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outpost → lookout
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Authored by Nescio on Nov 12 2020, 11:43 AM.

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Freagarach
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Restricted Owners Package(Owns No Changed Paths)
Summary

The English word outpost describes the army camp more than anything else in 0 A.D. For 0 A.D.'s “outpost”, the correct term is lookout. This patch renames the relevant files and corrects the occurrences in the public folder, except the art files (and the l10n files, obviously).
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Check for completeness and correctness.

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Repository
rP 0 A.D. Public Repository
Branch
/ps/trunk
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Unit
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Build Status
Buildable 13602
Build 27682: Vulcan BuildJenkins
Build 27681: Vulcan Build (macOS)Jenkins
Build 27680: Vulcan Build (Windows)Jenkins
Build 27679: arc lint + arc unit

Event Timeline

Nescio created this revision.Nov 12 2020, 11:43 AM
Owners added subscribers: Restricted Owners Package, Restricted Owners Package, Restricted Owners Package and 2 others.Nov 12 2020, 11:43 AM
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)Nov 12 2020, 11:48 AM
Nescio removed subscribers: Restricted Owners Package, Restricted Owners Package, Restricted Owners Package.
Nescio requested review of this revision.Nov 12 2020, 11:50 AM
Freagarach edited reviewers, added: Freagarach; removed: Angen.Nov 12 2020, 11:54 AM

Isn't it a lookout tower then?

binaries/data/mods/public/gui/text/tips/palisades.txt
1

Unrelated, please revert.

Isn't it a lookout tower then?

The actor is more a platform than a tower. However, what should matter for 0 A.D. is its function, which is clearly a lookout: “A place from which to keep watch or view the landscape.”

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 13888.Nov 13 2020, 12:52 PM
Owners added subscribers: Restricted Owners Package, Restricted Owners Package, Restricted Owners Package.Nov 13 2020, 12:52 PM
Nescio removed subscribers: Restricted Owners Package, Restricted Owners Package, Restricted Owners Package.Nov 13 2020, 12:52 PM

Well, we also need to keep in mind the understanding of the function to players. I think adding "tower" makes it much more clear. Also, you proposed watchtower earlier (D2551).

“Watchtower” is indeed also an appropiate English word, and I believe I mentioned it earlier, yes. The main reason why I opted for “lookout” here instead, is that in 0 A.D., towers fire arrows, which is not true for the current “outpost”.
By the way, there is actually already a watchtower in 0 A.D. (left), which looks like an old version of the outpost (right):


I'm not sure it's worth keeping in the public mod, but that's a different discussion (see D2740).

(I would actually call the left one a lookout and the right one a watchtower ^^ )

Would you mind moving to watchtower? (You can read some discussion on IRC today.)

Would you mind moving to watchtower?

The words “watchtower” and “lookout” are basically synonyms. As pointed out earlier, I opted for the latter to avoid association with towers. Another suitable word would be “platform”.

(You can read some discussion on IRC today.)

For the record: http://irclogs.wildfiregames.com/%230ad-dev/2020-11-16-QuakeNet-%230ad-dev.log

20:35 < wraitii> lookout suggest more looking and less "garrison me to fire arrows"
20:36 < wraitii> but I associate lookout more with photography (or hunting) than warfare

That's exactly the point. The “outpost” is functionally very different from towers in 0 A.D.: it's cheap and weak, can be built in neutral territory, and garrisoning it won't make it fire arrows.

20:44 < wraitii> so start at watch, then sentry, then guard
20:45 < Freagarach> Ah :)
20:45 < Freagarach> Yeah, same here.
20:45 < wraitii> because first you mostly watch, then you're a sentry, and then you guard the area

The words guard, sentinel, and sentry are equivalents. Stating one is “greater than” the other seems rather artificial.
Currently we have:

art/actors/structures/*/wooden_tower.xml
simulation/templates/template_structure_defensive_tower_sentry.xml
simulation/templates/structures/*_sentry_tower.xml

for the small one and for the large one:

art/actors/structures/*/scout_tower.xml
simulation/templates/template_structure_defensive_tower_stone.xml
simulation/templates/structures/*_defense_tower.xml

Which, to me, seems rather arbitrary and inconsistent. I believe “small tower” and “large tower” are more systematic, clearer, and less confusing names. However, that's a different discussion: see D2551 and D2552.

As pointed out earlier, I opted for the latter to avoid association with towers.

Then again, type "watch tower" in google images to get plenty of things that look exactly like our outpost/lookout platform :p (in fairness, guard tower does too) . "lookout", interestingly, provides mostly pictures or tourist-platforms (or instagram models) there.
I would also argue "lookout" can apply to natural things such as a tree, whereas watchtower doesn't.
I'm wondering if "observation tower" wouldn't be the most apt word. But then again, Wikipedia literally finishes the summary of that with Observation towers that are used as guard posts or observation posts over an extended period to overlook an area are commonly called watchtowers instead.

But then again, going to "Observation Post" leads me to "Border Outpost" which shows a picture of exactly what our outpost would originally have been :P

The words guard, sentinel, and sentry are equivalent

That is true, but I would still argue that sentry is explicitly singular there, whereas guard is indeed noted as possibly referring to "the guard"/multiple people. I think if you asked a random panel of people how many persons occupied a sentry vs a guard tower, the guard tower would generally have a larger garrison. But this is a guess.
Finally, and this might be memories of my younger days, of course: AOE 1 actually used "Watch -> Sentry -> Guard": https://ageofempires.fandom.com/wiki/Sentry_Tower_(Age_of_Empires).
Though I agree, in AOE both 1 and 2, watch towers fire arrows.


