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Starting Your Own "Gaming Outfit"!

What is an "Outfit"?

I have been a online gamer for many years in several games since 1993. The group name of a game is usually assigned by the game, as part of the software and playing experience. Sometimes there is a spin on the word so that it sounds close to a real word, sometimes its a name that no one has ever heard of.

In Planetside2 the name they call a like minded group of people is an Outfit, although I would prefer it to be called a "Unit". Some games call their groups, Armies, or Clans, or Klans, or guilds, or Wings, or Corp, short for corporations, to give you just a few examples.

Currently for the next 10 years hopefully, my main game that I have vested a lot of my free time into is Planetside2. The Game developers call their game groups Outfits in Planetside2, probably after the old World War II name for a large military unit. The Outfit can field inside the game any number of people from 1 to who knows, but broken down into smaller groups called squads and platoons. For more information on what a Planetside2 Outfit is go here: Outfit.

I actually started playing Planetside, released in 2003, also known as Planetside1, which was the original game in the year 2004. I have played it continuously until the newer planetside2 came out. I still go back to the old one once in awhile and that game is now also free to play.

I have played, both a leader and a member in different groups that game together as Outfits, with no responsibility to the workings of that group other than playing the game, or with responsibility assigned by the actual main leader of the group, to do one of the many things required to organize to keep a group of people working together over the life of a particular game.

A lot of these groups fail of course, before the game dies because of many different factors that I will indicate to you in a different paragraph.

This page here though is for the people whom have joined my outfit and think they can do a better job at leading one, and as I have no problem with that, I thought I would give some helpful hints to them.

Of course if you know it all then don't bother reading any further, you can follow the road that I have taken over the last 21 years, and learn it all by yourself. Have at it.

So you want to be an "Outfit Leader."

Being a leader of any group, weather its a gaming group, real life work group, or military group in real life takes work on your part. There are certain things that a good leader must provide to and for their membership, so that they keeping coming back to them for that leadership.

There are many styles of leadership, but I am going to speak purely about leadership in military games like Planetside2. Some games have a lot of support for leadership, but Planetside2 in my opinion, as of June 2014 does not. There are some changes that are being worked on by the developers, but there is a long way to go before that area of planetside is finished.

Picking the "Name" of the Outfit.

When picking a name for the outfit, remember that you also pick the name for the TAG of the Outfit. A TAG is the letter designation given to an outfit that fits above or alongside the persons name in game so other people can see who the player belongs too.

If you are wearing DOG Tags you belong to the Outfit Dangerous Operations Group.

In the Case of Dangerous Operations Group the TAG name is DOG taken from the first three letters of the proper name, Dangerous Operations Group. In the case of the phrase "TAG DOG", when reversed, for the military, it becomes a "DOG TAG" which is for the United States two metal pieces that a warrior wore around his neck for identification should that person die. There is a bit of History for DOG TAGs that can be found here: DOG TAG.

A TAG for an Outfit can also be found on an Outfits LOGO, their Website, Forums, T-Shirts, ect. You want one that will look and sound catchy. So that when people see it, those people will identify who your Outfit is just by the TAG itself.

The name of your Outfit should also be your domain name for your website.

Picking the VOIP Software for "Outfit Communication".

Without excellent communication on the battlefield, no matter what the game is that you are playing the result tends to be that your group of people, you are playing with gets killed. So bottom line you need effective communications when you play a First Person Shooter like Planetside2.

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol which is a basic voice program in or out of a game that allows you and your members to speak to each other as if you were on the telephone. You can find more information about VOIP here: VOIP.

Some games have it and some games don't. Some games only offer a chat window where you have to type back and forth to each other. In a game like Planetside2, that takes too long and real time communication is extremely important to keep up with the real time battle changes that are taking place. Typing just will not cut it.

Planetside2 does have VOIP built into the game, but as with most in-game voice software, when the number of people in an area rises the quality of the sound, as well as the performance of your computer goes down. Don't get me wrong, Planetside2 does do a pretty good job at it, and has multiple channels that you can use. Outfit, Platoon, Squad channels for three different lines of communication, but that may not be enough depending on the size of your Outfit.

Dangerous Operations Group uses the VOIP Software Teamspeak3, which as an Outfit Leader I find the most complex out of the available VOIP software offered. Because of its complexity, you can do things with it that you just cannot do with the other programs that available. I will provide links to all of them and you can decide what is best for you. They are all free to use so long as you are NOT a commercial entity.

