Editorial: Will we ever see another Golden Age?

KLONDIKE, CP Army Headquarters – As we enter another New Year, Club Penguin Armies continue to live on despite the obvious decrease in performance and traction in comparison to recent years. The question I have for you all is, will we ever see another Golden Age for armies?

The Blasts of the Past (2014 & 2019-2020)

Club Penguin Armies have lived through the toughest tests of times, both 2016 & 2017 being prime examples of this, arguably Club Penguin’s “worst years” in terms of active & new players along with the shut down of Club Penguin its self. Despite Club Penguin’s initial shut down giving many veterans of the army community the idea that armies would never continue, the creation of private servers has allowed them to live on even past the original Club Penguin’s death. Although this was looked at poorly by many legends & veterans of the original community, the Club Penguin Private Server era of armies has brought armies to great heights never seen before. In 2019 we saw armies such as the Help Force, Doritos, Pirates & the Dark Warriors all average sizes of 55-60 (some peaking at 100) and flourish with sizes not seen by multiple armies at the same time since 2014, while in 2020 we saw arguably the greatest golden age that the community has ever seen with multiple armies averaging over 80-120 in their daily events & battles.

Help Force peak at 70+ in July 2019.

Two of the most prominent armies of 2019 that come to mind would be the Help Force (pictured above) and the Pirates who would both go to war with each other and engage in a series of battles throughout the year, including a tournament final. The Help Force saw peak sizes of 70-80 as they entered the Summer while the Pirates would see similar sizes at the beginning of the year and the end of the Summer but would go on to peak at sizes of 193.

Pirates peaking at sizes of 193 in September 2019.

All of the events above were months prior to the beginning of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Throughout 2019 we saw other armies rise to power such as the Templars & Light Troops who both peaked at sizes between 50-85 throughout their reigns on Club Penguin Online while the Rebel Penguin Federation was recovering from a defacement but were still averaging over 40 on Club Penguin Rewritten. If you look through the archives of many armies between 2016 and 2017, you will notice a huge size difference between then and 2019, the most notable armies at the time being the Light Troops, who saw sizes of 100 on a number of occasions and the Night Warriors who were averaging between 40-55 in 2016. It must be noted that the Light Troops 2016 generation lasted briefly between March and May 2016, while the Night Warriors saw sizes of 30+ throughout February to May. These would be the most significant armies in 2016 as sizes like this were only seen maybe once or twice by other armies that year, while the average size of most armies strayed between 18-28.

CP Army Central Top 10 Armies, May 2016.

If you were to ask any veterans of the army community who were present between 2010 – 2016, most of them would tell you their Golden Age of armies would be either 2013 or 2014. Armies in 2013 & 2014 would average sizes between 35-55 on a daily basis throughout the year, especially in the summer months of May-August. During this time, there were also many fun wars, most notably the Light Troops vs. the Army of Club Penguin (2013), RPF & the Doritos vs. the Nachos (2013), Dark Warriors vs. RPF (2013) and the Light Troops vs. the Dark Warriors in 2014. This post is focused more on the average size of armies between the original Club Penguin Armies and the CPPS Era of Club Penguin Armies, which is what Golden Ages are usually based on, however, if you were to talk about a golden age of fun, you would most definitely name any year from 2012, 2013 or 2014, which, personally, would definitely top any year in private server armies.

The statistics, sizes and Top Tens prove that the Golden Age of 2020 was like no other, as you can see in the Club Penguin Army Central Top 10 Armies during July 2014 (which can be found here), the top armies at the time being the Dark Warriors, Light Troops & Golden Troops all averaged sizes of 30-70 throughout the week while their scores range from 84 to 94.

CP Army Central Top 10 Armies, July 2014.

If we look at a universal Top 20 Armies in May 2020 (which can be found here), the top six armies on the list would all surpass the top three in July 2014. All top six armies of May 2020 would see sizes between 70 and 150. These sizes would be seen by armies across the board both on Club Penguin Online and Club Penguin Rewritten.

CP Army League Universal Top 10 Armies, May 2020.

