Author Topic: Help us out naming the ship classes!  (Read 4468 times)

Offline x4000

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Help us out naming the ship classes!
« on: January 27, 2014, 04:44:14 PM »
Hey everybody!  So, we've got a variety of ship classes in the game, but we need better names for some of them.  The problem with some of the current names is that they are based on naval sizes, which really aren't appropriate here because the differences in ship scale are not high enough.  Before anyone suggests it: They also really should not be named after their guns, because a lot of the various pilots bring their own equipment and will be able to do things like swapping out guns.

So what I am really looking for are names that speak to the role of the ship in combat, which is something that does not change regardless of what sort of pilot you put in there.  How that ship fills the role might shift dramatically or subtly, but the general role is still the same either way.

Here are the ship names, with the problem ones flagged:

Basic Ship Progression From Smallest To Largest

1. Interceptor - these are basically like fighter jets, in a lot of ways.  They are blazing fast, but have only so-so guns.  They come in big swarms, and they have to do strafing runs.  They get a bonus to their deflection when moving at speed, so strafing runs are not actually a disadvantage.  They are tiny and have very weak hulls compared to all other ships.

2. Frigate (problem) - These are frigate-sized, Keith informs me, but really this does not speak to their combat role.  A lot of the ships are frigate-sized, but fill very different combat roles.  This "frigate" is kind of a slightly larger, slower, fighter with larger guns and lower speed.  It's built for punching into larger targets at a measured pace, as opposed to swarming larger targets.  Doesn't do well against large swarms of stuff.  Frigates really are kind of like half-tracks in ground combat, but calling them that might be kind of odd.  I don't know.  Possibly calling these Terrapins might get the idea across better in terms of them being armored and slower, although they are still not THAT slow; overall, they are a middle-speedy sort of ship, honestly.

3. Destroyer (problem) - So, these aren't really destroyer-sized in the naval sense.  These are more powerful than frigates in this game, and they come in lower numbers, though.  Destroyers are a solid midsize ship that are particularly after large hulls and shielded targets.  The destroyer is really about punching holes in big things.  So, let's go with something like that.  We get a chance to use some fairly obscure words that do actually have a proper meaning for these things, I would say.  So we could use Poniard, in this case.  Though that is perhaps something with too little meaning to be recognizable quickly.  Thoughts on that?

3. Cruiser (problem) - Cruisers are an upper-midsize ship that are, one the one hand, built for specialty situations like fighting around obstacles or hitting targets that are hard to track, etc.  But beyond that, they are kind of a "good all around" ship that is beefier than a destroyer, but not super specialized at anything.  These are kind of the workhorse of the late game in some ways.  Cruisers on the one hand remind me of a kris knife with their curved shots, but that is getting a bit specific, because probably some pilots might used shots that are not curved.  Garron is kind of an interesting name that might work.  Sthenia is also cool, though hard to say.  Bracer is pretty nice.

4. Aegis - Aegis are giant and armored and slow, and are what we used to call Battleships.  They are the largest non-centerpiece ships, by far.  They are particularly aimed at clearing masses of smaller ships.  Their shots are pretty darn ineffective against things like flagships and other centerpieces (shields absorb the Aegis's energy shots pretty well), but these can help you dominate so that your smaller craft swoop in.

Pirate Ship Progression From Smallest To Largest

1. Pirate Interceptor - A more powerful version of the regular interceptor, with a few unique traits.

2. Pirate  Frigate (problem) - A more powerful version of the regular frigate, with a few unique traits.

3. Pirate Lancer - A midsize ship with gravity lances as a central aspect of its role.  You can't define its role without keeping the lances, so that makes this easy to keep the same.

4. Pirate Sniper - A midsize sniper ship.

5. Pirate Destroyer (problem) - A more powerful version of the regular destroyer, with a few unique traits.

Centerpieces (All Fine, But Just In Case You Are Curious)
Flagship
Freighter
Troop Ship
Orbital Bomber
Armed Spy Drone
Pirate Flagship
Thoraxian Exterminator
Acutian Executor
Peltian Solar Fortress
Skylaxian Battle Carrier
Burlust Longship
Boarine Tusker
Evuck Herald
Andor Suppressor
Manufacturing Outpost
Science Outpost
Military Outpost
Pirate Base




Ideas are very welcome!
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Offline MouldyK

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 04:51:33 PM »
Maybe when we get our mitts on the beta, we will be able to give names!

I'll come back if I get any brainstorms tonight though.

Offline x4000

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 04:53:05 PM »
To some extent I don't want people to get too attached to the way that the ships handle in terms of weapons in the early alpha, since we will likely add more pilots to spice up what the ships can do.  And in those circumstances, the name still needs to be appropriate.

