Khalifate faction name

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mystic x the unknown
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Khalifate faction name

Post by mystic x the unknown »

The faction that is currently going mainline, called Khalifate, has a name which is problematic.

The problem is that it's tied to Islam, bringing strong real-world element to Wesnoth. What's more, this element is a widespread world religion.
Some made the case that religion already exists in Wesnoth, but that was always either fabricated one (UtBS, mermen..) or facets of a dead religion (ankhs..).

Caliph: Taken from Arabic, originally means successor, since the conception of Islam it's been used for successor of the prophet(Mohammed) and thus the deputy of God on earth.
Caliphate: Taken from Arabic. An Islamic state supposed to govern all the Muslims, commonly seen as the ultimate form of Islamic government. (lasted in some form until 1924)
Khilafat: Modern and more accurate romanization of the Arabic word for Caliphate.
Khalifa: Modern romanization of the Arabic word for Caliph.

I don't think it's a good thing to insert this into Wesnoth.

two links to what I see as good reference: ... iphate.pdf

You could say that "Khalifate" is clearly different from "Caliphate" or "Khilafat", but what matters is how the word is understood. Being such a slight alteration of those words that it is, it assumes their meaning.

Some dictionaries even list "Khalifate" as an alternate form for "Caliphate":
Furthermore, many languages use a form of the word with K and F instead of C and PH, respectively.

Anyone who knows what the word means or decides to look it up will see the faction as Islamic superstate army.

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Re: Khalifate faction name

Post by Lolinder »

I posted on the other thread about suggested changes to the actual faction, unit-wise, which I am opposed to. But I wouldn't object to simply changing the name in order to not bring in unnecessary real-world elements (religious or not).

Weren't they previously called the Kalifa (or something similar)? I didn't draw the connection between them and the Caliphate until I logged in today after a long break. I think a reversion to that name would be acceptable.

If not, do you have any other suggestions?

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Re: Khalifate faction name

Post by doofus-01 »

I've got a question concerning this aspect of realism (I'm not editorializing one way or the other):

Is the Islamic aspect being introduced to have accessible desert & Mideast motif while avoiding exoticism?
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Re: Khalifate faction name

Post by Gidoza »

I was about to post on the same topic, so to avoid spam I won't create another thread. Here's my comment that I would have thrown in as the original post.

For 1.13, I'm wondering how exactly the Muslim Khaliphate fits in with a Fantasy theme. Yes yes the C has been changed to a K and there will be a convenient story to move it in with all the races of Wesnoth; but it just strikes me as neither original nor suiting. It's another race of typical-looking humanoids that look much the same as the other typical-looking humanoids; Fantasy still has Minotaurs, and Kobolds, and dozens of other things, and this is what we're picking for the next unit set introduction? :/ Honestly I feel kind of disappointed. Yeah, other world religions have showed up in Fantasy, but never this blatantly; the priests always fight the Undead and heal (or in this case, White Mages), Elves/Faeries are usually associated with nature - there's some kind of a distant association with the real world while its being a pretty clear acknowledgment that it's part of the Fantasy world in a marginal way. The Kaliphate is pretty un-marginal. :/

To Summarize:

1. Wesnoth is a Fantasy environment, and Fantasy is RICH with stuff - let's use that Fantasy richness.
2. Religion is pretty normal in Fantasy, but not in-your-face the way the Khaliphate is; this needs toning down.
3. I would be in support of changing the faction in its entirety; keep the unit abilities and such, but re-name everything else.

Also, Mystic X:
Anyone who knows what the word means or decides to look it up will see the faction as Islamic superstate army.
Yes this is exactly what I thought, and this would be a terrible change to the game. :/ If this actually gets introduced as a legitimate faction, I think I'm respect will be gone.

However, the word isn't enough - the units LOOK like Muslim warriors. Changing the name to the "Quizzels" still won't do anything because the imagery is still obvious.
Last edited by Ravana on April 25th, 2015, 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged double post

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Re: Khalifate faction name

Post by Ravana »

Merged double post. There is edit button to make changes, especially when your post hasnt been seen yet.

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Re: Khalifate faction name

Post by Implementor37 »

I'm curious, many UMC era's feature a relatively-well balanced elemental and minotaur faction. There is even a vampire faction (yes I've been using WoL a lot recently--my campaign uses it). Elementals, minotaurs, and vampires are all staples of fantasy about which nobody would complain about their inclusion. Why are we risking negative feedback and/or religious issues by introducing the Khaliphate as a potential mainline faction? If you want a human-esque faction that does not use magic, the Dark Legion would be a good option--only its rather close to the existing Loyalists in appearance. Or the Aragwaithi--they have been extremely-well balanced and have a very unique appearance and playstyle--would have been another great choice over the khalifate. In fact, any of the factions I've mentioned have the following benefits:
1)Better balanced (IMO)
2)No religious issues
3)Clear unit names (this is a big one. I can't tell my Arif from a Jundi just by reading the text, but I know the difference between an Aragwaith Strongbow and an Aragwaith Pikeman. :whistle:

As a result, I'd like to propose that we remove the khalifate from mainline and replacing them with the Aragwaith. While elementals, minotaurs, vampires, and the like are cool--i believe the Aragwaith fill the niche that the khalifate was designed for while removing any potential issues. In addition, the Aragwaith are better balanced and well-known from UMC already.
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Re: Khalifate faction name

Post by taptap »

Changing the name to the "Quizzels" still won't do anything because the imagery is still obvious.
Why are you resurrecting an old thread about the name, when you obviously don't even care about the name? :hmm:
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Re: Khalifate faction name

Post by Iris »

Gidoza wrote:Yes this is exactly what I thought, and this would be a terrible change to the game. :/ If this actually gets introduced as a legitimate faction, I think I'm respect will be gone.

We are really sorry we couldn’t please a number of people, however large or small it is. Come to think of it, maybe we should also drop the use of pseudorandom numbers in gameplay for 1.13.

But seriously, no, we are not going to remove a faction just to suit other people’s political agendas. Maybe some people would say “oh, but the faction being mainlined is clearly a political move too” — because we aren’t allowed to decide to have some cultural diversity in a fictional world for some reason?

I’m sorry, but we’ve had this argument countless times. Likewise, every once in a while someone comes and complains about the RNG’s role in core gameplay and several other people join the chorus. We’ve been doing this for years now. If you don’t like our vision of the game, you are free to leave and find another game more according to your taste/religion/political beliefs.

As for Implementor37’s proposal of adding the Aragwaithi, luckily we now have a separate thread for that so we can put this one to rest.
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