Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Discussion of all aspects of multiplayer development: unit balancing, map development, server development, and so forth.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

User avatar
ghype
Posts: 808
Joined: December 13th, 2016, 4:43 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by ghype » March 25th, 2019, 8:29 pm




Here we concluded some of the smaller topics into one as we didn't want it to clutter with the other topics. They however shouldn't stay non-debated. The focus of this thread should be for the Lore as there are threads dedicated in their correspondent places and the sound thread is yet to be made.




Lore Problems

Armour:
  • We like the theme of custom armour, which was the reason we set our balancing according to that. However, we do not think that this theme was executed at its best. There is still potential for exploration and many things aren't fully explains. Here are some problems with the armour lore-wise.
    So the general idea is that DF's armour is resilient to blade but vulnerable to impact. It would be interesting to have an explanation why exactly that would be the case and how that works. Otherwise people might wonder if they are human at all since usually non-ellusive human-oid units are 0% to everything except arcane. On top of that we have units like Rover, Burner and Herbalist which share all the same resistance with the exception of Rover have +10% pierce, assuming they all must be armoured the same way. Rovers +10% Pierce can be explained by him having a shield. But what about the other two? We have to assume they have some sort of armour underneath their robes. If yes it should be mentioned somewhere. If not, that would theoretically make them unarmored units and their resistance should be changed accordingly.

    Note that this mainly is a lore problem and was mostly disregarded for balancing, but could lead to future alternate versions.
Healing:
  • As the Herbalist - a skilled potion maker - is able to "quickly heal even the most gravely wounded allies", it wouldn't make sense that it uses the same healing engine as the mages as herbs are not supposed to heal magic creatures and undead. It can if put them aside, but they shouldn't. Well, Herbalists wouldn't want to heal skeletons anyway, but who says that the reason Herbalists potion can heal also non-human entities is because there might be some "magical" herbs and plants in desert to be found? They could be rare and Herbalists studied them and learned to cultivate them. By no means it shouldn't be perceived as "by using these magical herbs you gain magical powers" - no. It simply justify why some of their potions might be more potent then anyone else. It works with their description as it are described as "some look to it as an adventure or as a steady source of pay". Explorers and Merchants.
Weapons:
  • A small thought in order to establish Dunefolks lore further would be decide whether we call their swords "scimitar" or just simple sword or blade. Now to be fair, with the sprites the blades now indeed appear more curved then before. So there is every reason to actually call them "scimitars".
  • The flamethrower ... just as there was used the term "thunder stick" for dwarfs pistols, there should be a term for Dunefolks flamethrower. Maybe we use "burner" for the weapon instead of the unit and simply find a new name for the lv1 unit?
Burner:
  • We would like to open up the discussion about the Dunefolk Burner unit name. Despite the fact it is a fitting name for such a unit, it is already taken by the Drake Burner. Now we could change Drake Burner's unit name, but that would be plain counterproductive. There shouldn't be any units sharing the same unit name/title in mainline.


Visual Problems

Sadly, not only the gameplay but also the some visual aspects of DF is not really satisfying. There have been some attempts in updating the unit sprites, but none of these projects were successfully finished. One most noticeable project for updating Dunefolk sprites was Sleepwalkers Khalifate facelist: Redux. Unfortunately, he was wasn't online for many years now and thats's never actually finished updating the sprites.

The current Dunefolk sprite seem unfinished and have no unified concepts. We want to emphasise that artwork is just as much of a part Dunefolks rework than the re-balancing. Currently, Dunefolk is not much fun to play against mainline default and our goal is obviously to change that. One way to achieve it is to make them visually more appealing.

But this is a matter for a complete different post. ghype carefully studied sleepwalkers entire thread and updated most sprites which weren't directly touched by sleepwalker.

We kindly ask to go to this separate thread and review the new concept art/sprites for Dunefolk.
Dunefolk Facelift: Redux 2.0

Comments on the sprites should be discussed in the linked thread. The current thread is reserved for lore.
Thanks for your understanding.




