Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

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What would you like to ultimately see happen with the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate) faction?

Poll ended at April 11th, 2018, 9:20 pm

Add them to the Default Era
22
59%
Return them to the Add-On Server
15
41%
 
Total votes: 37

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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by name » March 25th, 2018, 5:18 am

Pentarctagon wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm
Which factions? Do the author(s) even want their faction(s) mainlined, given that doing so would mean giving up some degree of control over them? Are they really balanced enough? Is there enough interest to justify mainlining them?
I can imagine two general approaches to the sorting process. The first is to put out a post or sticky asking players what eras or factions they find most balanced, conceptually interesting, and/or have the best artwork.The second is to put out a post or sticky asking faction and era creators and maintainers to submit factions they would like to see mainlined at some point. The sorting can begin with either approach before narrowing down the results with the other. If that is still not narrow enough, polling, guided by advice from expert players can be used to further narrow down the selection.
Pentarctagon wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm
It's also strange to say that because the Dunefolk are a "disaster", more factions of that quality should also be allowed to be added. Yes, the Dunefolk have issues, but there's also an active effort being made to fix them.
My preference at this point is to just throw the dunefolk back into addons and focus resources on improving the existing default factions. Any fixing of dunefolk can continue there until when and if they are up to mainline quality.

But if there is a significant political force keeping them in place, a force which values the number and variety of factions over balance and other quality and consistency standards, then as a compromise, the default+dunefolk era should be expanded into a permanently separate era with lower standards for balance and further additional factions. Now those who want more factions at the cost of balance have what they want and those who want greater quality and consistency (in the balance department if nothing else) can keep what is already here.

Alternatively, this dunefolk expanded era can have just a couple, few, or none of the default era factions, and be balanced against other addon factions of similar quality. Then they might actually become balanced someday (especially if the total faction count was equal or less than six).
Pentarctagon wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm
I don't believe it was ever the intent for there to be a Default+Dunefolk era indefinitely. The only reason this is even a question right now is because their creator left and they never got improved to match the other six factions.
The truth is there would be no "dunefolk" if the creator had never left. The creator of the khalifate was fully against changing the name of the faction or its units and resisted any suggestion to do so over the years. Or the thinly veiled real world religion core of the faction that violated the no real world religion policy of mainline and seemed to cause a fair amount of controversy. So unless in retrospect you think the recent changes to the faction (renames, secularization) are not beneficial, then you have to consider the creator's abdication as a mixed blessing for this faction's prospects, no?
Pentarctagon wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm
If the Dunefolk are ever brought up to the standards of the other six factions, including integrating them into the Wesnoth world/lore, balance, etc, what reason would there be for keeping an era with just the other six factions around?
But who decides when they are up to standards? How will that decision making process or decision maker(s) be better than that which mainlined such a flawed faction as this in the first place? At this point, there is reason to be very skeptical about how properly that huge decision can and will be made.

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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by Pentarctagon » March 25th, 2018, 5:40 am

Cold Steel wrote:
March 25th, 2018, 5:18 am
Pentarctagon wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm
It's also strange to say that because the Dunefolk are a "disaster", more factions of that quality should also be allowed to be added. Yes, the Dunefolk have issues, but there's also an active effort being made to fix them.
My preference at this point is to just throw the dunefolk back into addons and focus resources on improving the existing default factions. Any fixing of dunefolk can continue there until when and if they are up to mainline quality.

But if there is a significant political force keeping them in place, a force which values the number and variety of factions over balance and other quality and consistency standards, then as a compromise, the default+dunefolk era should be expanded into a permanently separate era with lower standards for balance and further additional factions. Now those who want more factions at the cost of balance have what they want and those who want greater quality and consistency (in the balance department if nothing else) can keep what is already here.

Alternatively, this dunefolk expanded era can have just a couple, few, or none of the default era factions, and be balanced against other addon factions of similar quality. Then they might actually become balanced someday (especially if the total faction count was equal or less than six).
If you're looking to convince anyone, then passive aggressive comments like "a force which values the number and variety of factions over balance and other quality and consistency standards" is the exact opposite of how you should be going about it.
Cold Steel wrote:
March 25th, 2018, 5:18 am
Pentarctagon wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm
I don't believe it was ever the intent for there to be a Default+Dunefolk era indefinitely. The only reason this is even a question right now is because their creator left and they never got improved to match the other six factions.
The truth is there would be no "dunefolk" if the creator had never left. The creator of the khalifate was fully against changing the name of the faction or its units and resisted any suggestion to do so over the years. Or the thinly veiled real world religion core of the faction that violated the no real world religion policy of mainline and seemed to cause a fair amount of controversy. So unless in retrospect you think the recent changes to the faction (renames, secularization) are not beneficial, then you have to consider the creator's abdication as a mixed blessing for this faction's prospects, no?
Not really. Naming controversy aside, had there been a single person in charge of, and interested in, improving the Khalifate for the last several years, they would undoubtedly be of better quality than they are now. Then again, IIRC the controversy they generated was one of the reasons their creator left, so...
Cold Steel wrote:
March 25th, 2018, 5:18 am
Pentarctagon wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm
If the Dunefolk are ever brought up to the standards of the other six factions, including integrating them into the Wesnoth world/lore, balance, etc, what reason would there be for keeping an era with just the other six factions around?
But who decides when they are up to standards? How will that decision making process or decision maker(s) be better than that which mainlined such a flawed faction as this in the first place? At this point, there is reason to be very skeptical about how properly that huge decision can and will be made.
While input from users and players is definitely valued, ultimately the development team has final say in everything regarding the Wesnoth project, since they're the ones who actually implement any changes.
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 25th, 2018, 7:02 am

max_torch wrote:
March 24th, 2018, 1:56 pm
skeptical_troll wrote:
March 24th, 2018, 9:15 am
Aside from all balancing issues, why not have, in the long run, a 'custom era', where factions are added from the whole pool (default, extended, after the fall.. whatever will be there) by just ticking the relative boxes? This would happen when a game is created. Obviously it requires a change in the UI, but it would give enough flexibility to make everyone happy: the conservative ones and those who want to experiment.
Wow I don't see how we can go wrong with this idea. It allows us to be more flexible in adding risky, experimental things yet satisfy everyone's tastes. This would be great even for UMC it's like you can have your own "ageless era". You can have any factions you downloaded included as an option to tick in this "custom era".
On the other hand if the plan is to actually get balanced factions, then this idea will not help in the slightest. If anything, it would make it harder.

