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Why do most FPS games have 2 teams?

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[quote name='Ripiz' timestamp='1343542398' post='4964205']
I guess because of "If you're not with us, you're against us" logic.
[/quote]
That is definitely part of it, but wouldn't that statement be true for any number of teams?
A related question: Why do most (all?) sports have only two teams?
(Is there a competitive sport with more than two teams at the same time? Really, I'm not a sports person at all.)

I believe having only two teams is the easiest way to determine a fair winner/loser. Consider for example a match between three teams A,B,C. Team A may be objectively "better" at playing the game than either Team B or Team C and would dominate either in a one-on-one match. However, in this scenario Team B and C could gang up on Team A (knowingly or by coincidence) and thus deafeat A. This is usually not what you want for ranked competitions.

Now, I'm not saying that having more than two teams isn't an interesting mechanic - it adds a tactical layer to the game and may work well, if properly implemented. I'm not that interested in the whole "games as sports/competitions" aspect anyway and would enjoy a chaotic four team FPS extravaganza. However, for the above mentioned reasons, it's probably easier/safer for developers to stick with the proven one-on-one model, especially considering the (usually more competitive) FPS audience. Edited by _for_science

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[quote name='_for_science' timestamp='1343567345' post='4964242']
[quote name='Ripiz' timestamp='1343542398' post='4964205']
I guess because of "If you're not with us, you're against us" logic.
[/quote]
That is definately part of it, but wouldn't that statement be true for any number of teams?
A related question: Why do most (all?) sports have only two teams?
(Is there a competitive sport with more than two teams at the same time? Really, I'm not a sports person at all.)

I believe having only two teams is the easiest way to determine a fair winner/loser. Consider for example a match between three teams A,B,C. Team A may be objectively "better" at playing the game than either Team B or Team C and would dominate either in a one-on-one match. However, in this scenario Team B and C could gang up on Team A (knowingly or by coincidence) and thus deafeat A. This is usually not what you want for ranked competitions.

Now, I'm not saying that having more than two teams isn't an interesting mechanic - it adds a tactical layer to the game and may work well, if properly implemented. I'm not that interested in the whole "games as sports/competitions" aspect anyway and would enjoy a chaotic four team FPS extravaganza. However, for the above mentioned reasons, it's probably easier/safer for developers to stick with the proven one-on-one model, especially considering the (usually more competitive) FPS audience.
[/quote]

It would be actually quite interesting if there was more than two teams fighting against each other. In free for all you can also gang up against the better players and people still do play FFA. In RTS games we often have possibility for more than two teams and ganging up against the better players does happen. I can not think why it would not work? The better players only would find it more challenging and the newbie players use simple tactics like forming truce with another team.

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1) There is fewer players needed if there are only 2 teams. For example TF2 server can hold resonably up to 32 players. If there were 4 teams it would mean max 8 players, that's not very fun. 2 teams of 16 players sounds way tastier :)

2) More than 2 teams means diplomacy (the one who stays neural longer or join the fight last basicly always wins), diplomany and politics and negotiation does not fit FPS very well...

3) Only 2 teams is more realistic, in terms of warfare. I guess there were some battles in human history that had more than 2 sides, but I can't recall any right now. Just 2 sides is what our reptile brains are designed for :)

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halo has a few gametypes for multi-team play, but generally it's reduced to 4 teams of 2.

I also think it has to do with resources, you can build two bases symmetrically, but building a map designed for 3 teams is a bit more difficult.

I think it's mostly the overhead of ensuring maps can support n number of teams, where if you have a clear 1v1, then u just have to think in terms of entry/exit's between the two sides.

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[quote name='siamii' timestamp='1343522961' post='4964159']
Apart from free for all, most FPS have 2 teams. Why not more, i.e 3 or 4?
[/quote]

It's predominantly because it risks becoming a mexican standoff, which can hurt game sales because people are interested in winning and these things would promote pacifism (statistically, not absolutely). Even numbers, however, isn't as risky as odd numbers and the mexican standoff scenario also assumes that we're talking about instant, direct action and not about lengthy tug-of-war found in strategic games. But even strategy games can become mexican standoffs - e.g. if all 3 players in a Starcraft match goes for tech and amasses a maximum-size army. Then everyone waits for the first guy to act and you get a stalemate - because you know that a smart player would attack the base that is left undefended.

