[mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

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Whiskeyjack
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Whiskeyjack »

Hey Cold Steel, as always, it seems we have very different views on things, welcome to the discussion :D
Khalifate and magic:
PS: Someone stop me early if we derail too fast on some sidetracks, that was also a problem of ours in the HttT-rewrite discussions :lol:
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max_torch
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by max_torch »

if khalifate will be a collection of "kingdoms" then perhaps it could be flavorful to have a bunch of different subcultures/groups within. It could have different subregions or minorities.
The alchemists could be from the southern nation of most radical magic haters
The cavalry/scout units could be from the nomadic subculture - they could be the only nomads of the south continent hence theyre mastery of the continent's horses similar to Httt's horse lords.
Etc
So one thing that can be done is to still find a way to make use of the various different ideas put forth in the discussion by
making use of this "subcultures/several minorities/multicultural" concept. Just like Knalgan alliance has a mix of races you could even say that there is a small part of people that have the "jinn blood"
storywise this gives more room to explore and expand the lore of each of the cultures/races
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Xalzar
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Xalzar »

Turuk wrote: For all of the debate about Caliph and Emir, I am not inherently opposed to the connotation behind either. While I understand the logic behind choosing a word that does not have cultural connotation, I do not think that either of the two are anything but titles used throughout centuries that could be found equally in a fantasy setting as some other titles have been.
I agree about Emir, which simply means "commander","general","prince". Although other sources I've searched say it can have also a religious connotation.
But Caliph indicates "a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad" (Wikipedia), so it's inappropriate to use in our setting (and very probably disrespectful).

Other possible titles without religious connotations (correct me if I'm wrong):
-Satrap: "governor", "protector"
-Bey/Begum: "chieftain" (m/f)
-Mirza: "prince"
-Marzaban: "margrave"
-Shah/Padishah/Shahanshah: "king"
-Pasha: "general", "governor"
-Sultan: "sovereign"
-Vizier: "advisor", "minister"

The last one IIRC is already used in one the special Khalifate units not included in the multiplayer faction.
As for their usage, IMO I think it needs to be restricted either to the "Ghazi" line or be campaign-only for flavour. Multiplayer needs to have as clear, translatable names as possible (which is one of the major points of this discussion).
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by name »

Turuk wrote: It sounds as if the consensus is that Faction Name is highly dependent on the Race decision - if they are going to be another culture of humans, the Faction Name should be highly distinctive as it is now. If they are not going to be humans, it can be more generic.
Personally, my biggest issue with the khalifate as a mainline faction has always been that it is a mainly/purely human group (thereby duplicating the loyalists as such).

Wesnoth with its original six factions has a nice mix of mythology inspired races and creatures and consequently diverse aesthetics and concepts. Adding another faction of pure humans dilutes this fantasy flavor (much more so than their name IMO).

And because of the delicate game play balance of having six diverse factions already, making this the seventh faction probably means it will have to be the last faction that is ever added to default multiplayer. So it really needs be worthy of that, not just in terms of balance, but fitting the diverse fantasy aesthetic as well. I feel making them something more interesting and clever than another human group would fulfill this.

To this end, the Jinn idea opens up a number of interesting visual, conceptual and story paths to run down. And there are many vastly ancient and diverse cultures from the near east to pull other mythological concepts from as well.
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mintleaf
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by mintleaf »

Cold Steel wrote: Personally, my biggest issue with the khalifate as a mainline faction has always been that it is a mainly/purely human group (thereby duplicating the loyalists as such).

Wesnoth with its original six factions has a nice mix of mythology inspired races and creatures and consequently diverse aesthetics and concepts. Adding another faction of pure humans dilutes this fantasy flavor (much more so than their name IMO).

And because of the delicate game play balance of having six diverse factions already, making this the seventh faction probably means it will have to be the last faction that is ever added to default multiplayer. So it really needs be worthy of that, not just in terms of balance, but fitting the diverse fantasy aesthetic as well. I feel making them something more interesting and clever than another human group would fulfill this.

To this end, the Jinn idea opens up a number of interesting visual, conceptual and story paths to run down. And there are many vastly ancient and diverse cultures from the near east to pull other mythological concepts from as well.
While I see your point, I don't entirely agree that being human dilutes the fantasy flavor. The culture and feel of the Khalifate is very different from the Loyalists. Tolkien's worlds are mostly made up of humans, while in China Mieville's fantasies humans are only one minority in a multitude of races. It's not the amount of different races that make fantasy colorful. Instead I would argue whether the Khalifate are too similar to other factions in their culture and lore. That being said, I think the faction itself suffices.

However, your Jinn idea is interesting. We could develop that more given a larger consensus or if you build the idea more yourself. It seems like other people in the thread dislike the Jinn name and feel. I do like the idea of god's blood though. But yes other ancient and diverse cultures are ripe for inspiration.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by name »

@Whiskeyjack

Balancing and fleshing out a full multiplayer faction is an enormous task and the bar is or should be much higher for anything that is trying to become this.

