Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

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Chewan
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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Chewan » February 11th, 2016, 1:41 am

@ johndh » Trolls: ...if somebody wanted to make a campaign where somebody captures a bunch of troll eggs
EGGS ?!? … That's as odd as picking buds growing on a troll – male, female, who cares... We've been there, 3 pages of guesswork which have got us nowhere... :doh: To be honest, I didn't think that it was such a sensitive issue to clarify the origin of a troll whelp.
It's understood that UMC is irrelevant and race characterizations etc. in the wiki are just non-official references to jog creativity or imagination, but with 2 new campaigns in the last 8–9 years prospects are sombre whether some information will ever be part of or referenced in mainline...
Maybe there is still a chance to settle the question of trollish multiplication rather by a line in the canonical race description... It's just a minor detail after all, that can hardly require rewriting the whole history of Wesnoth.
@ Gyra_Solune » Saurians: I feel that should be mostly fair in all regards?
Sounds perfect ... Is all this knowledge gender-segregated or not? :D

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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Gyra_Solune » February 11th, 2016, 2:13 am

I'm going to go and be on the side of no, it isn't, largely on personal preference!

And I am not really here to decide on the exact biology of things! I am here to write things in accordance to what is already decided. If I WERE to decide that once and for all, I would actually propose that trolls just sort of grow out of rock formations due to magical influence. I'd even posit the possibility that they're not too dissimilar from undead - but instead of the spirit possessing its own skeleton/corpse or roaming free as a spirit, it possesses stone deep in caves and begins life anew in that form. That, in turn, would lead me to say perhaps woses are similar, but with spirits taking root in a sapling. Which then brings up the possibility that what is referred to as the realm of the fae is actually the afterlife or something. This is why I am refraining from making decisions in this operation, at least for the time being! It leads me to think of all kinds of odd tangents.

But I will go and say I am not too keen on the idea of trolls laying eggs mostly because the idea is a little silly.

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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by johndh » February 11th, 2016, 3:30 am

Gyra_Solune wrote: But I will go and say I am not too keen on the idea of trolls laying eggs mostly because the idea is a little silly.
It was just an example. My point was that there's no need to officially declare anything on the matter.
Gyra_Solune wrote: They worship the stars and likely have a basic grasp of astronomy as a result (and presumably then, some form of calendar), but it likely extends very little beyond that.
I don't imagine that they worship the stars as gods generally (though there may be some cults that do so), so much as just using astrology to predict events and discern meaning. This being a fantasy setting, it may even work.
their insight of mathematics is likely to mostly relate to tracking the movements of celestial bodies but hardly on a level as to where they'd be matching Euler or something. I feel that should be mostly fair in all regards?
I figure they're probably significantly more advanced in mathematics than the humans of Wesnoth, since they actually have a reason to develop things like geometry and algebra. Anyway, saurians are so spread out that there's no way they're all the same. There are likely some settlements that are still in the Dung Ages while others might be the Athens or Baghdad of the Great Continent.
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.

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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Gyra_Solune » February 11th, 2016, 4:28 am

Humans have a reason to do such things as well though! Mages when they aren't war mages are very much the scholars and likely engineers of human society. What such mathematics and geometry really do for people practically is engineering and construction. People need to make castles and walls and boats and bridges and siege weaponry and math is how you do that!

The saurians really do not have such advanced things going on for them - dwarves are undeniably the technological leaders and both humans and elves easily follow in terms of their capacity to arm and armor their people. Drakes have skilled craftsmen and smiths and builders but I doubt they have much in the way of formal education. The saurian mages are not scholars so much as they are in the role of priests and shamans who lead more through rallying and ritual than through like, treaty and doctrine. They have no armament besides spears and spellcasting, and their only known major 'city', Saurgrath, is a really rough and crude orcish-style castle. I am going to presume from this such that their knowledge is limited and writing and numerals are largely used in a religious capacity and very rarely in a scientific one!

Chewan
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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Chewan » February 11th, 2016, 4:03 pm

@ Gyra_Solune » Saurgrath, is a really rough and crude orcish-style castle
Saurgrath – their only known major 'city' in mainline – is the capital of the Saurians with monumental 'Aztec' pyramids (like drakes):
LoW, Saurgrath.png
Building such imposing structures requires expert know-how. Though insignificant, Saurian towns in UMC usually show the same architecture (e.g. Xaffrasz/Swamplings), others add-ons, however, 'prove' johndh right, there are likely some settlements that are still in the Dung Ages (e.g. RotW: Saurian tribes are forever growing, splitting and dying. Most leave little more than rapidly crumbling mud huts behind...)
Mathematics and natural sciences root in the search for patterns: in respect of time, as old as any thinking creature, whether human, saurian... or troll. ;)

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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » February 18th, 2016, 12:22 am

