Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

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AxalaraFlame
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Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by AxalaraFlame »

I always bear a welcoming idea of people inventing new factions. However, due to varies of reasons, there is one user made faction which I cannot find any points appealing now assends to a very high level. I have no idea how and why it happens, but I would want to give my negative feedbacks, particularly name out how many defects this faction has, and why shouldn't we introduce it into mainline. I would be willing to give some critiques, but not a critism.
Here are:

1. We already have a human faction now, and we have two more factions strongly relying on humans. Why do we need one more human races for wesnoth, and make them so unreasonably important? This involvement of another human faction would only bring bore and lower down its replayablity.

2. Khalifate does not have any historical importance on wesnoth history. Maybe in ANO they have a little bit, but never much. If wesnoth is really going to involve this Arabic style race and its own campaigns, largely awry from the oringinal antique and classical European medival/mythological settings, I guess there is really no much point playing it anymore(personally). For a Tolkein styled fantasy game, Arabic style faction really does not fit it well.

3. Khalifate units are not appealing from many dimensions. They are rather dull in attack types or sprites, and these units did not bring any new elements to this game (no new abilities, no new attack specials, no animations), thus, nearly no innovation have they brought to MP battles, but only difficulties in balancing. I have not even mentioned that their names are so lame so funky to spell, but that is a minor issue.

4. ...talking about difficulties. 7-faction balance would be a freaky damned hard job to do, somehow, nearly impossible. We cannot even balance the current match-ups properly, why shall we get a new race and get more trouble?

5. Khalifate is a rather IMBA race, let me come back to the feedback topic elaborate them:
(1)Arif
Exclusives can hardly stand 9-2 marksman blades. These units can tear up footpads like cutting butter. So, literally , it is a lv1 units with physical-marksman damage. It would presumbly screw up the very basic usage of exclusives in this whole game, where their dodge rate and negative physical resistances reached a balance.
(2)Jundi
A strong unit, good at both range attacks and melee attacks...I have no more ados on it but just remind you guys that we have removed dwarvish scouts for the same reason.
Besides, there is not simply this issue matters Khalifate balance. Jundi is the basic fighter unit of Khalifate (most efficient, checpeat, fast and comprehensive battle performance). Its damage style hardly enables them to deal good damage (enough to result in kills) in a turn, so they must be assisted by other units, like Arifs or naffats. I know the fact that with such kind of match-ups the faction can remain balanced, but it is britle, hard.
(3)naffat
I strongly doubt about what the is the use of those non-marksman/magical range units. They are really incompetent, but we still count on them to tear up skeletons, ghosts and ghouls. However, for the same jobs they do, other factions have far cheaper or more competent units. I guess they should be cheaper here.
(4)horses
Khalifa horse issues are not simply balance issues (I scarcely use their horses as offenders), but their horses obviously offend some very basic rationales. Their horses resist pierce; horses fear pierce, which is rather simple rationale. It can be hardly explained by any means (some guys instinctively guess they might be armored. For these people, I strongly suggest them to go some most basic college physics classes). Even if they are so well armored, it becomes a dilemma: Khalifa horses seem to have no resistances against impact and blade, which strongly indicate that they bear no armor. Blade/impact posituve resistances+pierce negative resistances is usual, plausible, and explainable; even elvish horses which are unarmored to achieve higher mobility fear pierce. But Khalifate are not. Instead, they are simply irrational. Their level ups are even more funky: fear cold, 8-5 ranged, et cetera. I just don’t understand what would these differences indicate, or what changes would they bring to the game. Some people might say these guys are good riding archers. Two predicaments of this theory: 1. 5 strike is far out of warfare principle. 2. elvish horse archery is desolated. If elves cannot distinguish their archery in a fantasy based game, including horsy archery, what could make some more basic sense?
(5) The cures/heals+8 healer
Its imbalance is so obvious that I may not need to go further on it. In addition, even If this kind of units shall exist, it shoud still belong to some other factions which take more damage.