If instead it was only aiming to become an addon faction or a human (or any race, dwarven, etc.) splinter group that shows up in a mainline campaign then most of the counterpoints you made would be valid enough.
mintleaf wrote:The culture and feel of the Khalifate is very different from the Loyalists.
In a historical setting I would agree the two are different enough.

But compared to how different the other more fantasy factions feel versus each other and versus the loyalists, these two look and feel way too similar.
mintleaf wrote:However, your Jinn idea is interesting. We could develop that more given a larger consensus or if you build the idea more yourself.
Fair enough.
Can-ned_Food
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Can-ned_Food »

Some people complain about the extant Khalifate being too strictly Arabic and hence too limited to a cultural history from our world. I've seen a few people here — well, in other threads also — mention pieces of Persian history, memes, or mythology in conjunction with the Khalifate. Such broadening does, of course, help authors perceive, through the lenses of human culture, the various aesthetic aspects which they wish to imitate when worldbuilding; I am not complaining of that.
Rather, I suspect that it perhaps warrants a bit of a reminder: the Persians are almost as ethnically distant from the Arabs as are the Indians from the American Aborigines — e.g. the Apaches, the Cherokees, the Delawares.
I dunno. Maybe I'm seeing something that isn't there, or making more of it than I should. But, it seems to me like you've got a theme which has already borrowed from a large palette of our own real-world expressions and is actually not so limited to a single subset as some people think.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Kwandulin »

While I don't see how the desert people could be Jinn themselves, I think having Jinn as a separate race, that is befriended with the southern people could work well. Having the potential for a multi-racial faction could also differ them further from the other factions. I did that in OoA, featuring half-jinns: a symbiosis between man and jinn: e.g. the bowmaster Azyan or the mystical Yer-cron'ae
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mintleaf
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by mintleaf »

Kwandulin wrote:While I don't see how the desert people could be Jinn themselves, I think having Jinn as a separate race, that is befriended with the southern people could work well. Having the potential for a multi-racial faction could also differ them further from the other factions. I did that in OoA, featuring half-jinns: a symbiosis between man and jinn: e.g. the bowmaster Azyan or the mystical Yer-cron'ae
There's a lot of potential with this idea. While the Dunefolk (I'm totally digging this name) could be human themselves, some of them could have descended from the gods themselves. It gets interesting once we figure out why they do not practice magic. Their lack of magic doesn't have to be considered a taboo rather as a cultural choice to focus on other endeavors, like the science or art of the Naffat or Hakim. Unless that is considered some sort of branch of pseudo-magic as well, or even a hybrid of magic and science, which I also find very interesting and exciting.
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Turuk
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Turuk »

To weigh in on a number of points raised - sorry to not address every single one, but just addressing ones I feel are relevant to keep things on track and avoiding a super long post (it's already long, I know).
Whiskeyjack wrote: Simply not true. Loyalists are somewhat culturally medieval european inspired, Khalifate more so culturally arabic. As of now, mainline states very little about religion, it certainly isn't as prominent as in our world. And there is no mention whatsoever of anyone with a monotheistic faith. There is also no direct connection to any of our-world religions since Holy Water was renamed (except the matter of discussion, the name Khalifate).
Yes, I do not think there is any issue with having a faction inspired by a culture and yet avoiding any connection to religion by avoiding any mention of it. I know it was mentioned that Loyalists is fairly generic, but given their appearance and background, it is not a leap for anyone interested in history to make assumptions about what their religious background could be. However, the point I am making is that should still be the emphasis - focusing on the culture/ruling structure and continually embracing the mostly blank area that exists around religion. It has served us well for years and will continue to do so.
max_torch wrote:Just like Knalgan alliance has a mix of races you could even say that there is a small part of people that have the "jinn blood"
I proposed the jinn blood as an explanation as to why they may have magic in their culture in small amounts, based on individuals who have some of that in their blood and therefore have the gift for it. On the other side of that, I have no issue with Khalifate remaining anti-magic given that they could take a more alchemical/scientific path that could add some unique flavor, particularly in campaigns.
Xalzar wrote:The last one IIRC is already used in one the special Khalifate units not included in the multiplayer faction.
As for their usage, IMO I think it needs to be restricted either to the "Ghazi" line or be campaign-only for flavour. Multiplayer needs to have as clear, translatable names as possible (which is one of the major points of this discussion).
Xalzar, thank you for the name research and confirmation. I also like some of the proposed suggestions below, particularly Sultan as it makes me think of Sultanates, which were found from Africa throughout the lower parts of Asia.
Cold Steel wrote:And because of the delicate game play balance of having six diverse factions already, making this the seventh faction probably means it will have to be the last faction that is ever added to default multiplayer. So it really needs be worthy of that, not just in terms of balance, but fitting the diverse fantasy aesthetic as well. I feel making them something more interesting and clever than another human group would fulfill this.

To this end, the Jinn idea opens up a number of interesting visual, conceptual and story paths to run down. And there are many vastly ancient and diverse cultures from the near east to pull other mythological concepts from as well.
This is an interesting line of thinking, as prior to the Khalifate, it had been years since a faction had been added. I do not disagree with you entirely, though I do not want it to delay this process because we are looking for the perfect fit. The other factions were certainly subject to minor edits after the fact over the years, generally through description updates that slightly altered or further outlined the culture (Drakes, etc.).

