Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby HaChol » February 6th, 2014, 11:08 pm

Wintermute, it somehow hurts me how you express your innermost feelings, I whished I could have prvented, seriously. I am not head on to make scorched earth.
But, please, sweetheart, do you really think this is just playgame and rhetoric? This thread is already heavyly tagged with more than interesting keywords and nicnames. Let's just ad some of the Khalifate units names here - all the better! You think all normal just a thread, next time I go on travel USA GB - good luck boy! I would suspect rather different. Will you really go on and announce Wesnoth 12-stable going Khalifate? This is no longer kindergarden, believe me I do know of what I speak! My emails? Are observed, selected. Yours? Sorry, but better a hard cure than later harm. To all, I whished I could have prevented, seriously sorry. It is your decision .. go on announce Wesnoth going Khalifate!

P.S. Iceiceice - I like you, you have a good resiliant kernel - would have loved it to play against - you may rethink in what team you playing ;)
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby taptap » February 6th, 2014, 11:58 pm

HaChol wrote:Wintermute, it somehow hurts me how you express your innermost feelings... sweetheart, do you really think this is just playgame and rhetoric? This thread is already heavyly tagged with more than interesting keywords and nicnames... You think all normal just a thread, next time I go on travel USA GB - good luck boy!


Apart from the condescending tone and the passive-aggressive presentation (you really want to get banned to complain elsewhere about creeping sharia in Wesnoth, right?): Do you even for one second realise how silly it is to fight your "political battle" against some random guys in the forum of a turn-based fantasy wargame when there is plenty of opportunity to do so elsewhere (aka in real life)? :oops:
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby Sapient » February 7th, 2014, 4:25 am

In recent times there has been a rethinking of some sports teams being named "Indians" etc. In that same spirit, I think it would be worthwhile, if there were genuinely any doubt about the word being offensive to a significant portion of our muslim users, to have some type of survey or poll. However, in all this time, have any of our muslim users said anything to that effect? Without a lack of evidence, I consider Noy a much more reliable judge on this, considering his studies, rather than HaChol who has demonstrated his prejudice quite overtly.

Clearly, there is plenty of magic in Wesnoth, despite one faction not having it. And there are even women fighters! Shirtless portraits! So I think Wesnoth, on the whole, should offend a hardline muslim cleric far more than the HaChols of the world.

Having said that, I personally don't care if the name is changed or altered slightly. But it is only fitting for the ones who are doing all the work on the faction have the right to name it. I'm sure HaChol doesn't appreciate the amount of work that goes into adding a new balanced faction to the default era, but it is a significant undertaking which I DO appreciate.

As far as fabi's post. There may be some validity to his point -- if the faction too real to life, and too far from Wesnoth's existing fantasy theme. That is a fine line. It's a thematic decision. Personally, I don't think the line is being crossed. Any campaigns featuring the faction will undoubtedly expand on the fantasy theme.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby fabi » February 7th, 2014, 2:07 pm

Please let me tell the audience a little bit about my background:

I am an atheist myself, which is not always a pleasure when dealing with religious people.
Most of them consider other believers as brothers nowadays (even if the religion is a complete different one), except when the religion in question features more than one god.
But atheists are still considered to be some kind of "enemies" by some of my fellow citizens.
As always, generalization (which I did in this last paragraph) is to be done very carefully.
No offense intended.

Although, I am "whining at a high level", it is no problem to be an atheist in good old Germany in our times.

I am playing (pen and paper or computer) role playing games since the age of 12 and I still do so.
Most of this games feature fantasy religions and the possibility to play priests (or whatever the religions call them).
Those characters are able to ask their goddess for miracles from time to time, just like magicians use their spells.
The differences is that the magicians can use the spells at will while the miracle is only granted when the attempted affect is not a contradiction to what the power given entity stands for.

So I am used to and completely fine with religions in games, as long as they don't have much real life connection.

I never encountered a role playing game with real life religions (maybe because I am more in the fantasy/cyberpunk genre),
I bet the designers/publishers avoid that for the same reasons we avoided it in the past.

Myself wrote:But this one is different.
Here we have a clear connection to a real life religion combined with the vesting to spread an empire forcing the conquered regions under the named religion.


The faction was designed with oriental lore/culture/mystic in mind which clearly is influenced by the religions which dominate that regions,
just like other mainline faction's appearance are influenced by other cultures and their religions.

