Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » March 10th, 2018, 6:19 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 2:43 am
People always cite TRoW on this, which I haven't played, but regardless of what it says, you have to remember that it's through the lens of the Wesfolk and the elves they first contact on the Great Continent.
The elves are supposed to be generally wise and observant. Their individuals live much longer than any human and their race is one of the two oldest on the great continent. Explaining this all away as elvish folly is convenient but not plausible.

And this still ignores the issue of why the dunefolk, after having traveled so far and being so apparently nomadic, still remain exclusively in such a sub par land to the south, none of them ever moving to the fertile green places just up the coast.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 2:43 am
I think someone (MathBrush?) also posted a quote that suggests the interpretation of not having seen humans before is itself questionable.
The elves had seen humans before, as MathBrush's quotes show they had met the late prince of southbay during his expedition that discovered the great continent. The islefolk/wesfolk refugees sail east due to this knowledge the Great Continent exists far off in that direction, thanks to this earlier expedition by an islefolk prince.

Glimir: The stories are true. There must be dwarven colonists in the Brown Hills. We caught this band chopping wood near the bay. Then we saw lots of ships. Not like before, with that fellow from Southbay and his lone ship. It was always interesting when he stopped by.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by skeptical_troll » March 10th, 2018, 2:28 pm

I'll add one more post trying to be as constructive and concise as I can. I have the feeling that we're just perpetuating a semi-circular brainstorming with some points which keep dividing the community. It all boils down to personal preferences, of course, because in a fantasy world it's always possible to make up pseudo-rational arguments to reject/support any scenario. Taken out the most absurd and inconsistent cases, it is the story-telling and specification of details that makes a story interesting/compelling/plausible etc.. but this is the job of content creators, not of forum users. As it was wisely said above but too soon forgotten, here it's better to stick to few general elements in the lore and use them in the description as guidelines.
This is what I'd suggest as steps to move forward:
  • Decide how to take decisions: this is critical to me, it will never be possible to make everybody happy but it's pointless to keep arguing forever. I don't see other options except polls (meh) or the autonomous decision of the developers in charge of the project. Well, I imagine the developers already know the answer to this.
  • Decide what elements to establish: at least the fundamental facts must be decided, like the race and the origin. Beside that, few more things can be added from what we've discussed here and what is mentioned in the proposed descriptions. Although there's no reason to believe that the participants are representative of anything, Mathbrush's spreadsheet has at least the merit of showing which topics are not divisive.
  • Clarify the priorities: if the problem with the faction is really that it's not played in MP (is it the case? Which stats are available about that?), then the priority must be put in balance, not in the lore. Especially if you look at the ladder, there is no way that such a competitive environment would ever use a faction that is not considered balanced and presented as such. Even for more casual players, the limbo of default+dunefolk looks like the worst situation ever: if I look for something new I just use another era, if I want something official I go with the standard, balanced default. So something should be done about that.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » March 11th, 2018, 6:52 am

skeptical_troll wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 2:28 pm
It all boils down to personal preferences, of course, because in a fantasy world it's always possible to make up pseudo-rational arguments to reject/support any scenario.
Fantasy means something contains elements that are not consistent with our real world as we understand it. It does not excuse internal inconsistency. You are bound to the way the fantasy world operates and its established history. It is not purely subjective and open ended as you make it sound. Further, any element imported directly from reality, such as ordinary humans with no magic, should operate with the same qualities and limitations that they do in the real world. Otherwise, it is pointless using such an importation.

In short, a fantasy setting is no excuse for convenient writing.
skeptical_troll wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 2:28 pm
Although there's no reason to believe that the participants are representative of anything, Mathbrush's spreadsheet has at least the merit of showing which topics are not divisive.
We who chose to participate in this thread represent a very small sample size and from non random sampling.

It isn't unreasonable that, inside a large forum likely only frequented by a minority of the community, inside a low traffic sub forum, inside a long thread about the lore of the unpopular faction dunefolk, you would get a bias towards people already interested in dunefolk. And thus artificially much less subject to divisiveness but indeed not a reflection of the wider community.
skeptical_troll wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 2:28 pm
Especially if you look at the ladder, there is no way that such a competitive environment would ever use a faction that is not considered balanced and presented as such. Even for more casual players, the limbo of default+dunefolk looks like the worst situation ever: if I look for something new I just use another era, if I want something official I go with the standard, balanced default. So something should be done about that.
Balance happens organically, driven by popularity. You cannot force something to become popular, neither balanced. If you want to repackage dunefolk into an era that will "sell better" then you have only two good options:

1) Add more (popular) factions from UMC to default+dunefolk era and rename said era accordingly. Or remove default factions from the dunefolk era and then add in new ones from UMC that compliment it (and are popular).

