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Editorial: Is This The Golden Age Of CP Armies?

Disclaimer: The views written and put across in this post do not represent the views of CP Army Media as a whole, and are purely those of the author.

KLONDIKE, CP Army Media HQ – As it was four years ago, Disney now threatens the continuation of the platforms in which we operate on and the very existence of our community. Despite this growing concern, there is an argument to say that this is the strongest our community has ever been. In this post I discuss and contest this assertion, drawing on several key indicators of success within CP Armies.

The idea of a ‘golden age’, meaning the greatest period in existence, has been banded about through several eras of this community. In 2013, Buritodaily, former AR Leader and army legend claimed that armies were entering a new golden age following the Black Alliance war. In 2011, Boomer 20 wrote an article that there was potential for a new golden age. While many saw 2007-2008 as the true golden age of armies, with ‘the greatest leaders’ and original battles in the Dojo. It has been something that has been discussed through the history of CP Armies, but it has been fairly undisputed that the original years of CP Armies were the ‘golden age’. However, there is little argument to say that armies in its current state are bigger than this period of time, for reasons I will go onto discuss.

It is not easy to define what makes a ‘golden age’ or ‘golden generation’, and what you deem as golden may well be personal to you and your own experiences. I have, however, split this editorial into four categories that attempt to dissect the state of the current community and use this to compare it to previous years that I witnessed through my experience as an army leader and CPAC CEO since I joined ACP in 2009.

Strong Community Spirit

There is no doubt that one of the highlights of the current era of CP Armies is the strong community spirit that we have. This simply means that there is a strong feeling of involvement in and concern for the group that the people are involved in. Army leaders all have a say and represent their troops effectively through the voting system on CP Army Media, and changes are made based on what the people in the community want. It is also notable that people in the current community are actually open to change, whereas before army leaders were incredibly stubborn. Multiple army councils (such as one ran by Boomer 20), and server map projects (most notably ran by Commando), failed due to armies losing wars and then blaming the established administrators, rather than blame themselves. In my time as CPA Central CEO, I tried to use my influence and platform to enact change to in some way moderate and judge armies, but this ultimately was never achievable.

Commando717 introduced the server map in 2015 – it lasted only for just over a month.

There is also less of a toxic atmosphere as there were previously in CP Armies. Bar some of the veterans such as Epic and Andrew, there has been far less toxic actions (e.g. threats, bullying, doxing) as there were in the later stages of CP Armies. However, the true issues with the toxic community only really started to occur, in my own experience, from 2011-2016, starting with the likes of SaW and moving onto the likes of Waterkid. Prior to 2011, and particularly in the initial years of CP Armies, the community was not too dissimilar to today in how there was a lack of illegal actions and toxicity.

The fact that this is the case means that troops, higher command and leaders do not need to be scared of being involved in CP Armies, or fear having personal information shared as much as they had before. It makes it a more enjoyable experience where everybody can feel comfortable. I do sometimes miss the ‘banter’ and drama of the old community, which could be interesting (and juicy as a Chief Executive Officer), but on the whole it is for the good of the vast majority that the atmosphere is much more positive, inclusive and engaging.

Bigger Sizes Than Ever

The sizes that armies have been getting have been nothing short of incredible. These sizes, if they have even been seen before, have not been reached in the last decade. Armies exceeding 100 was something that was incredibly rare in original armies, but now is fairly common place in the big events for the world powers. This has been largely due to the fact that recruiting has been as easy as ever, even with CPR’s new filters. In the original Club Penguin, words such as join, find us, web, look up were all filtered out making recruiting incredibly possible – this is why, from personal experience, you find few people that joined CP Armies from 2014-16. A lot of troops now have come from CP Online, which promoted armies, while there are simple ways around the current CP Rewritten filters to attract new troops.

In order to demonstrate the difference in size, I looked at top tens that were created in a similar date to the current date in each year. I picked out what army was top, and what sizes they got, as well as any other notable trends or comments that I picked out.

  • June 14th, 2020: RPF top of the listings with sizes just under 100. IW exceed 100. Help Force move up to 6th as they reach 70+.
  • June 19th, 2016: Water Vikings top of the Top Ten with one event maxing 40-45. No other army exceeded 25.
  • June 14th, 2015: Doritos top of the Top Ten with a size average of around 30. Largest size reported this week is the Ice Warriors with 45.
  • June 15th, 2014: Army of CP top of the Top Ten with sizes of around 25. Few armies exceeded 30 at all.
  • June 16th, 2013: Nachos top with sizes of 40. Ice Warriors struggle to exceed 20 in 6th.
  • June 25th, 2012: ACP are top of the list peaking at sizes of 40. Shadow Troops fail to exceed 10 troops but reach the top ten.
  • June 21st, 2011: ACP and IW the top two with sizes maxing 30. UMA in 10th with ten troops.
  • June 16th, 2010: ACP top the listings peaking at 80 troops. DCP/GT/Nachos also reach 50 at several events.