Planning on starting a combat-practice-only alpha tomorrow, though. :)
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Offline echo2361

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 05:39:23 PM »
I came across this game a couple of days ago and I'm excited about what I've seen so far so I thought I'd throw in some suggestions.

2. Frigate (problem) - These are frigate-sized, Keith informs me, but really this does not speak to their combat role.  A lot of the ships are frigate-sized, but fill very different combat roles.  This "frigate" is kind of a slightly larger, slower, fighter with larger guns and lower speed.  It's built for punching into larger targets at a measured pace, as opposed to swarming larger targets.  Doesn't do well against large swarms of stuff.  Frigates really are kind of like half-tracks in ground combat, but calling them that might be kind of odd.  I don't know.  Possibly calling these Terrapins might get the idea across better in terms of them being armored and slower, although they are still not THAT slow; overall, they are a middle-speedy sort of ship, honestly.

Sounds to me from the description that "Corvette" may be a more appropriate term for this ship. Corvettes tend to be larger, slower fighters with larger guns. They aren't usually meant to swarm because they have the firepower to deal damage without needing huge numbers in combat. If you are looking for something without the naval combat association with it, maybe "Brute" or "Brutus" to suggest how different they are from nimble interceptors.

3. Destroyer (problem) - So, these aren't really destroyer-sized in the naval sense.  These are more powerful than frigates in this game, and they come in lower numbers, though.  Destroyers are a solid midsize ship that are particularly after large hulls and shielded targets.  The destroyer is really about punching holes in big things.  So, let's go with something like that.  We get a chance to use some fairly obscure words that do actually have a proper meaning for these things, I would say.  So we could use Poniard, in this case.  Though that is perhaps something with too little meaning to be recognizable quickly.  Thoughts on that?

If these are meant to go after larger, more heavily shielded targets then I would suggest taking name ideas from artillery. "Howitzer" or "mortar" may be a little too on point but could work. "Culverin" is another name that sounds interesting and is a early type of medieval European cannon. The "falcon" is another early artillery piece that also happens to share the name of a bird of prey for an interesting double meaning.

3. Cruiser (problem) - Cruisers are an upper-midsize ship that are, one the one hand, built for specialty situations like fighting around obstacles or hitting targets that are hard to track, etc.  But beyond that, they are kind of a "good all around" ship that is beefier than a destroyer, but not super specialized at anything.  These are kind of the workhorse of the late game in some ways.  Cruisers on the one hand remind me of a kris knife with their curved shots, but that is getting a bit specific, because probably some pilots might used shots that are not curved.  Garron is kind of an interesting name that might work.  Sthenia is also cool, though hard to say.  Bracer is pretty nice.

I like the Garron name since this ship is going to be a workhorse of the fleet. Maybe "Stalwart" would also convey the idea of these ships being the backbone of fleet, dependable and strong. I'm a fan of ship classes being named after characteristics so things like Stalwart and Redoubtable appeal to me.

Offline mrhanman

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 05:47:52 PM »
3. Destroyer (problem) - So, these aren't really destroyer-sized in the naval sense.  These are more powerful than frigates in this game, and they come in lower numbers, though.  Destroyers are a solid midsize ship that are particularly after large hulls and shielded targets.  The destroyer is really about punching holes in big things.  So, let's go with something like that.  We get a chance to use some fairly obscure words that do actually have a proper meaning for these things, I would say.  So we could use Poniard, in this case.  Though that is perhaps something with too little meaning to be recognizable quickly.  Thoughts on that?

The first thing I thought of was Penetrator, though that sounds unfortunately sexual.  Perforator?  GAH! never mind.

Spearhead?  Auger?  Drill?

I'm not very good at this.   :-[

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 06:50:03 PM »

2. Frigate (problem) - These are frigate-sized, Keith informs me, but really this does not speak to their combat role.  A lot of the ships are frigate-sized, but fill very different combat roles.  This "frigate" is kind of a slightly larger, slower, fighter with larger guns and lower speed.  It's built for punching into larger targets at a measured pace, as opposed to swarming larger targets.  Doesn't do well against large swarms of stuff.  Frigates really are kind of like half-tracks in ground combat, but calling them that might be kind of odd.  I don't know.  Possibly calling these Terrapins might get the idea across better in terms of them being armored and slower, although they are still not THAT slow; overall, they are a middle-speedy sort of ship, honestly.


The first thing to pop into my head were bombers (in naval terms, torpedo bombers) . Bombers traditionally engage larger targets, but their limited quantity of payload means they can only engage a few. They have armor to repel minor fire that would scorch fighters, but speed enough to avoid capital guns. But after reading below, destroyers should be changed to this. So what to call these?  I've looked at fast attack craft, which seem to be craft useful to engage other small crafts. Very fast, not strong enough to engage masses of aircraft, not strong enough to engage capital ships. Cool acronym as well, FAC.

