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Interview with [SKL] Qaztar, the current leader of SoKaar's Legion

Posted by:  Charoplet 21.11.2020

Today the guest of our website will be Qaztar, the Leader of SoKaar's Legion from Emerald. We will talk about the structure of SKL, their tactics, will discuss how SKL together with 2RAF raised money for ExtraLife and of course will touch on their new Outfit logo, which became "very popular" on Emerald subreddit. So let's dive into questions and answers!

Charoplet: Hello! Could you tell me about yourself? Where you from, what are your hobbies and so on.

Qaztar: Hi! I'm Qaztar, the current leader of SKL. I'm from California, love a good Chess game or fantasy novel, and have been playing Planetside now for around 5 years.

Charoplet: Tell me please how did you get into Planetside 2? Was it occasionally or you knew what to expect from the game after watching streams / videos about the game?

Qaztar: I got into Planetside 2 when I was burning out on all the other games I was trying. My older brother recommended this free game he hadn't really tried called Planetside 2, where you could have these huge huge battles. My curiosity piqued, I came home, downloaded it, and pushed through those really tough first hours and deaths we all went through, finally coming out on the other side with a huge enthusiasm for the game! I really had no idea what to expect when first launching the game, but that somehow made it even better despite how confusing it was.

Charoplet: Let's talk about Emerald and Faction balance. I am from Miller, but I heard the pop is quite balanced on Emerald. How did you get to that point? Because on other servers Vanu usually has a little less population than NC and TR...

Qaztar: You know, it's hard to say. I think just about every faction has its long-standing outfit groups that have kept their player numbers relatively steady. It certainly fluctuates from day to day, but it's true that it's never felt like one faction ALWAYS has the most population. It also may be that the really solid Vanu leadership and outfits have helped to boost Vanu a bit when it would otherwise follow the same trend as other servers with the lower numbers.

Charoplet: You are a leader of SKL, one of the biggest outfits on VS side. Tell me the history of your outfit - when it was created, did you plan to have so many players, or that happened naturally?

Qaztar: SoKaar's Legion was created by SoKaar, our wonderful Canadian leader, around 3-4 years ago. SoKaar was one of the only remaining active leaders of the outfit known as DaPP, which, in its prime, was the main Emerald VS outfit. He was prompted by other leaders on Emerald to start his own outfit, where they hoped new players could go to learn the game and find a community. The VS needed to fill the gap that DaPP left, and SoKaar filled it with SKL. The name was initially planned to be changed by a vote once they reached 1000 members, but the winner of the vote ended up being SoKaar's Legion, so it stuck.

I'm glad you asked this question about our numbers because it gives me a good opportunity to help dispel a well-spread myth. SoKaar's Legion has grown so large simply because of its constant and consistent public platoons, which lead people to our outfit browser page. We've never mass recruited at warpgates or in platoons, and having such large numbers was never the goal. Our goal has been and always will be to make a place where new players can grow into experienced leaders or powerful warriors.

Charoplet: What is the structure of SKL? How many leaders and officers do you have, do you prefer to play in organized squads in Teamspeak / Discord or you mostly use in-game voice chat for coordination between your members?

Qaztar: SKL is broken up into a number of different ranks to help us keep things organized. We have them all detailed in a document, but here's a quick summary. Players join SKL as Legionnaires, and have infinite opportunities ahead of them. They can then choose to join one or more of our Specialist Divisions: Air, Armor, Construction, Shock Troops, Ghosts, Grenadiers, Raptors, Mentors, and Hunter-Killers. They can also begin to practice platoon leading as a Platoon Leader I, and if they prove their affinity they can move up to Platoon Leader II, giving them access to war assets. Division Leaders who take control over recruitment and training will receive the rank of Division Head, and members at Platoon Leader II or Division Head and up will join the SKL High Command. Platoon Leader IIs who go above and beyond for SKL will receive the rank of Swarm Lord, joining the SKL Elite Command. The next rank up is Abathur, the Swarm Lords who show a serious affinity for outfit management. From their, select Abathurs are promoted to Cerebrate, simply a higher leadership rank. Finally, we have three Overminds: SoKaar himself, YamiSamurai, and myself. We almost always use in-game chat for our coordination, but events and meetings occur in Discord for stability.

