BLUF (bottom line up front): Sardus is a Planetside 2 player, who plays with The Republican Guard [TRG], a 300+ player Terran Republic outfit on Connery that specializes in infantry and superior team play tactics. He is the long-standing leader of TRG, and a very talented player…
In continuation of the casual player’s perspective, Sardus was an easy choice to make. Sardus is a “brute force” type of a player, and prefers to bludgeon his way through things, rather than dance around them. You may have noticed that his K/D is above 5, which is quite impressive, even for a hardcore player. He has an extremely interesting viewpoint when it comes to gaming. Here is my interview with him…
Where did you get the name Sardus?
About 15-16 years ago, I use to play a game called Gothic back in the 90’s. There was a NPC character called Zardas. Well I went to play a game called Ultima Online and tried to use the name Zardas, but it was already taken. So I played around a bit with it until I got Sardus. I just got used to the name and kept using it.
Where are you from?
Southern California, United States.
Why type of gamer are you?
I’ve always been a FPS and strategy loving gamer. Some RPGs and consoles, but always a PC gamer. I use to be into the elite scene back with the original Counterstrike; I entered into all sorts of LAN tournaments. But it got very stressful. When I started college I chose school over gaming, and drifted to the casual scene. The day I stopped caring about my K/D was the day I became a better player; I grew a lot more as a gamer when I became more casual. Now, I just play as I can, when I can.
When did you get interested in gaming?
I got interested in gaming when playing the original Doom and Sim City, when I was 10. I use to play an online DOS game called Aliens Online. I ran with a clan called the Colonial Marine Corps. Eventually I was one of the oldest members there, and promoted to outfit leader at the age of 13. Since it was a DOS game, and there wasn’t such a thing as Teamspeak, they had no idea I was so young. When the game died, I found another game and kept going.
What is your favorite Planetside 2 gun?
The Carv. I like the fact that it is high powered, versatile, and has a large clip. It reminds me everything I loved about the mini-chain gun (MCG) in Planetside 1 (PS1). If you can learn to control the gun, it can become very profitable.
How did you get a K/D ratio over 5?
A) Situational Awareness. B) Patience. You don’t have to be super hardcore to be a decent player. I may not be the best Twitch player, but I think I get the kills that I do because I believe I understand where enemies are coming from on the map, take them 1-on-1 when I can, and I always run with a group. I have an excellent outfit of players who always support me and play as a team. It’s also fun to get the jump on the other guy.
How did you get involved with The Republican Guard [TRG]?
It was the first invite I got from the first day I logged on to PS1. It was a random invite from a random group of players who just wanted to create a clan of players, back when 10 players was the minimum you needed to have a clan. Propaganda video.
What is your exact role in TRG?
I’ve been the outfit leader for going on 7 years now.
What do you like about leading a large outfit?
Seeing the group succeed. I enjoy watching TRG take a base together, play as a team, and the dynamics of it all. Create a culture where drama is not welcome. I like that non-TRG players and outfits respect us not because we are large, but because we have become friends, we respect them back, and we play with them as a peers. I also enjoy taking the base with a my outfit when no one else can. Those “oh shit” moments, which are usually “oh shit, did we really just do that?!” Those are the moments I live for.
What do you dislike?
It can be a second job sometimes, it can require so much time. Even though I enjoy putting time into TRG, it is a big responsibility. No matter what, you have to take ownership of everything. Both the good and the bad. It becomes a sort of a daily obligation to maintain the outfit and make sure everything is good to go.
How do you keep TRG relevant to PS2 and the community?
We try to participate in every event possible, no matter what event it is. Whether it be RAID nights, Pro Arena League, Community Clash, ServerSmash, SOE Live, or random game events. Everything we can.
Do you feel any extra responsibility to the faction when TRG plays? (example, coordinating during alerts, providing community leadership, etc)
Absolutely. I’ve been playing with a lot of these TR players since PS1. I know many of their leaders, MERC, TXR, OP4, and tons of others. If TRG does something that makes them suffer, I feel responsible for that. What one outfit does can affect the Empire. I would never want to do that. We make an effort to continually work with the Terran Alliance. We try to coordinate on a global scale and create a good even balanced fight all around, which generates good battles. In turn, this benefits everyone, not just the TR.
Why play TRG, why not smaller, more hardcore outfit, or another large outfit?
Because I’ve been here since the beginning. It’s been 11 years. I helped start TRG, and I really enjoy playing with these guys and girls. I’ve put in a lot of time and effort to create this outfit. The casual-hardcore culture mix is awesome. There just isn’t another outfit that I want to be with.
What other games do you play?
Wargame: Red Dragon, mostly. Very complicated games are a lot of fun to play.
How do you approach commanding a large force?
- Look for the most entertaining fight available. Find the good fights.
- Coordination and Organization. You can’t go in one at a time.
- Do something that the enemy does not expect and hit as hard as I can. We call it the “oh shit factor”. Effectiveness is key.
What do you concentrate on when you are in command of a multi-platoon force?
I concentrate on the angle of most impact.
I want the most effective plan possible. I’ll look at the map for weaknesses that I can exploit. Find the leverage that I can use. I want to be in the front, that way no one has to report what is happening because I’ve already seen it, I know what happened.
We segregate into different squads, but we keep our communication direct. I try to eliminate the middleman by having individual squad-members communicate directly to the platoon leader instead of their squad leader. And the PL is communicating with the members of the squad as well. It works really well when your members know to control the information they send out and not clutter the channels.
What type of leadership style do you feel works best with a large force?
I tend to be more of the involved and focused leader. When I am more involved, I feel like I have more power and capability. But I can only micro-manage so much. When I have a large force, I’m not physically able to manage everything. It’s really hard to find that middle road, but we keep getting closer.
I want identity, I want unity, and I want people to react as quickly as they can. I’m hands off with the role each individual player plays. We have everyone in one giant platoon, and whatever they want to play to contribute to the fight, that’s fine. What I can’t stand is if I have infantry at one base and tanks at another base. They aren’t together helping each other, and it’s easier for an opposing force to defeat each force by itself. So we make the squads evenly distributed so that they have everything they need to deal with whatever they face in-game. Each squad has all types of players available to them.
Why do you think this style works best?
Because it blends our players together so that they can get better and learn from one another. Even if we have a brand new player, when you put that player next to more experienced players, they’ll quickly grow in skill. They can see all the roles in front of them, and become a player that can fight any battle. And no matter what fight the other factions bring to us, we are ready to face them.
How is commanding a large force different than commanding a smaller, more specialized force?
Communication mostly. The bigger you get, the more difficult it is to control communication and enforce the will of the leadership. I really enjoy it. It can be stressful, but it is also fun. If you have good organization it can make things very easy. In a game where no one is getting paid to play with TRG, fun is a currency that we have to continually exchange with our members.
That’s the end of my interview. I really enjoyed this one, Sardus is an extremely well-spoken guy, and has an excellent outlook on gaming in general. If you enjoyed this article, please take a look at my last interview with Garlock, force commander of the 666th Devil Dogs. Thanks for reading!
//LanzerRelated: Multiplayer, Planetside 2, Sony Online Entertainment