[mainline] Add Aragwaith to mainline

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Implementor37
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[mainline] Add Aragwaith to mainline

Post by Implementor37 » April 25th, 2015, 8:55 pm

EDIT 2015-04-29: Changed subject, previously was “Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith”. See this post, this post, and especially this post. ― shadowm

I first mentioned this idea in this post but I'm going to recap the general idea here for discussion.

Why don't we replace the Khalifate faction with the UMC Aragwaith faction? Here is a list of the biggest problems with the Khalifate:

-Islamic References (both in name and in appearance/style) which cause strife and horror all throughout the forums and game itself
-Ultra-confusing unit names. (What's a Jundi or an Arif? What relation do they have to each other? Why can't we stick to 'simple' names like "spearman" or "bowman" that everyone can understand?)
-Most users have limited experience with this faction (not common in UMC at all).

Replacing the Khalifate with the Aragwaith would fix all of these problems. The Aragwaith are well-known from UMC, provide no religious references at all which could (accurately or not) be construed as some form of commentary, have nice, simple unit names like "Strongbow", "Flagbearer", and "Pikeman" which everyone can understand, and provide a unique experience of a faction. As mentioned in the thread above, their are tons of great UMC factions with typical high-fantasy themes, from elementals, to minotaurs, to vampires, so why mainline an islamic-esque human faction which is only going to cause strife? It is for these reasons that I propose we remove the Khalifate from mainline and replace them with the Aragwaith if we really want another mainline human faction. Aragwaith are much better balanced as is.

One final note: if the reason that some UMC eras such as elementals, minotaurs, vampires, and Aragwaith have not been considered for mainline is an incomplete set of unit animations, provide them is the same way as you are currently providing the khalifate (Default + <Faction>). As users gain more exposure to them, people will slowly but surely spend time to animate the units who lack animations. Besides, I'd rather play an animation-free Aragwaith or Vampires than a fully-animated Khalifate and I'm sure that a lot of users think the same.
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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by iceiceice » April 25th, 2015, 9:09 pm

Aragwaith are much better balanced as is.
Citation needed... I find this pretty doubtful.
-Most users have limited experience with this faction (not common in UMC at all).
IIRC we've had multiple Khalifate MP tournaments partly for the purpose of balancing them. AFAIK there has never been an Aragwaith + Default tournament.

Mainlining the Khalifate currently only is for the benefit of MP, although we would like a Khalifate campaign. AFAICT mainlining the Aragwaith would make sense if we were mainlining a campaign which used the Aragwaith.
Why can't we stick to 'simple' names like "spearman" or "bowman" that everyone can understand?
We don't always do this, it would be pretty limiting if we did. For instance "Deathblade" is an english pseudoword that we made up, it exact meaning is left to the imagination. Similarly, "Drake Flameheart" and "Hurricane Drake".

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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by Implementor37 » April 25th, 2015, 9:19 pm

at least "Deathblade" is an english pseudoword that English speakers can understand. I also understand the thinking behind "Drake Flameheart" and "Hurricane Drake" as i can relate to those two ideas. I have honestly never heard "Jundi" or "Arif" before and have no idea how to relate to those terms. They just don't "mean" anything to me. I'm not sure how you'd want me to cite my belief that the Aragwaith are better balanced--in my experience I have always found the Aragwaith to be very well balanced compared to the vast majority of UMC content--including the Khalifate IMO. I also never really understood the khalifate, and consequently never played them much (again, due mostly to the confusing unit names to which my English-speaking brain can't relate :augh: ) Maybe a forum moderator could turn this topic into a poll?--I'd really like to know what the average user would prefer.
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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by Crow_T » April 25th, 2015, 11:00 pm

I'll just put in my useless +1 vote to include the Aragwaith in mainline, whether or not something else gets removed. They are just way too cool :geek:

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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by shadowm » April 26th, 2015, 1:15 am

Which Aragwaithi? Last time I checked there were at least four different versions of the same faction around. Also...
Implementor37 wrote:Here is a list of the biggest problems with the Khalifate:

-Islamic References (both in name and in appearance/style) which cause strife and horror all throughout the forums and game itself
-Ultra-confusing unit names. (What's a Jundi or an Arif? What relation do they have to each other? Why can't we stick to 'simple' names like "spearman" or "bowman" that everyone can understand?)
-Most users have limited experience with this faction (not common in UMC at all).
Point 3 is invalid by definition (remember when Drakes were first introduced?), point 1 is irrelevant, and I’d argue that point 2 is directly tied to 3.