As mentioned before, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic did have a great impact on Club Penguin Private Servers and Club Penguin Armies as a whole as most people around the globe were stuck in lock-downs and left them with boredom or perhaps the want for a nostalgic return to their childhood games which saw private servers increase greatly in popularity, so you could argue that the comparison is unfair, however, both 2014 & 2020 are both Golden Ages in their own regard.

Dark Warriors placed #1 in 2014.

The Dark Warriors are a great army to use while comparing the two golden ages of 2014 and 2020 as you can see the sheer size difference between their army which placed #1 in the July 2014 top ten as they saw a peak size of 70 troops at one time, while they placed #2 in the May 2020 top ten with peak sizes of 100 but never seeing less than 80 users present at an event.

Dark Warriors placed #2 in 2020.

 

A return to form or a fall never seen before?

(2021 & 2015-2017)

The year of 2021 began with armies united under one roof, that being Club Penguin Army Hub, armies were still thriving with the top five armies all seeing sizes of 50-60+ on a daily basis as they came through the Winter Break. These are sizes that were not seen in previous Winter Ages between 2013-2017. However, an unfortunate turn of events saw the community divided once more as the Army Hub shut down, resulting in a low point in CPPS Army History. Club Penguin Army Headquarters was established in February 2021, which became the home for all armies following the Army Hub’s shut down. Armies were once again united under one roof, however, sizes had dropped in comparison to January, as armies were now seeing sizes of 30-55, very similar to the sizes of some armies in 2015, however, still doing much better.

CPAC Top 10 Armies in February 2015.

The top ten armies from February 2015 which can be found here, is very alike the top ten armies from February 2021. The scores in 2021 appear to be higher but only the top 3 armies in the February 2021 top ten would actually make it onto the 2015 top ten.

CPAHQ Top 10 Armies, February 2021.

In 2015, armies began using different methods of recruiting, among those methods were Autotyping, Bot Recruiting or CPPS Advertisements. You could see that armies at the time were doing well over the course of the summer months with armies like the Dark Warriors, Rebel Penguin Federation & Light Troops all averaging sizes of 30-50 along with engaging in wars, most notably the Light Troops vs. RPF and the Dark Warriors vs. ACP. At the moment, armies are banned from CPRewritten if they are seen advertising at all, whether it be talking about armies or autotyping, and CPR also only has 1 full 5-Bar server at any given time, this has left most armies to resort to different recruiting methods such as Roblox recruiting and Discord recruiting.

CPAC Top 10 Armies, June 2015.

To give a fair comparison between the two summers of 2015 & 2021, above is a Club Penguin Army Central top ten armies in June 2015 while below is a Club Penguin Army Headquarters top ten armies from June 2021 (which you can find here).

CPAHQ Top 10 Armies, June 2021.

The two Top Tens above are almost identical in terms of the average size of armies. In the 2015 top ten (which you can find here), the Dark Warriors peaked at sizes of 60 while RPF would peak at sizes of 44, at the time, the Doritos were part of an ongoing multi-logging scandal and the Light Troops would peak at 50 while in the 2021 top ten, the Ice Warriors would peak at 50, ACP would peak at 47, the Help Force & RPF would both peak at 45 with the Templars peaking at 40. You could say armies now are level in terms of the average size of armies as a whole, the armies placed 5th-10th on both Top Tens are all similarly sized too, with the 10th placed armies the Snow Ninjas & the Doritos both seeing sizes of 13-17.

The Dark Warriors (#1) in June 2015.

Looking at both armies that placed #1 in 2015 and in 2021, it is apparent that the Dark Warriors are superior in terms of size, you can see a clear size difference just from the photos above with the Dark Warriors filling up the Snow Forts in 2015 while the Ice Warriors can’t fill up the book club in 2021. This is also during the month of June, which is when armies as a whole usually do peak in sizes and performance.

the Ice Warriors (#1) in June 2021.

To fully compare the two years, we must look at their performance in the Winter months of both years. In 2015, the Light Troops would be at the summit of the final Top Ten armies of the year (found here), averaging sizes of 45-50 throughout their week while yet again the Doritos were surrounded by multi-logging accusations but were seeing sizes of 38-40. The Army Republic, ACP & Nachos all averaged sizes of between 20-35 during their week and all placed within the Top Five armies.

CPAC Top Ten Armies, December 2015.

