Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Pentarctagon »

Are they even being added back into mainline? I remember they were in 1.9 and didn't get finished for 1.10, but so far they haven't been re-added to 1.11.

Also I think "political correctness" has claimed enough innocent victims, we don't need to add to the list.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Crow_T »

Also I think "political correctness" has claimed enough innocent victims, we don't need to add to the list.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn6naoKowMM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21595814

You are right.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Pentarctagon »

Crow_T wrote:
Also I think "political correctness" has claimed enough innocent victims, we don't need to add to the list.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn6naoKowMM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21595814

You are right.
So if I post examples of Christians doing horrible things, I can use that as a reason to rename Paladins?
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Dixie »

tr0ll wrote: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.
Well, much in the same way, a "king" and his "kingdom" is pretty tied with christianity - his powers being given to him by God - and not just any god mind you - and nobles and religious people from that time have a lot of filth on their conscience too...
tr0ll wrote: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.)
Renaming the faction "Emirate"? Bah, maybe, but I doubt it would solve much of the problem for most complainers. Either way I'm not one to say. As far as Djinns go, my understanding is that the art has been worked on a lot and should be pretty much final, but they are not excluded as far as campaign-specific units go...
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by taptap »

tr0ll wrote:However the word Emirate is secular and means sovereign principality.
It is so secular that Muhammad himself was afair called Amir (of the faithful) :)

The word Khalifa is just a noun derived from the verb "to follow/to succeed" with the basic meaning being "successor" - the historical khalifate was basically rulers calling themselves successor to the prophet or successor to the successor of the prophet etc. The religious meaning emanates from the term prophet not from the term successor and it is well imaginable that successors to some other founding figure in Wesnoth context calling themselves successors.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Nebiros »

It is so secular that Muhammad himself was afair called Amir (of the faithful)
Well, Jesus was called King of Kings and Lord of Lords (among other titles), but that doesn't make King and Lord religious titles (although the concept of divine right does make that a little muddier, I think most people would generally not regard King as a religious title, and I'm pretty sure it's already in use in Wesnoth).

Getting back to the actual faction, I think the art is a red herring -- several mainline units have had their art changed *after* they became mainline, including IIRC half the Drakes (also not an original faction, I think, although I actually haven't been playing THAT long). If the Khalifa are worth including from a gameplay perspective, I'm sure the art team will get them up to the artistic standards of the other Default factions sooner or later. Everyone understands that Wesnoth is a work in progress, don't they? I don't recall seeing anything seriously wrong with the current art anyway, although I admit I haven't examined it in detail.

As for their gameplay, it seems to me that someone upthread simultaneously complained about them bringing nothing new to the game, *and* complained about the new things they bring to the game (melee marksman at L1, L1 that heals 8). I don't quite get that argument. A melee marksman is as different from a ranged marksman as a melee poisoner is from a ranged poisoner.

Their lack of a reasonably priced beefy and/or resistant unit for the expensive specialists to hide behind makes it difficult for me to get the hang of them, but then, I have a sort of similar problem with Undead.

Personally, I dislike the liminal alignment because it has more penalties than bonuses (the other alignments deliberately balance out), which means that a liminal unit is slightly worse than the base value of its stats. No, make that substantially worse, because the 2 consecutive turns of bonus damage are crucial to effective use of non-neutrals, and liminals don't get that. (A fearless liminal, on the other hand, would get a lot more from the trait than a fearless lawful or chaotic, since it would bring them up to almost par with other fearless units. But I don't think there are any.) But, in theory, this could be balanced by adjusting the numbers -- either cost, base damage, or HP, or some combination.

The healer is hard to level, even compared to an elvish shaman, but that probably won't matter in practice because the main defining characteristic doesn't improve at L2, so it wouldn't be a focus for leveling. In campaigns you can probably figure out a way to feed them a couple of kills since you're just fighting the AI. Or you might prefer to keep them L1 for less upkeep and just as much healing. If they even have any campaigns yet.

