Feedback wanted: Terminology updates

One of the most common pieces of feedback we get from new users is that the complex terminology has a negative impact for onboarding. There is enough to learn about without having to work around crazy, never before seen terms like ‘Scramblers’ and ‘Destructors’

We are planning on simplifying the terminology with the launch of Season 7, which we expect to be in early September. Below is our current proposal for terminology changes. We are looking for general sentiments and feedback about the individual changes, as well as the terminology update as a whole.

Ping --> Scout
Scrambler --> Interceptor
EMP --> Catapult
Destructor --> Turret
Filter --> Wall
Encryptor --> Support

Bits --> Coins
Cores --> Materials
Shields/Shielding --> Unchanged
Information Unit --> Units
Firewalls --> Structures

The philosophy for the new names is:

  • Make names as simple as possible
  • Convey information about what the unit/mechanic actually does
  • Ideally, names should be generic and weakly themed as possible. Catapult is not ideal but is acceptable. ‘Wall’ and ‘Support’ are ideal.

Edit: Updated based on feedback from max1e6, Owenvt, and acshikh

Seems pretty logical to me, even if it will be weird adapting to those new names.

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Seems like you already recognize that Catapult is probably the weakest of the generic/weakly themed names. Given it’s name, is the intention to convey a primary purposes of destroying walls?

And will the “game story” be updated too?

Or is that theme going to remain?

The EMP was the hardest unit to rename. Catapult was chosen because it is slow, far ranged, and is good at destroying structures. Names also need to avoid connotations of violence/war for business reasons so marksman/sniper are not possibilities.

I think the story was a cool idea but it feels vestigial to me at this point, especially after the name change. I lean towards removing it but if not we will probably move it somewhere more innocuous than the top of the rules and docs.

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It looks like both Scramblers and Firewalls will be called Defenders, which is a little confusing. How about this:

Information Units -> Units
Firewalls -> Buildings
Scramblers -> Defenders

Then this also frees up the word “Attackers”, so maybe Pings or Emps could be called Attackers.

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Agree, this is an improvement

To me, the word “Building” almost implies people living inside of it? I think that “Structures” would be a more neutral/precise. Also, I think that “Unit” is a bit too vague. Maybe we could call them “Mobile Units”?

Also, I think “supporter” would flow better off the tongue than “support”.

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One alternative to Catapult might be Ballista: the idea of a large crossbow seems like it might make more sense as a mobile unit that can attack more than just walls.

Another Catapult alternative is Artillery, which is both more generic and modern. Not sure if this has too much of a violence/war connotation though.

I’ll also suggest Interceptor for Scramblers, it’s a little more specific since they intercept opposing units and move themselves, whereas Defenders is more unclear whether it means walls or turrets.

A lot of these new unit names seem to have a more medieval theme going, not sure if that is intentional.


My impression with the medieval theme is that this is a strategy “war” game, but this way we can avoid any apparent connection to modern war and politics

Catapult and Turret is the only ones that are pretty explicitly medieval, which is unfortunate but we thought both of them invoked what the unit actually did well. ‘Coins’ is hopefully meant to be more generic-gamey, like Mario coins, but the other medieval stuff kinda pulls them that direction. We are content with catapult, but agree that it is the weakest of the new names. We also suspect that people less familiar with medieval things will not have a hard time understanding what it is/does based on the name, and will be slightly less likely to associate it strongly with that theme.

For some reason, everyone knows what a catapult is, but ballista is pretty unknown. Artillery is mostly associated with modern military themes which we can’t touch.


I like this suggestion as well, will run it by the team


Thoughts on ‘Ranger’ over ‘Catapult’?

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“Ranger” sounds like an individual person, either a park ranger, or an archer, and both don’t have the “oomph” of power that the EMP has. I think catapult still expresses that better!


What about ‘Trebuchet’?
Similar to ‘Catapult’ but obviously the superior siege engine with a strong meme following.


I wish we could choose the superior siege engine, but similar to the ballista it is less recognizable and more strongly themed