I would say it's actually rP24021 that made our "outpost" wrongly-worded, as "border outpost" does convey small tower to observe stuff (and well, again, AoE 2 uses the word outpost, so it's not like players would be confused). However, since rP24021, 'outposts' need to be garrisoned to be actually useful, meaning their function has indeed changed.

After this whole shtick above, my final vote goes something like this:
Current outpost -> Observation Post
Current "small tower" -> Watch Tower
Current "big tower" -> Guard Tower

As for the Age of Empires series, their tower terminology is not constant, as I wrote elsewhere (https://code.wildfiregames.com/D2551#129902 ; also, in Age of Empires III, the tower is called “Outpost”). Moreover, they're often sloppy when it comes to language, confusing “ballista” and “catapult”, or “fireship” and “demolition ship”, calling a building a “blacksmith” (i.e. a person), and introducing an ahistorical “siege workshop”. So I'd say Age of Empires is a great example of what 0 A.D. shouldn't do.
As for “observation post”, this can be anything, including a half-buried bunker, or a car that can move around.
I wouldn't mind renaming the current “outpost” to “watchtower” (no space), since that is a correct term.

wraitii added a comment.EditedNov 22 2020, 11:32 AM

As for “observation post”, this can be anything, including a half-buried bunker, or a car that can move around.

Well, the same is true of a lookout, to an extent. Certainly doesn't have to be a tower.

I guess either "Observation Tower" or "Lookout Tower" then. If we go with Watchtower, which is definitely accurate, we need to acknowledge that it is _not_ the same thing ad the various AOE Watchtowers, which may or may not be obvious to players.

Well, the same is true of a lookout, to an extent. Certainly doesn't have to be a tower.

True. As pointed out earlier, I opted for “Lookout” to be able to avoid the word “tower”.

I guess either "Observation Tower" or "Lookout Tower" then.

If “tower” is to be part of the name, then I'd prefer “watchtower” (clearer and shorter) to “lookout tower” or “observation tower”.

If we go with Watchtower, which is definitely accurate, we need to acknowledge that it is _not_ the same thing ad the various AOE Watchtowers, which may or may not be obvious to players.

Why exactly? Age of Empires is a different game. We don't highlight that fireships in 0 A.D. are different from theirs, or explicitly emphasize in game that infantry can build and gather, or that structures have territory and can be captured.

wraitii added a comment.EditedNov 22 2020, 12:02 PM

Why exactly? Age of Empires is a different game. We don't highlight that fireships in 0 A.D. are different from theirs, or explicitly emphasize in game that infantry can build and gather, or that structures have territory and can be captured.

And I would argue that new players regularly get confused about this. This is somewhat besides the point, but IMO we can't just ignore the utter influence that game has had/still has on our player base.
I wouldn't call it a dealbreaker in this instance, though I might wonder if the outpost/watchtower tooltip is accurate nowadays.

Edit: it is Build in own or neutral territory. Slowly converts to Gaia while in neutral territory.
I would probably change it to something more explicit about the need for garrisoning.

And I would argue that new players regularly get confused about this. This is somewhat besides the point, but IMO we can't just ignore the utter influence that game has had/still has on our player base.

To be clear, I'm not saying we should it ignore entirely, but on the other hand, we shouldn't assume everyone is familiar with Age of Empires either.

I wouldn't call it a dealbreaker in this instance, though I might wonder if the outpost/watchtower tooltip is accurate nowadays.

It is:


Some wording in the outpost tooltip such as "Garrison to provide vision range" would be useful imo.

Isn't that already implied by the “Wall Protection” aura tooltip?

Isn't that already implied by the “Wall Protection” aura tooltip?

I wouldn't say so, no (it's also a bit odd that the aura is above the building description imo). It doesn't imply the building is basically useless without a garrison, imo, which it is (see Towers saying "additional arrows", which implies that there are some by default).

Further, I'm not sure we shouldn't make a different aura, since adding defense bonus for the outpost feels slightly wrong (there's no wall...)
(incidentally, at this point, is there really an advantage to an outpost over a wall tower?)

(it's also a bit odd that the aura is above the building description imo)

There are various tooltips, and what's listed in them and their order is a bit of a mess:

  • when hovering over an entity icon in the right selection panel, the order is name, classes, auras, identity tooltip, costs, other stats
  • when hovering over an entity icon in the structure tree, the order is name, costs, identity tooltip, auras, other stats
  • when having right-clicked on an entity icon to open the detailed information, the order is name, costs, other stats, identity tooltip, auras, classes, built by, trains, researches

I wouldn't say so, no [...]. It doesn't imply the building is basically useless without a garrison, imo, which it is (see Towers saying "additional arrows", which implies that there are some by default).

Feel free to propose a different <Identity/Tooltip> string.

Further, I'm not sure we shouldn't make a different aura, since adding defense bonus for the outpost feels slightly wrong (there's no wall...)

Both the “outpost” and wall segments have a parapet, so the resistance bonus is appropiate. The aura name ought to be changed, or perhaps indeed have a separate copy for the “outpost”. (And maybe a third for the siege walls, which are noticeably lower?)

(incidentally, at this point, is there really an advantage to an outpost over a wall tower?)

The “outpost” is really cheap, can be built outside your territory, and is available in the village phase. A wall tower fires arrows when garrisoned, like towers (and unlike other wall segments).

For what's worth, the equivalent building in Rise of Nations is called a ‘lookout’ too: https://riseofnations.fandom.com/wiki/Lookout