[mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

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Xalzar
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Xalzar » December 29th, 2017, 4:26 pm

Pentarctagon wrote: The Dunefolk vs Dunelander poll is now up. It will run for two days, after which I consider the Khalifate faction renaming question to be settled and will open new threads for the unit names and race name questions.
Yeah, discussions are awesome but at some point we need to decide. :mrgreen:
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Personally I'd rather stick with Khalifate as the name of the nation in lore. Dunefolk is good as both a race name and an MP faction name.

I'm also generally against dropping any units, though maybe I could be convinced in some cases.
Define Khalifate, what should be its meaning in the world of Wesnoth? Try to convince me it's worth keeping a name with such strong real-life religion connotations.

Also, I agree that the faction lineup should not be modified if not for resolving gameplay/balance issues. :hmm:

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » December 29th, 2017, 4:57 pm

Xalzar wrote:Define Khalifate, what should be its meaning in the world of Wesnoth? Try to convince me it's worth keeping a name with such strong real-life religion connotations.
I suppose it could refer to a city-state ruled by a "khalif", but I'm more interested in using it to describe the entirety of their society, which Oath of Allegiance apparently portrays as three semi-independent city-states. By the previous definition, you'd have to call this "khalifates" rather than "khalifate". Then again, that might not be so bad either... "The Khalifates of the Southern Dunes".

Personally I don't think the real-life religious connotations matter as long as we don't import those connotations into the world of Irdya. Based on the unit lineup, there's no evidence that the faction is strongly religious (though admittedly there's not really any counterevidence either). If we just take care to use the word "khalifate" in-universe as you'd use "sultanate" or "emirate" in the real world, I don't think there's any issue.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Transfermium » December 30th, 2017, 12:05 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but since the Lv4 Arif line unit, which seems to be representative of the Dunefolk ruling caste, is named 'Khalid', wouldn't the correct name be a 'Khalidate'?
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by SigurdFireDragon » December 30th, 2017, 12:46 am

ForestDragon wrote:throwing my 5 cents (ideas):
Rami, or his marksman lvl2: Cavalry Archer
Naffat line: Arsonist (as someone before me suggested) > Pyromaniac > Incinerator)
Incinerator seems like it could work for a lvl 2 or 3 Naffat
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:...I kinda disagree about doctor. Scientist is definitely too modern, but doctors aren't as modern as you might expect. That said, if you want the connotation of a medical doctor, the more specific term "physician" might be better. So, the herbalist or alchemist upgrades to a physician.
Sounds reasonable.
Some people wrote:...we should keep some of the existing names...
I think all the Khalifate unit names need to change from what they are currently. I took a look at other languages (French, Spanish, German, Polish, etc) for how the unit names are translated. It looks like they are not. The words have meanings in Arabic, so in essence, this is a situation where content is translated in one language (Arabic) and remains untranslated in all other languages. This is a departure from how all other game content is handled and I consider this a situation that needs fixing.
Cold Steel wrote:...Pure unembellished Khalifate would best fit into a no-fantasy-or-magic historical era in the UMC ecosystem, like the "18th Century Warfare Era" but for the medieval period.
This. Content for the game should be made Wesnoth's own and fit as part of an immersive world. Good works of fiction do this (ie, Tolkien, Frank Herbert's Dune, A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones etc.)
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
Xalzar wrote:Define Khalifate, what should be its meaning in the world of Wesnoth? Try to convince me it's worth keeping a name with such strong real-life religion connotations.
I suppose it could refer to a city-state ruled by a "khalif", but I'm more interested in using it to describe the entirety of their society, which Oath of Allegiance apparently portrays as three semi-independent city-states. By the previous definition, you'd have to call this "khalifates" rather than "khalifate". Then again, that might not be so bad either... "The Khalifates of the Southern Dunes".

Personally I don't think the real-life religious connotations matter as long as we don't import those connotations into the world of Irdya. Based on the unit lineup, there's no evidence that the faction is strongly religious (though admittedly there's not really any counterevidence either). If we just take care to use the word "khalifate" in-universe as you'd use "sultanate" or "emirate" in the real world, I don't think there's any issue.
I think only removing the term Khalifate from faction and race name would not fix the strong real-world connotation problem, so I'm in favor of removing it completely. It seems self-evident from this thread and previous threads that using the term Khalifate is immersion-breaking. I don't see the need to have a word to describe the entirety of their society in the lore, but I think Sultanate would do the job without immersion-breaking real-world connotations.