With Teamspeak3 I can have as many as five hundred people online at one time. None of the other VOIPS can do it, unless there has been a very recent chage. I can have as many voice channels as I want, with hard wire phone quality, stacked with other features. I can talk to any of these 500 people with just a press of one key or in combination with up to 3 keys to whisper (talk privately) to an individual, sub-channels, channels or the entire server. I can put text in each channel picture, links to outside references, and too many other things to describe here. This is the one I recommend to use. You can find more information about teamspeak3 here: Teamspeak3

Mumble is a VOIP program I use for communication with 11 other outfits. It is not as complex as Teamspeak3, but its quality is good runs alongside teamspeak3 seamlessly and allows leaders from 11 different Outfits with over 3000 Planetside Warriors combined to talk to deplyed units on multiple battlefields that are located on multiple Maps 64 miles by 64 miles wide.

The orginal VOIP software back in the day was called BattleCom which I used playing the orginal Mech Warrior Games Series. I have used Ventrilo - nick named vent, but it never had the features I find useful as an Outfit Leader.

I am also going to mention a program called Skype because I know some really small groups of gamers use it. And for the little games where you have about 10 people playing it may be all right. But the more people you add to it the more the sound quality goes down and depending on your connection, it maxes out at 25 people.

Picking the Information Software.

There are many Information or content management software packages that an Outfit Leader can provide to the members of the outfit. And in the past that software was a very important area to provide. A place where members could type information on many different subjects. But over the years other products have been made available, like Face Book, Twitter, and Twitch, that have become the sub communities of the Outfit. Places that are provided by members instead of the Outfit. When you have a voice program like Teamspeak3, new information can be shown in that, or linked to a web page.

Most people do NOT have the time to read all that is said by other members, or watch what was twitched, for if they did there would be no time to actually play the game. Still, Some people prefer to write on Facebook, tweet on twitter, and post on Forums, so you need to decide if you really want to provide all those additional information sources. You can provide it, but will people actually use it. The answer is not very many for any particular one. Some people will NOT do Face book, NOT do Twitter, or go to a forum setup for your Outfit. So do you really want to force them. I say no. Provide it for them if they want it, or you want to do all that work manageing it, but don't use it for your information source for your outfit.

The Outfit Web Site.

The Outfit Website is the place that anyone referencing information can come to and find the information they want or need. It is true that anyone can read what information is posted there but to say it bluntly, anyone can get onto your forums, Facebook Page, or twitter account and see it anyways so there really are no secrets to keep from your gaming enemies or competitors anyways.

And if the information you provide helps your members out, but also helps the enemy, then the training you do will offset that. As an example of this in real life, US Military Training information can be found anywhere on google, including videos of how its being done. When you get right down to it, only the ones who train it and practice the information, adapt it properly to the situation are really good at it. And that depends on your Outfits Leadership.

I have had 3 website hosts over the years, and the current one I am using is a company called Interserver. They offer many different hosting services, for just about any type of website type that you can think of. I have called them up by phone, at 3am est, and they have answered my calls to help me. They have an excellent Ticket system as well. They have been in business for 15 years.

How to "Treat" and "Manage" people in your Outfit.

To treat and manage people you have to be a leader. And "Leaders" use this magic word called "Leadership" , a process to get done what needs to be done effectively. Different Leaders have different styles of leadership, and if you google it, you will get millions of answers on how you should do it properly.

Some people believe there are only born leaders, and other believe you can only be trained to be a good leader, and to some extent, both are right. If you look here at this Leadership Styles website, you will find that there are many examples and descriptions of Leadership that you might apply to your own leadership style.

But after, over 30 years supervising people in real life, and in game life, in the end it comes down to this:

  • Treat your people with respect
  • Set the example.
  • Make a decision quickly.
  • Set the rules and stand by them.
  • Delegate responsibility.
  • Trust the people you pick to lead as you ask or train them.
  • People make mistakes, adjust to it, learn from it, accept it and use it as a learning tool.
  • Use a leadership style that conforms to what game you are playing.

So best of luck, if you decide to take the plunge and become a Outfit Leader in Planetside2 or any other game. For me its been a rewarding experience.

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