Overall, though, I find it hard to distinguish reliably between "this faction is weak" (my initial impression) and "I don't understand how to play this faction", except by finding someone who is better at them than I am. They certainly have some things about them that work differently from other factions, so if they can be made competitively balanced with the other 6, I'd be in favor of keeping them.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Dixie »

Nebiros wrote:Well, Jesus was called King of Kings and Lord of Lords (among other titles), but that doesn't make King and Lord religious titles (although the concept of divine right does make that a little muddier, I think most people would generally not regard King as a religious title, and I'm pretty sure it's already in use in Wesnoth).
Well I know my "king" argument was a bit of a stretch, but... what about "Khalifate"? It's probably just a cultural bia. Khalifate is probably no more religious than King is, it's just a different language and culture, but since king is closer to us we don't notice as much. We could pick the word "king" (or its equivalent) in every language/culture, and it would probably raise a bunch of different issues...
Nebiros wrote:Getting back to the actual faction, I think the art is a red herring -- several mainline units have had their art changed *after* they became mainline, including IIRC half the Drakes (also not an original faction, I think, although I actually haven't been playing THAT long). If the Khalifa are worth including from a gameplay perspective, I'm sure the art team will get them up to the artistic standards of the other Default factions sooner or later. Everyone understands that Wesnoth is a work in progress, don't they? I don't recall seeing anything seriously wrong with the current art anyway, although I admit I haven't examined it in detail.
About the art part, while I am not the person one needs to convince, I believe they WERE brought up to mainline level. Drakes were mainline when their graphics changed, but the previous graphics were way sub-par (despite what some would say). And while us non-working artists wouldn't have much to complain about yet-better art or more awesome art, I can easily understand the volunteer artist who's worked dozens of hours seeing part of his hard work discarded/replaced because of some "trivial" (IMHO) community issue. The art argument was mostly meant to people saying "You should change this unit!", "You should put in djinns!", etc.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by artisticdude »

Nebiros wrote:I'm sure the art team will get them up to the artistic standards of the other Default factions sooner or later.
No worries on that account, Sleepwalker's working his magic as we speak:
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Nebiros »

Those look great, but some of them are a little too similar -- maybe they are candidate designs for the same unit rather than all intended to be different ones? If they are all supposed to be different units, I think they will be difficult to distinguish in practice.

I'm not an artist myself, but I would suggest that similar units (particularly including advancements of the same unit, which may have very similar armaments) should maybe be drawn in different poses to make them more obviously different (look at the elvish fighter vs. hero for example, or even more dramatically, the troll whelp vs. the troll).

@Dixie: I think that most Westerners probably don't even know what Khalif/Caliph actually means, but only that it is a title once used by middle eastern rulers (and the Muslim rulers of some parts of Spain for a while). So, effectively, many already probably think that it is a foreign word that means king.

I mean, it's not like we're calling them imams, which IS a religious title and even non-Muslims/historians might recognize it as such.

I don't know if it's been mentioned already, but technically shaman, druid, augur, oracle, and soothsayer are all religious terms too (and, actually, you could make an argument for mage). So there is already religion of sorts in Wesnoth, even if it isn't necessarily a hierarchical and organized church.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Drakefriend »

Also remember that we are talking about pseudo Middle Ages - and for much of the Middle Ages, the islamic world was way ahead of, and more religiously tolerant than, the occidental christianity, with cultural imports due to the Crusades and the conquest of cultural centres during the Reconquista probably playing an important role in the later rise of the occident, while the islamic world only later started to suffer from anti-intellectual zealots.
And remember that even before that, the Persians once build the largest and most modern empire of their time.
Oh and the Christianity destroyed much of Greek/Hellenic/Roman culture by only copying Christian theology books during the transition from papyrus to pergament, as such world knowledge is worthless, and burned down the Great Library of Alexandria (while flaying the librarian alive with shards of caramic)
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by wolkenwand »

Imam is different with khalifa, everybody can become imam. when i leading sholat together than i will become imam for that time. but khalifa is different, they are the successor to lead muslim kingdom at that time.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by pyrophorus »

Drakefriend wrote:Also remember that we are talking about pseudo Middle Ages - and for much of the Middle Ages, the islamic world was way ahead of, and more religiously tolerant than, the occidental christianity, with cultural imports due to the Crusades and the conquest of cultural centres during the Reconquista probably playing an important role in the later rise of the occident, while the islamic world only later started to suffer from anti-intellectual zealots.
The error is to see complex entities like islam or christianism as monolithic blocks. In the Middle Ages as well as today, islam and christianism are split in many different currents, more or less tolerant. The Spain history shows that Andalus kingdoms were attacked both by christians and muslim zealots coming from North Africa.
Drakefriend wrote: Oh and the Christianity destroyed much of Greek/Hellenic/Roman culture by only copying Christian theology books during the transition from papyrus to pergament, as such world knowledge is worthless, and burned down the Great Library of Alexandria (while flaying the librarian alive with shards of caramic)
Nobody knows exactly who destroyed the Alexandrian library: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria
and probably it was done more than once.