In conclusion, I strongly suggest gamers and players to give an additional thought on it when we are really going to add a new faction. It can be funny, it can be used well in MP campaigns or survivals, but it apparently lacks of some really basic specialities to be included in mainline.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by cookie »

AxalaraFlame wrote: I would be willing to give some critiques, but not a critism.
Funny.

Is it just me or Is this in the wrong area, im sure the Khalifate gameplay thread would appreciate your notes for further improvement if they haven't already been addressed? :S

Maybe it's just me but I look forward to change and fresh air plus a lot of people put time and effort into creating the Khalifate, why not see how it turns out. Wesnoth may benefit adding it in. Maybe a new campaign about how Khalifate are invading the Wesnoth lands showing a progression in time.

And I also want to ask; AxalaraFlame, did you notice the khalifate isn't even added into default of the developing version of Wesnoth... :eng:
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by GunChleoc »

I haven't yet played any add-ons, so I can't commenton the faction as such. I would like to point out one thing though:
AxalaraFlame wrote:For a Tolkein styled fantasy game, Arabic style faction really does not fit it well.
If you like your Tolkien, check out the Haradrim. Swarthy southeners with war elephants, this reminds me of Hannibal crossing the Alps. Hannibal was from Carthage in northern Africa, so I don't see why an Arabic faction would not fit into a Tolkien-style game as a matter of principle.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Iris »

AxalaraFlame wrote:1. We already have a human faction now, and we have two more factions strongly relying on humans. Why do we need one more human races for wesnoth, and make them so unreasonably important? This involvement of another human faction would only bring bore and lower down its replayablity.
Please explain how they are being made “unreasonably important” or how replayability comes into play in this case at all.
AxalaraFlame wrote:2. Khalifate does not have any historical importance on wesnoth history. Maybe in ANO they have a little bit, but never much. If wesnoth is really going to involve this Arabic style race and its own campaigns, largely awry from the oringinal antique and classical European medival/mythological settings, I guess there is really no much point playing it anymore(personally). For a Tolkein styled fantasy game, Arabic style faction really does not fit it well.
Please also explain how the addition of a faction for multiplayer games taking advantage of the large and conspicious void in lore related to the currently unmapped areas of the Great Continent automatically changes everything.
AxalaraFlame wrote:3. Khalifate units are not appealing from many dimensions. They are rather dull in attack types or sprites, and these units did not bring any new elements to this game (no new abilities, no new attack specials, no animations), thus, nearly no innovation have they brought to MP battles, but only difficulties in balancing. I have not even mentioned that their names are so lame so funky to spell, but that is a minor issue.
There are no animations because they haven’t been made yet. This will obviously change in the future. Please also note that some mainline units have also lacked animations at various points since the introduction of the “no animation is better than a crappy frankensteined animation” policy.
AxalaraFlame wrote:4. ...talking about difficulties. 7-faction balance would be a freaky damned hard job to do, somehow, nearly impossible. We cannot even balance the current match-ups properly, why shall we get a new race and get more trouble?
The fact that it is hard work resulted in their exclusion in Wesnoth 1.9.10, and they will land in mainline again when this is addressed; there is no need for you to point out the obvious.

Also, stop abusing ‘we’.
AxalaraFlame wrote:In conclusion, I strongly suggest gamers and players to give an additional thought on it when we are really going to add a new faction.
What is this even supposed to mean?
AxalaraFlame wrote:It can be funny, it can be used well in MP campaigns or survivals, but it apparently lacks of some really basic specialities to be included in mainline.
You mean ‘fun’, not ‘funny’.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Crow_T »

Khalifa horses seem to have no resistances against impact and blade, which strongly indicate that they bear no armor.
Actually, impact weapons were favored against armored units:
During the Middle Ages metal Armour and chain mail protected against the blows of edged weapons and blocked arrows and other projectiles. Solid metal maces and war hammers proved able to inflict damage on well armoured knights, as the force of a blow from a mace is large enough to cause damage without penetrating the armour.
from http://www.medievalwarfare.info/weapons.htm#blunt
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Dugi »

That explains why do maces work against heavy infantrymen. The Pikes are supposed to be affective against knights that they are long and can reach the knight, and also the quickly moving knight would impale on it. Spears were used as protection against cavalry for long. Of course, other piercing weapons, like arrows or bullets, weren't effective against cavalry like in Wesnoth.
Horsemen are therefore resistant to blade and impact because they are hard to hit effectively, not because of their armours.