EDIT: Also, we’d greatly prefer if discussion from this point onwards focused on potential additions to the set of mainline factions, not replacements.
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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by bumbadadabum » April 26th, 2015, 4:04 am

How would all the work of balancing all existing factions against a new faction that really doesn't bring any new gameplay to the table be worth it?

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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by doofus-01 » April 26th, 2015, 4:43 am

(Chiming in here as someone who has no love for the Khalifate or the developer who is responsible for pushing them through)

Let it go... Life is too short to obsess over these things, and the faction is not IS or AQI. If there is a campaign add-on that crosses that line, I'm sure it can be removed from the server, don't worry. Yeah, you can be unhappy with the design choice, but then don't play them in MP, and if your opponent plays as them, it's just another reason to kick his/her ass.
shadowm wrote:EDIT: Also, we’d greatly prefer if discussion from this point onwards focused on potential additions to the set of mainline factions, not replacements.
At least as of BfW 1.12.2, Khalifate is not directly included in Default MP. If there is possibility of getting other factions into this quasi-official status, then maybe there can be a thoughtful discussion on this?
bumbadadabum wrote:How would all the work of balancing all existing factions against a new faction that really doesn't bring any new gameplay to the table be worth it?
Same could be said of the Khalifate; it's not like they had balance, art, or really anything before they were destined for mainline.

If Wesnoth had a minor league, a farm system, or something, where other were factions available in mainline, but not "MP Default", just like the Khalifate, it would give some fresh air/vitality and a chance to see what folks liked.
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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by vultraz » April 26th, 2015, 5:22 am

The only thing I dislike about the Khalifate faction is the unfortunate similarity in name to the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate, given what that group has done. But that's not a reason to purge the faction from mainline. And definitely nor is the simple fact of Islamic connotation.

As for the Aragwaithi, I do agree that they would be suited for mainline, especially seeing as they're, AFAIK, the only faction complete with high quality art (including animations!) for a large variety of unit trees. The version of the faction included in After the Storm or Era of Chaos would probably be the best candidates for inclusion in mainline, but not for replacing the Khalifate.
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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by Dugi » April 26th, 2015, 8:46 am

I agree with Implementator37. The word Khalifate was just a historic term at the time the faction was created, but its meaning drastically changed. From kingdom it distant past, it grew into a very real empire of villainy. There are surely numerous people in the Middle East trembling with fear when they hear them mentioned. I think that having this faction is like having a Nazi faction. During WWII. Based on ancient Germanic tribes but called Nazi. People are not very likely to include them in campaigns because it might be seen as propagation of terrorism or attract a retribution from them or both. That's maybe why are they actually less used in campaigns than Aragwaithi.

It's true that their unit types are historically accurate... sort of. But they are not intuitive at all. The name of any unit has no meaning for most of us and there is no way to assume what advances from what. The names of drake types have some meaning in English that can be roughly translated, but these guys have none. You have absolutely no way to tell if two units are on the same advancement tree or are completely unrelated.

They are indeed somewhat interesting that they are good on sand and during twilight, but Aragwaithi have unique gameplay features too, and they aren't based on specific terrains.

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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by taptap » April 26th, 2015, 8:48 am

I love the Aragwaithi. Looking around for archer animations, I noticed they even have a loyalist style archer animation for shooting northwards (which even loyalists haven't!). Unfortunately in this type of discussion they are just poster boys and girls vs. Khalifate, they deserve better.