This week from the WV in 2016 would have put them in the same position they got in this weeks top ten – 8th.

Based on this, you can clearly see that armies are much bigger than they have ever been in the past decade compared to other years. I did not include 2017-19, due to the constant changing of news outlets, but it is common consensus that this is the biggest armies have been since the closure of CP Armies. It is important to note that these direct comparisons are made with a hint of caution. We are in the middle of both a global pandemic and the Legends Cup, meaning sizes have been boosted, while the Legends Cup and height of summer has traditionally been in August. Also, this way of recording the ‘golden age’ means that 2006-2009 is not included, as this was prior to CPA Central and the official ranking and recording of CP Armies. It is hard to make direct comparisons to the early years of CP Armies, when Club Penguin itself was at the peak of its existence, but we can definitely say this has been the largest summer in the modern era.

A top ten by Woton from August 31st, 2009 – the oldest on record (how times have changed!)

It will be interesting to see to what extent the army community maintains these sizes into the future. Several veterans, including myself, which have returned during lockdown will no doubt leave again once the summer is over. As well as this, the future of CP Armies are thrown into question following the closure of CP Online and CP Armies: The Game, as well as the DMCA sent to CP Rewritten. While I do not doubt that armies will find another platform, or series of platforms, and continue to exist, I worry about the impact it will have on the success and outcomes of various armies. The next few months will define the future of this community and its important that unified action is taken on how best to move forward.

Stale Wars

CP Armies have been what they are because of their sole purpose: to be armies and fight each other. Throughout the history of armies there have been big, notable and defining wars, involving all sorts of different armies and alliances. The most pertinent example I can remember is the White Alliance (IW/ACP/Nachos) vs Dark Alliance (Pirates/LT/DW) war in 2012, where I was ACP Leader and fought alongside Boomer, Iceyfeet and others to defeat Waterkid’s alliance. This was a defining war for the era and set the path of multiple armies involved in the war.

In my time back in armies since May, I have noticed a particular lack of wars – there have been plenty of practice battles but few wars. Theres two things you could say to come back on that, 1.) we are in the middle of the legends cup and therefore wars are limited as leaders are focusing on the tournament and 2.) you are a leader of an army so why dont you start one yourself. In regards to the first point, I believe this is a trend that has occurred for more than just a couple of weeks. World War Rewritten was the only considerable war I can remember, and it barely lasted a few days. There have been wars involving DCP, Pirates and others, but these also lasted all but a number of days. In terms of the second point and my own army, I believe a war is only wise when the army is stable – the Water Vikings are not that at this moment in time.

ACP Invasion of Slushy, against LGA and CC, May 24 2020.

The lack of wars possibly stems back to the community spirit. While CP Armies being much more positive now and less toxic than before is good in the general sense for our enjoyment of the game, it does lead to a lack of tensions and therefore rapid decline in the number of wars. Templars, for example, are probably one of the more controversial armies and this has shown in their engagement with wars. There have not even been many rumours or possible suggestions of major wars in recent weeks, but again this could link to the Legends Cup and/or the closure of several CPPS’ including CPA:TG.

Even if there are or are not wars taking place in the community, this does not directly correlate with the success of the community. I have been involved in incredibly toxic and pointless wars, which were actually detrimental for the progress and unity of CP Armies. It is the positive wars, where both armies fairly put in effort to win and engage with the other army as much as possible, that are the success stories and are something we should strive to achieve.

Still Cant Unite?

This may seem to contradict my previous point that CP Armies have a stronger community spirit than ever before. While I believe that there is a strong community, it is strange how CP Army League and CP Army Media have not merged to create one united organisation to fully unite us together. This would mean all army leaders and news administrators would be working together to create one hub – the fact we have two server maps for the same set of servers is ridiculous. The point when CP Armies were at their most efficient was arguably when CPA Central was at peak performance and became the true hub of the community under the leadership of the Bluesockwa Brothers and others. CPA Central was the undisputed centre of armies, and therefore provided one unified location for armies to discuss, debate and convene – competitors such as CP Army Zone, CP Army Focus and CP Army Express were blown out of the water.

CP Army Central (@cpa_central) | Twitter

The CPA Central Logo

The opportunity to have one server map,  with one place to discuss and debate ideas would mean that armies can easily declare war on one another and there is a clear system. One advantage of the modern setup is the idea of leagues, meaning wars and battles can have an actual outcome, rather than both armies crying and ignoring one another accomplishing nothing. Unification has been attempted before, but without Epic in the picture and armies using the same platforms, surely it is easier than ever for administrators and army leaders to put their differences aside to form one organisation.

