What are outfits?
Outfits are simply PlanetSide’s version of clans or guilds. Outfits have their own chat and ranking system, as well as infantry and vehicle decals, which are also displayed on bases captured by that outfit. Outfit members have [AAAA] four letter tags near their name.
Originally posted on reddit (with my edits)
Outfits are strongly divided by their playstyle:
Outfits like that mostly focus on strategy and cooperation in capturing territory. In these outfits you will most likely get all the basic knowledge and more “loose” approach to individual skill.
Leaders of those outfits are most fluent with large group management and motivating others to advance.
Due to their nature, they are usually the biggest outfits by numbers.
Players of these outfits emphasize individual aspect of gameplay. They care less about strategy and tactics, but put a lot of work on good personal statistics and capabilities.
In these outfits you will most likely learn all the tricks and how to use the enemy crowd mentality to your gain.
They are usually very small outfits.
Hardcore / Semi-Hardcore
These are something between the previous two. They mix their gameplay, putting a strong note on individual skill, even more on being capable of using different playstyles AND at the same time having proper squad play and tactics.
They usually lack freedom of farmers, and on the other hand they do not have strategic capabilities of tryhards. In such outfit you will learn how to establish your role in the squad and where and when apply different playstyles to achieve squad’s goal. Semi-Hardcore outfits are only different from Hardcore through intensity of their gameplay. Their numbers vary from small fireteams to half of platoon (24 players).
These outfits are only tags in game with no real obligation.
Choosing right outfit is not necessarily an easy thing, but remember that you can always leave one outfit and join another at whim.
You should explore and find the one that suits you the most. I personally was a member of many outfits before settling, so be picky and you will find your gem.
Why join an outfit?
When you join a competitive, tactical outfit with experienced officers, you will be rid of the the most frustrating elements of PlanetSide 2. As you will focus more on the task at hand – defend or capture the objective – you will become less concerned with your own performance, kills and deaths. Which will make you a better player in the end, because the less you worry, the better you play.
You will always have access to medics, engineers, vehicle support, transportation. You will always have backup, and thus will have a much easier time doing a meaningful impact to the battlefield.
What to look for in an outfit
1) Smart leaders that know how to find good fights for their people. If squad leaders often take their squads to ghostcap/zerg/vehicle farm, or to fights where you will be inevitably outnumbered, or give out orders you don’t like following, for example: “You will be playing pet engineer for my MAX today, little bitch!”, then you should look for another outfit.
2) External VOIP program, like teamspeak, ventrillo, raidcall, mumble or whatever. If you’re in an outfit platoon, you’re expected to be on teamspeak.
Ideally, players should be required to join teamspeak server as a part of the process of joining the outfit.
Voice communication is extremely important, and PlanetSide 2’s built-in VoIP system is not always sufficient.
3) Numbers. Every evening, outfit must have at least a full squad of players.
The larger the outfit is, the higher effect it can cause on the battlefield, and fewer there will be situations where platoon leader is forced to say: “Well, there’s too many enemies, we can’t do anything here, let’s look for another fight”.
Big outfits don’t necessarily mean a lot of zerging. If platoon leader is smart, he’ll divide his platoon among several fights to ensure that everyone is having a good time, and he can move one of the squads if another squad needs help.
Play with your outfit
Join outfit platoons, join VOIP servers, communicate with them, play with them. You don’t have to make them your friends, but you can make them your comrades. Make it your norm to play in an outfit platoon. Then you will see PS2 for all the beauty it is.
I know there’s a lot of players that are shy, afraid to speak to other people over internet, or afraid that people will laugh at their weird accents. You really should just get over it. Perhaps, finding an outfit that speaks your native language can help as well.
I’ve been a solo player for the first year and a half of playing PlanetSide. After I finally overcame my shyness and perceived inability to efficiently communicate in spoken English, suddenly most of the problems I had with PS2 just vaporized.
Experiences of other players (with my edits):
I honestly prefer not playing with my outfit most of the time, we either ghostcap or zerg, and I hardly get any XP.
When I play solo, I can move to other regions to secure some kills (fun) and most importantly play the game how I want to.
This guy clearly found a wrong outfit. If you want to play the game how you want, then find an outfit that will permit that, or will play with you, while you play how you want.
I used to be in Recursion on Connery a while back. Probably, some of the most fun I’ve had in Planetside 2 to date. They’ve got their stuff together as anyone on Connery (Even non-NC) can attest to.
There’s just something about PS2 (or any game, actually) that changes when you’ve got a large group of people focused on the same goal and objective. And I don’t mean just zerging a point. I’m talking about the grand scale. From Strategic to Tactical.
When you go into a base knowing someone’s got your back. The feeling you get when you know everyone is also depending on you as well. Its a good feeling. Its the feeling of being part of a real team.
All the little things that you see people complain about: Snipers, Stalker Cloaks, Libs, Foot Zergs, Tank Zergs, ZOEs, everything… just turns from walls to hurdles to speed bumps when you’re a part of a team. Its like those things that previously stopped you from having fun become merely cert pinatas.
And you get to learn so much. Not only how and when to use your weapons, but also how to take a base from directions and avenues and angles you just didn’t think of before.
Currently I’m not in a ‘real’ outfit. I’m in one just to keep the random invites out. This isn’t because I don’t wish to be in an outfit, but at the moment I just don’t have the time to devote more than 2-3 days at a time every other week.
But when I do play I like to run with a coordinated open platoon. Whether it be from COLG or v0c, or another like them. When I’m not running with one of those I run my static squad with about 2-3 other friends over Teamspeak. Even with just the four of us, we can wreck some serious carnage on the VS and TR.
Get into an outfit or get into a close group of friends and play regularly together. 95% of your problems with the game will go away. And you’ll have a heck of alot of fun too. Don’t be shy about accents or broken english. I’m a good old southern boy, my accent is about as thick as you can get… sometimes.
If you’re running with a leader that is putting you against crazy odds, don’t be afraid to ask them what’s up. Tell them the ratio of players and ask if they are sure they want you to keep going. Most times they’ll go “oh crap, its 2 to 1” and move you to a better fight.