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Pentarctagon » December 30th, 2017, 1:02 am

SigurdFireDragon wrote:
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:I suppose it could refer to a city-state ruled by a "khalif", but I'm more interested in using it to describe the entirety of their society, which Oath of Allegiance apparently portrays as three semi-independent city-states. By the previous definition, you'd have to call this "khalifates" rather than "khalifate". Then again, that might not be so bad either... "The Khalifates of the Southern Dunes".

Personally I don't think the real-life religious connotations matter as long as we don't import those connotations into the world of Irdya. Based on the unit lineup, there's no evidence that the faction is strongly religious (though admittedly there's not really any counterevidence either). If we just take care to use the word "khalifate" in-universe as you'd use "sultanate" or "emirate" in the real world, I don't think there's any issue.
I think only removing the term Khalifate from faction and race name would not fix the strong real-world connotation problem, so I'm in favor of removing it completely. It seems self-evident from this thread and previous threads that using the term Khalifate is immersion-breaking. I don't see the need to have a word to describe the entirety of their society in the lore, but I think Sultanate would do the job without immersion-breaking real-world connotations.
I am also somewhat skeptical that we could redefine "Khalifate" for Wesnoth even if it was decided we should try. Taking something that means the nation is led by the successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and trying to say that it means something different in Wesnoth's case just seems unlikely to work. You can't really not import existing meanings and connotations for words like that.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by The_Gnat » December 31st, 2017, 12:50 am

Pentarctagon wrote:I am also somewhat skeptical that we could redefine "Khalifate" for Wesnoth even if it was decided we should try. Taking something that means the nation is led by the successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and trying to say that it means something different in Wesnoth's case just seems unlikely to work. You can't really not import existing meanings and connotations for words like that.
Yes i agree, i think it would be best if we leave the word "Khalifate" behind us and similarly dismiss all the ideologies that go with it.

Also i think that at this stage we should not remove nor add any units to the Dunefolk faction but instead focus on renaming the units otherwise we will just make a mess. Not now but later balances and unit changes should be considered.

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Kwandulin » December 31st, 2017, 9:30 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
Xalzar wrote:Define Khalifate, what should be its meaning in the world of Wesnoth? Try to convince me it's worth keeping a name with such strong real-life religion connotations.
I suppose it could refer to a city-state ruled by a "khalif", but I'm more interested in using it to describe the entirety of their society, which Oath of Allegiance apparently portrays as three semi-independent city-states. By the previous definition, you'd have to call this "khalifates" rather than "khalifate". Then again, that might not be so bad either... "The Khalifates of the Southern Dunes".
In OoA are three city states, that are each ruled by a khalid. Before the story takes place, those three city states were united and ruled over by another city state, K'thar. That was due to each city state sending their former ruler to the great capitol, so eventually the southern deserts were governed by a trinity of kings. It has been destroyed since and the three kings have been locked up in an astral prison since. In OoA, you have to hinder them from returning.

So both "khalifate" or "khalifates" would have make sense, depending on which time it'd base on.


Other than that, there are already some alternative khalifate sprites by sleepwalker(minor edits by me). So in case we want to change the faction, we already have quite a bit of ressources to do so. At least in OoA, the desert people do have some magical stuff.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Pentarctagon » December 31st, 2017, 5:32 pm

The final poll has completed! Dunefolk is the Khalifate's new faction name. I will be creating threads for the race name and unit prefix+names shortly.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Kasdel » January 8th, 2018, 6:35 pm

