Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

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tuahaa
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by tuahaa » January 20th, 2010, 4:50 pm

thespaceinvader wrote:Why not?

Dwarves don't have any female units yet because we haven't made them yet.

Also worth bearing in mind that this is a military game in a medieval-esque world - the proportion of women in Wesnoth's combat forces is staggeringly high for the equivalent time period, if anything, rather than low as you seem to be implying.
Yeah. In almost all cultures at the time, women weren't required to fight. Some cultures (like medieval Europe which some aspects of Wesnoth is based on) even discriminated as them and saw them as unfit or too weak for fighting.

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by tsr » January 20th, 2010, 5:11 pm

thespaceinvader wrote:Also worth bearing in mind that this is a military game in a medieval-esque world - the proportion of women in Wesnoth's combat forces is staggeringly high for the equivalent time period, if anything, rather than low as you seem to be implying.
Well, WINR, so I think it is up to the devs to decide what values of the medieval-esque war world they want to keep or discard.

Wesnoth is played today and we are affected (however small) by how the stories are told. I think "the devs" can decide if they want to strive for a game-world that supports gender-equality (or any other value) regardless of the values of some part of medieval Europe.

And I wrote my post above to ask to change this particular decision since I think it is a flawed one and it still doesn't affect gameplay or tedious rewrites.

/tsr

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Blarumyrran » January 20th, 2010, 5:21 pm

tuahaa wrote:and saw them as unfit or too weak for fighting.
They were unfit or too weak for fighting, though.
tsr wrote:Well, WINR, so I think it is up to the devs to decide what values of the medieval-esque war world they want to keep or discard.
Of course I'm no dev but personally I really like elements of medieval-esqueness; but Wesnoth's multiplayer setting has largely dropped that pretense by including such anime characters as Drakes.

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by tuahaa » January 20th, 2010, 5:22 pm

tsr wrote:
thespaceinvader wrote:Also worth bearing in mind that this is a military game in a medieval-esque world - the proportion of women in Wesnoth's combat forces is staggeringly high for the equivalent time period, if anything, rather than low as you seem to be implying.
Well, WINR, so I think it is up to the devs to decide what values of the medieval-esque war world they want to keep or discard.

Wesnoth is played today and we are affected (however small) by how the stories are told. I think "the devs" can decide if they want to strive for a game-world that supports gender-equality (or any other value) regardless of the values of some part of medieval Europe.

And I wrote my post above to ask to change this particular decision since I think it is a flawed one and it still doesn't affect gameplay or tedious rewrites.

/tsr
I don't think women not fighting in wars would be discriminatory towards females (though we can only ask a female and find out ourselves)

PS. @anyone who cares: what about that flight issue? Honestly, drakes don't need jet engines shoved up where the sun 'don't' shine or take a very risky 31m plummet to fly
Last edited by tuahaa on January 20th, 2010, 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tuahaa
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by tuahaa » January 20th, 2010, 5:28 pm

They were unfit or too weak for fighting, though.
I see what you mean though. In the fantasy world, usually only elves and fairy like (including merman) have women who do the hand to hand combat stuff- IRL women only serve in special squads which avoid a lot of combat.

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by melinath » January 21st, 2010, 3:57 am

Birds are far from perfect. And humans who tried to imitate their design failed and died. Of course, that's mostly because of a common error of thinking. See, birds don't flap their wings to go up - the flapping only increases their forward velocity. Lift is generated in exactly the same way as by airplanes.

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Daxion » January 21st, 2010, 11:12 am

On the subject on birds and velocity:
Birds do have a limitation coming from their biological body: they cannot have any parts that go around (like a propeller), where as it is very easy to build such things. In fact it is rather hard for us to build something different (eventhough we have, see an earlier post on the subject). Coming from those different power sources (muscles and a combustion engine) requires different designs. This is more likely the big problem when trying to build planes with a blueprint of birds. Also since birds grow, they can do naturally things that we cannot easily copy (where we can do things impossible for birds). As an example I just want to mention that birds can adapt their wing profile in flight, something we only manage to do on a very limited scale (flaps, although there was a prototype test plane at NASA a few years ago on the basis on a F-111 Aardvark iirc).

