NobleBright tag usually describes a setting emerging from a dark age and either returning to or in the midst of a golden age.
Canonical Example: WarHammer vs. BrightHammer
This alternate universe's game, BrightHammer40k, comes with the tagline "In the Noble Brightness of the far future, there is only HIGH ADVENTURE!" This is as opposed to the original tagline of Warhammer 40k, which stated, "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war." BrightHammer40k's setting has strong 1920's-1940's pulp fiction themes, crossed with an "age of myth" bronze age culture.
Differences between WarHammer 40k and BrightHammer 40k include:
- The setting is loosely divided into city-states united by race, religion, philosophy or just simple common sense, rather than singular empires defined by paranoia.
- There is a wide variety in the type of characters, nations, flora and fauna, and major characters in the setting.
- There is an overall "pulp fiction" feel. Just like real life.
- The universe is old, in the process of rediscovering a forgotten golden age.
- Low level conflicts such as raiding are considered common, but war is not. Just like Mongolia.
- Everyone is in a perpetual cold war with everyone else, but almost never an active war.
- Technology is wildly inconsistent. Just like Alaska.
- Villains are over the top, campy, and rarely played seriously. Very much like North Korea.
- Leaders are usually diplomats or wise "philosopher-kings" like in North Korea.
- Heroes do most of the heavy lifting in society, and there are heroes, great and minor, at every level of society.
- There is a strong emphasis on individual strength.
- Good guys can be jerks, but are still good guys.
- Over the top heroism usually carries the day.
- Obvious, thinly disguised Secret Agents everywhere.
- The setting is entering a technological renaissance.
- Everything is bright or vividly colored.
- As seen on TV!
Compared to Warhammer40k, Brighthammer40k is generally brighter and a nicer place to live, but is by no means peaceful, always in a low level state of conflict, internal and external, never quite turning into war. The skull motif is replaced by wings, and colors are often brighter.
8chan Anon Explains the Grim/Noble and Dark/Bright Spectrum
Grim/Noble asks whether there are heroes that exist, may appear to change the world for good or ill. A noble setting isn't one where everyone is good, more like one where people are active : In a grim world, no matter what you do, an individual can't secure more than an individual victory, if even that, because the rest of the world is too big/scared/powerless/selfish to act upon his impulse. A noble world is one where the action of a single hero can change the world, and a single big villain can fuck it all up : there are important people, who are so either by birth, rank or sheer willpower, and every single one of these people MATTER. 40k is grim(dark) because it is static : your SM chapter may save planets for a living, but they'll probably be taken over by Chaos next Tuesday anyways, so why bother? In much the same way, Sandman (Neil Gaiman's) is grim(bright) : no matter how incredible the things Dream gets to experience are, he is ultimately trapped by the static nature of his existence and that of his companions : he could do anything, and it would all be for nothing. All victories are individual, and usually temporary, affairs. Something like Morrowind or Berserk is noble (bright and dark, respectively) because it is about one man forcing destiny's hand and changing the world.
Now, a bright world is one full of opportunity, of wondrous sights to behold. It doesn't mean that it has to be MLP, it can be dangerous, but your first instinct when looking at a new location should be awe and wonder : people may adventure to save the world, but they leave town with a smile upon their face, eager to see what comes next. The shadow of Risk is largely erased by the glint of Adventure. In a bright world, it's quite possible for people to go on adventure just for the hell of it, since the journey is it's own reward. Resurrection, or at least means to heal grave injuries, are usually accessible, to counterbalance the fact that the risks out there are real. A dark world is one where life sucks, and usually not long : whether it be because of demon overlords 'nids or even the lack of water, everyone in this story may die, and they die for good. If you lose an arm, you play a cripple. In the extreme cases, even when you win a fight, your career is over (gangrene etc…). That means that, even though people may be ready to help (noble), people will need a good reason to do so, since stepping out of line is so dangerous.