For your point on the Jinn, using a name like the Sultanates would allow you access to a breadth of mythological possibilities across a variety of cultures.
Cold Steel wrote:But compared to how different the other more fantasy factions feel versus each other and versus the loyalists, these two look and feel way too similar.
Does this fully extend to their feel in gameplay as well? They certainly have a visual disparity that helps in separation.
Can-ned_Food wrote:Rather, I suspect that it perhaps warrants a bit of a reminder: the Persians are almost as ethnically distant from the Arabs as are the Indians from the American Aborigines — e.g. the Apaches, the Cherokees, the Delawares.
I dunno. Maybe I'm seeing something that isn't there, or making more of it than I should. But, it seems to me like you've got a theme which has already borrowed from a large palette of our own real-world expressions and is actually not so limited to a single subset as some people think.
This is the sort of distinction that I like - if we choose an open enough name, it allows for variation within the faction as a conglomerate of a broad area instead of having such a narrow focus on what it could or could not be.
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mintleaf
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by mintleaf »

Turuk wrote:This is the sort of distinction that I like - if we choose an open enough name, it allows for variation within the faction as a conglomerate of a broad area instead of having such a narrow focus on what it could or could not be.
From the beginning I've seen this as one of our creative goals, because the other factions very much execute this. Thank you for phrasing it so much better.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by name »

Kwandulin wrote:While I don't see how the desert people could be Jinn themselves, I think having Jinn as a separate race, that is befriended with the southern people could work well. Having the potential for a multi-racial faction could also differ them further from the other factions.
Well game play wise, this faction does have an alignment split as some khalifate units are lawful and some are "liminal".

So it would make perfect sense for the units of one alignment to be one race and the other alignment another race. Such a visual and conceptual distinction also makes it much easier to judge at a glance which units may need to attack at another time of day from the others.
Turuk wrote:
Cold Steel wrote:But compared to how different the other more fantasy factions feel versus each other and versus the loyalists, these two look and feel way too similar.
Does this fully extend to their feel in gameplay as well? They certainly have a visual disparity that helps in separation.
Less so. The Khalifate play more like a cross between loyalists and drakes, with the three lawful units functioning closest to loyalists in some ways (slower movement, specialized break-through attacks that are strong during day light). In any case, this is still highly variable as the faction is not yet very balanced against the other six and will likely undergo serious changes as a result.

There is also a fundamental flaw with the concept of "liminal" alignment which most khalifate units currently use. Lawful and chaotic alignments each have two strong, two weak and two neutral times of day, and neutral alignment has no strong or weak but only neutral times of day. This way, each alignment can deliver the same amount of damage over a six turn day. But liminal has four weak times of day and two neutral, so it is significantly weaker and its two mediocre times of day are not adjacent, thus attacks are very hard to coordinate or sustain even briefly. There is no plus side to liminal.


So I propose these changes:

1. Two distinct opposite alignment (lawful and chaotic) races of jinn with two distinct themes and appearances.
Perhaps a fiery looking lawful jinn race and nearly invisible chaotic jinn race. Khalifate units used to breakthrough enemy defensive lines would be of these two types of jinn. This might also help provide more fine-grained control over how the khalifate faction can be balanced with others it currently has issues with, by balancing lawful jinn to be useful against chaotic factions and chaotic jinn against lawful factions, for example.

2. Human khalifate would be neutral alignment and use no magic themed attacks or abilities. They might believe the right to practice magic belongs to the jinn alone. Units used to hold lines and perhaps the more mobility focused roles would be these khalifate humans (who worship or at least try to follow the jinn).
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Vyncyn »

Cold Steel wrote:There is also a fundamental flaw with the concept of "liminal" alignment...
Liminal units usually have a stronger base attack or other boni to make up for it. And with the liminsl+lawful combination the Khalifate can attack from dusk till dawn where most races only have 2 good times of day.

Anyway. I thought this discussion was about changing a few names; now were back at discussing a whole concept overhaul. I think we have a lot of good suggestions and it seems many people are in favour of changing the name, so shoudn't we make a poll before this whole discussion gets burried under religion/race debate again?
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Caladbolg »

I think Dunefolk (unit prefix Dune) would sound really good. 'Dune' is not exactly a word you commonly use (relative to the other suggestions like 'sand') which makes it sound a bit more special. It also invokes a rather accurate idea of what the faction is like while remaining general enough to allow for a great deal of diversity in unit names, names of social structures, etc. :)
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Pentarctagon »

Vyncyn wrote:Anyway. I thought this discussion was about changing a few names; now were back at discussing a whole concept overhaul. I think we have a lot of good suggestions and it seems many people are in favour of changing the name, so shoudn't we make a poll before this whole discussion gets burried under religion/race debate again?
Turuk said on the previous page that he'd be putting a poll together soon, so I think it's just a matter of waiting for that.
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