Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

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MathBrush
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by MathBrush » March 12th, 2018, 5:16 pm

The plains weren’t unoccupied before the Wesnothians come. There were a great deal of Saurians there, as Rise of Wesnoth attests, with a dragon ally the elves hadn’t been able to defeat and Nagas they sold metal to. Even Legend of Wesmere says there was a Saurian Empire at that time.

Edit: To be honest, I'm not even sure what this discussion was about. Dunefolk coming over before the Wesnothians? I'm not commited to that, but it's not impossible.

The earlier comments about not including Dunefolk in default are, I think, a moot point at this time. I know people have claimed developer's were just exercising a sort of fiat in including them but that's exactly what's needed in a situation like this. If everyone disagrees, then someone must be upset after the decision is made, and there's no way around that.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Deciton_Reven » March 12th, 2018, 7:10 pm

Cold Steel wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 3:40 pm
The modern wesnoth multiplayer match creation screen displays all eras side-by-side with its display of all maps. Nothing is tucked away.

If no one could see khalifate or figure out how to select it, neither would they be able to see or select any map besides Aethermaw. Are the vast majority of online games played on aethermaw?
That doesn't really respond to them not even being present in default to be picked for ladder matches or in UMC eras to be picked either. So, no, even if modern wesnoth shows Dunefolk easily like that, and even if people liked them, in most situations they still are physically incapable of picking them for ladder or UMC for your "evidence" of how little of them you see in multiplayer to be relevant.

Besides this thread, and all the other recent ones, have never been a discussion of if they're going to be in default, but how to prepare them for it better when they are proper added. My advocacy is only if you want proper statistic on usage compared to the other default factions you need to give them equal opportunities to be picked now. Which they'd still fall short on probably being in an unfinished state. You know, the thing we're supposed to be fixing. I don't actually think they're ready for normal default yet since all we've done is change names, when they desperately need animated attacks minimum in that front to be the same quality visually, and for this thread to actually do it's job instead of getting side tracked with things like this, where we talk about how often they're used, to be the same narrative quality.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 13th, 2018, 3:01 am

Cold Steel wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 5:23 am
So every last individual is totally committed to staying forever in this one narrow region after their people journeyed across the entire world to arrive at it? They have total cultural uniformity from one generation to the next, such that no individuals ever settle in the vastly fertile and vacant land just to the north?
If they wish to expand, there's less resistance upriver, to the east. And I'm sure there's plenty of fertile land up that way, too.
Cold Steel wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 5:23 am
In spite of their appearance, the names of many of their units and the mobility focused game play of the faction all suggesting they have a strong nomadic streak (and can easily cross desert terrain) they are in fact the most radically sedentary culture humanity has ever produced?
A culture can be nomadic yet not leave a particular area. They would just constantly move about within that area.
Cold Steel wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 5:23 am
That is the exact opposite of default era's purpose. Default is the one era you can count on for balance of consistently high quality. It is not for broken features.
And how is it supposed to become balanced if it's never added to default? Unless it's broken to the point that you could never win (or always win) using it, I don't see a reason to keep it out of default.

EDIT: Oooh, there was a Saurian Empire? Has anyone made a campaign about that? :o
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Pentarctagon » March 13th, 2018, 3:55 am

As I mentioned before, there is another thread that has been made for discussing balance. I'd assume that it's too late to get them into Default for 1.14 though, given Wesnoth is supposed to have its RC1 release next.

Related to what this thread is actually supposed to be about, I'm becoming somewhat doubtful that it will ever be decided at this point unless someone is willing to take over the maintainership of the Dunefolk and make the final decisions on things. I'm happy to direct the discussion to keep it more or less focused, and I'm very glad that the names have been changed prior to the Steam release(even if there's a few I don't particularly like), but also I don't want to be the one ultimately responsible for the faction. Perhaps more to the point - even though we have a lot of time now before 1.15's feature/string freeze is put into effect to figure things out, all the time in the world won't make a difference if no actual progress can be made at all, and this thread has now been going on for 2 months as it is.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Xalzar » March 13th, 2018, 9:11 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 3:01 am
EDIT: Oooh, there was a Saurian Empire? Has anyone made a campaign about that? :o
[OT]
Yeah right? :D
It's such an underrated period of Irdya history, an empire of Saurians capable of comparing in strenght to the Elves, then probably decadence took over and by the time of LoW the empire was only in name and weak enough for the Elves to disband it. At least this is what I imagine happened.

Apart from the Swamp of Dread, where Saurgrath was placed, some of the Wesnoth lands were swampy (see "taming of the wild" section in the history) and could have housed the Saurians, then the Bitter Swamps to the East could probably too. Maybe there were even more marshes but then they dried out naturally or by enemies of the Saurians.
[/OT]
Pentarctagon wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 3:55 am
Related to what this thread is actually supposed to be about, I'm becoming somewhat doubtful that it will ever be decided at this point unless someone is willing to take over the maintainership of the Dunefolk and make the final decisions on things. I'm happy to direct the discussion to keep it more or less focused...[...]...all the time in the world won't make a difference if no actual progress can be made at all, and this thread has now been going on for 2 months as it is.
Yeah, this thread periodically chases its tail, with apparently solved questions resurfacing and general pessimism. A bit of "force" could be what we need to form a complete, cohesive background for the Dunefolk immediately, and then chisel it.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by skeptical_troll » March 13th, 2018, 2:43 pm

