For the first 6 months of playing Planetside 2, I was your quintessential lone-wolf. If you flick through older videos I have up on youtube, they all focus on solo infiltrator work, kill farming in towers, hiding in little rocks and bushes, racking up the certs all alone. I prided myself on what I accomplished by myself. I think many infiltrators do, and are proud of what they can do without depending on others.
Two months ago I decided I wanted more out of PS2, and out of myself. My previous outfits had some great people in them, but we rarely used teamwork. The most I had really used a squad for was as a convenient source of beacons and deploy options. Then I joined the Black Widow Company [BWC]. They are on Mattherson and can be summarized as a military-styled, small to medium group tactical unit in PS2. They excel in “combined arms”, meaning they have pilots, tankers, and various flavors of specialized infantry. You will never see a call for all 120 people to pull mossies at once, or for everyone to drop on a single location at the same time. BWC will send a platoon of infantry supported by vehicles to your position and win through superior training, skill and tactics.
When I joined, I was worried about what would happen to my playstyle, my stats, and my passion for the infiltrator class. After all, I had spent 90% of my game time as a lone-wolf infiltrator… and I was quite good at it. There were a few bumps in the road when I first joined as a private, but BWC has some amazing leadership, and they quickly saw that I specialized in a single class. I was encouraged to continue playing to my strengths, and as I progressed up the internal ranks, I was quickly tapped to help organize and train other infiltrators.
Within 6 weeks, I was placed in charge of what is called, the “Reaper detachment”. I began re-writing and running our training program, sitting down with other players to develop strategy and concepts. It is not easy bringing the military style of BWC organization upon players who are used to running solo like I was. Fortunately, most of them had been around longer than I and were top notch soldiers in-game. I was afraid running a squad of reapers would be like herding cats towards the green beacon…
I couldn’t have been more wrong. While infiltrator has a natural tendency to reward individual performance and thinking, Planetside is a game designed to take advantage of coordinated groups of players. When you get a highly disciplined squad of 12 infiltrators together, the damage potential and effectiveness of the group is exponential. We can deploy to the hottest firezones, hack the most well-defended turrets and terminals, and snipe full health maxes in a single volley. It is unreal what kind of damage we inflict on the enemy. Have you ever seen 12 wraith flashes decloak and pound a target with fury rounds?
I still lone wolf from time to time, in a way. There are plenty of moments when it makes sense to flank the enemy, leave your squad and make something happen. But I no longer consider myself a solo player. I am a much better infiltrator when supported by my BWC outfit members, either in a regular squad or in a Reaper squad. We are coming up with new ways to use the class, that no one else is doing in the game right now. Planetside 2 has never been more exciting.