IMO, many posters quoted rightly there was (and still is) always a mix between religion and politic power everywhere. One can find clues of this in every civilization: the Queen of England (still the chief of Anglican church), the catholic pope being still a sovereign and so on. Trying to get rid of every religious connotation is impossible.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Temuchin Khan »

Since this discussion about whether it makes sense to have a Muslim-type faction in a Medieval European-type fantasy game is ongoing, I'm going to reiterate some of the points I made earlier. But this time, I thought it might be helpful to include the words of a great historian, Christopher Dawson.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by HaChol »

Some simple notes for the perplexed :
  • The name thing I [today]: "Khalifate" as a name for a proposed and featured mainline in spe faction is more to religion than anything else. Notice, please, that a caliphate/khalifate is exactly that, what the Arab/Muslim terrorists, murderers and suicide assassins, kidnappers and fanatics strive to achive today, in reality - and the hole world spends billions of real hard earned tax payers money and real effords and life riscs to prevent this burning arab fuse from exploding the bomb and wreck our non-fanatic world. Nearly every airport in the world became like the security checkpoints/door systems in synagogues in turkey, for example, due to this khalifa/sharia-fanatics (if you know what i mean, and please do not take this personally, exept you was a terrorist or innocent baby killer -rolleyes- ).

    The name thing II [Xtendome]: The prarallels with Xtendome influence in wesnoth is appealing, as arguments against any critiques against era khalifate. But ... do 'we' have an entire faction in mainline called Crusaders, Xtians, Inquisition or ?

    The name thing III [missionize] : Khalifate has a highly connotation of the muslim/islam world conquest, to bring shariah/islam over all 'our' world. That said, please notice further, that Druids/celts/buddhism/zen etc. are not a problem per se, because they do not represent inherently missionizing religions, but Islam/Xtendome are! A khalifate has -hardwired- a worldwide scope or aspiration for every nation on earth.
Presumptions : Why is the Era_Khalifate so bare bone, void of descriptions and graphics? Just because they were not made yet?? Realy? But why does it prominently cling to speaking unit names & era name? These names direct your attention eventually to the Islam religion and it's (falsly) glorified (un-)peaceful golden times! Why is the decision by someone, to name them in the way you can see it now, so adamantly defended here by some? Why not leave this behind and just name them e.g. southeners or some fantasy name from Tolkien??? I believe to know why, but that is highly highly off topic.

P.S. Anyone is invited to 1) deliver me a exact list of all my failed grammatics and errors (even did place some on purpose) etc, and 2) is highly encouraged by me to freely ask for more explanations on every fussy, petty words or terms they can find in this post! And please, do not take these my words and advanced oppinion to your heart, there in reality is just no reason to get angry in any way!
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Post by Wintermute »

I did not come up with the name - in fact this faction has gone through several transitions (including name changes). I believe it is trying to conjure up a historical theme without trying to be too technical (this is a fantasy game after all). We are also using Naphtha in the faction rather than any kind of magic for similar thematic reasons. Have you looked at the latest version? They are in the latest development release and unit descriptions (while not done yet) are much better than they were. The rest of the history is "under construction" but I hope it will come out in the next release. For the record, I have nothing to do with that history because I really don't care about fluff much - I am 100% interested how much fun they are to play. But since I am attached to them I wanted to make at least some statement here.

I cannot answer any better because I am still not clear exactly what your objection is. I think things are tastefully handled. Perhaps I am wrong, or I just don't clearly understand the issue you are trying to raise? If the problem is that they are not developed enough - I agree but that is being worked on! If your objection is entirely to the name "Khalifate" or, could you articulate more clearly what is disrespectful about it please?
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