For unit names I really like what Khalifate and Vampires did, they offer unique naming schemes, that are a welcome break from the elvish archer, orcish archer, archer elsewhere... Admittedly, Khalifate names leave non-arabic speakers clueless about their meaning. If s/o has genuine trouble with the names and isn't just looking for ready arguments to reject them altogether, it shouldn't be too difficult to hack together a "Khalifate with bland unit names" era or even just a thread with translations, welcome the Khalifate soldier, sergeant, veteran etc.
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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by Torgama » April 26th, 2015, 10:11 am

İ'm a müslim and and see here some 'islamafoby' when even all müslims are not Arabians. But also i have to tell Aragwaithi units are better from Khalifate units to put and play in a default era. Aragwaithi is well balanced while Khalifate units weak that we cant even compare thanks to alignment 'liminal'. Aragwaithi has mage, some units have resistances and there was a unit named Flagbearer-Captain with a different kind of leadership.

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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by Eagle_11 » April 26th, 2015, 11:31 am

Yeah, totally ignore my version, pretend it never existed. :augh:

In either case i dont think Khalifate should be added to mainline, its more like belongs into an seperate era with its entirely own setting, unless the intent for their appearance is 'expedition out of nowhere, they came from an far-away land then somehow managed to stumble upon wesnoth'

Code: Select all

SLOT               CIVILIZED     NATURAL    SUBTERRAN   BARBARIAN   ABHORRENT   DESTRUCTIVE  RANDOMONLY 
Standard Era:   Wesnothian , Sylvan        , Knalgan    , Northerner  , Undead         , Drake            ,  Outlaws
Meridian Era*:  Caliphate*   , Aragwaith* , Dark Elf  , Southerner*  , Sandmirages  , Lizardmen     ,  Daemon**
Nordic Era:      Highlanders , High Elf      , _            , Khaganate   , Steelhive       , _                   ,  _        
*names may change. inspecially if original inventor of "Meridian Era" decides to create and publish something under that name.
**based on 'Daemons' in a version of Beem. so they are rather xeno in appearance.
_: as seen not ready yet or rather: not even thought about yet.
#Meridian Era: settled in Araca to the far-away south.
This 'Araca' im referring to can be found in this thread: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... &start=105

@topic of Aragwaith
As far ive understood people are referring to the latest stand-alone version during 1.11.x times, that can be found on that version's addon server, rather than an version included in an campaign somewhere. There were some number changes ive made for them, a few unit's damage was too high and ported over some abilities. Fe. added an 'Bard' ability for Wizard from lvl2 onwards that is copied directly from 'storytelling' ability in Era of Four Moons. Her idle anim inspired me to do that. Also trying to replace Teleport on lvl3 with something unique.

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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by Implementor37 » April 26th, 2015, 2:24 pm

Here's some additional thoughts (yes, i spent some time thinking about this. My first post was on a spontaneous idea, so please think a little about what I'm trying to say here and don't immediately dismiss it because my first post may have come accross as a rant :whistle:) .

I have 2 suggestions to be made regarding the Khalifate (i don't think they have been fully-added to mainline until "default" is the same as "default+khalifate" and i have a two suggestions about what i think needs to be done before doing that):

1) Do not merge "Default" era with "Default+Khalifate" until there is enough mainline content to explain the presence of the Khalifate without leading people to make the assumption that the Khalifate are "evil muslims" (not my term--its showed up in other threads and IRC before).
I foresee someone making the following counter-argument: "But the drakes don't have a mainline campaign yet! So how can you require the Khalifate to do so?" Here's my answer to that: Sure, the drakes didn't have a mainline campaign when they were introduced (they still don't), but mainline content provides glimpses into their culture. We know the drakes originated on Isle Morogor and migrated to Wesnoth. We also know that the drakes have a highly warlike, honor-centric society which I would venture to say is nomadic (this is not confirmed anywhere--it is a personal inference based on the fact that the drakes don't have one "primary location" in Wesnoth where they live and the fact that their defense is not so good in castles/villages, leading to the conclusion that they don't build giant fortifications like the humans/elves/dwarves. Add to that the ramshackle appearance of the Drake Villages and I conclude they are nomadic--but I digress). Even though the drakes don't have a mainline campaign they show up frequently enough in mainline that most players understand their culture.
The same could be done with the Khalifate--ensure that there is a clear glimpse into their culture before merging them into "Default" which proves once-and-for-all that they are not the "evil muslims" some people are constantly worried about in the forums. The problem, however, is that their is no clear agreement as to the origin of the Khalifate (biggest debate right now is are they from the far-south or are they colonists from another continent?). I would also think that needs to be resolved before merging them into "Default".
The Aragwaith, on the other hand, already have a well-defined story from UMC--they are an ancient civilization which originally inhabited the Green Isle before moving to Irdya long before TRoW. Pockets still survive in remote/isolated locations in Irdya. They would simply need to show up a few times in UMC (maybe even their own campaign...) to be included in "Default" under this reasoning.

