Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

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Dugi
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Dugi »

, it can only make this thread go completely off-topic.
Besides, any religious discussions can get this topic locked as well.
My intention was to tell AxalaraFlame to stop bashing them for being Arab-like, and attempted to persuade him that it might be good to have an Arab-like faction. I kinda went too much offtopic, I agree, so I'll try to avoid it. But I cared to avoid bringing any arguments about religion(s), I just said that we had the same religious fanatics when our religion was 1300 years old.
Creandgrim, I haven't made a backup of it, can you please send its text to me? I would like to AxalaraFlame to read it.
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.
I have already mentioned that I dislike the Khalifate for their inferior graphics compared to other factions (no idea why anyone didn't add some fraknensteined animations, I read that it is a some kind of taboo, but for what?) and totally unintuitive names of units (no suggestions how to fix it, though). Also, this is a fantasy game, and there was no magic around them. The middle east had their legends of jinns and efreeti and various other magical beings, but Khalifate were just a regular bedouin-styled army, based on reality and not fantasy. They should be something a bit in the To Lands Unknown style, with their summoners and flying carpets.

EDIT: A few things were too expressive, and could possibly insult someone, so I altered it.
Last edited by Dugi on December 7th, 2012, 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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artisticdude
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by artisticdude »

Dugi wrote:I dislike the Khalifate for their bad graphics
Dugi wrote:that eyesore
:doh:

The Khalifate graphics might be inferior to some of the current mainline graphics, but they are also unquestionably better than some of the current mainline graphics. TSI and Sleepwalker (TSI in particular), both mainline art contributors who have contributed immensely to Wesnoth over the years, have put a lot of effort into the Khalifate graphics, and to call their work "bad" is a gratuitous insult. I can assure that although unquestionably there are some things about the Khalifate graphics that could be improved upon from an artistic standpoint, they are quite far from qualifying as "bad" or "eyesores."
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Temuchin Khan
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Temuchin Khan »

Dixie wrote: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".
Interesting. It looks we've each heard two different theories about the origins of the word.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=corsair

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_corsairs

For that matter, it's also possible that both Arabic and French borrowed the word from Latin.
Sorry for interrupting, you may go back to justifying arabs in a Tolkien fantasy setting :)
True enough. That, after all, is the primary topic of discussion in this thread: justifying the presence of the Khalifate faction in a game like Wesnoth.
dugi wrote:I have already mentioned that I dislike the Khalifate for their bad graphics (there were there for more than a year and nothing on that eyesore was improved, but this is related to the lack of volunteer work rather than realisation)...
I second artisticdude.
...and totally unintuitive names of units (no suggestions how to fix it, though)....
This would be pretty easy to fix, actually. Do with Arabic what we did with Latin in the Imperial Era: English [or your local language] for the names of level 1 units, Arabic for the names of upper level units. No problem.
Also, this is a fantasy game, and there was no magic around them. The middle east had their legends of jinns and efreeti and various other magical beings, but Khalifate were just a regular bedouin-styled army, based on reality and not fantasy. They should be something a bit in the To Lands Unknown style, with their summoners and flying carpets.
So you would prefer a Middle Eastern faction more like my old Kedari or the Era of Magic's al-Kamija. So be it.

As I recall, though, some of the creators of the Khalifate thought that including Genies would make it too overpowered. That's probably why it has no mythological element. As to whether other mythical elements could be included, discuss that in the Khalifate thread, I guess.

EDIT: Some additional comments about the word "corsair."
Last edited by Temuchin Khan on December 7th, 2012, 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dugi
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Dugi »

It is a long time I haven't seen them, in truth, and my memories must have increased the gap between their appearance and the appearance of mainline units. I have seen them again, and they were really bad, just didn't meet my expectations for a mainline faction. This was probably also amplified by my dislike towards unanimated units (damn, franken anims made in 30 minutes for the level 1 units could have improved that faction so much...).
So, excuse me guys, it is not an eyesore, I remembered it wrongly, possibly also confused it with something else.
As I recall, though, some of the creators of the Khalifate thought that including Genies would make it too overpowered.
Why do they make a faction less interesting for the sake of balance? Most things can be balanced by lowering some numerical values anyway...
As to whether other mythical elements could be included, discuss that in the Khalifate thread, I guess.
I think it's too late.