Still, the loyalists are called loyalists, not "Vaticans" or "Crusaders".
If you search the web for "loyalists" you won't get a prominent hit to any real life religion.
And yes, "Paladins" are a border case.

This is very different for "Khalifate".

Many people don't mind the name including (!) me.
But I see that it might cause troubles and the fact that it has been discussed not only once in the forum seems to backup this.

Is the name that important?
Can't we find another one which is not related to religion that much and avoid further trouble?
The proposed "Emirate" seems fine for me (well the sound of "Khalifate" is till better in my ears).

For me that is a strong no go.


I meant that if I would be responsible for guarding which content is added to our game,
I wouldn't have to think twice before denying the name (and only the name).
I am not in that position nor do I aim for being it.

So, please just take my statement as my opinion.
I do not intend to veto anything nor will I take any further action regarding the issue personally.
Meaning, if my opinion is not regarded much, I will accept it without further complains nor will it affect my relationship to anyone not sharing it.

Especially is it not my intension to spoil the day for (or dis-encourage) the people who worked hard on the new faction.
Keep on the good work!
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby beetlenaut » February 8th, 2014, 4:03 am

Sapient wrote:However, in all this time, have any of our muslim users said anything to that effect?
As far as I know, Khalifate is not a pejorative term, so I doubt it's offensive on its own. However, every faction takes a turn as the bad guys eventually. Nobody has any problem when elves or orcs are portrayed as murderous villains in a campaign, but what about when it's Muslims? I bet there would be some hurt feelings then. Since the name clearly identifies the faction as Muslim, I also think we should change it.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby SigurdFireDragon » February 14th, 2014, 1:32 am

After having read some discussion here & on irc, I agree with the notion that if the name is switched, it should be to something not inflammatory at all. I feel that "Southerners" would work well as the faction name. There's no possibility of inflammatory reactions, and it simply describes how the faction relates to the kingdom of Wesnoth.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby Lord-Knightmare » February 14th, 2014, 9:41 am

The faction's name is awesome as it is. There is no need to change it. I have played a number of MP battles with the Experimental AI as the Khalifate and I find that the faction has substantially improved in terms of balance. Keep up the great work guys... :mrgreen:
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby taptap » February 14th, 2014, 6:40 pm

SigurdFireDragon wrote:After having read some discussion here & on irc, I agree with the notion that if the name is switched, it should be to something not inflammatory at all. I feel that "Southerners" would work well as the faction name. There's no possibility of inflammatory reactions, and it simply describes how the faction relates to the kingdom of Wesnoth.


Northerners are the orcs. Southerners is an obvious parallelism to orcs. Orcs are evil -> ...

I guess HaChol would be happy with it. In other words, you don't escape politics that cheap. :whistle:
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby Telchin » February 14th, 2014, 7:57 pm

After having read some discussion here & on irc, I agree with the notion that if the name is switched, it should be to something not inflammatory at all. I feel that "Southerners" would work well as the faction name. There's no possibility of inflammatory reactions, and it simply describes how the faction relates to the kingdom of Wesnoth.

Well, Wesnoth default factions have no unified naming conventions. Drakes and Undead are named after their species, Rebels and Loyalists after the storyline of HttT, Northerners after their geographical position and Knalgan Alliance after their capital city. In this case Khalifate would be named after their form of rule, while "Southerners" after their geographical location (assuming they live to the south of Wesnoth, AFAIK they don't appear in any campaign I've played). Honestly I don't like either name much, but unfortunately I can't think of any better :hmm:
Northerners are the orcs. Southerners is an obvious parallelism to orcs. Orcs are evil -> ...

If we're drawing unfortunate parallels between orcs and real-life minorities, I'd like to mention that the evil/brutish/fast-breeding orcs are dark skinned and dark haired, while the graceful/mystical/(allegedly) peaceful elves are pale-skinned blondes :augh:
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby Doomchicken » February 16th, 2014, 10:51 am

taptap wrote:Northerners are the orcs. Southerners is an obvious parallelism to orcs. Orcs are evil -> ...