2) Drop dunefolk from mainline and get it added to as many popular UMC eras as possible. Let it mutate and evolve in the UMC ecosystem (as it always should have) until a version of it becomes generally accepted as balanced and well liked. Then see to bringing this version back in.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by sedmi_patuljak » March 11th, 2018, 12:15 pm

That is s good proposal from cold steel. Khalifate does not fit with fantasy team other faction belong too. It just doesn't.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by catagent101 » March 11th, 2018, 5:09 pm

About their popularity: I usually see at least one game whenever I go onto the 1.12 official server with Default + Khalifate (two right now). This doesn't count the Ageless Era and others that also include it.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Ravana » March 11th, 2018, 5:21 pm

Note though that I removed khalifate from ageless with 4.13 (almost 3 years ago), and version from core that is referenced is such that is excluded from all randoms other than "Random Default".

So popularity of ageless does not really affect khalifate.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Deciton_Reven » March 11th, 2018, 6:12 pm

I mean I'm pretty sure popularity is at least in part tied to familiarity. The factions that have been around longer are picked more often because they because 1) people got to know them first and are more attached to them and 2) most have campaigns to further familiarize yourself with them. We'll never be able to send the Dunefolk back in time to get that same treatment on the first front. I think balance isn't tied to popularity at all though, I'm pretty sure the actual process of balancing is "forcing" something to be balanced by having the balancers just play it over and over in different maps and against different factions and adjusting accordingly.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 11th, 2018, 6:54 pm

Cold Steel wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 6:19 am
And this still ignores the issue of why the dunefolk, after having traveled so far and being so apparently nomadic, still remain exclusively in such a sub par land to the south, none of them ever moving to the fertile green places just up the coast.
Because it's not sub par. They have a nice fertile river basin nestled between two stretches of desert.
skeptical_troll wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 2:28 pm
Decide what elements to establish: at least the fundamental facts must be decided, like the race and the origin.
I don't actually think the origin needs to be considered one of the fundamental facts. The faction is present "now"; how they got there isn't important unless you want to make an origin scenario like TRoW.
skeptical_troll wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 2:28 pm
Clarify the priorities: if the problem with the faction is really that it's not played in MP (is it the case? Which stats are available about that?), then the priority must be put in balance, not in the lore. Especially if you look at the ladder, there is no way that such a competitive environment would ever use a faction that is not considered balanced and presented as such. Even for more casual players, the limbo of default+dunefolk looks like the worst situation ever: if I look for something new I just use another era, if I want something official I go with the standard, balanced default. So something should be done about that.
I think it would be good in either 1.14 or 1.15.0 to merge the dunefolk into the default era and start serious work on balancing. Personally I don't care much for balancing though. If I had to choose, I'd rather have an interesting faction than a balanced one (but of course it's better if the faction is both interesting and balanced). Note that, in balancing, it may also be appropriate to make minor changes to other factions.

In any case, this thread is about the lore, not the balancing (I think there was another thread for that).
Cold Steel wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 6:52 am
Further, any element imported directly from reality, such as ordinary humans with no magic, should operate with the same qualities and limitations that they do in the real world. Otherwise, it is pointless using such an importation.
I'm not so sure that this follows. Even if an element is imported directly from reality, they still live in a fantasy realm. They can't possibly be absolutely identical to their real-world counterpart.
Author of The Black Cross of Aleron campaign and Default++ era.
Maintainer of Steelhive.

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Post by Can-ned_Food » March 12th, 2018, 12:43 am

Hasn't this gotten off the rails? I.M.H.O., The few of you who disagree so strongly should probably consider just making your own variant of the “Dunefolk”, both a larger collection for campaigns and a subset faction for multiplayer eras. Then, we can see which one we like better.

Before you do, though, each of you should post your most recent draft of the race description here.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » March 12th, 2018, 5:23 am

Deciton_Reven wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 6:12 pm
I mean I'm pretty sure popularity is at least in part tied to familiarity.
There are quite a lot of UMC factions and eras being used in the online matches. They have never had the advantage of years in mainline to boost their familiarity, as khalifate has. And khalifate is an old faction in truth. It began in 2005.

Familiarity is not the issue here.

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 6:54 pm
Because it's not sub par. They have a nice fertile river basin nestled between two stretches of desert.
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?

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?
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 6:54 pm
I think it would be good in either 1.14 or 1.15.0 to merge the dunefolk into the default era and start serious work on balancing. Personally I don't care much for balancing though. If I had to choose, I'd rather have an interesting faction than a balanced one
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.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by MathBrush » March 12th, 2018, 6:07 am

@Cold Steel:

Our world has a civilization consisting of nomadic desert dwellers which have existed for centuries in close proximity to fertile lands without attempting to settle them.