3. Destroyer (problem) - So, these aren't really destroyer-sized in the naval sense.  These are more powerful than frigates in this game, and they come in lower numbers, though.  Destroyers are a solid midsize ship that are particularly after large hulls and shielded targets.  The destroyer is really about punching holes in big things.  So, let's go with something like that.  We get a chance to use some fairly obscure words that do actually have a proper meaning for these things, I would say.  So we could use Poniard, in this case.  Though that is perhaps something with too little meaning to be recognizable quickly.  Thoughts on that?

After reading this, though, perhaps this is the better term for bombers. Actually, yes, that is what bombers are for. Typcially the smallest package that can wield anti-capital ship weapons. Or you could go with Torpedo Boats or their ilk.

3. Cruiser (problem) - Cruisers are an upper-midsize ship that are, one the one hand, built for specialty situations like fighting around obstacles or hitting targets that are hard to track, etc.  But beyond that, they are kind of a "good all around" ship that is beefier than a destroyer, but not super specialized at anything.  These are kind of the workhorse of the late game in some ways.  Cruisers on the one hand remind me of a kris knife with their curved shots, but that is getting a bit specific, because probably some pilots might used shots that are not curved.  Garron is kind of an interesting name that might work.  Sthenia is also cool, though hard to say.  Bracer is pretty nice.

I don't particularly understand how this is a bad name. For me, cruisers are above-average in size that can fill a role a smaller ship cannot, but is still able to do everything well. This may be colored my United States Navy knowledge though, with their aegis cruisers specializing in missile defense but solid in all roles. (This fact did the below name cause a double check though

4. Aegis - Aegis are giant and armored and slow, and are what we used to call Battleships.  They are the largest non-centerpiece ships, by far.  They are particularly aimed at clearing masses of smaller ships.  Their shots are pretty darn ineffective against things like flagships and other centerpieces (shields absorb the Aegis's energy shots pretty well), but these can help you dominate so that your smaller craft swoop in.

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Offline x4000

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 07:43:31 PM »
Very excellent suggestions, thanks folks. :)

- I do want to avoid the use of bombers in space if it can be avoided, because we already have orbital bombers and use other terms of that nature for basically shelling planets from space.  It's limited in scope in the base game, but in expansions we want to expand on that further, so I want to be careful not to have to rename anything later.

- I really like either the term Corvette or Brute for the former-Frigates.  Probably Corvette is the most generalized, I don't know.

- The bird of prey ideas around former-destroyers, and all the penetrator/perforator stuff, and the torpedo bombers, all made me think... how about Predators?  That is suitably menacing, and they are basically something you have to really watch out for with your capital ships, so that makes sense.  But swarming a predator takes it down, so you have to kind of guard them.  I like that a lot, actually.

- For the former-cruisers... well, Keith has told me he thinks they are too small to be called that, and that we may well want to introduce something larger sometime down the line that would be called that.  Aka not painting ourselves into a corner, again.  But honestly I'm really inclined to the name like you seem to be, chemical_art.  Garron is obscure enough that people won't really know what it means, so it takes on its own meaning.  Which has pros and cons.  Redoubtable is good, but I think that tends to be the name of a specific ship, which can be confusing.  Same with Stalwart, actually.

Welcome to the forums, by the way, echo2361 -- and thanks for the suggestions! :)

Right now I'm leaning towards:
- Interceptor
- Corvette
- Predator
- Cruiser
- Aegis

I think that actually makes the class size distinctions pretty clear, too.  Interceptors and Corvettes are both clearly small, while Predators and Cruisers are very easily imagined to be in the same middle tier.  And then Aegis is the big boy.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 07:56:01 PM »
Update: so, we're happy with all of them except cruiser, internally.  We'll go with:

- Interceptor
- Corvette
- Predator
- Cruiser (problem -- changes to ???)
- Aegis
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Offline x4000

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 08:07:34 PM »
Keith is suggesting "Hammer" for the former-cruiser.  I like that, actually. :)
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Offline echo2361

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 08:14:56 PM »
Welcome to the forums, by the way, echo2361 -- and thanks for the suggestions! :)

Right now I'm leaning towards:
- Interceptor
- Corvette
- Predator
- Cruiser
- Aegis

I think that actually makes the class size distinctions pretty clear, too.  Interceptors and Corvettes are both clearly small, while Predators and Cruisers are very easily imagined to be in the same middle tier.  And then Aegis is the big boy.

Happy to help! If cruiser isn't working for you I have a couple more suggestions. "Sentinel-class" sounds like something middle tier that is a defender of the fleet/workhorse. A sentinel is a noun, not an adjective like stalwart and redoubtable so I think it works better. Following that same thought process I imagine a "Guardian-class" ship might work too.