Sound

We are also considering, for the future to overhaul or create complete new sounds for Dunefolk ranging from hit and death sounds fx till new weapon sounds for all curved blades and other special weapons such as shields or flamethrowers. But this is a step for the very end, so there might not be coming something for this soon, but it is good to keep it on hold here. When the time comes, there will be a thread dedicated for this solely.



User avatar
Celtic_Minstrel
Developer
Posts: 1487
Joined: August 3rd, 2012, 11:26 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 26th, 2019, 12:22 am

ghype wrote:
March 25th, 2019, 8:29 pm
We would like to open up the discussion about the Dunefolk Burner unit name. Despite the fact it is a fitting name for such a unit, it is already taken by the Drake Burner. Now we could change Drake Burner's unit name, but that would be plain counterproductive. There shouldn't be any units sharing the same unit name/title in mainline.
If the burners were unique in this property, I might say you have a point. However, they're not unique. There are several other examples of units from different factions having the same name:
  • Elvish Ranger, outlaw Ranger
  • Drake Fighter, Naga Fighter, Dwarvish Fighter, Elvish Fighter, Merman Fighter
  • Goblin Spearman, loyalist Spearman, Merman Spearman
  • Drake Warrior, Merman Warrior, Naga Warrior, Orcish Warrior, Troll Warrior
  • Merman Javelineer, loyalist Javelineer
  • Elvish Archer, Orcish Archer
And that list likely isn't even complete. So I don't really understand why you're worrying about it.
Author of The Black Cross of Aleron campaign and Default++ era.
Maintainer of Steelhive.

User avatar
The_Gnat
Posts: 2071
Joined: October 10th, 2016, 3:06 am
Contact:

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by The_Gnat » March 26th, 2019, 2:04 am

@Celtic_Minstrel - Very good point. The name Burner is perfectly acceptable and if we can't come up with a better name should certainly not be changed. However, it actually has been a little confusing at times when we have been discussing the Drake matchup ^_^ . You wouldn't think it is an issue but since the Burner (Drake) has had its name for so long and is so iconic (arguably the coolest drake unit) it often has been, and is, referred to merely as the Burner.

Because of this we thought it would add clarity if a new name was come up with. We, however, haven't yet any amazing ideas so we are happy to leave until a future date.

Also, note: with the exception of the Ranger, all the other units which have similar names are very generic titles such as 'archer' or 'fighter' (though even ranger also is somewhat generic). Because this unit has such a specific name 'burner' it might be nice to have a specific name which is not a duplicate. :)

User avatar
Celtic_Minstrel
Developer
Posts: 1487
Joined: August 3rd, 2012, 11:26 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 26th, 2019, 3:46 am

It's true that "burner" is a lot more specific than most duplicates, but it's also pretty much a perfect description of the unit's role, so...

Still, if someone does come up with another name, I'd be willing to listen.

I'm pretty sure there are a few other duplicates that aren't as generic as the ones I listed... sorceress or enchantress maybe? But they're not common.
Author of The Black Cross of Aleron campaign and Default++ era.
Maintainer of Steelhive.

User avatar
Edwylm
Posts: 162
Joined: August 24th, 2015, 11:18 pm

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by Edwylm » March 26th, 2019, 3:56 am

a simple name change could be blazer i'm sure its not used.

However a question, is the lore for the burner line going to change? As this would directly influence the name.
For the attack/weapon name would be "dune-fire" or "eruptor". but i think the lore needs to be clarified. for all I know it could be like greek fire or shooting hot sand which would be extremely painful way to die...

User avatar
The_Gnat
Posts: 2071
Joined: October 10th, 2016, 3:06 am
Contact:

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by The_Gnat » March 26th, 2019, 4:40 am

Edwylm wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 3:56 am
a simple name change could be blazer i'm sure its not used.

However a question, is the lore for the burner line going to change? As this would directly influence the name.
For the attack/weapon name would be "dune-fire" or "eruptor". but i think the lore needs to be clarified. for all I know it could be like greek fire or shooting hot sand which would be extremely painful way to die...
I don't believe that the lore has been changed, it does the same thing as before but now also carries a dagger.