First, before I respond, understand that I might have been partly talking from my own interpretation and guesses rather than the actual intent of Wesnoth. What I say isn't necessarily the actual intent of the setting, unless I give references.
Gyra_Solune wrote:Hmmm, so ghosts also are meant to just sort of happen? I was under the impression that the influence of a user of dark magic was the sole way an undead being came into creation - campaigns like Descent into Darkness seem to establish that if a magically-summoned creature is around independently, that tends to be due to their conjurer being dead or possibly having forgotten about them.
I haven't played DiD, but in Delfador's Memoirs, he brings ghosts (and, I think also ghouls) back from some sort of "land of the dead" place. Now, I didn't finish the campaign, so I might've missed some big reveal later, but to me this seems like a case of ghosts that came into existence without the intervention of any mage.
Gyra_Solune wrote:Instead of dying with the summoner, those creatures just sort of continue on their way through some basic survival instinct - mudcrawlers and ghouls can probably have moderate success in the wild, especially mudcrawlers since possibly a single conjured one can amass energy through small creatures and affinity with the earth and emerge as a pest far and across the land.
Regarding mudcrawlers, I'm not opposed to the idea that they are, essentially, a created race - some mage conjured them up centuries ago, and they escaped and learned to fend for themselves, or something like that.
Gyra_Solune wrote:So I'd figured ghosts and the Death Knights were much the same way. Ghosts being simply the result of a dark ritual performed somewhere that many dead bodies are, and Death Knights being simply ordinary Skeletons that happened to be exceptionally strong and charismatic leaders in their past life. They may well break free of their masters and operate independently - DiD establishes undead creatures are often capable of rebelling - but the way I saw it there was always a dark mage at the source of it. But if there's significant contrary evidence that the undead are just a thing that happens I ought to indeed know of it - I've definitely not played all the way through a number of the longer campaigns so most of my reference comes from DiD and Rise of Wesnoth.
I'm not sure on the question of death knights in Wesnoth. I recall a death knight in HttT with no necromancer present, but that doesn't in itself imply that no necromancer had a hand in the death knight's existence (unless I'm forgetting something). In my own interpretation, a death knight is more like a lich than other forms of undead - they've become undead through their own actions rather than from the actions of someone else. However, I don't think there's anything to support that in the Wesnoth lore, so framing them as an ordinary skeleton which happened to belong to some particular charismatic and strong-willed leader, and possibly one who broke free of the necromancer's control, seems reasonable to me.
Gyra_Solune wrote:Magic is...a very very peculiar thing in this setting, and I would greatly appreciate a bit more official detail on how exactly it's used. I was viewing it from a very technological and logical sense, as I tend to do with fantasy settings, heh. The way I saw it, magic is more like control of elemental energy. Mages can shoot fireballs, cast dispelling beams of light (the 'arcane' damage type seems to function as a sort of...undoing of other magic, dissolving it in a way), or teleport their being, setting a precedent that they just channel raw energy and alter it for their purposes. Fae magic seems to be of a more physical bent, manipulating things like water, vegetation, and presumably the flow of air for flight. Runesmithing is basically enchanting, probably roughly similar to the 'regular' bent of magic but more sealed and controlled. And dark magic sounds to me like just the forbidden classes of that same magic - manipulating the energy of the soul and using it to raise the dead, sapping the strength out of those it's cast on. It could probably use some elaboration, but dark magic looks to be sort of split into two kinds - the more energetic kind we all know the Adepts use which is more like a variant of more accepted kinds of magic, and the sort of ritualistic, occult variant that's used by saurians and the orcish shamans.
You're right that there's not much about the form of magic in the lore. I think some of the magic used by an adept is more or less the same as that used by a regular mage - it's elemental energy, just ice rather than fire. It's entirely possible that "dark magic" is just an artificial categorization, based on people's interpretations of those acts as wrong or forbidden or whatever; in that interpretation, there could be "dark fae magic", "dark elemental magic", etc. The arcane magic of the white mages and the "dark" magic of the necromancers might well be closely related... or, of course, they might not.

I guess magic in your interpretation doesn't strictly require an attack with the "magical" special, as none of the shamans (elvish or orcish) have that.

Are there any campaigns that actually go into much detail about how magic is supposed to function? I suppose DiD probably counts, but besides that?
Gyra_Solune wrote:I'd be interested in seeing a campaign about nobles and the like where they might use such falcons!
That would be cool, yeah!


Chewan wrote:
@ Celtic_Minstrel » Sea Serpent: there can be no doubt that it's very much a deep-sea creature
My observation that they are not only found in marine environments referred to deep water lochs, underground rivers and cave lakes. The number of sea battle scenarios is limited, this monster is spectacular, in UMC it feels at home in all regions with diving possibilities...
Hmmm... it appears in DW (totally appropriate), but also in EI, TRoW, and UtBS. Of those, I've only played DW, so it's hard to say if it's really appropriate there.

Glancing through the cfg files, it seems that the EI scenario is in a swamp, so it's not really appropriate, but it also seems to imply that it was summoned, which overrules that. So EI is probably fine. In TRoW, it seems to be at an island, so not too inappropriate. And in UtBS... I don't really feel like going through it, but given that I know UtBS is set it a desert, I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't fit at all.