Charoplet: Wow, that's a big outfit structure, seems you put a lot of effort into it. And what about the strategy of your outfit on the battlefield? Big outfits usually just choose one direction and capture all bases with a big overpop. Do you use the same "zerg" tactics?

Qaztar: Our leaders are constantly being trained to try and avoid those kinds of unfair overpopped fights, but unfortunately it still happens sometimes, especially with our less confident and newer leaders. Our cooperation with other VS outfits helps us a lot as well, keeping objectives directed and focused. We also only ever run public VS platoons - very often over half of them are folks from other outfits rather than SKL members. We highly encourage folks to give us feedback on how we’re doing leadership-wise and to keep us in check if we’re slipping.

Charoplet: Even the biggest Outfit couldn't capture the continent without allies. Your outfit is the member of Vanu Council  - Alliance of VS outfits on Emerald. Tell me about this Council and cooperation between outfits on Emerald.

Qaztar: The Vanu Council is a fantastic Discord group hosted by FwF leader Cobra. The leaders of the most active VS outfits on Emerald can get together, schedule ops, and generally keep communication up, forming relationships that can be extremely helpful later on. Knowing when PRAE plans to fly a Bastion or when MAG3 is pulling a Colossus train is fantastic. Huge props to Cobra and my fellow VS leaders!

: What about your opponents? AODR, 2RAF, GSLD, KN1, BWAE... what are the main outfits you will fight against until the last soldier fall? Do you have good relations with TR and NC outfits outside the Planetside 2?

Qaztar: We honestly love our counterpart outfits on the TR and NC. After playing against them in Outfit Wars (big props to VCO for their double victory, we have our eye on you Judoka) we formed some solid friendships and connections. The recent surge of 2RAF has been incredible to see, and we’ve been working closely with them to coordinate events to raise money for ExtraLife, a charity for children’s hospitals. Together we’ve raised over $5000! We have nothing but respect for all the outfits that keep this game alive.

Charoplet: That's amazing! BTW our website posted some news about 2RAF Fundraising for Extra Life. What about the Emerald community? Do you have a server Discord where people from all factions and outfits talk with each other and discuss some events, alerts, and so on?

Qaztar: Emerald overall, as far as I know, doesn’t have a singular community Discord. Most Emerald community stuff happens on the EmeraldPS2 subreddit, although it can quickly devolve sometimes. There are some great inside jokes - CaptainCox’s 1TR recruitment message, for example, is a personal favorite copypasta.

Charoplet: My advice as a Miller player is to make such a server Discord. We created 
Miller Discord about half a year ago and now we have a really great community there where we could discuss prime time alert results, troll each other, create some cool events, and so on. 

Your Outfit got the new logo as I know. Could you tell me this story and what about adding SKL logo into the game?

Qaztar: Well... we hosted a competition to try and find ourselves an updated logo. It was quite a close fight, with hundreds of votes coming in for a number of amazing concepts. We hope to get our new logo put in-game after the Player Studio reopens!

Charoplet: Cool. By the way, what do you want to say to those people who already made a meme with your logo on Emerald subreddit?

Qaztar: Oh you gotta love the memes, sometimes it’s a bit much with the NLUX spam raids into our Discord and such but you gotta hand it to them, they make some funny shit and put in real effort to some of it. Someone in NLUX fully recreated the SKL logo but solely out of phallic shapes! That’s impressive stuff!

Charoplet: Planetside 2 celebrates its 8th Anniversary. What do you want to see next year, do you think devs are moving to the right direction with new missions and campaigns or do you want to see in game something else as for the major updates?

: I really want to see something that the devs have already confirmed as a top priority: a really solid new player experience. It’s long overdo and would make SKL’s job so much easier. I think the Campaigns and Missions are a great new addition, my only worry is that it may suck up a lot of development time that could be spent on other features that would benefit the game even more.

Charoplet: Thank you very much for an interesting interview. You can now write whatever you want to those people who will read this interview.

Qaztar: Thanks for having me!

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