Khalifate Era

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Wintermute
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Wintermute » November 8th, 2014, 4:38 am

jb wrote:Wintermute
Guilty by association? I hope not. But is it worth constantly having these threads pointing it out and rehashing it? Well... that is hard to answer.
It reminds me of the Washington Redskins debate. At some point it might be a good idea to just change the name.
Nailed it. :D It's hard to argue with that. Like I said above, I'm fine with a name change, I was mostly trying to point out why it hasn't been changed so far.
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alpha1
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by alpha1 » November 8th, 2014, 6:52 am

Question: is Noy still around? It seems like we are in some kind of weird dead-mans-hand scenario, where everyone agrees (or is at least not opposed) to the name change, solid arguments are being made, unofficial rules being invoked, but no one can make anything because of a decision made 9 years ago by a person who may or may not be still here? (No offense, if you are still here Noy ^_^ ) Even then 9 years is a long period of time and as some people argued here, recent political developments may be a reason to make some corrections to this decision.

As to the faction design, i did some research (lol) it seems like it has been controversial from the very beginning, particulary for the intention to add a faction which is
Noy4 wrote:completely based on the non use of magic.
into a high magic fantasy setting. I'm afraid wyvern riders are akin to a band-aid treatment of a gaping hole in a chest where the heart is supposed to be :whistle:


I also stumbled upon some quotes, which seemed to be related to the topic:
Noy4 wrote:So this is interesting. I started the Khalifate about nine years ago, in part due to my experiences living among muslims, my work at the time and studies.
Noy4 wrote:Thank you for this. Your little outburst illustrates PRECISELY the narrow minded mindset that I wanted to pierce when I created the Khalifate. The reality is muslims have a rich fantasy tradition, which is so quickly overshadowed and ignored. In many cases the problem is that people bring this completely insensitive and ignorant views like yours to the table.
I'll leave aside the "rich fantasy tradition"-point, as how pseudo-cataphracts are more fantasy than genies and ifrit escapes my mind, but hey i'm not an expert on arabian mythology, so maybe i'm missing something ^_^

However the "educational islam-is-more-than-just-terrorism"-point is also kinda missed, no?
Even most rabid islam haters would be hard pressed to argue against Aladin and arabian nights (as an example, that a non-controversial middle east setting can be done). A faction with a real life name, associated with a particular real life religion, that is used for the propaganda reasons by a rogue state of fundamentalist mass murderers, will be controversial even among islam-friendly people. I mean, you definitly won't "educate" neutral/hostile people, if even those who actually should be on your side are arguing against you.

So i'm kinda all sorts of puzzled and confused now :hmm:
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Quetzalcoatl » November 8th, 2014, 9:19 am

Hey,

I think those are very reasonable and valid concerns. Actually I planned to express them as well this morning. So yep... regarding faction future - I hope we are not held in some state of limbo. It was a wise policy (even if unofficial) to keep real world issues away from game. The real problem as I see it is not the faction name (or some other thing) but going boldly vs this common consensus. I'm really curious what was the true reason behind taking this action but it looks like only Noy knows the answer and he is absent :(.

As a humoristic side-note: No middle eastern faction can be realistic without genies :P. I mean I saw so many movies as well as read books and guess what... They were always there. Ifrit can be a decent addition too, but rly if new faction aims at realism then (by excluding genies) it unfortunately fails at that aim :P. Its contradictory ;).

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Horus2 » November 8th, 2014, 11:21 am

I have to defend iceiceice here, because just by seeing this again and again and again and again makes my head hurt like a "got talent" jury member's after the false notes of the 100th singer sapling. Luckily Wintermute was a day faster than me and made a very good and polite post, pointing out the wyvern, the lack of campaigns, xenophobia and planet Venus, so hopefully he put an end to the devs' mass consumption of aspirin without me starring as the lovely intellectual loose cannon. But for closure, take my words or flee, so i ain't came for nothing.

It is about time to overhaul this list; some of them already left the absolute "no" category and should be removed, but more importantly, the following should have been added just for the sake of emphasis:

36 Ones being personally not offended by the (non-existant) link between video game warriors and irl radicals, but repeatedly worrying for the mental state of a certain paper skin western individual (exact whereabouts currently unknown) are basically want to normalise the xenophobic catalepsy, and as such, their threads are a hindrance and safe to lock. Kingdom, Empire, Caliphate; these are, in itself, harmless terms for states. Now that i think of it, the second of them is actually the most malevolent, because of the Galactic Empire... geez, let's move on.

37 The ubiquitous demanding for genies, ifrits, camels, elephants, magic carpets, lamps with pertaining Aladdins, and of course a stacked unit group of circa 40 thieves should also be treated with a padlock on sight without much ado at this point. Partially because that was the devs design decision, partially because a group of cunning horse-riding desert mercenaries, when fits to the rest of the universe, is more fantasy than humankind's superficious arabian folklore kitchen sink will ever be. But all above because it serves totally no multiplayer gameplay purpose, which should be the focus. We, the players, have to work with the given materials, and i swear there is lot to do.


