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

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

Post by The Black Sword » March 21st, 2018, 10:38 pm

My understanding, back in the day, was that the khalifate were specifically designed to be played in multiplayer against the 6 default factions, unlike most UMC factions. Most other popular UMC factions were inside their own era and balanced against factions within that era for multiplayer. I would guess that the Khalifate were the most popular faction, in terms of number of games played, to be played/tested in this niche.

The development certainly went through periods of dormancy but I'm not sure that qualifies as a 'disaster'.

Personally I like the variety that more factions provide and I think we're far enough down the road that the khalifate are by far the best candidates for the job. In the state I last remember the faction, I would not like to see the 7 faction era be the only option. Eventually, if the faction was at the same level of quality as the others then I'm not sure what the argument would be to have both a 6 faction and 7 faction era?

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

Post by ElderofCheese » March 21st, 2018, 11:49 pm

Isn't the current solution of having 2 eras - default and default+khalifate the best? I think it is
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by Pentarctagon » March 22nd, 2018, 1:22 pm

I think the poll would benefit from having more options. I like the suggestion of renaming Default to Classic and Default+Dunefolk to Default, for example. 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.
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by holius » March 22nd, 2018, 1:39 pm

I also like the idea of renaming the 6-factions-era-since-1.0 "Classic", and add Dunefolk to "Default", where I'd like to see in future releases other "designed to be balanced against Default" factions (e.g Deep Elves).

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

Post by name » March 23rd, 2018, 5:23 am

The Black Sword wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 10:38 pm
My understanding, back in the day, was that the khalifate were specifically designed to be played in multiplayer against the 6 default factions, unlike most UMC factions.
That might have been the goal for khalifate but they have not worked out to be balanced against those 6 factions. At the same time, there are now many user made addon factions apparently aiming for the same thing. If you lower the bar of balance quality for the khalifate the same should be done for those other addons. They should be allowed into the same era as khalifate.
Krogen wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 5:31 pm
The debate is about that should it be the only Default era. [...] The only reason im commenting here is because i don't want it ever to happen, not one, not five years later, never.
The Black Sword wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 10:38 pm
Eventually, if the faction was at the same level of quality as the others then I'm not sure what the argument would be to have both a 6 faction and 7 faction era?
I strongly agree with krogen that there should always remain two eras, but I believe the devotedly pro-khalifate/dunefolk part of the community will eventually make this same case that a 6 faction "classic" era is redundant and should be discontinued. Hearing this makes me even less optimistic about such a compromise lasting.
holius wrote:
March 22nd, 2018, 1:39 pm
I also like the idea of renaming the 6-factions-era-since-1.0 "Classic", and add Dunefolk to "Default", where I'd like to see in future releases other "designed to be balanced against Default" factions (e.g Deep Elves).
I think it is only fair that those other factions balanced against default be added to the dunefolk containing era at the same time as it is renamed, rather than later. And I do not think such an era should be named "default" or be the default faction after installation since it is not nearly as balanced. Much more reasonable is for what is currently called "default" to be renamed to "classic" and what is currently called "default+dunefolk" to be renamed to something more enticing. Like "New", "Expanded" "After the Fall" or "Faraway Lands" era.

Also, it is not necessary that the era that contains dunefolk have all 6 original factions. It could leave out some of those factions to make future balancing more successful by lowering the overall complexity of the balance. Which factions are dropped from this era could depend partially on balance concerns with the dunefolk and partially on what does not fit the "theme" of this new era (whichever theme that is chosen to be).

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

Post by Pentarctagon » March 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm

Cold Steel wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 5:23 am
The Black Sword wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 10:38 pm
My understanding, back in the day, was that the khalifate were specifically designed to be played in multiplayer against the 6 default factions, unlike most UMC factions.
That might have been the goal for khalifate but they have not worked out to be balanced against those 6 factions. At the same time, there are now many user made addon factions apparently aiming for the same thing. If you lower the bar of balance quality for the khalifate the same should be done for those other addons. They should be allowed into the same era as khalifate.
I think maybe there's a misunderstanding of how factions are added. No one is going out to the add-ons server and proactively looking for factions to add to mainline. If there are factions who are intended to be balanced against mainline, and whose creator(s) are in fact interested in potentially having their faction mainlined, then they need to be proposed as potential additions to mainline. Simply saying "there are a bunch of other factions out there that could possibly be mainlined" is rather meaningless by itself. 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? And so on.

