Khalifate Era

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tekelili
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by tekelili » November 5th, 2014, 6:25 pm

Quetzalcoatl wrote:- make faction fantasy themed
- rename faction to something fantasy related.
I support that. Imo initial real world, small location/history time reference, was good for initial design. But now initial design is done, I find it useless and irritating.
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Quetzalcoatl
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Quetzalcoatl » November 5th, 2014, 6:59 pm

Also by removal I mean: remove it till issues will be fixed.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by iceiceice » November 5th, 2014, 7:56 pm

First of all, it's totally unrealistic that Khalifate would be removed now, at this stage, in RC3 release, so that we can redo the concept. The gameplay is good, the art looks great. The balance can surely be improved, but this will always be the case and work will be on going. Feedback on these points would be most constructive imo.

Feedback on the name of the faction seems wildly nonconstructive. That was settled years ago, agonizingly rehashed months ago in the HaChol thread for many pages... please let's not do this again, save the E-trees.

I don't understand this "not fantasy-themed" claim. What says that each unit has to have "magic" involved. The spearman is totally non-magical, non-fantasy, he's just a bloke with a spear. I guess he doesn't fit and needs to be removed. The Knalgan Alliance doesn't use any magic, I guess they are out also.

If someone made an L3 Khalifate fighter who rides on a magic carpet would that appease you? (Totally being facetious here.)

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tekelili
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by tekelili » November 5th, 2014, 9:14 pm

iceiceice wrote:Feedback on the name of the faction seems wildly nonconstructive.
How good is a faction name is merely subjective and change it doesnt involve any huge development work. You could base your deccission about how good a name is based in just few people subjective opinion, but just in case you could be worried about a name sounds bad for (lot of) other people with different language and culture, how could you know it sounds bad if I dont let you know it?
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by iceiceice » November 5th, 2014, 10:06 pm

tekelili wrote: how could you know it sounds bad if I dont let you know it?
Well I don't want to speak for the creators of the era but...

- I think they basically get artistic license to name it what they want. How would you feel if you spent years of your life writing a novel called the "The Travels of Archibald" and then some marketing executive told you "you are going to have to rename the character to 'Dexter' because it does better in focus groups". I think this might seriously cramp your style.

- I think that people have been "letting us know this" with incredible volume and persistence for literally years. I think the creators definitely heard the message and if they didn't change their minds before, it's hard to see why they would now. Maybe if you go directly to President Barack Obama and get him to make a statement denouncing the wesnoth developers for our callous and offensive taste, and to say that further the Khalifate faction is just like the Washington Redskins, maybe that would make them think again to change their minds. But then again maybe it's still not enough ;) .

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by zookeeper » November 5th, 2014, 10:10 pm

iceiceice wrote:I don't understand this "not fantasy-themed" claim. What says that each unit has to have "magic" involved. The spearman is totally non-magical, non-fantasy, he's just a bloke with a spear. I guess he doesn't fit and needs to be removed. The Knalgan Alliance doesn't use any magic, I guess they are out also.
Point is, of course, that knalgans have dwarves and gryphons which are both purely fantastical beings (even if dwarves are basically just short angry men with beards). Magic is just one possible element in making something be "fantasy-themed". The Khalifate has nothing "fantasy-themed" about it except that they happen to inhabit the same world as the other established fantastical beings. They're humans adapted to living in a desert who have trained falcons and for whom magic is haram.

Of course, it all depends on context. In some fantasy worlds, a nation/race/faction/whatever of non-magic using humans which are only culturally different from everyone else can perfectly well be considered to fit into the world and thus be "fantasy-themed". Wesnoth, however, is nothing like that kind of a fantasy world, so saying the Khalifate is "not fantasy-themed" in the world they exist in seems completely fair, because compared to everything else in Wesnoth, they contain absolutely no fantastical elements.

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by iceiceice » November 5th, 2014, 10:28 pm

Okay but lets be serious, this is just quibbling about the lore. As far as the gameplay is concerned Khalifate has plenty of unique mechanics to give them as much flavor as the other factions. Many factions have ranged magic / weapon specials like charge, skirmisher etc. Knalga doesn't, they basically get melee berzerk instead. Khalifate has melee marksman as their unique weapon special, and also the whole liminal thing. There's surely just as much gameplay flavor from this.

Frankly even as far as the lore is concerned, reading the descriptions of the units gives them just as much of a fantasy / fantastical feeling as the other races. Here's from the description of the "Rasikh":
help text wrote: Spread across the Khalifate's lands are lonely towers and garrisons that provide shelter to caravans and locals from bandits and monsters. These bastions are defended by the most determined of soldiers, who have often faced off against overwhelming odds only to repel the invaders. In an army they can be trusted to hold any position or line, long after lesser soldiers and men have fled in terror.
It's clear that it's not like, "wesnoth and all the fantasy stuff is over here, and the Khalifate is just a bunch of people living in the desert where nothing fantastical happens."