I will put myself in the line of fire and propose my version for the race description. I attempted the balance feat of remaining vague on the controversial elements (race, origin) but still trying to give some flavor. I borrowed a lot from Celtic's description and other ideas from this and the renaming thread. I'm not happy of some wording and there might be grammar mistakes, so corrections/improvements are welcome. I'll abuse of the acronym tool to put some comments here and there.
As always, it's not clear when is the 'now' the description talks about, but I imagine it is quite late in Wesnoth timeline to justify their absence in campaigns.
An offshoot of a forgotten nomadic civilization, the Dunefolk have their home in river valleys and oases adjacent to the Sandy Wastes, southeast of the known region of the continent. Dunefolk's legends tell of long and perilous travels across far-flung lands, but the actual origin of these people is lost in the sands of time, a topic that raises endless and heated debates among the most erudite of their scholars. Since their arrival, a number of bustling cities have arisen in the largest fertile areas of the south, favouring the development of regular armies, blacksmith workshops and a wealthy merchant class. Each of these cities enjoys a degree of independence almost unheard of in the more centralized nations of the north, but in times of need they all respond to a higher authority designated to protect the superior interest of the nation.

Those who have not settled in these urban centers still adhere to the lifestyle of their ancestors, roaming the dunes and leading their herds from one watering hole to another, as large, permanent water sources are scarce in the desert. They are more active during the first hours of the day and of the night, when the wastelands are neither too hot nor too cold, and their skill in moving through the sands is superior even for the dunefolk's standard. Although sometimes they are seen with haughtiness from their city counterparts, they provide an invaluable service as mobile, light troops in war times, or in protecting trading caravans across the harsh desert during peace.

Their inclination towards trade and exploration allowed the Dunefolk cities to gain immense fortunes, seen both with admiration and envy from other folks. Mutual benefits fostered cordial relations with the neighboring naga tribes, but more secretive races such as drakes and elves have always considered their expeditions too intrusive, especially when too close to their territories. It is not rare that caravans fall prey of troll ambushes in the mountains, events that repeatedly generate tales of unimaginable gold treasures amassed in hidden caves.

It would be unwise, however, to underestimate the Dunefolk's military capabilities. Not only they can field nimble light troops, cataphracts and heavily armored infantry, but their knowledge produces technologies unknown to their opponents. As a result of living in hostile environments for centuries, the Dunefolk have developed rational methods of enquiry, through which they continue to improve their understanding of the world. Their skill in herbal medicine allows them to keep their warriors and workers always fresh and healthy, and their alchemists have discovered a way to tame fire and to use it as a deadly weapon in battle. At the same time this analytical mindset has distanced them from magic, seen as an uncontrollable, unpredictable and hence unreliable force. For the same reason, distaste for undead and dark magic is even stronger among the Dunefolk than in other races.

When facing the Dunefolk in the battlefield, however, the most fearsome sight is certainly their deployment of ferocious and bizarre beasts, like the majestic roc and the imposing wyvern, probably a heritage of the Dunefolk distant past in exotic corners of Irdya.
Edit: improved with Mathbrush's corrections (thanks! :) )
Edit 2: further minor corrections
Last edited by skeptical_troll on March 14th, 2018, 11:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by MathBrush » March 13th, 2018, 3:01 pm

This conversation has been going on forever, and probably won't stop unless we decide on something. I actually really like skeptical_troll's writeup, and it would give a lot of flexibility to campaigns.

I would change 'bustling cities have raised' to 'bustling cities have been raised' or 'bustling cities have arisen' or 'bustling cities have sprung up'.

I would change "not too hot neither too cold" to "neither too hot nor too cold".

I like this writeup because it hits all the major points and focuses on only one time period, allowing flexibility in the other time periods.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Xalzar » March 13th, 2018, 5:10 pm

Yep, I approve it. I like it.
It was on my mind to propose keeping their place of origin as vague as possible since we cannot agree on anything, with just the mention of the journey like in S_T description. So I wholly agree with that direction. Let's leave that to campaigns.
The part of the beast, like said, can be modified according to our decisions about new/modified units.

Good job! ;)

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 14th, 2018, 1:16 am

I don't remember what my description was like anymore, but... I see nothing I dislike in troll's description (and recognize several bits from mine).
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Pentarctagon » March 14th, 2018, 4:37 am

It should be "An offshoot" rather than "Offshoot" at the very beginning. Otherwise, no objections here.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Caladbolg » March 14th, 2018, 12:26 pm

It's specific enough to give Dunefolk some substance but vague enough to keep some options open. I'm fine with it.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by zepko » March 14th, 2018, 7:36 pm

Yes, I am in favor of this too. I like it.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 15th, 2018, 12:31 am

At most it might need proofreading for style/grammar/spelling/etc. I don't see any obvious issues in that regard, though.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by max_torch » March 15th, 2018, 2:24 pm

kinda surprised, skeptical's description sounds good - feels very mainlinish. i think it's perfect as an official v1.0 of what the dunefolk are. This is definitely the baseline description for the future to build on.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Pentarctagon » March 16th, 2018, 12:52 am

Alright, since skeptical_troll's description seems to have (somehow :P ) managed write a description that's been accepted by everyone so far, I've added a link to it on the first post.
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