In the 2021 edition of the final Top Ten armies of the year (found here), the Ice Warriors would hold a number of events during the week but would only peak at 39, RPF, Help Force & ACP would all peak at 30 while the Templars would see peaks of 45. Armies in both top tens outside of the top five would see similar numbers with max sizes anywhere between 10-22.

CPAHQ Top Ten Armies, December 2021.

The top armies in 2015 appear to outperform and outsize armies now in 2021, to put it into perspective, the Ice Warriors who placed #1 on the top ten armies at the end of December 2021 would only place 5th on the final top ten armies of 2015. Thus, showing that CPPS armies have fallen greatly from their peaks seen in 2020.

the Light Troops (#1) in December 2015.

Just as before, the size difference between the #1 army in December 2015 and the #1 army in December 2021 is significant. Above you can see the Light Troops filling up the Ice Berg in 2015 while the Ice Warriors barely manage to form an X in 2021.

the Ice Warriors (#1) in December 2021.

Although these are two different eras of Club Penguin armies, along with two different types of actual Club Penguin, armies in 2015, which were riddled with different multi-logging accusations (Doritos, Army of Club Penguin, SWAT), still appear to outdo armies now, in 2021. Leaving us questioning the stability of the future of Club Penguin armies.

Conclusion

As someone who has been part of the Golden Ages of 2012, 2013, 2014 and armies between 2017-2020, unless another CPPS like Club Penguin Online (in terms of performance and support for armies) is created, I don’t think armies will ever see another Golden Age. As I mentioned earlier, I personally found more fun and enjoyment in armies between 2012 and 2014 than I did during the Golden Ages of 2019 and 2020. There was more to do back then, there was excitement before battles and wars or even tournaments. I got this feeling a few times in 2020 when the Light Troops went to war with SWAT and the Pirates went to war with the Doritos and defeated them, or even during the Christmas Chaos finals in 2019 between the Dark Warriors and Doritos, armies felt enjoyable for a few weeks, seeing all the veterans and old armies return and all surpass expectation by achieving sizes never seen before, it was incredible.

Light Troops at war with SWAT in 2020.

After Club Penguin Online shut down, armies continued to live on as they operated on Superhero’s Army CPPS and he held a successful Legends Cup XI tournament which also saw armies achieve amazing sizes and armies continued to do well in terms of size while united under the Army Hub, and you could argue that armies could have potentially still been doing well if it weren’t for what happened at the start of 2021 which led to the closure of the Army Hub, but like almost every year, a drop is bound to happen.

As well as this, recruiting is even harder now as there is only one HTML5 CPPS, this being CPRewritten, and it’s no secret that they hate armies. From 2017 all the way to now, they banned armies for simply using their game. Understandable as it is that they ban them for recruiting or “advertising”, why ban them for playing the game? At the end of the day, armies use their game and bring them more active users, so it is crazy to think that you’d ban an entire entity for actually helping the game.

CPR admin announces new army rules.

I do come across as a bit bias as I was a huge ambassador for armies on Club Penguin Online and did everything to support them, coin rewards, giveaways, advertisements and more. Personally, I felt armies would be the fuel of the community as it keeps players active and enjoying the game instead of playing here and there, they’re coming back online every day for a battle or event or even to recruit. On top of this, CPR’s game is flooded with advertisements, I can understand developers need to be paid but why do you need five ad-spaces surrounding the game as well as 30 second video adverts while in game? It only makes the game lag more and ruins the experience of players.

To finish this post off, I’m sure a Golden Age of some sort would’ve been on the cards if armies were still united under one roof, but we’re now in an age of division, with armies pulling out of leagues & news sites and making their own because they aren’t able to do things their own way or have control for themselves. Ultimately, it leads to less battles, less wars, less tournaments and overall, less fun. In a time where Armies are doing worse than they have been in recent years, why cause an unnecessary split in a community that requires unity for success? It’s great and all hosting training events and flexing your sizes, but where’s the enjoyment in standing in a circle for 30 minutes without any type of actual battle? Armies were fun and successful for so many years under Club Penguin Army Central (CPAC) and if there were a CPAC in 2022 with all armies under the same roof, engaging in wars and battles and tournaments, I’m sure armies could be enjoyable again, but another Golden Age is not really in sight.

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