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Temuchin Khan » November 5th, 2014, 11:27 pm

I have to say, I like it that the Khalifate is so unlike the other Wesnoth factions. Having another culture in the Wesnoth world that is so different from the others makes it seem more like a real world. If everything remained within the confines of "traditional" Western fantasy, it would get stale.

That said, I'm getting to like the idea of changing at least one of their cavalry lines to elephants. As I said before, there are desert elephants, and the Arabs did use at least some elephants in the Middle Ages, so it would even have a basis in fact. And it would make them even more unique compared to the other factions.

As for the name, would people prefer "Sultanate" or "Emirate" instead?" Those alternatives would not have religious connotations, but would preserve the Arabic theme of the faction.

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by tekelili » November 6th, 2014, 12:28 am

iceiceice wrote:How would you feel if you spent years of your life writing a novel called the "The Travels of Archibald" and then some marketing executive told you "you are going to have to rename the character to 'Dexter' because it does better in focus groups". I think this might seriously cramp your style.
I can really answer that with a better example, because curiously I am a guy that have recently given name to 10 factions. It was not easy, and I tried to keep some abstract coherence doing it. I like names I gave and they took some effort to find... but I really wouldnt see as a disaster change any of them if several people told me sound ridicolous. Why I would like keep those names that sound bad to several people? From my point of view, chance of me doing that is pretty low :eng:
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by alpha1 » November 6th, 2014, 3:24 am

Ow ow ow, i was away for only a week and everyone suddenly became so serious... but fine :cry:
tekelili wrote: Why I would like keep those names that sound bad to several people? From my point of view, chance of me doing that is pretty low :eng:
I guess it's a matter of a principle at this point, can't argue with principles, mate, they are like a quicksand, the stronger you fight against them the stonger you become sucked in. Except not you but your opponents... so its kinda like you are actually pushing them even deeper in... metaphorically speaking ^_^
I personally don't mind the name that much, but for the sake of the truth this term was used historically as a name for a specifically islamic theocracy, while its being used nowadays to adress specifically islamic community. Wiki:
Caliph or khalifa is a title used for Islamic rulers who are considered politic-religious leaders of the Islamic community of believers, and who rule in accordance with Islamic law. A state ruled by a caliph is a caliphate.

There is nothing wrong with that, but people who are concerned with r/l parallels aren't concerned without a reason. Ofc one can say: "well this faction whose shtick is being historically realistic, that has a historically realistic name, has nothing to do with the way this name was historically used..." But its a bit like adding a medievel western european faction called "Papal State", that has nothing to do with either pope or christianity... I mean you can do it, but ummm...

As to the realism, it also was an... interesting idea. It would be understandable if khalifate was a technological/anti-magic faction, like dwarfs partly are, so there would be still a magic/technology dichotomy... But they are just (pseudo-)historical humans from the medieval middle east. One could as well add a viking, or samurai, or an aztec faction, with probably more interesting results. OR one could actually make some of the awesome user-made factions mainline fit *khm-windsong-khm*. There has been so much creative output over the years from the user side, would be a pity to see it all eventually gone.

ps. Desert elephants sound pretty cool :geek:
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Pentarctagon » November 6th, 2014, 4:18 am

About the name and religion, I'm a bit surprised that it's staying in. I honestly don't care one way or the other, but
Sapient wrote:The NRIW policy is an unofficial thing really. The reason cross icons and 'holy' damage are removed is because we don't want are real world religions (or shallow alterations thereof) to end up in official Wesnoth content. If you want to make a campaign about the Roman Catholic Church fighting against hordes of Buddhist monks, then there's no one to stop you. Just don't expect it to enter the official distribution.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Quetzalcoatl » November 6th, 2014, 7:05 am

hi iceiceice,

thx for response but pls do not try to troll the thread. Its not about if I like the faction name or want (or not) magic carpets. The point is that new faction doesn't go along with wes-standards and that it creates unnecessary tension. I'm not against inclusion of arab/middle-eastern faction that has some subtle real world references. I'm totally for it but that doesn't change my outlook that it current shape its no-go.

There are some very good reasons why issue should at least be discussed once again. During recent months (since previous thread was closed) some dire developments took place. Also arguments made then turned out to be invalid. It turned out that Khalifate is not sth that unites arab/muslim world. No arab state supports it, it fights vs other arab factions that fight for islamic state (Syrian rebels) as well as some other Muslim people. It has nothing to do with prejudice its all about bringing political conflict in. Whatever the true meaning of word is most ppl are not history aware and their world outlook is created by television. Sadly western media made it negative. More than that by putting this stuff in you risking of escalation of controversy if real world situation will further escalate. I'm not an expert on the matter so somebody with better insight should elaborate on the issue but for sure its a serious one. I think it would be at least wise to avoid controversy.