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Temuchin Khan
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Temuchin Khan »

Dugi wrote:So, excuse me guys, it is not an eyesore, I remembered it wrongly, possibly also confused it with something else.
Maybe you were thinking of the art for my old Kedari. Even Turin, who drew those sprites, wasn't satisfied with his work and wanted to redo them eventually. He just never got around to it.

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Dugi
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Dugi »

Hm, I am sure I have seen Imperial Era, but I cannot remember any Kedari faction... maybe because it merged in my memories with the Khalifate...

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Temuchin Khan
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Temuchin Khan »

Dugi wrote:Hm, I am sure I have seen Imperial Era, but I cannot remember any Kedari faction... maybe because it merged in my memories with the Khalifate...
Believe me, it was there. Later, when we made the Feudal Era, we were going to move the Kedari over to it, but we never did complete the Feudal Era, and the whole thing fell through. Back in the summer we were talking about updating it, but it has to take a back seat until Imperial Era gets some more work.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Iris »

I believe it was decided by the current maintainers that the Khalifate actually have a dislike of magic for historical reasons or something. Regardless of what the reason for their design is, it is most likely not going to change just as how we are not about to replace our trolls with ugly green-skinned meat elves (1.0 depictions notwithstanding), or change Northern Rebirth’s story so that Tallin is a blood-thirsty werewolf hailing from the Old Continent.

And regarding animations, it’d be more appreciated if people actually tried to make something instead of complaining about our artists’ policies — which incidentally weren’t established overnight.
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The Black Sword
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by The Black Sword »

So much stuff I disagree with, I had to respond! :D

IIRC, the Khalifate were one of the few factions specifically developed to be played against the default 6. Most UMC factions are balanced against factions in the same era, not default, so they can't really be added to the default list. Take out all such factions and I'd be very interested in trying out other UMC factions with a similar quality of artwork and interesting gameplay, both of which the khalifate score very highly on IMO.

New faction = more variety = better replayability. Certainly for default 1v1 that would be true in any case. Despite not having any new specials, they still play very differently to all of the other factions, due to precisely the reasons you mention, a +8 healer, the marksman arif and others. Personally I can't wait for them to be added to mainline though a fair amount of work probably remains to be done after they were switched to lawful.

As for balancing, the main point of my post:
We cannot even balance the current match-ups properly, why shall we get a new race and get more trouble?
The current matchups are balanced quite well IMO. Yes there are a few that could use tweaking but in most cases this is pretty minor. Adding a new faction does not make this task of balancing the current 30 matchups any harder, simply only make changes on the khalifate side to try balance these extra 6.

For pretty much everything else, I can fall back on the whole balance factions vs factions, not units vs units thing. I was quite interested in testing the khalifate before and I'd enjoy playing some tests if you want to claim that any matchup in particular is unbalanced. IIRC, there are still some problems, but that doesn't mean they can't be fixed and I don't think you're making a good case for it.

Arif: Do dwarves need elusives vs khalifate is the question. It would be nice for footie to be more useful but it shouldn't be impossible to balance it otherwise.

Jundi: Dwarf scouts were never in MP in first place. Agreed, very good basic unit, too good? Maybe but they already got nerfed once for that. Maybe with some proof it could happen again.

Naffat: Not everyone needs a magical ranged attack, you can create variety by leaving things out as well as putting things in. They perform a necessary role for the faction but they aren't cheap enough to be the main fighter, ie. a niche unit, I can't really see the problem. In fact these are probably more efficient than mage vs Wose and HI. If you want to argue that khalifa have troubles vs UD, IIRC that one was fairly ok.

Horses: The lvl 2 and 3 khalifa stats haven't really been fixed so no need to worry so much over them I think. In any case there is precedent for 5 archer strikes already from elf sharpshooter. Elf horses are scouts, khalifate ones are dedicated archers, they should be better. Elves in general are stilly clearly better archers than the khalifa. Horse archers is also a cool theme IMO, and not an uncommon fantasy one either.
I'll ignore the whole resistances thing, since its not really a balance issue and I'm not sure where it stands right now.

Healer: I disagree that it necessarily unbalances matchups. Just as much justification as you gave :P . Seriously make faction arguments, the worst offenders would be dwarves except ulf is a very good counter unit. Maybe an elf who didn't go wose heavy is next, its still unclear to me whether wose heavy is the best move.

Seriously, any issues with balance should come with replays and a clear faction analysis I think(and be in the already established thread).