For MP, would the faction's name be just "Dunefolk"? It could be something like "Dune Khalifate" or "Dunefolk Khalifate", the same way there's the "Knalgan Alliance". I don't think keeping it a "khalifate" would be such a stretch in fantasy terms. I think Sultanate is kind of the same thing as khalifate in terms of immersion (though I personally don't think they are immersion-breaking, caliphates and sultanates are related in terms of historical meaning). This is what Wikipedia says about "sultanate":
Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", derived from the verbal noun سلطة sulṭah, meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who claimed almost full sovereignty in practical terms (i.e., the lack of dependence on any higher ruler), albeit without claiming the overall caliphate, or to refer to a powerful governor of a province within the caliphate.
I know I'm a bit late to the discussion, but even though the word "caliphate" means "a state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph" (taken from Wikipedia), etymologically, I think it can be used with a less specific meaning. Personally, I think it gives more flavor to the faction than the standard "Kingdom" or something similar.
The term caliph derives from the Arabic word khalīfah, which means "successor", "steward", or "deputy" and has traditionally been considered a shortening of Khalifat Rasul Allah ("successor of the messenger of God"). However, studies of pre-Islamic texts suggest that the original meaning of the phrase was "successor selected by God".
So, basically, if "khalifate" is used, it's either going to be as a realm under the ruling of a successor/steward or of a king chosen by a God. Are the Dunefolk, in Wesnoth, supposed to be religious, or has that not been decided yet? They don't like magic, maybe that could be why, it goes against their religion's teachings. Religion is nothing new in fantasy.
It could also be because of the negative experiences they had with magic, if zookeeper's explanation is used, but that's not incompatible with a religious-driven distrust for magic, since one thing could have lead to the other.

Or, one more idea, they are atheists (it would be quite original in terms of depicting an Arabic fantasy land) and that's one of the reasons they're against magic, they feel it's something spiritual, unexplained by science, and way too unpredictable to accept and use. There could, however, be a deep, well-kept secret of kings/sultans/khaliphs getting tempted by magic and summoning jinns to achieve power.
SigurdFireDragon wrote:Content for the game should be made Wesnoth's own and fit as part of an immersive world. Good works of fiction do this (ie, Tolkien, Frank Herbert's Dune, A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones etc.)
Just my two cents, but if the Dunefolk come from a significantly different place, wouldn't that be justification enough for them to be significantly different from the high-fantasy factions? It would make a lot of sense that, sooner of later, a group of people would decide to abolish magic, the same way there are societies on 21st-century Earth that are skeptical of modern technology.

Change makes people uneasy, particularly if they have a reason to - if those changes can have dangerous side-effects. Necromancy and magic-driven lust for power are the price Wesnoth pays to have magic as a mainstream part of their culture.
The Dunefolk might feel that it pays off a lot more to abolish magic althogether. And also, many societies make bad choices all the time, so even if it's not justified, that doesn't stop them, nor makes it immersion breaking, for them to be Wesnoth's only anti-magic faction. It would bring a lot of diversity to the world, it makes sense in context, and it gives the faction more uniqueness than it otherwise would have.

My favorite explanation for their origin is zookeeper's. I think it has a whole lot of potential for campaigns and to be developed further, it's pretty exciting from a storytelling/originality point of view and it explains why they might not like magic and why they're culturally different from the rest of the factions.
Has their story been decided yet?

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Pentarctagon » January 9th, 2018, 1:16 am

Kasdel wrote:My favorite explanation for their origin is zookeeper's. I think it has a whole lot of potential for campaigns and to be developed further, it's pretty exciting from a storytelling/originality point of view and it explains why they might not like magic and why they're culturally different from the rest of the factions.
Has their story been decided yet?
Nope. Currently their race description is quite literally:
This race does not have a description yet.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » January 9th, 2018, 2:13 am

Thank you for the analysis of the term "khalifate". That pretty much reinforces my feelings on the matter. I would still prefer to keep the term "Khalifate" (possibly pluralized) as the name of the nation state that the dunefolk inhabit.
Kasdel wrote:unexplained by science
This phrase really bugs me. Science doesn't explain things except as a side effect. Science is a method of inquiry. In a world with magic, there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to apply the scientific method to magic; and provided magic is self-consistent and predictable, you'd get the same sorts of results that are obtained by science in the real world. (If magic is unpredictable or inconsistent, I'm not sure how science would fare, but my impression of Wesnoth magic is that it is neither of these.)
Kasdel wrote:There could, however, be a deep, well-kept secret of kings/sultans/khaliphs getting tempted by magic and summoning jinns to achieve power.
Yeah, and this might also work well if a campaign like Oath of Allegiance went mainline. I'd like to think they're not ignorant of magic; they just choose not to use it.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by SigurdFireDragon » January 9th, 2018, 4:16 am