UMC isn't really a good measure in this case, because the sea serpent was recently redesigned. Prior to that, it was pretty similar to the water serpent, and thus could easily fit into any place where the water serpent fit. However, now it very clearly evokes a deep-sea creature. If I were the author of an add-on that used the sea serpent in a river or other place far from the sea, I would be seriously considering replacing that with either the water serpent or a new unit based on the water serpent (essentially, a higher-level water serpent).




johndh wrote:Yeah, I was thinking of that earlier. I don't particularly have a problem with the warriors being female and the mages being male; I just don't know if it's currently supported in mainline. What appears in mainline is what really counts as canon. Saurian fortune-telling abilities are supported by their unit names and descriptions (Augur, Oracle, Soothsayer), but I didn't find any mention of sex or gender roles in their descriptions. I don't even know that they have two sexes. They could reproduce asexually, or they could have a hive-like social structure where the skirmishers are infertile females and the augurs are a polyandrous harem for the egg-laying queen caste. Apparently it's wide open right now.
Well, there's two bits of evidence in the cfg files. In the [race] tag, there's an allowance made for a generic word to refer to a female saurian; only a few races omit this (wose and mechanical). On the other hand, they don't have a list of female names for the Markov chain generator - but, nor do some others that obviously do have females (khalifate in particular; others that have no female names are dwarves, ogres, orcs, trolls, wose). Unfortunately, I can't determine anything based on gender= in the individual unit's config - I think only a few units actually use this. I'm not sure what it defaults to if not present, either.

To me, the only major race that's obviously asexual is the wose. Every other major race is humanoid, and thus likely to have both genders. Though, based on the rock-like appearance of the trolls, I could also see them being asexual. I don't think we have hard evidence of any of this, though.
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nuorc
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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by nuorc » February 19th, 2016, 12:24 pm

I just read the descriptions of the bats and wanted to suggest an overhaul. As short as they are, the second and third parts about the drain are redundant, while the 'feral' bit is not covered. The (very flavored) description of the Dread Bat claims it 'gains' the drain ability, while in fact the two lower levels already had that.

So if someone here has an idea...
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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Gyra_Solune » February 19th, 2016, 5:32 pm

I'm not precisely sure how you could go about talking of the feral thing considering it's extremely a balancing thing to make bats on villages slightly less terrible to deal with.

I might look over those though.

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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » February 21st, 2016, 6:29 am

The race description of bats probably shouldn't mention drain, though - someone might make a bat that's not a vampire bat, which wouldn't have drain. (I'm pretty sure I did that myself, in fact.)
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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Gyra_Solune » February 24th, 2016, 3:03 am

Hah, I'd have been done with campaign units but last week and the forseeable future suddenly dumped a ton of schoolwork onto my plate. I'm hoping it clears up relatively soon though, and I've been making slow and steady progress (also gonna work on those bats).

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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by nuorc » March 13th, 2016, 3:30 pm

Gyra_Solune wrote:Falcons
Falcon
Uhm, Falcons and Falcon descriptions? :hmm:

So, everybody still excited about this rewriting? I just read the Khaiyals' description, and I think it's very, very unfortunate that it contains the word 'charge' three times, as that is a special some (pretty similar) units have, while the Khaiyals don't.
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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 13th, 2016, 3:49 pm

Both. The khalifate are mainlined, but not yet included in the default faction and (as I understand it) may still be subject to balance tweaks.
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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by zookeeper » March 13th, 2016, 4:18 pm

nuorc wrote:btw: Could maybe someone enlighten me about the status of the Khalifate? Are they considered to be mainline, still in development...?
Well, naturally they are mainline, but they're not part of Default Era and probably won't be. No one's really working on them these days, except maybe the official backstory they might be getting (whether that would affect any of their descriptions, I don't know).

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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by nuorc » March 13th, 2016, 4:58 pm

Thanks Celtic_Minstrel & zookeeper for your replies. Ofc Mainline != Default Era. :doh:
zookeeper wrote:No one's really working on them these days
I see... With Sleepwalker gone I guess I can also keep my thoughts concerning the sprites to myself...
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Re: Let's Rewrite Descriptions!

Post by Aldarisvet » March 24th, 2016, 7:57 pm

I am working on the translation now and found a silly mistake that has origins from the English version. Units of fencer line have sabre attacks. But anyone who had something with fencing knows that sabres could not have so developed hilt. Obviously it is a rapier as you can see on the attack image picture and portraits. Just check the Wikipedia and images there.

Who really have saber-like swords are nagas. We trying to create logical translation for fighter - warrior - myrmidon but its hard with so illogical line. We found no evidence that myrmidons ever used two-sword fighting style and that's really ehh.. disappointing. Possible it would be good to rename it dimachaerus - gladiator type of ancient Rome which used two swords.
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