If their horsemen have no resistance against blade or impact, they probably used small horses (ponies, camels?) that didn't protect them enough.

I would not criticise the Khalifa faction for this, it's just mere variety.

However, I share your dislike towards Khalifa, mainline factions shouldn't be so much worse than UMC. And I also would like to object against the preference of no animations against crappy franken animations, but that would be offtopic (common sense, just tell what looks worse).
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by AxalaraFlame »

Hmm...nowhere to find the "edit" button in the oringinal place :hmm: Not sure why is that.

Code: Select all

Actually, impact weapons were favored against armored units:
This is a very good question. I have to admit that my english ain't be good enough to present that idea precisely. But yes, impact weapons do good jobs against armor. The problem is it is not simply a "problem" but a "predicament". Notice lv3 Grand Knight, which is well armored, but its resistances remain the same. And cavalries series. These horses have better resistances than lancers as well.
Also, stop abusing ‘we’.
See how ridiculous it would be if I change all those "we" as "I" or "They". "we" is better.
What is this even supposed to mean?
sorry, repeated typo.
Please explain how they are being made “unreasonably important” or how replayability comes into play in this case at all.
It has been "suspectable". I have seen many eras, many factions. Ruling out those many "crappy frankensteined animation", there still remain great numbers of finely made factions/eras, some of them had even greater animation quality than mainline (though very few). But just this khalifate...it is really suspectable. Comparing to many other of those great factions, it only looks very imcompetent. It seem rises from nothing; it get popular from nothing (apparently not of the support of players). I am not sure whether it is a fair competetion, but obviously, this important seat is not for it if let the players to choose, without misleading informations provided.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Dixie »

AxalaraFlame wrote: It has been "suspectable". I have seen many eras, many factions. Ruling out those many "crappy frankensteined animation", there still remain great numbers of finely made factions/eras, some of them had even greater animation quality than mainline (though very few). But just this khalifate...it is really suspectable. Comparing to many other of those great factions, it only looks very imcompetent. It seem rises from nothing; it get popular from nothing (apparently not of the support of players). I am not sure whether it is a fair competetion, but obviously, this important seat is not for it if let the players to choose, without misleading informations provided.
Then again, if mainline went with popular vote, I guess mainline would be ageless era... which we can all agree would make mainline a real trainwreck...

Also, allow me to strongly doubt on any UMC to have better graphics (and especially animations) than mainline.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by bumbadadabum »

Also, stop abusing ‘we’.
See how ridiculous it would be if I change all those "we" as "I" or "They". "we" is better.
I don't see how ridiculous it is.
It has been "suspectable". I have seen many eras, many factions. Ruling out those many "crappy frankensteined animation", there still remain great numbers of finely made factions/eras, some of them had even greater animation quality than mainline (though very few).


Name them.
But just this khalifate...it is really suspectable. Comparing to many other of those great factions, it only looks very imcompetent. It seem rises from nothing; it get popular from nothing (apparently not of the support of players).
The Khalifate has been around for a very long time, and were always quite popular.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Iris »

AxalaraFlame wrote:See how ridiculous it would be if I change all those "we" as "I" or "They". "we" is better.
No, it is not. The instance in bold is an inappropriate use of ‘we’ seeing as how balancing mainline units has never been your officially-sanctioned task and responsibility.
AxalaraFlame wrote:
Please explain how they are being made “unreasonably important” or how replayability comes into play in this case at all.
It has been "suspectable". I have seen many eras, many factions. Ruling out those many "crappy frankensteined animation", there still remain great numbers of finely made factions/eras, some of them had even greater animation quality than mainline (though very few). But just this khalifate...it is really suspectable. Comparing to many other of those great factions, it only looks very imcompetent. It seem rises from nothing; it get popular from nothing (apparently not of the support of players). I am not sure whether it is a fair competetion, but obviously, this important seat is not for it if let the players to choose, without misleading informations provided.
You still seem to be under the impression that the game’s development is exclusively governed by the players’ decisions and preferences. See the relevant FAQ entry for reference. The process of adding user-made content to mainline has never attempted to be fair for other content authors or anything like that. If you don’t like some newly added mainline content, you can just ignore it like everyone else does. You will not be forced to play as Khalifate or against Khalifate just like you aren’t forced to play with the built-in Age of Heroes era.