Or, to just modify cruiser you could go with "light cruiser" which will leave you room to include "heavy cruisers" at some point. Depending on the navy you are talking about, traditionally the size ratio from smaller to larger goes frigate, destroyer, light cruiser, heavy cruiser, battlecruiser, battleship.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2014, 08:16:17 PM »

- I do want to avoid the use of bombers in space if it can be avoided, because we already have orbital bombers and use other terms of that nature for basically shelling planets from space.  It's limited in scope in the base game, but in expansions we want to expand on that further, so I want to be careful not to have to rename anything later.

Will comment on other things later, but I would avoid using the term bomber at all for the same reason that cruisers are not used (which I understand). It's a very generalized term, and it'll prevent cornering later on. Stick with shelling and use ship names to that nature, or the many other terms used for it. Plus, later on, if you do decide to expand on this game, you can have bombers builtfrom the ground up that can perform both in combat and in shelling a la Endless Space as a flexible unit.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2014, 08:28:35 PM »

Or, to just modify cruiser you could go with "light cruiser" which will leave you room to include "heavy cruisers" at some point. Depending on the navy you are talking about, traditionally the size ratio from smaller to larger goes frigate, destroyer, light cruiser, heavy cruiser, battlecruiser, battleship.

I really think adjectives to distinguish classes is fine. the same reason why as I posted above you may have naval bombers or planet bombers. Using X + Y nouns can both distinguish role as well as size.

This does bring up an issue though.

For me, I would much rather have a naming convention that goes roughly X + Y, or at least have the option to do so. For example, snazzy names like Aegis is cool. However, having the name suppression battleship makes the role a lot more clear. If, down the road, there are three different ships that have roughly the same size, I would much rather it be X + Battleship rather then memorize more names. I can tell at a glance what the ship does a lot easier.

It wouldn't be fully modular, so you wouldn't have every role work with every size, but it would make things a lot simpler to use, which is going to be very important in a huge game like this. Some memorization is going to be required, but there is little need to make things worst. 

This is not like AI War, where every ship has its whole name, because this game doesn't revolve around combat exclusively.

When I read this list, this is what I think:
- Interceptor - Role very defined, great! Size not clear but implied. Good.
- Corvette - Size easy to understand, role not, OK.
- Predator - What is this?
- Cruiser - Size easy to understand, role not, OK.
- Aegis - What is this?



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Offline Cyborg

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2014, 08:55:35 PM »
Let's just call it the plasma starship. :P
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Offline x4000

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 08:58:37 PM »
The word "sentinel" is absolutely perfect as a better name for "armed spy drone," so I'm going to use that there.  That is much more cool and menacing.

As for having something like "light cruiser," that could work, but again that is speaking to size.  The size specifications of these various ships really are not in line with what you may be thinking, too -- they don't vary in visual size to the degree that real naval ships would.  So going by size I think is tricky.  Interceptor and Corvette do work in that framework, though, I think.

Ultimately this is never going to be a clean naming system in terms of being consistent with anything real-world, because this is all made-up stuff and we are intentionally pulling from all sorts of sources, not just doing "naval combat in space."  See AI War in terms of what I mean from pulling from all over the place.  I really want to reserve the term bomber for orbital bombardment, as that's something that really fits well there and could be a gameplay.

In terms of things that are not immediately obvious, like Predator or Aegis, the main thing is "are they memorable once you do know."  Because the tooltip is right there.  Ideally it is immediately apparent what is going on, but that's just not always going to be possible.  With something like the "Garron," that doesn't work well because it is not memorable.  But predator I can create an associative link in my mind for.

I think I'm going to go with these names for now (including hammer for cruiser), and if there are tweaks that come up later, then we might look at them.  But I definitely need to focus on other things right now, now that we have serviceable names at least.  Thanks tons for the help folks, as the names are way better now.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Help us out naming the ship classes!
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2014, 09:27:18 PM »
Cool names are fine when they are unique.

However, already now, we have two names that are defensive in nature. "Sentinel" and "Aegis" are both names implying defenders of others. I already strain to separate the two. It is even more confusing then having names about size, because there is no context to distinguish them if you are not familiar with the game. Case in point: Until Chris mentioned Sentinel was for armed spy drone, I had no, zero, nadda, idea that is what they were meant for. Why? Because many, many games use the names for something else. Just like "predator" and "aegis" are used in many other games.

The more I think of it, the more I feel the names are cool, but that is the only virtue for them. They are not informative, they don't ease the learning of the game. I'd rather edit/hack the names myself to something more useful, that is how bad they are. They are worst than useless, because I confuse them with other things, and now with each other.

Not good, not good at all.

Question regarding earlier comments: If the whole point is to make them easy to remember, why not go with the more obscure names? At least then they wouldn't be confused with the very many games that already use these very common names.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 09:32:27 PM by chemical_art »
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