The battle group, also referred to as the 'Zerg' in reference to the StarCraft race, is essentially a giant crowd of tanks and other vehicles that go on a massive rampage throughout enemy territory, nabbing points all the while. Its sheer size is enough to send most players running, or at least trying to find a place to capture that is not surrounded by tanks.
Although the size means friendly fire, especially by roadkill, and collisions are often a problem, it does mean a greater chance for survival for new players, as there will be plenty of other players to shoot at aside from you. Each teammate firing in concert with you also increases the chances of killing enemies; the momentum built by the group alone is lethal.
At around 250, 500, or even 1000 experience per capture, joining this battle group can be a massive boon to all players farming for certification points.
Joining the zerg is a great interim solution until you find an outfit (a "guild" or "clan").
As aforementioned, the size of the group makes friendly fire a problem. Being pushed around, even as a vehicle, is highly likely. With so many players, teamwork is virtually impossible. Joining an outfit (a "guild" or "clan") is the best way to play PlanetSide 2, but joining the zerg is a good way to get started.
The zerg also draws unsavoury types, such as medic players who will shoot friendly medics competing for resurrecting players.
The value of the zerg has diminished considerably, and though it is still a very powerful force to be reckoned with, it can be stopped with varying degrees of success at the larger facilities; these facilities are far more defensible than they were before the 30 January update. It is difficult, but not impossible to defeat an enemy zerg at one of these points, and gain a lot of experience by doing so. However, short of cheating, it is impossible for ten players to defeat forty - scroll up to "Know When To Fold 'Em".
Locating the Battle Group
Locating this battle group, however, can be difficult. The first thing you must do is locate the continent with the highest population. Even without the battle group, joining a continent where you are massively outnumbered means a lot of deaths and not much reward; leave that to the more experienced players, or at least those who know that they're getting into.
The bar chart at the top right shows that the Terran Republic population is considerably higher than that of the New Conglomerate or Vanu Sovereignty; if there is a battle group, it is likely here.
The next step is to join a random platoon. This screen can be accessed with the P key.
Each platoon consists of multiple squads, each with their own colour. Confusingly, this may result in squadmates' names be highlighted in a colour you are not used to or worse, associated with an enemy. However, joining a platoon provides two chief benefits: firstly, it helps you locate the battle group, as on the map, squadmates will appear as coloured numbers. Secondly, performing friendly actions (such as resurrecting a friendly) yield more points if performed on a squadmate.
From here on, it's mostly trial-and-error; keep an eye on the map to find where your team is making inroads into enemy territory.
A More Permanent Community
The battle group is a good temporary community, but for those attempting to find something a bit more permanent can try their luck on google, or start with the Official Sony Forums
. As with almost all official forums, however, you are bound to find a lot of idiots and other unsavouries. You may have more luck on a fansite such as this one
or on a dedicated site such as PlanetSide2Outfits.com