[mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race name

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What should the Dunefolk's racename be?

Poll ended at January 8th, 2018, 9:57 am

Human (Dunefolk)
15
45%
Dunefolk
14
42%
Xalidi
0
No votes
Jinn
0
No votes
Sandfolk
0
No votes
Human
4
12%
 
Total votes: 33

Deciton_Reven
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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Deciton_Reven » January 4th, 2018, 4:55 pm

Cold Steel wrote:
Vyncyn wrote:The melee attack is a flamethrower and seen in the sprite, the ranged attack is fire arrows.
A flamethrower is more of a ranged weapon though and unlikely to have an effective range any less than the orcish assassin's throwing knives or else you risk cooking yourself.

Further, melee attacks are automatically animated by the engine to show the unit charging forward at its target, which makes the naffat flamethrower gun attack look quite strange and unreadable (to me it looks like he just body slams his opponent and somehow that does fire damage). Yet disabling this animation for this one unit's melee attack would make it look like an ordinary ranged attack, so that really is not a good option.

This is why I think the naffat is a prime candidate for becoming a representation in the dunefolk faction of something from near eastern mythology (the earlier proposed fire jinn).
I just assumed the Naffat ignited the tip of the flamethrower, which is pointy enough to reasonably be bayonette-like. Then despite the jabbing motion it does fire damage in the same way fire arrows or a flametongue sword supposedly does. It's not really that far fetched to have a melee fire attack.

You can't really use unanimated units attacks as points of contention because they do not an are not supposed to represent the literal motions of the unit. They are place holders just to give the player a small amount of feedback.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by name » January 4th, 2018, 7:15 pm

Deciton_Reven wrote:I just assumed the Naffat ignited the tip of the flamethrower, which is pointy enough to reasonably be bayonette-like.
That would not be a flamethrower then, if its only attack is direct contact. More like a flame staff.
Deciton_Reven wrote:It's not really that far fetched to have a melee fire attack.
Of course not, the goblin pillager uses a torch for this purpose already.

But what is unusual about the naffat is it uses exclusively fire attacks, both melee and ranged.

That is why there is an excellent opportunity to visually re-imagine the naffat as a being composed of "smokeless fire" as per the near eastern mythos regarding jinn.
Last edited by name on January 4th, 2018, 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Vyncyn
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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Vyncyn » January 4th, 2018, 7:17 pm

Cold Steel wrote:A flamethrower is more of a ranged weapon though and unlikely to have an effective range any less than the orcish assassin's throwing knives or else you risk cooking yourself.
The naffat always looked to me like he is wearing flame retardant clothing. As a sidenote: I think he should have at least 10% fire resistance.
About the range: Could he use the flamethrower at a larger distance? Sure. But the flamethrower works fine in short range too, whereas the bow (and throwing knives) are awkward to use. And for ranged attacks the already has his fire arrows, which he'd propably prefer since they have an even larger distance (and do 18 damage instead of 16).
Of course I'm not 100% sure of how the designer meant it, but given that the ranged attack is called "fire arrow", has a bow symbol, whereas the melee attack is just ambigiuously called "naphtha attack" it would make more sense to me this way.
In the sprite the weapon is depicted with just a small pump at the end to increase the pressure behind the flame. I don't think he's able to reach large distances with this. Modern flamethrowers can reach about 15 m. The naffat's effective range would be more like 3-5 meter, which is more than a melee weapon, but doesn't quite match throwing or even shooting distance.
Deciton_Reven wrote:You can't really use unanimated units attacks as points of contention because they do not an are not supposed to represent the literal motions of the unit. They are place holders just to give the player a small amount of feedback.
That's what I think aswell. None of the Dunefolk have animations yet, so you can't really get a clue of what's going on by looking at the standart melee charge.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by name » January 4th, 2018, 8:26 pm

Vyncyn wrote: In the sprite the weapon is depicted with just a small pump at the end to increase the pressure behind the flame. I don't think he's able to reach large distances with this. Modern flamethrowers can reach about 15 m. The naffat's effective range would be more like 3-5 meter, which is more than a melee weapon, but doesn't quite match throwing or even shooting distance.
Keep in mind wesnoth only has two attack range categories- melee and ranged. While ranged attacks leave the unit standing still, melee attacks are animated by the engine automatically such that the unit "charges in" towards its target. Doing a melee charge while firing a flamethrower might probably look strange or unreadable as such. Especially since the space the flamethrower plume can be rendered in will be very small; it is cropped by the limits of the naffat sprite rather than being a separate sprite like arrows, drake breath and other ranged missile effects that get their own sprite.