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by taptap »

Likely there is nothing to add to TBS comment, but I just stumbled upon this thread...

Most "critique" of khalifate faction I read in these forums before is thinly disguised real-world bigotry, and derailing the threat to the most off-topic place possible (world trade center attack) and then "defending arabs" with the argument that they are too dumb to hijack a plane and fly it into a skyscraper, oh my god how sensitive!

I guess khalifate names are in arabic because otherwise the names would be a rather dull duplicate of the names we have everywhere. Do you really prefer "soldier" over "jundi"?

The only valid critique in my eyes: there isn't a campaign based on Khalifate faction yet. While you are introduced to other mp factions when you play single player, this doesn't happen for Khalifate not even in UMC. Hope this changes at one point.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Crow_T »

I feel as though the name of this faction should be changed, perhaps to "Easterners" or the like, the current is too close to religious dogma: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate Arabic names are cool though, as a science person I respect the language. I'm a big fan of stars ;)

This is not no be offensive, I'd feel the same about factions named "crusaders" or "hindu warriors" or whatever. But this is a fantasy game, and everything within should respect the genre, which is a made-up, wholly fictional world.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by wolkenwand »

I strongly agree with crow_T. Khalifate name reminds of khalifa like Abu Bakr siddiq or Umar bin Khatb which is a great leader at that time. Their generousity and act are respected and their story is still told in school in muslim country, by parents and at friday "khotbah" ( im sorry i didnt know what is that word in english ) until this day.
If someday they enter the mainline, i hope the name changed to became more fantasy.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by artisticdude »

Crow_T wrote:I feel as though the name of this faction should be changed, perhaps to "Easterners" or the like, the current is too close to religious dogma: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate
This topic has already been previously discussed, debated, and argued multiple times. Some of the more notable instances:

http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 40#p501240
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=33904
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 7&p=492437

Dixie's post in one of the above threads pretty much sums it up:
Dixie wrote:I serisously fail to see what's the problem with all of you guys. What, you're jealous? Or is it just somethign special about islam because of what is going on presently? If it were a ninja faction, would you have complained about Taoism, Boudhism or Zen? If it was a pirate one, would you have complained about Santeria, Calypso or whatever? I could go on for quite a while like this. If this is so much of a problem, you should already be bothered by there being elvish druids (a celtic religion! Oh my no-God!) or even worse, the mere presence of the undead. Someone earlier said something about christians being no better (examples to boot) and someone else replied "that's not all christians, that's catholics". Well it's the same for islam, you guys! Most of the bad stuff we hear about is some isolated extremist cult supported by Al'Qaeda, while most other islamists disagree with the practices.

And some other people saying it's just the name? Come on now, it's for the feel of the faction! Sure, we could just make up a name, but what's the point? As pointed out by Xalzar, there are plenty other names in Wesnoth that refer to christianity already, should we all change them and make up new ones? (What about changing paladins to "magic white knights"?!). I personnally think it's pointless and childish, and this name thing could go on forever. It's like a few years back, when people in Ontario wanted to change the name of the "christmas tree" (because there is no other name for that tree in the english language, AFAIK) because it was "disrespectful to other cultures" or something like that. I mean, come on now, what's the deal?
So yeah, we really don't need to rehash this yet again. Horse. Dead. Beating. You know.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Crow_T »

Well, Dixie's arguements are very minor and specific. One unit here and there vs an entire faction is a whole different story. By naming an entire faction based on a religion you are making said religion either the good guy or the bad guy, depending on the scenario. Not too smart IMO- there must be some better word in the Arabic language to use. But the point is moot if they never become mainline, then it's just user contributions :wink:

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by tr0ll »

The etymology seems pretty clear that Khalifate derives from and connotes religious ties, no matter what disclaimer you may try to put on it. If the units themselves do not abide by Sharia-like laws or use deity-based powers, the name is misleading. If they do, the name is appropriate as a fantasy overlay to "islam-ish" units, assuming no one is afraid of fanatics denouncing the project and threatening its creators and players.
However the word Emirate is secular and means sovereign principality, i.e. that which is protected/ruled by the military forces. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amir In common english usage, everyone will understand an Emirate faction is middle eastern/desert flavoured. Furthermore, djinn-like units are derived from the regional culture and not the religion. So, there's my proposal for you. (Probably a repeat but i really dont have time to read the whole thread.)

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