And now, as my last ditch attempt to prevent this thread being rightfully nuked:

Currently, khals cannot beat a 400 elo points weaker loy player.

Discuss.

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Temuchin Khan » November 8th, 2014, 4:46 pm

Wintermute wrote:....I really dislike making changes to things just because someone else is loud - especially if they are rude about it. I also really can't stand the notion that just because some terrorists exist somewhere and they happen to be Islamic extremists today, we can't talk about anything at all to do with Islam. It is a victory for those extremists if we can't even talk about ages old stuff in a fantasy game without neutering everything in the name of political correctness.
And this is why changing the name to Sultanate would be perfect. It would still evoke the Turko-Arab feel of the faction, but without evoking the negative connotations of Khalifate. It wouldn't involve any concession to rude complainers, but it would address the legitimate concerns of other users.

I've always supported the inclusion of this faction, and if a simple name change would facilitate that, why not?

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Wintermute » November 8th, 2014, 10:39 pm

Temuchin Khan wrote: And this is why changing the name to Sultanate would be perfect. It would still evoke the Turko-Arab feel of the faction, but without evoking the negative connotations of Khalifate. It wouldn't involve any concession to rude complainers, but it would address the legitimate concerns of other users.

I've always supported the inclusion of this faction, and if a simple name change would facilitate that, why not?
Well, that's the rub... Is changing it to Sultanate really a solution? I like it, but then, I like Khalifate too. It's not me we're trying to appeal to. We're still taking about something from the real world that does kinda sorta lead back to the same issue of political correctness. Sultanate (as well as some of the other suggestions in this thread) is not as blatant as directly referencing a Caliphate, but it's only a step removed - at least I suspect that is how some people will see it. If we're really going to change the name (which I'm totally fine with, and even pushed for), then the only way I would support it is if I'm 100% sure that the new name cannot conjure up even a ghost of the same topic. Basically: I don't want any more of these threads.

In light of that, and to keep somewhat with existing faction titles a word somewhat descriptive of their origin like "Travelers" or "Survivors" (Loyalists, Rebels, Northerners are also pretty generic), or something that is created for this purpose with a nod to history. I would suggest "Wassanid", as something that has no meaning, and yet is a historical nod toward something resembling the inspiration of the current Khalifate faction, in the Sassanid Empire (1,2,3). Having such a tie in could also help out some of the history of the faction develop, as it could spur some interesting "historical fantasy" (similar events but 'nothify all the names) for the poor soul brave adventurer who writes the first Khalifate campaign for us...

Of course, I also don't care much about the name - I just wanted to voice what opinion I do have on the kind of name that actually could pass muster: generic or (somewhat) made up.

EDIT: Forgot I wanted to point out that regarding their fantasy setting, what fantasy setting is complete without a group who doesn't use, and in fact looks down on magic!? We are MISSING this group right now. Or replace fantasy with technology, same idea. We actually *should* have a faction that doesn't use magic to flesh out our world.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Crow_T » November 9th, 2014, 12:09 am

I guess firstly, if you want to rename the Khalifate, one would need to know all about them, where they stand in the Wesnoth world, maybe some background on them. Are they a warrior culture, nomads, etc? What is their deal? The other mainline factions are pretty clear cut for the most part in terms of backstory and motivations. A geographical or made-up name is pretty generic and leaves things a lot more open.

It's really hard as a non-Arabic speaker to find words because the translations are usually in Arabic characters. Some ideas, Askari, Muharib, Bahador/Bahadir, whatever the word for horsemen is (Asawera, Aswar?), or nomad, etc. Again, I'm a native speaker of anything but English so these may be off base.

Sorry for my bad non-english.

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by doofus-01 » November 9th, 2014, 7:03 am

As has been touched on already, shouldn't they be given a generic name, a la the Rebels, Loyalists, Northerners, or even the Knalgan Alliance? Something (translatable) like "Southlanders" or "(insert-fantasy-name-here) Empire". ("Empire" is pretty generic, and allows for not all units being from the same culture.) The "Rebels" faction doesn't make any sense without the HttT campaign, it seems this Middle-Eastern faction is being held up to different standards.

Choose something vague, then give it meaning with a campaign/story. All the energy spent tying or un-tying this from Israel/Palestine debate or "Islamic" State is wasted, even if it does make the various parties feel righteous. If there was a campaign, that could draw all the fire, and there might actually be room to address complaints. You have more room for text in a campaign than in an MP faction name. Also, water is wet and fire is hot.

By the way, if place-holder art is needed for a campaign, check out this thread: http://forum.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=19821
The portraits are old-style, but so are UtBS's, so that can't really be a prerequisite.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Quetzalcoatl » November 9th, 2014, 7:33 am

There are descriptive names but they can be divided a bit as well. For example description can say who they are (drakes, undead) indicate side of the conflict (loys, rebels) or even refer to geographical location (northerners). Not all factions have one word name as well :).