You did not explain what replayability has to do with your argument, though. You did not explain either how the addition of a faction for multiplayer games taking advantage of the large and conspicious void in lore related to the currently unmapped areas of the Great Continent automatically changes everything.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Temuchin Khan »

Interesting observations, AxalaraFlame. I don't have answers to all your questions, but I'll respond to a few.
AxalaraFlame wrote:1. We already have a human faction now, and we have two more factions strongly relying on humans. Why do we need one more human races for wesnoth, and make them so unreasonably important?
Realism. Tolkien says that even fantasy should be realistic, and in real life there are lots of different human cultures, not just one. Adding a new and different human culture to Wesnoth makes it seem more real. Besides, why should only the non-human races be interesting?
If wesnoth is really going to involve this Arabic style race and its own campaigns, largely awry from the oringinal antique and classical European medival/mythological settings, I guess there is really no much point playing it anymore(personally).
But the Arabs and the Turks were, in fact, a big part of Medieval European history. In the early Middle Ages, they conquered Spain and Portugal, and held on to at least part of Spain right up until 1492. In the twelfth century, the Spanish Reconquista was almost a European-wide effort, with Crusdaders (they didn't just go to Palestine) coming in from all over to help the Spanish and the Portuguese retake their peninsula! At various times, the Arabs also ruled Sicily, Cyprus, and Crete. They also launched many raids into France and Italy. The Crusades started as a response to the conquests and policies of the Seljuk Turks. The Byzantine Empire and other Balkan nations struggled for centuries to resist Muslim invaders, before finally being conquered in the fifteenth century.

There were peaceful relations, too. Caliph Harun al-Rashid sent Charlemagne an elephant. Twelfth Century Europe rediscovered Aristotle when his works were translated from Arabic to Latin. The Iranian writer ibn Sina (a.k.a. Avicenna) was the most highly respected medical authority of the time, as well as a respected philosopher. In fact, ibn Sina's works were only superceded in Western medical schools in the eighteenth or nineteenth century. And, for what it's worth, the Arabs gave European languages everyday words like "alcohol," "admiral," and "algebra."
For a Tolkein styled fantasy game, Arabic style faction really does not fit it well.
I'd like to second what GunChleoc said about the Haradrim. Also, the Black Numenorean pirates the city of Umbar in Harad are always called the Corsairs of Umbar. Now, while "corsair" has now become a general word for pirate, it originally referred to Muslim pirates from North Africa. Tolkien, being a linguist, would probably have known about this, so I don't think his exclusive use of the word "corsair" to refer to the pirates from Umbar is a coincidence. I always imagined Umbar and Harad as having a Middle Eastern culture.

And for that matter, Aragorn travelled to Harad, and even went so far south that he crossed the equator. He drops a comment to that effect in The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter 2, "The Council of Elrond." So even for one of the most familiar of Tolkien's characters, the Middle East is not out of bounds. I see no problem with including a Middle-Eastern faction in a Tolkien-style fantasy game.

Besides, the presence of the Drakes, Saurians, and Merfolk already shows that Wesnoth is not "pure" Tolkien-style fantasy.