I would disagree. Northerners and Southerner are opposites, so Southerners will be assumed to be good as the orcs are evil.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby Crow_T » February 16th, 2014, 2:11 pm

Aren't there any Arabic speaking people here that can offer some ideas that aren't so loaded? In LotR there is the Haradim, which I assume is a made up word, that's a possibility (to make up a word). What are these guys all about, do they have any history/motivations yet? There must be an honorable and rogue branch just to keep things interesting story-wise, so a very generic name would be ideal. I'm trying to figure out a nice sounding name but every translation site gives the translated word in Arabic characters :doh:
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby Andrettin » February 16th, 2014, 6:35 pm

Crow_T wrote:Aren't there any Arabic speaking people here that can offer some ideas that aren't so loaded? In LotR there is the Haradim, which I assume is a made up word, that's a possibility (to make up a word). What are these guys all about, do they have any history/motivations yet? There must be an honorable and rogue branch just to keep things interesting story-wise, so a very generic name would be ideal. I'm trying to figure out a nice sounding name but every translation site gives the translated word in Arabic characters :doh:


As far as names go, I like the Arabic word for "Cordoba" (a city in Spain, after which the Caliphate of Cordoba which existed in the Iberian peninsula Middle Ages was named), transliterated into the Latin alphabet: Qurtuba (transliteration from wikipedia). The people could be referred to as "Qurtubans". Referring to a polity which no longer exists, but which was Arabic when it did, would be a nice reference, without linking the faction to any still-existing nations.
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Re: Formal critique against Khalifate faction.

Postby shadowm » February 16th, 2014, 10:42 pm

Situations like the previous thread of discussion in this topic, much like Sapient said, do not help anyone take the medium seriously and may, in fact, hurt productivity for reasons that should be glaringly obvious. But since stating the obvious is my official job here, I may as well proceed to do so now.

While people like me may work on the Battle for Wesnoth specifically for adding and improving things with the userbase’s needs and preferences in mind, this does not mean that we should tolerate verbal abuse when our vision conflicts with the opinions of a vocal minority that feels entitled to our time and effort.

The person in question, as well as anyone in the audience that may have posted or considered posting similar so-called ‘critique’ in the past or future, should ask themselves how they would feel if they were working on a user-made era or campaign and were suddenly confronted with a similar reaction in their own thread from somebody else. Human beings are vastly different in nature, and not everyone can cope with negativity very well; some people may be demotivated, or worse, and that does not make them any less valuable as contributors, or people. This is why criticism is required to be constructive in other sections of these forums, like Art Workshop and Art Contributions.

In an impersonal medium like these forums or the mailing list, all you see are usernames and posts and it’s easy to forget that there is a real person behind every one of those screen names; a real person contributing to this game for fun. We, the forum administrators, created the Posting Guidelines to ensure there is an atmosphere of mutual understanding where our contributions are valued as the unpaid volunteer work they are, and not as an obligation to the community; they are not a censoring mechanism, but rather a framework for keeping forum activity fluid and within an acceptable temperature range. This is something you may want to keep in mind every time a moderator comes to you pointing out you did something wrong; it is something you should keep in mind if you get issued a formal warning; it is something you should keep in mind if you find yourself suddenly banned after a heated discussion. But just as we may punish people for stepping out of line and harming the community, we may forgive them if they can admit to their mistakes and show that they can learn from the experience and shift towards a more positive attitude. This, and because every human can commit mistakes, is why we have chosen in the past to not reveal information about bans to anyone but the affected.

(I am not saying any of the involved here have been banned — certainly not. That was a more general statement I wanted to make for future reference, even though I will probably forget about this post and topic in a couple of days.)

If you don’t like how some aspect of the game is unfinished or broken, like the Khalifate faction’s current lack of mainline representation (a situation that also affects the Drakes faction to a lesser degree), talk with the people in charge, come to IRC, help us fix it. If you don’t like the existence of an optional feature of the game, like the Khalifate faction itself (or the Drakes faction), don’t use it. If you don’t like our vision of the game (like the RNG’s gameplay implications), don’t play the Battle for Wesnoth. You are not forced to stay and we won’t mind if you leave, as long as you don’t come into our house first and make a spectacle of yourself.

Now that you have seen where ‘free speech’ can lead to when used improperly and for the wrong reasons, I am sure you will be more understanding in the future when complaints about topics like the Khalifate’s design or the RNG are instantly shut down or redirected.



With all that said, if a rename is going to happen — which is unlikely at this point — it will be discussed internally by the people responsible for the Khalifate faction and general mainline maintenance rather than (circularly) debated in the forums. This is both to avoid situations like the aforementioned, and to optimize the creative process. We will make sure to ask you for ideas at a later point if we deem it convenient or necessary, but for now, this thread needs to rest.

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