Thats being said I like Sultanate (eventually Emirate) name but I think Wintermute's concerns are justified, so I would like to raise something not yet mentioned. We already have multi-word names like (KA) and geographical references (Northies) - with one occurrence both. To make them not to look odd lets give new faction multi-word name with geographical connotation. I think this could be sth that would go along well with names already in. As for the arabic sounding name I don't speak language at all but Knalga is not real world and I think all words ending with ate sound cool :P. This gave me idea that some franken-naming could be worth consideration. Like start with something and add ate at the end of the word.

Also is it possible that name change will happen before release? Minutes ago I found that next RC has been tagged few hours ago. We had somewhat greater dramas in the past (lobby being reverted after stable release) so maybe its possible I hope.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Temuchin Khan » November 9th, 2014, 5:55 pm

Quetzalcoatl wrote:There are descriptive names but they can be divided a bit as well. For example description can say who they are (drakes, undead) indicate side of the conflict (loys, rebels) or even refer to geographical location (northerners). Not all factions have one word name as well :).

Thats being said I like Sultanate (eventually Emirate) name but I think Wintermute's concerns are justified, so I would like to raise something not yet mentioned. We already have multi-word names like (KA) and geographical references (Northies) - with one occurrence both.
Or for something different: Sons of Zamarkand.

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by iceiceice » November 9th, 2014, 7:40 pm

FWIW,
- I don't like "Sultanate" because it's too Aladdin, and that's apparently not what we're shooting for.
- I liked "Saracens" from the older threads but this is also not much of an improvement over Khalifate in terms of overt political references. Also "Khalifate" is a bit grander than "Saracens".
- I think "Wassanid" is a step in the right direction, but still maybe could be better.

Are there any known landmarks in the Khalifate area? We could perhaps incorporate that into the name.

Also, it might be easier to wait until there actually is a Khalifate campaign and then rename it. I suggest this because it seems that most people don't like the name Khalifate, but no one in thread actually personally finds it offensive, there's rather only Fear / Uncertainty / Doubt about whether someone might. Quetzalcoatl writes:
Quetzalcoatl wrote: The real problem as I see it is not the faction name (or some other thing) but going boldly vs this common consensus.
So it's not clear that the name is actually "inappropriate / unacceptable" as such and needs to be changed immediately, esp. if there's no consensus what a better name would be.

Most of the other factions are given names based on their relation to Wesnoth at the time of Heir to the Throne. Since there's no canon on this for Khalifate yet (afaik), it makes it hard to come up with a good name. This also gives much greater flexibility to the person who dreams up the surrounding lore -- if they don't actually want to put a "Khalifate" in their campaign and have a different political arrangement instead, or have them located somewhere in particular, they can do that easily.

This way, we won't later get stuck with an awkward name that doesn't fit the campaigns / the rest of mainline, and we can answer subsequent threads on this topic with "rename is in fact planned as soon as a Khalifate campaign is mainlined."

Is it true that this is the first time we added a faction which is without campaigns / campaign appearances?

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by tekelili » November 9th, 2014, 8:08 pm

iceiceice wrote:So it's not clear that the name is actually "inappropriate / unacceptable" as such and needs to be changed immediately, esp. if there's no consensus what a better name would be.
Totally agree, no sense change until a clear nice candidate shows up. Btw, some people like me have only flavor or coherence concerns about Khalifate faction name, and would like not be systematicly included in "concerns about muslim references" ;)
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by Pentarctagon » November 9th, 2014, 8:11 pm

iceiceice wrote:Most of the other factions are given names based on their relation to Wesnoth at the time of Heir to the Throne. Since there's no canon on this for Khalifate yet (afaik), it makes it hard to come up with a good name. This also gives much greater flexibility to the person who dreams up the surrounding lore -- if they don't actually want to put a "Khalifate" in their campaign and have a different political arrangement instead, or have them located somewhere in particular, they can do that easily.

This way, we won't later get stuck with an awkward name that doesn't fit the campaigns / the rest of mainline, and we can answer subsequent threads on this topic with "rename is in fact planned as soon as a Khalifate campaign is mainlined."

Is it true that this is the first time we added a faction which is without campaigns / campaign appearances?
Is there a Khalifate campaign candidate for mainline already being worked on, or at least the intent to start working on one in the semi-near future? If there is, then it could be left up to whoever is in charge of that. If there's not though, it doesn't really make sense to wait an unknown amount of time for someone to decide to start making one.
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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by iceiceice » November 9th, 2014, 8:23 pm

I remember that Aquileia was discussing this at length in #wesnoth-dev with other devs, and trying to find Noy to give whatever backstory info he has. (I think it was like 5-6 months ago). I don't know how much progress was made. There may also be independent efforts, I don't really know.

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Re: Khalifate Era

Post by zookeeper » November 9th, 2014, 8:43 pm

iceiceice wrote:Is it true that this is the first time we added a faction which is without campaigns / campaign appearances?
Drakes would be another, although they did get an appearance in TRoW very quickly when it was mainlined.

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