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. Whereas adding more such factions now just means you have 2+ lower quality factions in mainline rather than one.
Cold Steel wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 5:23 am
The Black Sword wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 10:38 pm
Eventually, if the faction was at the same level of quality as the others then I'm not sure what the argument would be to have both a 6 faction and 7 faction era?
I strongly agree with krogen that there should always remain two eras, but I believe the devotedly pro-khalifate/dunefolk part of the community will eventually make this same case that a 6 faction "classic" era is redundant and should be discontinued. Hearing this makes me even less optimistic about such a compromise lasting.
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. 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?
Cold Steel wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 5:23 am
holius wrote:
March 22nd, 2018, 1:39 pm
I also like the idea of renaming the 6-factions-era-since-1.0 "Classic", and add Dunefolk to "Default", where I'd like to see in future releases other "designed to be balanced against Default" factions (e.g Deep Elves).
I think it is only fair that those other factions balanced against default be added to the dunefolk containing era at the same time as it is renamed, rather than later. And I do not think such an era should be named "default" or be the default faction after installation since it is not nearly as balanced. Much more reasonable is for what is currently called "default" to be renamed to "classic" and what is currently called "default+dunefolk" to be renamed to something more enticing. Like "New", "Expanded" "After the Fall" or "Faraway Lands" era.

Also, it is not necessary that the era that contains dunefolk have all 6 original factions. It could leave out some of those factions to make future balancing more successful by lowering the overall complexity of the balance. Which factions are dropped from this era could depend partially on balance concerns with the dunefolk and partially on what does not fit the "theme" of this new era (whichever theme that is chosen to be).
Which, again, such a proposal needs to actually be made. The argument of "we shouldn't do X because someone at some point might decide to propose something that would also be good" isn't very compelling.
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by Krogen » March 23rd, 2018, 7:51 pm

As a ladder player, i know most of the currently active ladder community well, and those are the people who play the game at the highest level at moment. And most of them (not everyone of course) are not fond of the Dunefolk/Khalifate at all. Default with 6 factions should be kept around at least for the ladder community. They don't want this faction in their competitive, high-level games, not just because it's imbalanced, not because it doesn't fit into the world, they are just happy with the 6 factions after playing hundreds and hundreds of games. Default era has it's own issues, and it can't be balanced perfectly. Another faction would ruin that fragile balance even more.
If that attitude is not going to change (and i don't see it changing), and despite that Dunefolk/Khalifate will be added without an alternative, not next in the version, not next year, but someday ever, it's damn sure one thing will happen:
An add-on with 6 factions will appear, and that will be used for ladder games, for international competitions or even for friendly games among these players. (It would look bad if the professionals would have to make an era for themselves.)
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by Ravana » March 23rd, 2018, 8:02 pm

There is one such addon already, viewtopic.php?t=42603.

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

Post by The Black Sword » March 23rd, 2018, 8:55 pm

To be honest this is the first time I ever really thought about if the 6 faction era should be discontinued. I guess it was always so far away that it didn't even come up. I do strongly feel that the era preferred by the majority of ladder players should be included in the base game. But if the khalifate(or any other faction for that matter) were brought up to the required quality I think people would prefer the 7 faction era.

The big pro is obviously the increase in variety.

From what I read you have two cons, Krogen:

1. Makes default harder to balance - this seems irrelevant since the the 6 faction era would only become obsolete if the 7 faction era was at the same level of balance.

2. nostalgia - people have played with these 6 for so long, and they like that. This is certainly a good point, the 6 factions have been together for over 10 years.

I'm really skeptical that people would value this nostalgia factor more than having an entirely new play style to explore though. You will certainly get some people who just 'don't like' the faction, but that's the same for the factions currently in the era. If I'm missing some other argument I'd like to read it.