Melee was only ever designed for hand to hand strikes, not gun type weapons.
Deciton_Reven wrote:That's what I think aswell. None of the Dunefolk have animations yet, so you can't really get a clue of what's going on by looking at the standart melee charge.
Fair enough, but the animator won't have any more information to work with than we do and I can't imagine how this is supposed to look right. He has a flamethrower thing, which is not used at range but does not look anything like a melee weapon and will be very difficult to animate as a melee weapon for the above technical reasons.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Deciton_Reven » January 4th, 2018, 8:33 pm

Cold Steel wrote:
Deciton_Reven wrote:I just assumed the Naffat ignited the tip of the flamethrower, which is pointy enough to reasonably be bayonette-like.
That would not be a flamethrower then, if its only attack is direct contact. More like a flame staff.
I mean a bayonette'd flamethrower, yeah, probably still a flamethrower. It doesn't lose the capability to throw because it can also stab them. They aren't mutually exclusive.

As a side note, how does he shoot his arrows? Is the flamethrower more like a crossbow/bowgun in function? It seems odd he'd have 'normal' flamethrower and a bow as well.
Cold Steel wrote:
Deciton_Reven wrote:That's what I think aswell. None of the Dunefolk have animations yet, so you can't really get a clue of what's going on by looking at the standart melee charge.
Fair enough, but the animator won't have any more information to work with than we do and I can't imagine how this is supposed to look right. He has a flamethrower thing, which is not used at range but does not look anything like a melee weapon and will be very difficult to animate as a melee weapon for the above technical reasons.
I too as an artist lack the creative reasoning to adequately make a man, step forward, swing an object AND also fire comes out of it and or is on it. You're lack of imagination only really counts if you're the one that would be animating the sprites. Speaking of for all your advocacy of huge work load for spriters by changing all the thing you don't like visually I don't see you providing any sprites yourself so far. You know it's not that easy of a job to do right?

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Vyncyn » January 4th, 2018, 9:08 pm

Cold Steel wrote:While ranged attacks leave the unit standing still, melee attacks are animated by the engine automatically such that the unit "charges in" towards its target.
It's possible to turn off the "charging" animation in the units CGF file.
Deciton_Reven wrote:As a side note, how does he shoot his arrows? Is the flamethrower more like a crossbow/bowgun in function? It seems odd he'd have 'normal' flamethrower and a bow as well
It think he has an additional bow, which is not depicted in the sprite. The naffat at least has a quiver on its back.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by name » January 4th, 2018, 10:55 pm

Deciton_Reven wrote:It seems odd he'd have 'normal' flamethrower and a bow as well.
That is exactly what he seems to have. I agree it does not really make sense.
Deciton_Reven wrote:Speaking of for all your advocacy of huge work load for spriters by changing all the thing you don't like visually I don't see you providing any sprites yourself so far. You know it's not that easy of a job to do right?
For the naffat, I would use the existing "fire elemental" sprite to represent it until the balancing process was stabilized. I highly recommend using UMC best fits for other dunefolk unit concepts, like that roc sprite someone posted for a falcon replacement or battlestar's or Vyncyn's own elephant sprite for the khaiyal -> war elephant idea. And you only need a one frame sprite to get the idea across for now.
Vyncyn wrote:It's possible to turn off the "charging" animation in the units CGF file.
Is this turned off for any other mainline faction units? Will the animation still be obviously a melee attack at all without the charge?

I believe the answer to both questions is no.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » January 5th, 2018, 2:56 am

Since others have started responding now, I'll dispense with the spoiler tag.
Cold Steel wrote:Dunefolk mobility is unhindered by sand and their defense on such terrain is formidable. I would say they do just as well as the natives. So if humans can match those natives there, it is reasonable they can do the same to the elves in the forest (a less 'extreme' environment than desert) or dwarves on rough terrain, for examples.
Well, the outlaw ranger unit already shows humans approaching the level of elves in forest, doesn't it? I don't think it's a stretch to suppose that some humans could match an average elf.

Anyway, there are no true desert natives in mainline as far as I can tell, so we can't really say how the dunefolk mobility and defense on sand compares to actual natives. I wouldn't call the drakes desert natives either - they're more creatures of the mountains.
Cold Steel wrote:What specifically do you mean by jinn? We have talked about adding one or more units to the dunefolk faction inspired by the mythological jinn but currently there is no such unit in mainline, right?
Yeah, there's no jinn (or fairies) in mainline, they're just something that fits the available lore that I'd like to imagine exists in the world (whether or not units are specifically created of them).
Cold Steel wrote:Besides the better medicine resulting in a superior level one healer as you mentioned before, those kinds of peace time advances have not so much relevance to a multiplayer faction in a tactical level war game like this one. It would be difficult to translate superior agricultural knowledge into a game that does not handle resources like food. For alchemy, the thunderer and (red) mage lines apparently demonstrate such a degree of chemical knowledge is fairly commonplace among the factions.