For those who are unsure, a mexican standoff is (originally) a duel between more than 2 people. It creates a situation where, if person A kills person B, then person C will kill person A. In practical terms, it means that the first one firing is almost guaranteed to die so everyone just stands still until one man cracks from under the pressure, shoot one of the others and gets himself killed by the third.

Also, the most effective griefing method in a game is to attack players who are already fighting someone else (so that they are both weak and distracted) - a similar scenario that most players simply frown upon. Edited by DrMadolite

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Didn't the Steam game Ricochet allow for more than just two teams?

It all depends on the game being provided as to whether it would work well. I thought an expanded FPS game, not as large as Planetside, would be something to look into for a three+ team game. Generally battles are only two sided and rarely, if ever, three+ sided.

Aliens are generally used as the "third side" as it is expected that the two sides initially in a struggle would also side against the foreign invaders.

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[quote name='_for_science' timestamp='1343567345' post='4964242']
(Is there a competitive sport with more than two teams at the same time? Really, I'm not a sports person at all.)
[/quote]
Alot of motorsports has more than 2 teams in a race.

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I've played Q3A with 4 teams before (we had postits on screen with a list of who was and wasn't on our team and went into free for all, manually totted up the scores at the end, bit of a faff). Whether it was our odd workaround method or not I dunno but it wasn't as fun as just blasting everyone thats on the blue team etc.

Other games multiple teams work nicely and in a different way the battlefield games squad system makes a nice way of splitting 1 team into several smaller ones.

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It would be nice to see a company like THQ take the 5 sided battle from the Hobbit and release a free2play one level, over the top, slug-fest out of that. Too bad Middle-Earth Enterprises is licensed out to WB these days.

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Having 2 teams means better strategy and gameplay for both teams. I've played a game on Reach where there's 4 teams and it's just a mindless death pool. You really can't take positions, camp, or coordinate anything because everyone is running around with their heads cut off. Lmao.

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It should also be noted that the main reason why free-for-all arena games (Quake 3 Arena etc) are successful, is because death is frag-based and not final. This means that the players won't fear death and they'll even do suicide tactics for extra points. Thus, it prevents the game from becoming a mexican standoff. Edited by DrMadolite

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I personally also prefer to have a somewhat clear goal. More than two sides already gets fairly chaotic in non-team-games such as say starcraft. You get purposefully or accidentally back stabbed, double attacked etc. Now add in the uncertainty of other team members and instead of more depth (what else would be the purpose of more teams) you just get chaos.

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Kind of a re-hash of what has already been said: Several teams basically devolves into slightly modified FFA, where the most successful team is going to be the one that lets the other teams destroy each other, then swooping in to clean up the remnants. It's not that fun to have to pick between suicidal attack or being a vulture.

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[quote name='Acharis' timestamp='1343572891' post='4964257']
2) More than 2 teams means diplomacy (the one who stays neural longer or join the fight last basicly always wins), diplomany and politics and negotiation does not fit FPS very well...[/quote]

That could be counteracted programmatically or with a scenario. Teams would have to accept that their roles are asymmetrical and under different constraints. Many arguments might ensue over fairness, but the point would be to play a lot of different scenarios under different conditions, not for everything to be fair all the time. This mentality should be familiar to wargamers, but for the general public, it might take some getting used to.

[quote]
3) Only 2 teams is more realistic, in terms of warfare. I guess there were some battles in human history that had more than 2 sides, but I can't recall any right now. Just 2 sides is what our reptile brains are designed for [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
[/quote]

You're just not paying enough attention to military history. Consider the struggle between the Japanese, Chinese Nationalists, and Chinese Communists in WW II.

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