'Blazer' is a good name :) . (though maybe more powerful than the lvl 2 'scorcher')

User avatar
ghype
Posts: 808
Joined: December 13th, 2016, 4:43 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by ghype » March 26th, 2019, 7:44 am

Celtic made a good point. Gnat is right that this was very annoying when discussing the drake matchup, but also only then.

so I guess that point can be ignored.

User avatar
Celtic_Minstrel
Developer
Posts: 1487
Joined: August 3rd, 2012, 11:26 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 26th, 2019, 12:54 pm

The lore for the burner line is that they're using some kind of petroleum product. It may well be like Greek fire, for example, but it may also be a little different. It's certainly not shooting molten silicates (the temperatures required for that would make a portable device pretty impractical, I believe, unless they were using magic).
Author of The Black Cross of Aleron campaign and Default++ era.
Maintainer of Steelhive.

User avatar
Vendanna
Posts: 624
Joined: September 16th, 2006, 10:07 pm
Location: Spain

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by Vendanna » March 26th, 2019, 1:58 pm

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 12:54 pm
The lore for the burner line is that they're using some kind of petroleum product. It may well be like Greek fire, for example, but it may also be a little different. It's certainly not shooting molten silicates (the temperatures required for that would make a portable device pretty impractical, I believe, unless they were using magic).
I always envisioned it as they having inside the device a imprisoned fire mage/drake that shoots for them. :lol:

and yes, the temperature would be impractical but then ceramic doesn't transport heat as well as metal, so maybe they use something to protect themselves from fire, or its just oil and the ignition only happens outside, so they ain't getting scalded. (thou the death animation would probably be like the Comand and conquer flamethrowers, aka an explosion) :shock:
"Mysteries are revealed in the light of reason."

Caladbolg
Posts: 195
Joined: January 1st, 2016, 4:40 pm
Location: Hopelessly trapped within the Submachine

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by Caladbolg » March 26th, 2019, 5:58 pm

ghype wrote:
March 25th, 2019, 8:29 pm
... it wouldn't make sense that it uses the same healing engine as the mages as herbs are not supposed to heal magic creatures and undead... Well, Herbalists wouldn't want to heal skeletons anyway, but who says that the reason Herbalists potion can heal also non-human entities is because there might be some "magical" herbs and plants in desert to be found? ... It simply justify why some of their potions might be more potent then anyone else.
I think that stuff like that doesn't even need to be explained in lore. I'm ok with some herbs having magical properties that Herbalists just don't see as magical (kind of like how elves in LotR don't consider their magic to be "magic"), but it's not worth mentioning in the unit description. Otherwise, one could raise the same issue with white mages: their healing magic is supposed to be "holy" and their light spells are harmful to the undead, yet if you play as humans with undead as allies, white mages will use their healing on skeletons no problem. We don't need to address the minutiae of how everything works; some details are best left to the imagination.

On Burner, I'm for keeping the unit name as is. It might have been confusing to you because you were discussing drake vs dunefolk matchup a lot so the ambiguity popped up very often, but a player isn't going to have that issue. I'd be open to new names, but iirc, we had a really difficult time coming up with names for that branch.
The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 4:40 am
'Blazer' is a good name :)
Well...
Google dictionary wrote:blazer
/ˈbleɪzə/
noun
-a coloured jacket worn by schoolchildren or sports players as part of a uniform.
-a plain jacket not forming part of a suit but considered appropriate for formal wear.
:lol:

User avatar
ghype
Posts: 808
Joined: December 13th, 2016, 4:43 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by ghype » March 26th, 2019, 6:21 pm

ok to recap:
- burner name is fine and will not be changed, lore stays unchanged
- about herbalists healing ... you might be right. i guess it could be left for everyones imagination, but it could be a point for expanding DF's lore which is still not as established as the other defaults factions. With human mages we don't wonder how such a healer can heal an undead or elemental creature, because its magic. But herbs ... ?

