Some of you may know that I play a lot of Agar.io. For those of who you who don’t: here’s my Twitch. I play as “2048” on FFA and Experimental and as “higgs boson” on Teams.
Some people like to form teams even while playing on FFA (free-for-all), since this gives them safety, makes rising easier, and of course, it’s fun to have friends. Many do this explicitly by using nicknames in the likes of “W = friend”, but many who don’t even have such names play as a team anyway.
I consider the forming of teams (at least, long-term teams) in FFA unsportsmanlike, for one thing because there is a dedicated mode for Team play, and for another thing because even a two-player team that has reached incredible size can become practically invincible. In particular, when a team has enough mass, an iterating pattern that continues to increase the mass within the pair in an upwards spiral is for one blob to max-divide in a way that just consumes some non-team blob and feed most parts to the other blob in the team, and then reverse the process in the opposite direction, counteracting both the rapid rate of decay when large and the vulnerability of being divided into many blobs. (Note that this can’t be used in the actual Teams mode: players on the same team in Teams mode cannot consume each other, so a winning team in FFA is actually more excessively powerful than a winning team in Teams.) Such a team need not even fear viruses, because this iteration quickly solves the problem of many little blobs; if anything, viruses are desired by such a team playing optimally, as viruses are actually quite some value in mass for their ease of consumption. Usually, such a binary system only ends when one partner accidentally swallows all the parts of the other, and the source of mass transfer is lost, at which point often the other partner meets a swift downfall, their size massively out of proportion for their individual skill.
Because teams abuse can be so game-breaking and I have much more respect for individual skill and acuity, I have moved towards a playing style where I (1) restrain myself from having significant team-style playing in FFA and (2) actively play to make it harder for players that have decided to embrace a teams style of play in FFA.
When it comes to mass-ejection feeding when I’m involved:
I accept mass donations. They may convince me to not consume them, but I will not respond to them by forming a team.
When I provide mass donations, there’s only several reasons I have for feeding.
virus-feeding: to attempt contribution to the splitting of other blobs.
flight-feeding: to make my mass smaller so I can run away from someone chasing me faster.
mercy-feeding: to attempt to convince a larger blob to feast on someone other than me.
pity-feeding: to feed someone who I felt just went through a really tough time, either caused by me or someone else.
pitifulness-feeding: to feed a tiny amount back to someone that just fed a large amount of mass to me not picking up the hint that I am not interested in teams. Sometimes seems to get interpreted as an acceptance of a partnership, which makes me facepalm.
spite-feeding: to feed someone who is in a position to help me in carrying out personal vengeance or help shatter a formed team.
username-feeding: there are a very small set of usernames for which I will voluntarily feed someone for having that username. Go figure them out yourself if you want to. No, it’s not “2048 is the best”. People have tried that.
In particular, I do not participate in return-feeding, feeding someone after they feed me to indicate the formation of a team, and other forms of team-based feeding.
I only participate in making temporary teams, and only for the purpose of shattering or contributing to the shattering of terribly established teams.
I often choose to eat users with nicknames suggesting they are trying to find teams even if they lead to less mass gain for me, and often allow users with a nickname protesting the presence of teams (“TEAMS SUCK”, “only noobs team”, etc.).
I really enjoy that the game of Agar.io is such that those that decide against forming teams can still do better in the presence of formed teams. I have often attained the top position despite the presence of teams. This may be one sense where the Agar.io world is actually nicer than the real world: a world not helplessly entangled in politics.