From Wikipedia:
The Bedouin is a grouping of nomadic Arab peoples who have historically inhabited the desert regions in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, and the Levant.

...

Bedouin territory stretches from the vast deserts of North Africa to the rocky sands of the Middle East.

...

Historically, the Bedouin engaged in nomadic herding, agriculture and sometimes fishing. A major source of income was the taxation of caravans, and tributes collected from non-Bedouin settlements. They also earned income by transporting goods and people in caravans across the desert. Scarcity of water and of permanent pastoral land required them to move constantly.

...
In the 11th century, the Bedouin tribes of Banu Hilal and Banu Sulaym, who originated from Syria and North Arabia respectively, living at the time in a desert between the Nile and the Red Sea, moved westward

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Deciton_Reven » March 12th, 2018, 7:57 am

Cold Steel wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 5:23 am
Deciton_Reven wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 6:12 pm
I mean I'm pretty sure popularity is at least in part tied to familiarity.
There are quite a lot of UMC factions and eras being used in the online matches. They have never had the advantage of years in mainline to boost their familiarity, as khalifate has. And khalifate is an old faction in truth. It began in 2005.

Familiarity is not the issue here.
I don't think hidden under a rock somewhere in mainline is exactly out in the open and building familiarity. I don't want to speak for everyone but by the time you find the Dunefolk as a new player you've already become familiar with the game and the default era's mainline factions, so the Dunefolk stand out as something alien to what you are already familiar with and therefor are less likely to use it as part of the default experience. You've already burnt your chances at familiarity from the start, and that first impression is important. People using UMC eras get fresh starts with each of those eras and have sought them out, because they've gotten to know mainline well enough already, and may in fact not even see the +Dunefolk era until they start to dive into UMC and actually check the Era changing settings, but by that point they aren't interested in playing default+Dunefolk, they want to play wacky umc factions that they downloaded. They are a completely different demographic.

It's actually very important to put the faction where we want it before claiming it doesn't work there. Right now it's hidden like we're ashamed of it. Myself, I only found out about the faction being mainline accidentally a few years ago through the forums which is the wrong way to be introduced to a long term mainline faction for anyone, ever. I think you'll see the Dunefolk being used a lot more if they are just in the default era with the rest of the factions, just because they have a better chance of being pulled randomly, or on purpose even if they are there in the first place. And when that starts happening people will have to move out of their comfort zones and get familiar with them. Then if literally no one uses them then yeah, you can say familiarity isn't the problem and actually sound like you aren't being contrary just to be contrary as you'll have evidence that isn't skewed. No one picks the Dunefolk in the standard, default era, the one you have to use for ladder play, because it's physically impossible. Now if you have data on how often they're picked in games actually running the +Dunefolk era, that's actually data that's relevant because it's not skewed by not having them able to even be picked in the first place.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Coffee » March 12th, 2018, 8:42 am

I have to unfortunately agree with the last post by Deciton_Reven about the Dunefolk era being a bit tucked away like it is an embarrassment.

Earlier in this thread I think the idea was mentioned to mainline Dunefolk into default and have a separate "default minus Dunefolk" era, which could be a kind of "classic default" era. If something like this were done it would show over the next cycle whether or not the Dunefolk are compelling (the writing of a good backstory here should help this a lot) and if they are a faction that is played in multiplayer.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by sedmi_patuljak » March 12th, 2018, 8:57 am

If people want to play Khalifate they would play them regardless where the faction is. For story purpose better is to remove the khalifate from the mainline factions. We have human faction with loyalist, so Kahifate just look like another human faction different from the original only in culture. Why stop there, we could create third human faction based on medievel slavic nations called Rus, or Chinese faction from the same period. Why stop there, Elf faction could be divided to dark elves, wook elves...

Best is to avoid creating splinter factions. You have dwarves, elves, orcs, undead and humans. That is it.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » 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?
MathBrush wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 6:07 am
Our world has a civilization consisting of nomadic desert dwellers which have existed for centuries in close proximity to fertile lands without attempting to settle them.
As I have explained, those fertile lands in our world are already fully peopled -- the exact opposite situation of the plains of wesnoth (and vast other places that are not elven forest, dwarvish hills or saurian marsh) before haldric's landing. Those bedouin that settle in fertile but already populated lands have almost no impact. The population increases say 0.01% from the bedouin influx. That is nothing like the situation where a group of people move into an unoccupied land. It is a radical situation that allows radical change to happen only once.

And that is exactly what the titular civilization of Wesnoth is -- a radical change from what preceded it, unfolding over a handful of centuries through numerous mainline campaigns that depict and set themselves in this period of history.

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