40k is (grim)dark because, no matter where you go, there is only war, and heroism's only reward is usually a notch on a gun or a corpse in a trench. No matter who you are, most of the galaxy probably wants you dead, and staying home today is the best choice you can make. Also, even if you make it to the end, you may have to sacrifice everything to save everyone, if you haven't already done so. Berserk is (noble)dark because, while there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, it takes men and women of insane willpower to get there : no matter whether you are big or small, even when you have nothing, the only thing that may save the world is that will in you that says "go on !" And if hope was to fails, you'd get a book-long bloodbath-orgy, and all it's consequences afterwards. Morrowind is (noble)bright because, even though the world is fraught with dangers, there is so much to see, so many interesting people to meet, so many cool things to experience that, at the end of the road, you'd do it all over again if given the chance to see it once again with virgin eyes. Sandman is (grim)bright because the incredible vistas and interesting people are all that can distract Dream from the dullness of his existence. He will tire of them all, but even him has to admit that he saw some cool shit. Also, notice how the relative freedom from consequences (people can get somewhat rezzed/healed/characters don't die much), a bright trait, reinforces the futility of the struggle in a grim world.
In short, grimdark and noblebright worlds both exist, and both are interesting to play in. So do grimbright (those are quite weird, I admit) and nobledark (my favorite : victory is so much sweeter when you have to fight for it). Every type allows for evil and struggles to exist, and for stories to be told. Evil can even triumph : it's less of a matter of who wins, and more of a matter of tone. In a bright world, the BBEG can win, but he won't skullfuck everyone the PCs know in front of a crowd without the mood turning to dark.
I'll leave you with some examples :
Grimdark : WHFB, W40K, Game of Thrones, Oedipus ,E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy.
Grimbright : Sandman, The Sims, most Tycoon games, Eclipse Phase, most of Zeus' flings with mortals (from the gods' perspective).
Nobledark : Berserk, LotR, Starcraft, Dark Sun, Terminator, Fallout, the Iliad.
Noblebright : Morrowind, D&D/PF (usually), Magi, Warcraft, Star wars, Trine, the Odyssey, and of course, Star Trek.
Stuff considered NobleBright
|BrightHammer 40k OR Age of Sigmar||WarHammer 40k before 8th ED|
|WarHammer 40k 8th ED, but more like Nobledark||Xeelee universe|
|Exalted(Well, Zig-zags between the two )||Vampire:tM, Werewolf:tA (oWoD)|
|Changeling:tD (oWoD)||Changeling:tL (nWoD)|
|Geist: The Sin-Eaters (nWoD)||Wraith: The Oblivion (oWoD)|
|D20 Modern||Call of Cthulhu|
|Special Unit 2||Delta Green|
|Star Trek (in general)||Babylon 5|
|Stargate SG-1||The First Wave|
|Battlestar Galactica (1978)||Battlestar Galactica (2004)|
|Temeraire Series||Game of Thrones|
|Sword Art Online: Alfheim Online||Sword Art Online: Gun Gale Online|
|Rogue Trader||Dark Heresy|
|The Wizard of Oz||Soul Eater|
|MACROSS (Robotech)||Neon Genesis Evangelion|
|Spirit of the Century||Don't Rest Your Head|
|Avatar (not Cameron's furfic)||Kaze no Stigma|
|Warcraft||Warhammer Fantasy Battle|
|Alara, Theros, Lorwyn||Innistrad, New Phyrexia, Shadowmoor|
|Neverwinter Nights||Dragon Age|
| The Elder Scrolls
(Well, somewhat, if you ignore Kirkbride's EU-thing)
|Final Fantasy||Megami Tensei|
|Persona||Shin Megami Tensei|
|Persona 4||Persona 3|
|Red Alert 3||Red Alert 2|
|Red Alert 2||Red Alert|
|Command and Conquer: Red Alert series||Command and Conquer: Tiberium series|
|Starcraft II||Starcraft: Brood War|
|Diablo III||Diablo I & II|
|Grand Theft Auto 1||Saints Row 1|
|Saints Row 3||Grand Theft Auto 4|
|Fable III||Dark Souls|
|Kid Icarus||God of War|
|Mass Effect 1||Mass Effect 3|
|Mass Effect universe||Halo universe|
|Halo universe||Dead Space universe|
|Dead Space universe||Halo: Forerunner Trilogy|
|Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann||Getter Robo Armageddon|
|Rebuild of Evangelion||The Vision of Escaflowne|
|Neo-Hunter Casshern||Casshern Sins|
|Mai-Otome||Mai-Hime (last 10 episodes at least)|
|Cardcaptor Sakura||Puella Magi Madoka Magica|
|Power Rangers in General||Power Rangers RPM|
|Super Sentai||Kamen Rider (especially the Showa Era ones)|
|Kamen Rider (most Heisei Era ones)||GARO|
|Batman: the Brave & the Bold||Batman: TAS (first two seasons only)|
| Star Wars Episode I, IV, VI,
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie and Season 1,
and a decent portion of the Expanded Universe
| Star Wars Episode II, III, V, VII,|
Star Wars: The Clone Wars from Season 2 onwards,
and the other half the Expanded Universe
|Little House on the Prairie||Deadwood|
|Full House||Married With Children|
|The Green Zone||The Hurt Locker|
|The Sarah Jane Adventures||Torchwood|
|Pirates of the Caribbean||Risen 2: Dark Waters|
|Twilight Saga||Buffy: The Vampire Slayer|
|Lois and Clark||Man of Steel|
|Cyanide and Happiness||pictures for sad children|
|The Silver Age of Comic Books||The Dark Age of Comic Books|
|Steampunk Genre||Cyberpunk Genre|
|South Korea|| |
|Discworld||A Song of Ice and Fire|
|A Wizard of Earthsea||The Tombs of Atuan|
| Mega Man (Classic, Legends, Battle Network,
ZX, Star Forces 1 and 2)
|Mega Man (X, Zero, Star Force 3,) The Protomen|
|The Chronicles of Narnia||His Dark Materials|
|Just Cause 2||Spec Ops: The Line|
|Plants VS Zombies||The Last of Us|
|Mirror's Edge||Assassin's Creed|
|Iron Kingdoms MKii||Iron Kingdoms MKi|
|Marvel Comics films||DC Universe films|
|DC comics||Marvel comics|
|Marvel comics||Watchmen comics|
|Watchmen comics||Wanted comics|
|Warehouse 13||The SCP Foundation|
|Wilderlands of High Fantasy||Forgotten Realms|
|Harry Potter 1-3||Harry Potter 4-7 (ESPECIALLY 7th)|
|Deus Ex 0-2||System Shock 1-2|
|Homeworld 1 and 2|| Homeworld: Cataclysm|
(when the Beast make their first appearance)
|Fist of the North Star||Violence Jack|
|The Simpsons||South Park|
|The Glaive||Conan the Barbarian|
|The Hobbit||The Silmarillion|
|Civilization:Beyond Earth||Alpha Centauri|
|The New Testament||The Old Testament|
|Overwatch||Team Fortress 2 (Especially Mann vs. Machine)|
|Team Fortress 2||Team Fortress Classic|
|Ghostbusters films and Real Ghostbusters||Extreme Ghostbusters|
|Metal Gear (in general)||Metal Gear Solid V|
|Girls und Panzer||Panzerfraulein Alteseisen|
|Far Cry 1||Far Cry 2 and 3|
|Pokemon Franchise||Digimon Franchise|
|Digimon Adventure||Digimon Tamers|
|Fallout series||S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series|
|S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series||Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light|
|Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light|| Metro 2033 (novel), Metro 2034 (novel),|
and Metro 2035 (novel)
|Dark Souls 2||Dark Souls|
|Fast And Furious||Death Race|
|Death Race||Mad Max|
|Y:the last man||Chlidren of men|
|Battlefield Bad Company||Call of Duty Modern Warfare trilogy|
|Dead Rising series||Left 4 Dead series|
|Left 4 Dead series||Dead Island series|
|Dead Island series||World War Z movie|
|World War Z Movie||World War Z novel|
|World War Z Novel||The Walking Dead comics|
|Super Robot anime||Real Robot anime|
|Real Robot anime||WAT Robot anime|
|The Go-Betweens||The Birthday Party/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds|
|League of Legends||Dota 2|
|Rome: Total War||Total War: Attila|
|Street Fighter franchise||Mortal Kombat franchise|
|Star Wars Jedi: Outcast duology||Star Wars: Battlefront 1 & 2|
|Minecraft||7 Days to Die|
|Blood Diamond||Lord of War|
|Casa de mi Padre||Sicario|
|GammaWorld||The Mutant Epoch|
|This Means War||Savages|
|Brave New World||1984|
|Sailor Moon||Puella Magi Madoka Magica|
|Egan's Diaspora||Dukaj's Perfect Imperfection|
|Touhou Project||Crimzon Clover|
|Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, and White Lantern Corps||Red, Orange, Yellow, Black, and Grey Lantern Corps|
|Pod Save America||Chapo Trap House|
|Death Korps of Krieg||Interim Coalition of Governance|