With only peacetime advances you might end up with an interesting enough culture to explore in a campaign (like wesfolk or quenoth were explored this way) but not enough material specifically relevant to mainline multiplayer warfare to be as compelling and consistent as the default era factions it would be joining.
I just don't think it's necessary for their supposed scientific prowess to be reflected in every aspect of their unit design. The dunefolk already have a few unusual features that make them interesting for multiplayer - the best healer, the fire melee unit.
Vyncyn wrote:
Cold Steel wrote:Basically that is my point of contention-- I do not see how drakes (or saurians) are stronger in the desert than dunefolk in the least.
This seems more like a question of balance, to be brought up later when the name discussions are done.
Cold Steel wrote:
Vyncyn wrote:This seems more like a question of balance, to be brought up later when the name discussions are done.
Balance probably will not help with this, since both drakes and dunefolk faction concepts are currently:

1. Mobility Focused
2. Alignment Flexible
3. Dominant On Sand

So they largely compete for the same multiplayer balance "turf". Balancing dunefolk to be weaker to drakes than they currently are would likely not involve weakening dunefolk dominance on desert terrains since this is fairly important to their survival against other factions, especially on smaller maps (which compensate mobility oriented drakes with more sand tiles, a balance mechanism the mobility oriented dunefolk take advantage of for the same reason).
I just don't see the drakes as being dominant on sand. Most of them fly, so they're pretty good on nearly every terrain (though the flightless drakes are no worse on sand), and drake defense on sand isn't especially good (40% if I'm reading the files correctly). Furthermore, their lore explicitly says they like the mountains.
Cold Steel wrote: Well the naffat is strange in that it not only gets a ranged fire attack but its melee attack is fire based as well. The exact workings of its melee fire attack is also unexplained and undepicted by the sprite.

I see this unit as the top candidate to become a kind of jinn, specifically a fiery jinn (a concept based on selections of the fairly diverse jinn mythos.) Perhaps something like the existing fire elemental unit; a being radiating such heat that mere close proximity would burn you (hence working as a melee attack).
Cold Steel wrote: This is why I think the naffat is a prime candidate for becoming a representation in the dunefolk faction of something from near eastern mythology (the earlier proposed fire jinn).
Personally, I think putting fantasy into the naffat actually makes it less interesting... but if the fantasy is a motivation rather than an explanation, that could be interesting. Suppose the dunefolk both revere and fear the fabled jinn, and through this fascination have managed to develop a fiery substance worthy of those fantasy creatures without actually using magic at all.
Deciton_Reven wrote:As a side note, how does he shoot his arrows? Is the flamethrower more like a crossbow/bowgun in function? It seems odd he'd have 'normal' flamethrower and a bow as well.
If the dunefolk are supposed to be a bit more advanced, I'd say give them a crossbow... but I dunno.
Cold Steel wrote:
Vyncyn wrote:It's possible to turn off the "charging" animation in the units CGF file.
Is this turned off for any other mainline faction units? Will the animation still be obviously a melee attack at all without the charge?

I believe the answer to both questions is no.
I don't know of any that turn it off, but I want to point out that this isn't a binary choice. You could have an animation that slides forward, but not as far as the default melee animation. If the naffat's flamethrower is essentially a reach weapon (like a pike), that may even make sense... though spearmen and such don't have any variations in this as far as I know.




I feel like I missed something... oh well.
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Xalzar
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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Xalzar » January 5th, 2018, 9:53 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote: Anyway, there are no true desert natives in mainline as far as I can tell, so we can't really say how the dunefolk mobility and defense on sand compares to actual natives. I wouldn't call the drakes desert natives either - they're more creatures of the mountains.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:I just don't see the drakes as being dominant on sand. Most of them fly, so they're pretty good on nearly every terrain (though the flightless drakes are no worse on sand), and drake defense on sand isn't especially good (40% if I'm reading the files correctly). Furthermore, their lore explicitly says they like the mountains.
A bit of context: Drakes AFAIK are native to islands. Here's a likely hystory of the Drakes: they hail from the archipelago of Morogor, in the ocean. We don't know if they inhabited the Old Continent before that point (I think it's very likely), but I guess they adapted to life in the isles. Then their homeland began to sink, and they started isle-hopping to safety until they reached the shores of the Great Continent.
As their description says, Drakes need large hunting grounds with prey, and they prefer unpopulated areas. Seems like islands were surely the perfect habitat (ocean all around, sea creatures to hunt), but not many are present on the west coast of the Great Continent, so they searched for alternatives.
Mountains were the solutions: scarcely populated by sentients, and rich of wildlife. The cold doesn't bother them too much thanks to their internal fire apparently, though they prefer settling near volcanoes since they need extreme heat for their forges.