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

Post by Pentarctagon » March 23rd, 2018, 9:02 pm

Krogen wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 7:51 pm
As a ladder player, i know most of the currently active ladder community well, and those are the people who play the game at the highest level at moment. And most of them (not everyone of course) are not fond of the Dunefolk/Khalifate at all. Default with 6 factions should be kept around at least for the ladder community. They don't want this faction in their competitive, high-level games, not just because it's imbalanced, not because it doesn't fit into the world, they are just happy with the 6 factions after playing hundreds and hundreds of games. Default era has it's own issues, and it can't be balanced perfectly. Another faction would ruin that fragile balance even more.
If that attitude is not going to change (and i don't see it changing), and despite that Dunefolk/Khalifate will be added without an alternative, not next in the version, not next year, but someday ever, it's damn sure one thing will happen:
An add-on with 6 factions will appear, and that will be used for ladder games, for international competitions or even for friendly games among these players. (It would look bad if the professionals would have to make an era for themselves.)
You are free to make whatever add-ons you wish. Though if some of the players most knowledgeable about balancing collectively refuse to help balance one of Wesnoth's factions at a time when there's a good chance of being able to get that faction to where they should have been years ago, that will be disappointing, and of course will make it more difficult.
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by Xalzar » March 23rd, 2018, 9:53 pm

Krogen wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 7:51 pm
As a ladder player, i know most of the currently active ladder community well, and those are the people who play the game at the highest level at moment. And most of them (not everyone of course) are not fond of the Dunefolk/Khalifate at all. Default with 6 factions should be kept around at least for the ladder community. They don't want this faction in their competitive, high-level games, not just because it's imbalanced, not because it doesn't fit into the world, they are just happy with the 6 factions after playing hundreds and hundreds of games. Default era has it's own issues, and it can't be balanced perfectly. Another faction would ruin that fragile balance even more.
And again, we are given no motivation for such hate. If you care to elaborate, the balancing of the faction will be easier and better focused.

I don't find much logic in keeping two distinct default eras when the Dunefolk finally reach a balanced state; as you said, there will be UMCs for the specific needs of anyone. If the ladder doesn't want the Dunefolk, then the player will have to use an addon which deletes the 7th faction.

I was one of the people adversing the Khalifate since nearly the start, but more than the faction I didn't like how it was handled. Now I have much more optimism about that.

And about the "perfect balance": default era is not balanced and never will, it's simply impossible and we can only shoot nearer and nearer to that perfection. Then there are the maps, which can't be too balanced or they risk being samey and bland. And even then, there's RNG, which sometimes throws any hope of a balanced match out of the window.
The strength of the player is to consider all these aspects, exploit its advantages and minimize its handicaps in a state of continuous shift in balance. If we can guarantee that every match-up between faction has this sort of state, I think the game is in good form.

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

Post by ElderofCheese » March 23rd, 2018, 10:35 pm

I would like to just say that I do not believe Dunefolk will ever be "brought up to the standards of the other six factions" and here I mean mainly balance of such a 7 faction era. From lore and/or graphical standpoin? Sure, if enough people will work on dunefolk it is probably possible to come close, though in practice it will never reach a comparable number of campaigns and lore to some of the main factions, but hey there are drakes after all (though i think it would still be optimistic to think that it could reach a feature level of drakes). But from a balance side, well lets just say that I am yet to be proven otherwise. I am not saying default is "perfectly balanced" or any meaningless things like that, but such a 7 faction era would definitely be less balanced than default.

Such theoretical discussions about what if, are purely theoretical to me.
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by Krogen » March 23rd, 2018, 10:59 pm

"Hate" is not the correct word in my case, not even close. I was the one who suggested the Default (with Khalifate/Dunefolk) and the Default Classic as a SECONDARY era. Also, i suggested a tournament with them, and said i would participate. I don't think i am an opposer of the era.
(Perfect balance can't be achieved in Wesnoth, that's just exactly what i said numerous times, no...?)

Ladder rules say that the only accepted era is the Default, with 6 factions. Ladder games have been played since 2008, and the community provided the best players this game has ever seen. Ask the players over 2000, or even 1800 elo, if they want to play ladder games with Dunefolk/Khalifate. Then you'll see the haters, im not one. (1 or 2 exception means nothing.) The game should provide the era they want to use for competitive games, and sorry, but non-ladder players shouldn't decide instead of them. Old Default could be named even Ladder era.
Im not one of the all-time best players, but at moment i say i don't want to play Dunefolk/Default in my competitive games. I don't think it'll change, but who knows...? I just don't want anyone else decide instead of the Ladder community, who obviously have the best 1 on 1 skills which means they have the best insight in case of balance. The old Default should be kept in the game as a second option, as long as the best ladder players say it should. Not the crowd, only the top tier, only the ones over 2000 or even 2100 to exclude myself. If the active, playing population who has more elo than me prefers the Dunefolk/Khalifate, then i'll get in line even if i disagree. But i don't think i should download add-ons just because people on a lower level loved Dunefolk/Khalifate that much.
Wesnoth Ladder can't be ignored, they can't be forced to use add-ons. The game has to give them the era they want, because they provide the games at the highest levels.

