This Community’s Downfall & The Next Steps

The community’s downfall won’t be from declining sizes or the sudden absence of great leaders; it’ll result from its refusal to change in any meaningful way and the flawed methods used to decide victors. Join us as we delve deeper into the reasons behind the community’s decline and explore potential solutions.

Designed by Koloway

When leading UMA, one of my best attributes as a leader was my willingness to experiment. I came up with the Blitzkrieg, a type of invasion with only 2 hours of notice. This was an instrumental tactic to UMADKE’s victory in the War of Roman Subjugation. Another experimental tactic for determining victors involved holding battles, where the last person to log off was declared the winner. We experimented with different battle styles, from a mixture of 2007/modern tactics to full-out roleplaying and 2007-style battles. I believed CPA’s downfall in the classic era wasn’t due to multi-logging, botting, or similar tactics. Instead, I believed our downfall was from not trying new approaches to find a battle style that would prevent those tactics. That’s why my UMA experimented so much. What’s the point of multi-logging if your size doesn’t matter? There isn’t one.

I am a firm believer that this community has outgrown Club Penguin. When I say outgrown, I do not mean as a result of us aging out of it (although this is a part of it). Rather, this community has outgrown vanilla Club Penguin and our current style of battle. There is only so much strategy and planning you can do when your only form of battling is a 30-minute ‘make a formation and send messages/emotes’ session. The meta has stalled out completely, and this is something we as a community should have a job to avoid. If the average age of players (regretfully) keeps increasing, we should evolve so those players remain engaged.

With all due respect to the league structure (which is none), the fact that we now have to have a bureaucracy to decide on rules – which at one point was a result of armies convening, debating, and deciding the basic rules on their own – is pathetic. And don’t get me started on the fact that we need judges, who rely more on vibes than meaningful data. (Nardo, please come back; we need you.) Truthfully, we should seek more objective and statistical ways to decide a victor. This would help shake up the meta of Club Penguin Armies entirely.

Last to Log Off/Classic/2017 Warfare

This one is undoubtedly the simplest to implement. When armies were at their peak, its no surprise its also when regular troops were also at their most involved. If we returned to this style, we’d have to change a few things. Notably, removing regular tactics and forms. Gone would be the days of getting in a formation and spamming emotes and words. We returned to the days of logging onto a server, patrolling, finding the enemy, chasing them around the map, throwing snowballs, returning fire, and chanting your army name at them along the way until one of someone logged off. This would be incredibly useful if we were to migrate entirely to CPJ, because this style of warfare has the most potential for picking up rogues.

Now, you may be asking, how would this be better for armies? Well, its quite simple: In last to log off, there is no judging required. So long as 5 troops remain online in a room, the battle will continue. Implementing a 10-minute timeout for inactivity would be necessary for CPAB significantly easing the process of objectively determining victors. If an army falls below five online, the other can screenshot it with the time to claim victory. Quick, easy, and to the point, while also keeping troops engaged.

Patrolling was one of the most fun aspects of OG armies, and it is completely gone in modern times. A test run of this would be extremely simple. One would have to host a tournament with these rules and observe the community’s response.

Modded club penguin

During the classic era, we hosted a tournament on It utilized a custom server for armies to throw snowballs and “kill” players. This feature was only used in one tournament. In my opinion, if expanded upon, it could be the next step for Club Penguin Armies. Let me pitch it to you. For this pitch, we’ll assume basic rules like the 24-hour invasion and 30-minute battle rules remain. Additionally, during an “invasion,” the invaders must start at the beach, docks, or cove and progress inward. They must ensure that at least 10 troops reach the dojo to claim the server.

Here are some other rules:

1. In order to advance further inland, invaders must eliminate half of the defenders in the room to prompt a fallback. If, in the next room, defenders kill half of the invaders, the invaders are pushed back to their prior room.
2. As defenders die and invaders get deeper in the mainland, defenders continually respawn deeper and deeper inwards, ending at the dojo. The dojo will be where they lose respawn capabilities.
3. Invaders can respawn in any room so long as there is a leader/hcom member in the room, but it will be randomized (cove/dock/beach/rooms with leaders). The defenders can come out of their respawn room (the dojo) and rejoin the front lines, or stay back.
4. No using maps until you are attacking the dojo. If the invaders get to the dojo before 30 minutes are up, they win the battle outright.