User avatar
Nobun
Code Contributor
Posts: 128
Joined: May 4th, 2009, 9:28 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by Nobun » March 26th, 2019, 6:54 pm

I historically criticized the Dunefolk faction and the main reason was the liminal alignment that never convinced me at all.
I'm happy to read that you re-thinked and re-defined the liminal trait. You didn't remove liminal, but your change purposal for liminal alignment (that works like a 'special' neutral alignent) makes more sense: new strategic scenarios can be though when facing lawful or chaotic.

So I am very positive about the balancing works you were doing. I see only a possible weak point on thhe new liminal alignement have: balancement against neutral factions. Perhaps neutral factions can appear disadvantaged... however down and dusk are single-turn-only phases, so probably the disadvantage could be not an actual issue.

User avatar
The_Gnat
Posts: 2071
Joined: October 10th, 2016, 3:06 am
Contact:

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by The_Gnat » March 26th, 2019, 7:21 pm

Nobun wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 6:54 pm
I historically criticized the Dunefolk faction and the main reason was the liminal alignment that never convinced me at all.
I'm happy to read that you re-thinked and re-defined the liminal trait. You didn't remove liminal, but your change purposal for liminal alignment (that works like a 'special' neutral alignent) makes more sense: new strategic scenarios can be though when facing lawful or chaotic.
Thank you I we appreciate all the feedback we get!
So I am very positive about the balancing works you were doing. I see only a possible weak point on thhe new liminal alignement have: balancement against neutral factions. Perhaps neutral factions can appear disadvantaged... however down and dusk are single-turn-only phases, so probably the disadvantage could be not an actual issue.
The liminal may still be an area up for debate. But that is not actually something we were trying to fix with this faction. This project instead has been aiming to fix the Dunefolk faction. The dev's expressed clearly that they wanted to keep liminal (and many in the community expressed a similar sentiment) and so we have balanced the DF faction with the liminal alignment. If you read our topic here you will see that we agree there are still some issues with the Liminal alignment but we have addressed them in a variety of ways so they do not cause unbalance for the DF any longer.

User avatar
Krogen
Posts: 181
Joined: January 1st, 2013, 3:43 pm

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by Krogen » March 28th, 2019, 1:25 pm

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 12:22 am
We would like to open up the discussion about the Dunefolk Burner unit name. Despite the fact it is a fitting name for such a unit, it is already taken by the Drake Burner. Now we could change Drake Burner's unit name, but that would be plain counterproductive. There shouldn't be any units sharing the same unit name/title in mainline.

If the burners were unique in this property, I might say you have a point. However, they're not unique. There are several other examples of units from different factions having the same name:
  • Elvish Ranger, outlaw Ranger
  • Drake Fighter, Naga Fighter, Dwarvish Fighter, Elvish Fighter, Merman Fighter
  • Goblin Spearman, loyalist Spearman, Merman Spearman
  • Drake Warrior, Merman Warrior, Naga Warrior, Orcish Warrior, Troll Warrior
  • Merman Javelineer, loyalist Javelineer
  • Elvish Archer, Orcish Archer
And that list likely isn't even complete. So I don't really understand why you're worrying about it.
Yes, many units have the same names, however no other unit in default has the same name as burner, which is actually an exception as you have just showed. Many units share the same name, however burner is one of the few units that have a unique name, making it less unique by adding another similar unit is a downgrade, and it would be better to avoid it.
Edwylm wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 3:56 am
a simple name change could be blazer i'm sure its not used.
I like this idea.
"A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of the sheep." - Tywin Lannister

User avatar
ghype
Posts: 808
Joined: December 13th, 2016, 4:43 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Dunefolk Rework - Lore & Visual Problems & Sounds

Post by ghype » March 29th, 2019, 9:45 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 12:22 am
We would like to open up the discussion about the Dunefolk
as we are preparing to introduce sunderer and CTP, I did some research on to see how to implement it as smooth as possible as an advancement to the rider balance wise and visually. The CTP is well documented and clearly uses a lance/spear and sometimes a shield as protection. Maces were also used. Some exceptions also had blades and bows but those were exceptions and depended what exact region you were looking at.

My actual question is, I found no documentation whatsoever about a historical figure fo a "sunderer". Are there any references you can give me about that unit or was it just a random picked name to fit a unit pre-descending the CTP?

Post Reply