As for not so important stuff: I'm also up for desert elephants other that that I would still add a fantasy unit. Noy stated multiple times in the past that this game is not 1v1 balanced (and never will be) and that outlook is somewhat shared by 1v1 competitive community so adding a fantasy themed guy wouldn't probably have any impact on overall game balance while it would improve match with stuff that BfW already have.
Last edited by Quetzalcoatl on November 6th, 2014, 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by zookeeper » November 6th, 2014, 7:09 am

iceiceice wrote:Okay but lets be serious, this is just quibbling about the lore.
Well of course it is, that's always seemed to be the main point of contention. The lore is the only part which people find objectionable enough that they'd rather not have the faction at all. I'm sure there's complaints about some inconsistent stats or the like, but no one's seemed to be that annoyed by them.

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Sapient » November 6th, 2014, 7:29 am

Sultanate and elephants o my... +1 to Temuchin Khan

I've been following this discussion and I admit that some good points have been made (and some decent attempts at humor as well). Let's face it: recent events with ISIL on the world stage do make it seem increasingly insensitive to continue with the current name. I mean, I'm just stating what is painfully obvious to everyone here.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that HalChol was right, though, with his blatant anti-arab racism / xenophobia. There's nothing inherently wrong with the general concept of the faction. Arabian does not have to mean Muslim so I don't think we need to give up on the idea of NRIW just yet.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by iceiceice » November 6th, 2014, 8:19 am

zookeeper wrote:I'm sure there's complaints about some inconsistent stats or the like, but no one's seemed to be that annoyed by them.
I don't know, if you read the first page I kinda got that impression, it's a bit nebulous though.
quetzalcoatl wrote: thx for response but pls do not try to troll the thread.
To be honest I had written this thread off as a troll thread right from the start, and even I thought you were still trolling when you suddenly decide to "drop sarcasm" and suggest to remove the entire faction.
quetzalcoatl wrote: The point is that new faction doesn't go along with wes-standards and that it creates unnecessary tension.
Well clearly we disagree on the first point, not anything apparently more to discuss there. It surely does create unnecessary tension.
quetzalcoatl wrote: There are some very good reasons why issue should at least be discussed once again. During recent months (since previous thread was closed) some dire developments took place...
Sapient wrote: Let's face it: recent events with ISIL on the world stage do make it seem increasingly insensitive to continue with the current name. I mean, I'm just stating what is painfully obvious to everyone here.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that HalChol was right...
Great, let's not beat around the bush...

So I think actually, if you recall what HaChol was saying, the fact is the events of recent months are *not* new, in fact they have been going on pretty much the same way for at least a decade, longer depending how you count. These same militants (give or take) have been calling themselves the new islamic state / new caliphate, and making the videos HaChol referred to etc. for all of this time.

It seems basically impossible to me that Noy, Wintermute, and co. were ignorant of this. So I'll say again, although of course they may do as they please, if they didn't change their minds before, it's hard to see why they would now. Even if ISIL got their 15 minutes on the nightly news. It's not like the faction is called "Al Qaeda." Khalifate is a a term that is so old that it is relatively non-specific -- it has meant many different things to many different people at many different points in time. I don't think anyone will seriously believe that the faction is a reference to ISIL, as opposed to, say, ancient or medieval Persia.

Also re: Pentarctagon's post:
The NRIW policy is an unofficial thing really. The reason cross icons and 'holy' damage are removed is because we don't want are real world religions (or shallow alterations thereof) to end up in official Wesnoth content.
The point was also suggested earlier that Khalifate is roughly analogous to something like papal state, but let me just throw out some other food for thought --

Many mainline wesnoth campaigns regard wars fought by or for the Kingdom of Wesnoth. A kingdom is a nation ruled autocratically by a king, who historically speaking declares himself to have the god-given right to command his subjects and sentence them to death should they disobey. One may try to argue or cite examples from history of nonreligious kingdoms but one must be willfully blind not to see that these are the exception and not the rule. And while the subject is avoided in all of the mainline prose, the most reasonable assumption is that Haldric and co. are not much different.

After all they also have Knights, and Paladins. Knights historically speaking make an oath of fealty to their King before God. And a Paladin is quite explicitly a holy warrior.
Edit: Actually, out of curiosity I looked up the term Paladin on wikipedia. Apparently it originally referred to "... the foremost warriors of Charlemagne's court ... [who] represent Christian valor against the Saracen hordes." :?

I'm not saying that Khalifate is not a religious term, or even that it doesn't have more of a religious connotation than Kingdom, I'm just saying that there are plenty of implicit references to religion, and yes to Christianity, in wesnoth, and pretty much you see them if you want to. IMO Khalifate is not much different in this respect. Actually, I don't detect any religious references of any kind in the Khalifate content, other than in the name itself. So sorry if the whole brouhaha comes off as absurd in my opinion.

Please people, can we think of the E-Trees?
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