So, Default with 7 factions? OK. Convince majority of the active top tiers!
The problem is, i think that's impossible. It's like crossing the speed of light. Nowdays in these circles, the faction is refused almost entirely, i would say by 90%. I would look like a Khalifate-fanboy next to them. In my experience it's not that they think it's hopelessly imbalanced, they just don't want to bother with it. It's just not wanted at all. I don't want it in my competitive games either. (A tournament, even a regular one, would be different of course.)

If the era for the Ladder players is assured, i'll be a supporter of the official Default with 7 factions. I will take part in balancing and testing, and one day, i might change my opinion, it happened before.
And as i said, prove me wrong and i'll get in line.
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by Pentarctagon » March 23rd, 2018, 11:22 pm

Krogen wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 10:59 pm
"Hate" is not the correct word in my case, not even close. I was the one who suggested the Default (with Khalifate/Dunefolk) and the Default Classic as a SECONDARY era. Also, i suggested a tournament with them, and said i would participate. I don't think i am an opposer of the era.
(Perfect balance can't be achieved in Wesnoth, that's just exactly what i said numerous times, no...?)

Ladder rules say that the only accepted era is the Default, with 6 factions. Ladder games have been played since 2008, and the community provided the best players this game has ever seen. Ask the players over 2000, or even 1800 elo, if they want to play ladder games with Dunefolk/Khalifate. Then you'll see the haters, im not one. (1 or 2 exception means nothing.) The game should provide the era they want to use for competitive games, and sorry, but non-ladder players shouldn't decide instead of them. Old Default could be named even Ladder era.
Im not one of the all-time best players, but at moment i say i don't want to play Dunefolk/Default in my competitive games. I don't think it'll change, but who knows...? I just don't want anyone else decide instead of the Ladder community, who obviously have the best 1 on 1 skills which means they have the best insight in case of balance. The old Default should be kept in the game as a second option, as long as the best ladder players say it should. Not the crowd, only the top tier, only the ones over 2000 or even 2100 to exclude myself. If the active, playing population who has more elo than me prefers the Dunefolk/Khalifate, then i'll get in line even if i disagree. But i don't think i should download add-ons just because people on a lower level loved Dunefolk/Khalifate that much.
Wesnoth Ladder can't be ignored, they can't be forced to use add-ons. The game has to give them the era they want, because they provide the games at the highest levels.

So, Default with 7 factions? OK. Convince majority of the active top tiers!
The problem is, i think that's impossible. It's like crossing the speed of light. Nowdays in these circles, the faction is refused almost entirely, i would say by 90%. I would look like a Khalifate-fanboy next to them. In my experience it's not that they think it's hopelessly imbalanced, they just don't want to bother with it. It's just not wanted at all. I don't want it in my competitive games either. (A tournament, even a regular one, would be different of course.)

If the era for the Ladder players is assured, i'll be a supporter of the official Default with 7 factions. I will take part in balancing and testing, and one day, i might change my opinion, it happened before.
And as i said, prove me wrong and i'll get in line.
Well, let me put it this way then: If you're 100% sure that the era including the Dunefolk can never possibly be as balanced as current Default era, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. If you're right, then current Default(whether it ends up renamed to Classic or not) will never be removed. If you're wrong, then the result is still an era that matches the current Default era's balance.
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Re: Preferred Fate of the Dunefolk (formerly Khalifate)?

Post by ElderofCheese » March 23rd, 2018, 11:35 pm

I myself would like to be proven wrong about the balance of dunefolk. But the thing is I do not believe some things can be balanced, in this case I believe dunefolk would require some drastic changes (there were many proposals) after which it is likely that it would become more or less a clone of some other default faction with eg changed alignment, or whatever, or, which could be still interesting - somewhat of a clone of some other already existing addon faction.
Dunefolk is an unique faction and i agree with almost everything CP has said about it in his khalifate resources and balance thread, but to make such a faction concept be balanced, i have doubts that it can be done.
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