So: Drakes do indeed like mountains, and they don't mind sand not because desert is their homeland (it can't sustain them since there are insufficient preys), but because they lived on the beaches of islands.
Little note for Saurians since they were mentioned in previous posts: they are also adapted to beaches and not deserts (see one of the scenarios in HttT where Saurians are settled on the coast trading with Nagas). I think it's fairly plausible that a different branch of Saurians could exist in the desert (reptiles are common in that environment), but "our" Saurians live in relatively cold swamps and muddy beaches.
Dunefolk are the most "native to desert" faction you could get at the moment (surpassed only by the Desert Elves of UtBS). So their superiority in sand is justified.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
Cold Steel wrote:Besides the better medicine resulting in a superior level one healer as you mentioned before, those kinds of peace time advances have not so much relevance to a multiplayer faction in a tactical level war game like this one. It would be difficult to translate superior agricultural knowledge into a game that does not handle resources like food. For alchemy, the thunderer and (red) mage lines apparently demonstrate such a degree of chemical knowledge is fairly commonplace among the factions.
I just don't think it's necessary for their supposed scientific prowess to be reflected in every aspect of their unit design. The dunefolk already have a few unusual features that make them interesting for multiplayer - the best healer, the fire melee unit.
I don't think Dunefolk have a technological superiority in general, and that is the source of the misunderstanding. I think Wesnoth Humans and Dunefolk have different levels of technological advancement in different branches. I think Dunefolk are for sure better versed in Medicine and fire warfare (I think they use some type of fossil fuel, and they probably use it for something else too), and maybe even in state organization and world exploration (if they come from a different continent), and probably have some peculiar blacksmithing techniques.

Think of Westerners and Chinese: when gunpowder was introduced in Europe it was a real innovation, but that doesn't mean the Chinese, its inventors, were in general technologically superior to Westerners. They simply had a breakthrough in a branch neglected by the latter.
Cold Steel wrote: Well the naffat is strange in that it not only gets a ranged fire attack but its melee attack is fire based as well. The exact workings of its melee fire attack is also unexplained and undepicted by the sprite.
Deciton_Reven wrote:As a side note, how does he shoot his arrows? Is the flamethrower more like a crossbow/bowgun in function? It seems odd he'd have 'normal' flamethrower and a bow as well.
I have this idea to avoid a cumbersome second weapon.
The flamethrower couples as a sort of dart launcher: the operator applies a dart onto its weapon, with its point placed very close to the muzzle, and before shooting it activates the flamethrower which sets aflame the dart, creating a flaming dart.
The only inconvinience of this idea is that this entire operation seems to be not much faster than reloading a Dwarven thunderstick, so the number of ranged attacks this unit has could not be reflected correctly.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Pentarctagon » January 5th, 2018, 9:57 am

Well, it looks like the original thread topic has mostly ended :roll:

Anyway, the poll's up. Everyone gets 1 choice, and it'll run for 3 days.
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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Elder2 » January 5th, 2018, 11:13 am

Human (Dunefolk) racename format is something that I think is not used in any other faction. I can't think of any faction using such format, it just looks bad and is bad.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Xalzar » January 5th, 2018, 11:24 am

ElderofZion wrote:Human (Dunefolk) racename format is something that I think is not used in any other faction. I can't think of any faction using such format, it just looks bad and is bad.
Yeah, on second thought I think I prefer "Dunefolk" for this reason. The descriptions and common sense will say that they're human.
But classifying all the rest of the humans as Human seems strange now... :hmm:
Still, now I'm convinced it's the best solution.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Vyncyn » January 5th, 2018, 11:54 am

ElderofZion wrote:Human (Dunefolk) racename format is something that I think is not used in any other faction. I can't think of any faction using such format, it just looks bad and is bad.
It's not about the faction though, it's a name for the race. And humans are by far the most widespread race, so they would be the first to be divided into different categories. Maybe in the future other races with too many units can have subraces aswell.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by Elder2 » January 5th, 2018, 12:05 pm

I know its a name for a race, and I haven't seen any other faction use a similiar format.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) race nam

Post by skeptical_troll » January 5th, 2018, 1:02 pm

Consistency would demand the race name to be 'Human', but if I think of what I'd like to have when I write WML and filters, I certainly prefer 'Dunefolk'. Unless, of course, a 'faction' attribute is added to the units, but I don't know how convenient that would be.

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