While it did not perhaps warrant a whole section on its own, it is also interesting to mention that tactics and leading is more efficient than ever. As an old leader returning, I have had to quickly adapt to the pace and structure of battles. Through the use of discord and voice command, leading has been easier than ever and armies have been able to use unique and impressive formations and tactics. The old guard, including the likes of Shaboomboom, would say that it should be about groups of penguins snowballing eachother, but I believe we have evolved way past this way of warfare. The problem with this is, how do you judge whos thrown more snowballs (the worlds big question)?

In summary, I would argue that CP Armies in this current era are close to being defined as the golden era and exceeding what was experienced between 2008-2010. With a few alterations in how our community operates, with much more engagement between armies, we can truly enhance the CP Army experience to become a part of the golden generation. However, this of course is not the most pressing issue of our time and we first must ride the wave of instability that has been launched by Disney’s destruction of CP Private Servers.

As I felt like I should gather some more opinions, rather than just my own glorious opinion, I asked for a few statements from some influential figures in CP Armies. I asked each of these people to state whether armies are in a golden age:

Emcee, CP Army Media CEO:

This is potentially the golden era of modern CPPS Armies but since I only joined the army community a little over a year ago, I don’t have much for comparison. I have a grasp on army history but without experiencing it, I’ll never truly understand the waves of success or the periods of low activity throughout the community’s past. I would like to say that the community is better connected and therefore communicates more easily and enacts change more effectively thanks to the use of Discord, but even then, I could be wrong. Armies have always been extremely adaptable from what I can tell. I definitely think this is a golden age in my experience, especially since we’re more united than I’ve ever seen, and more critical of toxicity and malpractice than I’ve ever seen. Plus, with coronavirus, there was such a huge boost in users and armies broke records this year.

Mchappy, ACP Panel of Guardians:

No, I do not think this is a golden age of CP armies. The only golden age I consider remotely relevant is the early stages of armies. That is why they are golden. It’s an experience that is untouchable to what takes place currently. Armies may be getting good sizes from here and there, which is great, but with quarantine lifting and CPATG shutting down, what sizes will we be seeing next? I think it’s important to be in a mindset to let the golden age of armies be in the past and look forward to new frontiers in the community.

Regan, Ice Warriors Leader:

Yes, Armies now are maxing higher than they ever did in OGCP, I for one was in shock when I came back in Feburary to see that some armies were maxing 100+ on a regular basis, certainly a step up from the 25+ in 2014. A major factor in this could be due to the switch from xat which I think helps with keeping troops active and enjoying armies more.

Zoomey, Water Vikings Leader:

I personally think CP Armies are going through a huge change and a great new era. This era, from what I’m seeing is the biggest age ever for armies. Although there is multilogging sometimes in the community, most of the community is real users who play Club Penguin. In other words, I do think this is a Golden Age for armies

Max, ACP 2ic and CPAM VP:

I don’t believe in a single “golden age” of CP Armies, but rather there has been several over the past 14 years. The success of CP Online meant a huge influx in people in the Club Penguin community not seen since before 2012. This also meant the army community were able to benefit greatly from a larger recruiting pool. And with the death of CP Online and the unification of the community under CP Armies: The Game, the community has been able to thrive like never before. While I certainly don’t think this is the end of the community, I do feel a downfall could be experienced following CPA:TG’s death. The armies that lack a strong community will not last.

There are a mixed bag of opinions in there and some interesting points to pick out. It is interesting that Mchappy is the longest serving veteran out of the people that gave a statement, and this correlated with him highlighting the initial stages of armies as the highlight and true ‘golden era’. However, as many highlight these are arguably the biggest sizes that we have seen in army history (including, however, some multilogging scandals). Then, however, the talk of lockdown and closure of private servers puts into question how sustainable this success can truly be. Emcee does also mention the community spirit and lack of toxicity as I previously mentioned, which is certainly a strength of the modern community.

It is an interesting debate and one that has been had multiple times through my experience in CP Armies. I am interested in hearing what YOU think, is this the golden age of our community or is there work left to do? Make sure to comment YOUR opinions below.

Kingfunks4 

CP Army Media Advisor & CPA Legend

5 Responses

  1. Bro you just wrote a college level essay on CP armies lmao

  2. I don’t think you can call “golden era” time, when averagely every week or two, one army shuts down. Adding agression of non-army CPPS players (versus lack of knowledge about armies from original CP) and 3 years of domination of RPF in TOP 10… there is no way i can honestly say I live in golden age of CP armies.

    • I mean, you can say that with RPF dominating the Top Ten for 3 years kind of turns it into a non-golden age but at the same time, suring the time Mchappy is talking aboit, ACP would of been untouchable yet that was considered a Golden Age in itself.

  3. its not tbh

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