Imagine: Rebel Penguin Federation and the Water Vikings have gone to war. WV has scheduled an invasion of RPF land. At the time of log on, there’s 24 people online for WV. Dino “deploys” 3 different squads: Squad A (commanded by Dino) and B (commanded by Cabin) to the Beach and Docks, respectively. A smaller squad, consisting mostly of WV hcom (Mei, Claire, Aaron and Revan) is sent to the cove. The smaller squad is the main focus here. It’s their job to push inwards as fast as possible, with squads A and B serving as a decoy. If A and B can also push inwards, that’s just an added bonus.

Squad A manages to push back the defenders (who go on to respawn at the ski lodge) and join squad B in the docks, where they’re struggling somewhat, as RPF sent the most troops to the docks. While this is occurring, an RPF troop notices the lack of WV hcom currently in the battle, as well as their complete absence from the leaderboard for the battle. The troop points it out to RPF hcom, and a leader immediately sends the “recon unit” (which would be a rank given in the discord, but useless in game other than being a designated search squad) to search for, report, and destroy (if possible) the WV hcom squad.

RPF manages to hold the combined squad A and B at the docks for a prolonged period. RPF’s recon unit locates 3 out of the 4 missing WV hcom, and manages to take out 2 of them, but one of them is still missing, and another survived and took out members of the Recon unit. RPF is now faced with a choice: Do they continue having RPF troops fight the larger mass of WV troops, or do they deploy troops to find and destroy the WV hcom so the respawns can’t be closer to the objective?

This style of battle, in my opinion, would not only just be more fun than our current style, but would also allow leaders and hcom to see who is doing their part for the war efforts, if you used the leaderboard, you could see if any regular troops were doing insanely well. We would finally have a real way to determine who deserves promotions. Now, you might be asking yourself: “What about tournaments?”. There’s a really easy solution to this: Team Deathmatch. Set a kill objective, say, 75 for major armies and 35 for S/M. It would use the same combat style as invasions and defenses, but with completely different objectives. 

There are of course many elements of this that could be changed. Instead of randomized respawn, perhaps the respawn room would be one of the starting rooms, meaning that armies forces will all respawn in one dedicated room. Perhaps the defender respawn would be the stadium, making it easier for them to intercept invaders on their way back to the front lines.  All in all, this concept would undoubtedly require the most work when it comes to Club Penguin, but it leads us to our final meta-breaking idea.

A Brand New Game

There is another, probably far more controversial option that would be a community effort to make: a game based on Club Penguin Armies I call Penguin Warriors. For the last few months, I have worked on a pitch for a game that takes Club Penguin Armies history, armies and elements of Kapp’n Krunch’s Uprising series and blends it all together for a first person shooter. However, for the sake of time and also so this doesn’t become a 14 paragraph essay about Penguin Warriors, I will instead leave it at that. If interested in the pitch, feel free to message me! I’m open to CPA server members, and I’m more than willing to share and receive feedback.

Final Thoughts

I have always been a believer that armies need to focus on troop engagement. After all, what good is a leader without an army? Whether we adopt a classic CPA approach with encouraged patrols, mirror the 2007 wars where participants had flexible engagement, or blend elements of both, I firmly believe that our current style doesn’t foster high troop retention. The number of troops I’ve personally seen in WV show up for one battle and either leave outright or remain ranked but mute the discord is staggering. If armies could retain 50% of the people that join, we’d be in a much better place. In my opinion, any singular one of these changes could lead to another actual golden age of armies. The question isn’t “Should armies change?” It’s actually “Will anyone actually change for the sake of keeping this game alive?”

Reporter in Training

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  1. […] he currently works for Club Penguin Armies where he posts well-written editorials. Click here and here to read two of them. Despite lasting only roughly four days, the War of Roman Subjugation turned […]

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