Kasdel wrote:
SigurdFireDragon wrote:Content for the game should be made Wesnoth's own and fit as part of an immersive world. Good works of fiction do this (ie, Tolkien, Frank Herbert's Dune, A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones etc.)
Just my two cents, but if the Dunefolk come from a significantly different place, wouldn't that be justification enough for them to be significantly different from the high-fantasy factions? It would make a lot of sense that, sooner of later, a group of people would decide to abolish magic, the same way there are societies on 21st-century Earth that are skeptical of modern technology.
You seem to have missed what I was getting at when making that statement. Dunefolk coming from a different place is justification for them being different from Wesnothians/Loyalists. It is NOT justification for the faction having a complete LACK of recognizable fantasy elements. No flying carpets, no jinn, nothing from 1001 Arabian Nights, no ANYTHING.

I think the whole 'no-magic' thing should be throw out. It's not canon anyway, as it's not in the game. For example, with it thrown out it becomes much easier to add jinn or flying carpets, such as:
The lore to add a jinn can be simple to nonexistent for the time being, after all, the explanation for Merfolk in the Loyalist faction is simply that they are allied with Wesnoth in some campaigns. The same can be true for the Jinn and Dunefolk. The lore can be added later.
If a Flying Carpet line is added, it can simply be that the Jinn contributed their magic to help the Dunefolk to produce them.

Kasdel wrote:For MP, would the faction's name be just "Dunefolk"?
Yes

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by name » January 9th, 2018, 6:22 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
Kasdel wrote:unexplained by science
This phrase really bugs me. Science doesn't explain things except as a side effect. Science is a method of inquiry. In a world with magic, there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to apply the scientific method to magic; and provided magic is self-consistent and predictable, you'd get the same sorts of results that are obtained by science in the real world. (If magic is unpredictable or inconsistent, I'm not sure how science would fare, but my impression of Wesnoth magic is that it is neither of these.)
And that in turn is something that really bugs me about the dunefolk's puritanical no-magic policy in a world where magic is quite real.

If the dunefolk are a truly rational, scientifically minded people, they would discover magic and use it with wisdom. That they willfully and irrationally turn their backs on something this useful makes them seem like the stereotypical backwards religious people who think technology is a work of evil, in the real world, only for wesnoth's universe where magic fills a similar role.
SigurdFireDragon wrote:Dunefolk coming from a different place is justification for them being different from Wesnothians/Loyalists. It is NOT justification for the faction having a complete LACK of recognizable fantasy elements. No flying carpets, no jinn, nothing from 1001 Arabian Nights, no ANYTHING.
This.
SigurdFireDragon wrote:I think the whole 'no-magic' thing should be throw out. It's not canon anyway, as it's not in the game. For example, with it thrown out it becomes much easier to add jinn or flying carpets,
Indeed, I never understood where this expectation came from that it is the mainline default era's fantasy universe that should adapt to this one puritanically historical UMC faction rather than the other way around. UMC campaigns go through major changes after being mainlined to better fit the quality and consistency of mainline content, why should a multiplayer faction be any different?

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Xalzar » January 9th, 2018, 9:54 am

Kasdel wrote:
The term caliph derives from the Arabic word khalīfah, which means "successor", "steward", or "deputy" and has traditionally been considered a shortening of Khalifat Rasul Allah ("successor of the messenger of God"). However, studies of pre-Islamic texts suggest that the original meaning of the phrase was "successor selected by God".
So, basically, if "khalifate" is used, it's either going to be as a realm under the ruling of a successor/steward or of a king chosen by a God. Are the Dunefolk, in Wesnoth, supposed to be religious, or has that not been decided yet? They don't like magic, maybe that could be why, it goes against their religion's teachings. Religion is nothing new in fantasy.
It could also be because of the negative experiences they had with magic, if zookeeper's explanation is used, but that's not incompatible with a religious-driven distrust for magic, since one thing could have lead to the other.
AFAIK religion was a subject to avoid in Wesnoth. I don't know if the rule is now abolished. :hmm:
The only exception is in UtBS,
UtBS spoilers:
For this reason I keep saying: Khalifate is not okay, Sultanate is. I even proposed "Sultanates" as the MP name for the faction.

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Elder2 » January 9th, 2018, 1:19 pm

Ekhm A New Order, its the most religion influenced campaign out there.

Also many could draw parallels between the religion featured there and Islam, which I honestly find quite amusing.

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