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Team games are a popular part of RTS games, as they are more accessible and provide a stronger social experience than 1v1. Some RTS games managed to make team games more enjoyable than others, and this post attempts to uncover the reasons behind it. The goal is to see which factors contribute to creating a good team game. It's a complex topic; building a competitive 2v2 game is different than going for a casual 4v4 experience, and so I will generalize. Also, while I find team game dynamics very interesting, I do not have a deep team game Sc2 4v4 matchmaking of every game mentioned here.
I watched and read as much as possible, but take my observations with a grain of salt. I want to thank people at Wayward 's discord for Sc2 4v4 matchmaking my questions, and particularly monk for his insight into Warcraft III team games.
Let's start with a game hailed as one of the best RTS for team games. After that, I will look more at theory, and finally go over more RTS games.
It provides more stability to the game and prevents it from deteriorating into rushes. A player can't be quickly focused and destroyed by multiple players, or at the very least the player can buy time for his allies to help or counter-attack.
The defender's advantage is already strong in AoE2, Sc2 4v4 matchmaking in team games it's further reinforced by allies covering flanks, which le to fewer walls and defensive structures needed, and easier positioning on defense. Castles, Town Centers, and walls are great for defensive purposes, but they also have their weaknesses. That means that there are still openings for harassment and action.
Players are unlikely to get eliminated completely, but aggression can still damage their economy, which is a more interesting outcome for everyone, and especially for the player that would be out of the game in StarCraft II. These limitations on static defenses are important. Too strong static defenses would lead to passive gameplay.
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Faction differences encourage players to take certain roles in the team, for example, a civilization might have a bonus for cavalry and so a player will focus primarily on it. Any civilization can deal with any threat, at least in theory, but choosing to work within these roles is more optimal. Cooperation isn't required, but it's rewarded.
Different armies Sc2 4v4 matchmaking work well together e. Imbalanced resource spending, which is the result of focusing on certain units, encourages sending spare resources to allies. This is another opportunity for good teamwork. Civilizations have strengths in different parts of the game, and so strategies can form around that — letting certain players to boom quickly expand economywhile others secure the map or feed send resources.
Spawning positions play a role here as well, a player in more secure position might decide to boom and shift its power spike to later stages. Passive team bonuses are shared within the team e. While I prefer emergent synergies Sc2 4v4 matchmaking competitive multiplayer games, these do have positive effects on the game:.
To keep the overall match complexity at a reasonable level and comparable to 1v1, the game is simplified in certain parts. This also plays well with the more casual audience of team games.
AoE2 accomplishes this in a few ways:. One set of rules that affects how the economy scales during a game Sc2 4v4 matchmaking fit 1v1 but lead to problems in team games. For example, reduced mineral amounts in StarCraft II Legacy of the Void lead to more dynamic games in 1v1, but were too restricting for team games, especially with the maps where players couldn't expand as frequently as in 1v1.
In AoE2, trading routes are practically absent in 1v1, however, this mechanic adjusts the scaling of the economy in team games — serving as an unlimited source of gold in the lategame. It's also a team effort, a potential target of harassment, and requires high investment which le to a strategic choice when to start building trading routes.
Players can easily feel like they are contributing — whether it's through passive bonuses, strong civilization units, feeding, defending, repairing allied structures, or pushing with static defenses together. It's less likely a player is completely out of the game and unable to contribute in any way. Of course, having good support for team games in terms of playtesting, balance patches, and map pool helps as well. Let's go deeper on few factors that contribute to creating a good team game experience in RTS games.
First, let's Sc2 4v4 matchmaking at role differentiation player specialization. Specialization happens when players opt for different strategies to complement their teammates. Let's distinguish a few types of specializations based on how players can deal with different situations:. Negative effects can come up mainly when high coordination is required due to inherent specialization. Having to rely on allies can be frustrating and lead to toxic behavior.
Monobattles in StarCraft II 4v4 arcade mode where you can make only one combat unit type are popular Sc2 4v4 matchmaking of the reasons mentioned above. It's a lot about novelty, every game being different, and what you can do with such limited tools is strategically interesting. It's not balanced, but it's not framed as such. AoE2 does something similar with civilization and team bonuses, but to a lesser degree and in a more balanced way.
In AoE2 the specialization in unit types can be quite high — to the point where a player is making just one unit Sc2 4v4 matchmaking. This is partly because unit diversity isn't high to begin with, and partly because of a strong defender's advantage and the lack of harassment units ignoring walls and terrain.
If we compare it to StarCraft II where many units ignore terrain, and time-to-kill is very low, every player has to be more self-sufficient.
In AoE2 walls and static defenses will usually buy enough time to reposition and defend. High investment in upgrades and production structures also le players to specialization into certain unit types. Though this approach is more opaque to casual players, who often don't grasp the opportunity cost of getting every upgrade available. Team games can demand varying levels of cooperation. Some can be enjoyed with random players you just met, other Sc2 4v4 matchmaking ask for high levels of coordination and trust. Dwarfheim is one such game and with strong inherent role differentiation — players can choose from three roles: warrior, builder, and miner.
Because these roles are highly dependent on each other, the game requires good cooperation and is best enjoyed with a group of friends.
In games with such strong role differentiation, you have to rely on your teammates heavily. If the cooperation is lacking, it can quickly become frustrating and lead to toxic behavior, which MOBAs and games like Overwatch have to fight in various ways. In my opinion, the best situation for an RTS is when cooperation isn't required, but it's rewarded. Ideally, you could do things alone, but it's more optimal and fun to do it together. This is where role differentiation is emergent. Though I can see that for practical purposes adding some inherent specialization helps AoE2.
Related to this is what I call the " ability to have fun alone ". In some games this ability is relatively low — if you are a healer or support in Overwatch, you rely heavily on your team. Moreover, the focus being on a single objective means you always need your team.
Compare that to games like Call of Duty, where you can have a decent time no matter if your team is doing well or not — you can always run alone, get some kills and weapon unlocks, and Sc2 4v4 matchmaking fun. This doesn't mean one approach is better than the other, but this " ability to have fun alone " is an interesting concept. It's not directly linked with the " ability to carry ", it's more about the degree to which you can have fun despite losing and despite your team not doing well. The higher it's, the more players enjoy the game, and fewer players gets frustrated Sc2 4v4 matchmaking display toxic behavior.
However, deing both for it and a good team play experience is very hard. Most games in this mode are played with a random partner through matchmaking, and so Co-op can't rely on high-coordination tasks. Those few missions that require even the Sc2 4v4 matchmaking basic cooperation are often a source of frustration.
Except for those few forced interactions, essentially every mission can be done solo with any commander. Even mutation challenges can be carried or done solo for most of the part.
This makes matching with a random ally a lot more enjoyable. Passive team bonuses, similar to team bonuses in AoE2, are a good addition for very similar reasons — players contribute by just existing, each game is a bit different, and there is more strategic depth when choosing commanders.
Few examples:. Ideally, there would be many such bonuses where each makes the game a bit different.
However, not all commanders have these. Actual coordination is rewarded in Co-op as well. For example, Vorazun can put enemy units into a black hole, and the ally can use area-of-effect damage to destroy them. Kerrigan's allies can use her Omega Networks to travel around the map.
These interactions between players feel rewarding, and the more of them there are, the better. Highlighting where the mutual help occurred can improve the feeling of good team play. One player's actions usually occupy the player's whole attention budget.
The game state of a 1v1 game was deed complex enough to be interesting but not overwhelming.