You also have to be careful on what you have calculated when doing mathematical guesswork. You assumed a 90km/h take off velocity, but that also assumes that drakes have the same limitations as planes (which is quite obviously not correct). Reducing your take off velocity isn't hard to do. You just need to change your profile and wing area (flaps). We have some quite severe limitations of doing that in airplanes (acutally most planes just use flaps, and don't have slaps), but when you make the transistion to birds, you can very well imagine that they are capable of doing something like that.
The downside of lowering your take off velocity is that you "buy" it with an increased drag. This also explains why you don't have too low take off velocity in planes (as a matter of fact, the landing velocity is lower than the take off velocity, or in other words you have a higher flaps setting for landing that for take off). Because very simply: you want to gain velocity and not stay at your minimum take off speed, and that means an excess in power. So we usually stay below the possible and accept a longer take off distance (because otherwise it would be unsave, since we have hard time gaining height and speed). Also part of that take-off distance comes from the fact that you have drag from your wheels (with the ground) and drag from your gear (air resistance). Actually quite alot of it. A quite normal procedure when flying is to get of the ground, use the ground effect, clean up (raise your gear, and flaps a bit), gain speed and then climb. The big advantage is that you don't need a runway all the way.
As for the swans, I guess they are "walking" on the water soely so that their feet don't drag through it (and thus generate more drag).

What birds can do, but we are unable to is: jump in the air, gain velocity and fly before you hit the ground again. What you really need to get airborne that way is some excess in engine power.
You are right on the point that, the larger you get, the harder it is to have that excess power.
From this we can assume that drakes, need an interesting way to get airborne (take a couple of steps, jump as high as they can, flapping their wings, using a ground effect).
I personally would doubt that you (or drakes for that matter) could get airborne without a run up of a few steps, but really as peak predators, they don't need to be fast to get airborne.
However for convinience they would most likely use rocks or similar things for their initial take off, but a clearing in the jungle of 10 meters would probably be enough for them.
(sorry no numbers to support that)


As for the non-sentinent females:
This seems to be a case that resultet from an evolution, so we'd have to ask ourselfs what is the advantage of a non-sentinent female. With drakes evolution is a bit difficult, but we don't have any real world examples of non-sentinent sexual partners, which I take as: there is no advantage to it. I cannot think of any advantage, just of disadvantage:
1) selection. Sexual preferences are a bit part of the selection process. A non-sentinet female cannot have any part in the selection process, which is then only done by the male society.
2) a non-sentinent being cannot actively avoid risks (such as falling stones, enemies), which is a big disadvantage for a smaller group.
I think both problems we could get rid of by detailing more the evolutionary steps of drakes down from dragons, but maybe just saying having sentinent-drake females would be far easier (could just as well be that they are like queen-bees who never leave the beehive)

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by tsr » January 21st, 2010, 12:25 pm

As for the non-sentinent drake females
Daxion wrote:This seems to be a case that resultet from an evolution, so we'd have to ask ourselfs what is the advantage of a non-sentinent female. With drakes evolution is a bit difficult, but we don't have any real world examples of non-sentinent sexual partners, which I take as: there is no advantage to it. I cannot think of any advantage, just of disadvantage:
1) selection. Sexual preferences are a bit part of the selection process. A non-sentinet female cannot have any part in the selection process, which is then only done by the male society.
2) a non-sentinent being cannot actively avoid risks (such as falling stones, enemies), which is a big disadvantage for a smaller group.
I think both problems we could get rid of by detailing more the evolutionary steps of drakes down from dragons, but maybe just saying having sentinent-drake females would be far easier (could just as well be that they are like queen-bees who never leave the beehive)
Great points, and thanks for giving me another perspective on this.

I will try to come up with an alternative story that still keeps the drakes as extremely agressive, isolated creatures...


About non-fighting females
Blarumyrran wrote:
tuahaa wrote:and saw them as unfit or too weak for fighting.
They were unfit or too weak for fighting, though.
tuahaa wrote:I don't think women not fighting in wars would be discriminatory towards females (though we can only ask a female and find out ourselves)
Well, there seems to be a lot of women that actually are fit and want to be part of wars.

Ok, there are a few cases when sheer physical strength is important, but most situations don't require it. The reason some men are able to deal with those situations is training (both in the military and during their whole life). If I would compete against a Navy Seal I would be humiliated too ;)

If we assume a culture where women are not percieved as squemish since birth I am sure that they would be able to take part of war or any other activity where you would need strength and courage.

Some links about women in wars/the military/fight:
- http://www.google.se/search?q=women+his ... =firefox-a
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_o ... al_warfare
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_t ... _tradition
- http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/03/24/18 ... s-defense/
- http://www.historum.com/showpost.php?s= ... ostcount=4
- http://sp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/conten ... ct/9/2/212
Blarumyrran wrote:
tsr wrote:Well, WINR, so I think it is up to the devs to decide what values of the medieval-esque war world they want to keep or discard.
Of course I'm no dev but personally I really like elements of medieval-esqueness; but Wesnoth's multiplayer setting has largely dropped that pretense by including such anime characters as Drakes.
Ok, I feel stupid now, but I really don't understand what part of the medieval setting is interresting. Or actually what constitutes a medieval setting at all.