I dislike Ageless Era itself, mainly on the principle that it essentially duplicates other addons into one mega-addon. On the other hand, an "era" that somehow includes every installed faction and allows to enable or disable individual ones might be interesting (I suspect this would require engine-level support). However, note that that would also allow pairing Default Era Loyalists with Age of Heroes Era Drakes, for example, which generally speaking would not be desirable.
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by name » March 25th, 2018, 3:30 pm

Pentarctagon wrote:
March 25th, 2018, 5:40 am
If you're looking to convince anyone, then passive aggressive comments like "a force which values the number and variety of factions over balance and other quality and consistency standards" is the exact opposite of how you should be going about it.
Okay, the word "force" was a poor choice on my part. "Movement", "motivation" or "undercurrent" would have been better choices in its place.

But the rest of that sentence is a statement of fact to the extent I can see it. There are people who prefer variety over balance (when the mood hits me right, I am one of them even). Online, every other game seems to be ageless era or a recent trend like new settlers or creep war. And then you have the campaigns, where there can be no balance in the usual sense since one side is always a machine. The problem is only when this preference for variety over balance is brought into the context of default era, which is meant to be the most balanced part of the game. Thus I suggested (and suggest still) two possible compromises that both keep default out of this:

One is to create an era with lower standards for balance but more factions, for those who prefer variety over balance but still want more balance than they would get from the larger eras in addons. Think of it as intermediate between default era and ageless era.

Another is to place dunefolk into an era that does not need to include any of the default factions (though it could have some) and instead bring in "new" factions from addons which compliment its play style and whichever theme the era takes on. As long as the faction count is six or less, it can be balanced to a similar degree as default in a similar number of years or even fewer years if fewer factions are included than what default has.


As an aside, I knew what I was getting into when I finally decided to jump into the khalifate conversation and I do try to help keep things on track by ignoring the ad hominem parts of posts and only respond to the points that speak to the topic. But you ignored all the actual points I made, including answers to your own questions (assuming they were not meant purely rhetorically) in favor of calling me out for the "passive aggressive" tone of a sentence(s). That does not give the conversation much to go on either.
Pentarctagon wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm
I don't believe it was ever the intent for there to be a Default+Dunefolk era
Not really. Naming controversy aside, had there been a single person in charge of, and interested in, improving the Khalifate for the last several years, they would undoubtedly be of better quality than they are now. Then again, IIRC the controversy they generated was one of the reasons their creator left, so...
Only if he was willing and able to do all the various tasks of improving the faction himself. Otherwise you need to attract enough of other people with the necessary skill sets. And that requires a concept with the necessary amount of popularity rather than controversy. Unwillingness to compromise can do more harm to a public endeavor than one individual's talents can do good.

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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by vultraz » March 25th, 2018, 3:36 pm

As soliton said, we'll almost certainly be keeping the current Default and Default + Dunefolk eras separate. What we do going forward is anyone's guess.

I'm locking this topic since it doesn't feel like the most productive use of anyone's time to continue arguing over this.
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by SigurdFireDragon » March 28th, 2018, 9:51 pm

Some final thoughts here:
Pentarctagon wrote:
March 22nd, 2018, 1:22 pm
There was also the idea to move them to an "official add-on" so they can be more rapidly iterated, which, while I don't support this one given that at this point 1.14 wouldn't implement this and so we already have all of 1.15 to make balance changes, I can at least see the merits of it.
As I envision it, it wouldn't be moving. There would be a balancing era add-on for conducting balancing on the stable (ie 1.14) servers in addition to the eras that ship with the game. Such a thing could be used for Default, Default + Dunefolk, Age of Heroes, etc.

Soliton wrote:
March 24th, 2018, 1:21 am
The chance that we'll include the Dunefolk into default with not at least renaming current default and keeping it under a different name is very small.

A more likely scenario IMO is that we'll add more eras. I can imagine having an era with every mainline faction, an era with the current default faction and a new era with some new factions including the Dunefolk to be balanced among themselves, probably with a separate map pool. At first perhaps including some factions from default since we cannot realistically add that many factions at once. But with the requirement of not changing the default factions to balance the new era (for obvious reasons) but with the goal to get a new independent era that may some day be as balanced as default.

I think that is a more realistic direction to go in since I agree with the scepticism that the Dunefolk can be successfully integrated (balancing-wise) into current default. Nevertheless if people want to try balancing Dunefolk for default that'd be very welcome.
I agree with this.


I'm interested in improving relations with the ladder community.


I've seen comments here & other places indicating interest in the Aragwaithi & Quenoth.

Perhaps an After the Fall era is worth considering.

It could have the Dunefolk, Aragwaithi, Quenoth & other factions in it.
It would have the advantages of bringing interest for those factions all under one roof & thus drawing upon a larger base of support.
Having the Dunefolk there instead of Default would address issues mentioned in this thread.
There's already a mainline campaign using the Quenoth. And 2 popular UMC campaigns that have the Aragwaithi.
Other good things.

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