Anyway, those are my answers to some of the Khalifate critiques. As to the rest, I leave that to those responsible for balancing the Khalifate.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Dixie »

Temuchin Khan wrote: I'd like to second what GunChleoc said about the Haradrim. Also, the Black Numenorean pirates the city of Umbar in Harad are always called the Corsairs of Umbar. Now, while "corsair" has now become a general word for pirate, it originally referred to Muslim pirates from North Africa. Tolkien, being a linguist, would probably have known about this, so I don't think his exclusive use of the word "corsair" to refer to the pirates from Umbar is a coincidence. I always imagined Umbar and Harad as having a Middle Eastern culture.
It is a bit off topic, but I'd like to comment on the corsair bit. I am not a linguist and maybe the word has different implications in french than in english, but it french, that words is used for pirates equipped by the crown of a kingdom to pillage its enemies undercover. AFAIK, it is derived from the latin "cursus", which means "to run".

Sorry for interrupting, you may go back to justifying arabs in a Tolkien fantasy setting :)
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction

Post by Dugi »

I am one of the people like AxalaraFlame who dislike the Khalifate faction. As I said before, my problems with them is their awful appearance, lack of animations, and terrible names making it impossible to remember the advancement lines.

But, in fact, I think that the idea to introduce an Arab-styled faction was a good idea. Yes, a good idea, though its realisation was terrible.

AxalaraFlame, you are probably unaware that the Arabs were not, and a majority of them is not, such a load of xenophobic, fanatical, irrational, hysterical dumbasses as the news depict them. In fact, terrorist organisations are joined mostly by the most stupid people, who grew out without parents on streets or in orphanages, never knew maternal love, never visited schools, and are easy to manipulate to hate all the rest of society for everything they never had. All these terrorists can do is to blow themselves up to kill some civilians, suicidally attack some soldiers, if you check the great amount of non-mainstream evidence about the terrorist attacks on WTC, you'll see that they could never have done it.
World Trade Center strangenesses:
In fact, most Arabs are relatively peaceful people who usually hate the terrorists. And also this terrorism can be related to the fact that Islam is a relatively young religion, the faith is strong among them, and strong faith has sometimes problems with progress. Islam was created when Muhammed came to Medina as a new prophet, telling that Jesus was not a messiah, just another prophet and that no messiah will come, that happened in 7th century. Islam is less than 14 centuries old, and you basically know what the christians were doing in the 13th century. Crusades to conquer the Holy Land, siege of Jerusalem, fanatical Templars, battlefiels with streams of blood pouring down the streets, executions of heretics, heathens and witches and wars against the reformation of Church. Arabic countries lived their ages of antique Rome and Greece during our medieval, and were a much more developed society than Europe. They were not a load of primitives carrying sticks, and therefore their military power amazed the crusaders, and the fact that they didn't flee when they saw a crucifix surprised many people as well. Many good traditions were brought from there by the survivors of the war, like washing hands before food. Thanks to their military power, matching the european one, let them take over huge parts of europe (maybe in retaliation), but then their days ended after some time. The evolution of their society reached an equivalent of the medieval-like Dark Age (if you notice, in most arabic countries, there is no democracy, rather an absolutism of a president, king, or whatever), that strongly contrasts with the inventions of the modern society, and resulted in terrorrism.

So, the Arabic world during our medieval was a pretty good society.

(I am not promoting any religion here, I am an atheist anyway)
Last edited by Dugi on December 7th, 2012, 4:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by lipk »

It is a bit off topic, but I'd like to comment on the corsair bit. I am not a linguist and maybe the word has different implications in french than in english, but it french, that words is used for pirates equipped by the crown of a kingdom to pillage its enemies undercover. AFAIK, it is derived from the latin "cursus", which means "to run".
I think those guys are called "privateers" in English.

The balancing concerns don't count as a blocker, if Khalifate get back to mainline soon, we'll have plenty of time to refine their stats before the next stable release. That is what we have the development branch for.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Crendgrim »

Dugi wrote:World Trade Center strangenesses:
Just a notice before this escalates: I do not want to see any discussion whatsoever about this here. As nobody can prove his point, it can only make this thread go completely off-topic.
Besides, any religious discussions can get this topic locked as well.

Now, it would be nice if we could return to speaking about the Khalifate, not about the Arabs. Dugi, you said they were terribly realized. It would be nice if you could explain why you think so, instead of speaking about some other topic.
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