2) One of the things I have always like is the clearness of Wesnoth unit names. I can understand from reading the names to expect my "Elvish Sharpshooter" to be bigger/badder than an "Elvish Marksman" and know that an "Outlaw" is bigger/badder than a "Footpad". While the Arabic names are unique, I would suggest something along the following naming variations before merging "Default" and "Default+Khalifate" to maintain the beauty/simplicity of Wesnoth unit names (and the KISS principle):
"Arif" -> "Arif Infantry"
"Ghazi" -> "Ghazi Swordsman"
"Shuja" -> "Shuja Fury"
"Hakim" -> "Hakim Healer"
"Jundi" -> "Jundi Warrior"
"Muharib" -> "Muharib Spearthrower"
"Batal" -> "Batal Deathrainer"
"Kahaiyal"-> "Kahaiyal Lancer"
"Naffat" -> "Naffat Flame"
"Qatif-al-Nar" -> "Qatif-al-Nar Blaze"
"Tineen" -> "Tineen Inferno"
I think you get the idea. This would preserve both the arabic uniqueness to the khalifate unit names while preserving the simple naming scheme Wesnoth currently enjoys in keeping with the KISS principle.
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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by bumbadadabum » April 26th, 2015, 3:41 pm

The Aragwaith, on the other hand, already have a well-defined story from UMC--they are an ancient civilization which originally inhabited the Green Isle before moving to Irdya long before TRoW. Pockets still survive in remote/isolated locations in Irdya. They would simply need to show up a few times in UMC (maybe even their own campaign...) to be included in "Default" under this reasoning.
[citation needed]

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Re: [mainline] Replace Khalifate with Aragwaith

Post by Xara » April 26th, 2015, 3:49 pm

Implementor37 wrote: 1) Do not merge "Default" era with "Default+Khalifate" until there is enough mainline content to explain the presence of the Khalifate without leading people to make the assumption that the Khalifate are "evil muslims" (not my term--its showed up in other threads and IRC before).
I searched the forum, and didn't find the phrase.
Implementor37 wrote:so why mainline an islamic-esque human faction which is only going to cause strife?
Islamic culture is a great culture that has been existing for more than a thousand years, and has dwarfed the European Civilizations for centuries. The richness of the culture shouldn't be denied by the existence of some modern world bad Muslim governments, like you can't say Confucius's words are rubbish just because someone "explained" his sayings and came to the conclusion that women should do foot-bindings. And it is in nowhere implied that the Khalifate's god is a real god in Wesnoth universe. In fact, they don't even have access to magics and arcane attacks. So I don't think they necessarily harm people's religious feeling.
As a comparison, what do you know about Aragwaithi? I can only take it that they are a bunch of powerful units dressing in strange clothes. I don't imagine they differ much culturally with Wesnoth human.
Implementor37 wrote:While the Arabic names are unique, I would suggest something along the following naming variations before merging "Default" and "Default+Khalifate" to maintain the beauty/simplicity of Wesnoth unit names (and the KISS principle):
"Arif" -> "Arif Infantry"
"Ghazi" -> "Ghazi Swordsman"
"Shuja" -> "Shuja Fury"
"Hakim" -> "Hakim Healer"
"Jundi" -> "Jundi Warrior"
"Muharib" -> "Muharib Spearthrower"
"Batal" -> "Batal Deathrainer"
"Kahaiyal"-> "Kahaiyal Lancer"
"Naffat" -> "Naffat Flame"
"Qatif-al-Nar" -> "Qatif-al-Nar Blaze"
"Tineen" -> "Tineen Inferno"
Firstly, Muharib doesn't throw spears. And it is obvious to see (from the images and the data of the units) that Arif is an infantry and Ghazi is a swordsman. These additional words provide with often limited and possibly inaccurate information and breaks the naming style.
It pronounces Sha'ha, not Zara.

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