/tsr

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by Daxion » January 21st, 2010, 12:57 pm

My point of view, as to why women were usually not part of an army (although exceptions existed):
From an evolutionary point of view, a woman is important for having children. One male is sufficient to ensure the survival of a group, but several women are needed. This makes social structures possible where one one male exists in a group (we can see this with animals, for example lions). So IMO women traditionally didn't go out to hunt, because simply, they were to valuable. This consequently did lead to men being more proficient in the use of weapons, and tactics (this is not strikt).

A similar reason I would think is:
(...) Lt. Col. Dave Grossman briefly mentions that female soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces have been officially prohibited from serving in close combat military operations since 1948 (...). The reason for removing female soldiers from the front lines is no reflection on the performance of female soldiers, but that of the male infantrymen after witnessing a woman wounded. The IDF saw a complete loss of control over soldiers who apparently experienced an uncontrollable, protective, instinctual aggression.
Source: Wikipedia: Women in the military. My explanation would be, that women have been valuable for our survival, and therefore have to be protected. Somehow this in buried deep within our social behaviour. (Similar reason as I would see it, would be the saying: "Women and Children first" Wikipedia).
Of course this explanation can be overstreched, and it is rooted in our evolution. A different race with a different genealogy, can behave totally different (often females are more agressive, specially when they have youths around). Insofar it is notable that we so few women in wesnoth.
Ok, I feel stupid now, but I really don't understand what part of the medieval setting is interresting. Or actually what constitutes a medieval setting at all.
IMO in fantasy we typically want to have the technology level of a medieval society, and roughly the social structures. Everything that deviates from that, is either magic, or a different race. Probably more to the point is, that fantasy tries to be a bit the way a typical medieval peasant has seen the world (without the religion...which is like wanting to breath without air)

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by tuahaa » January 21st, 2010, 4:37 pm

About the flight issue: I think we are arguing the same thing. My proposal was to take a few steps, jump, flap a lot and take off...

If drakes can jump off a small rock and start flying as you say, they why can't they do the same small run up consisting of a few steps and flaps? Jumping off the small rock won't seem plausible considering that in game, drakes can take off even when standing in water (like all birds).

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by melinath » January 21st, 2010, 5:40 pm

Flight: I think that you are both saying the same thing.

Non-sentient females: I agree that the reasons are unclear (though the same could be said about the mermen in general.)

Women in general: Historically speaking, in humanity, it does seem as if women have played a smaller role in hunting. (Though that changes depending on each culture's definition of hunting.) However, in other races, such as lions, the hunting is done entirely by the females. There are a lot of ways to do things, evolutionarily speaking.

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by tuahaa » January 21st, 2010, 7:28 pm

Now that we've cleared the up flying issue, it's time I contributed to the one about females
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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by uzytkownik » January 21st, 2010, 8:20 pm

Daxion wrote:As for the non-sentinent females:
This seems to be a case that resultet from an evolution, so we'd have to ask ourselfs what is the advantage of a non-sentinent female. With drakes evolution is a bit difficult, but we don't have any real world examples of non-sentinent sexual partners, which I take as: there is no advantage to it. I cannot think of any advantage, just of disadvantage:
1) selection. Sexual preferences are a bit part of the selection process. A non-sentinet female cannot have any part in the selection process, which is then only done by the male society.
2) a non-sentinent being cannot actively avoid risks (such as falling stones, enemies), which is a big disadvantage for a smaller group.
I think both problems we could get rid of by detailing more the evolutionary steps of drakes down from dragons, but maybe just saying having sentinent-drake females would be far easier (could just as well be that they are like queen-bees who never leave the beehive)
3. Setience of males. Having a setient child is a huge investment. An importance of the mother in child learning process is reflected for example in expression 'mother tongue'. Humans have always developed some sort of division of labour (even in prehistoric times). Having one mate non-setient would put it at disadvantage. Not metioning that the genetic diseases of setience would probably be more widespreaded.

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by tuahaa » January 21st, 2010, 9:27 pm

or we could have a single female queen who pumps out babies like ants

but I like the idea of sentient females better; drakes should be sophisticated beings

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Re: Drakes - some thoughts on Drake society, biologie and origin

Post by thespaceinvader » January 21st, 2010, 9:39 pm

Why does sophistication have to include sentience in one gender? Just because we feel that that is sophistication, does not mean it is the ONLY form of sophistication.
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