As they say, all good things must come to an end. There are various reasons why an army falls in terms of activity. Whether it be because the COVID-19 pandemic was used as a temporary boost— giving armies longer time to function— or because of a deficiency of morale, it’s essential to understand that an army doesn’t close because of just a single cause.
Armies and COVID-19
Let’s face it: the COVID-19 pandemic was an abhorrent event to come out all of a sudden. The world went under lockdowns, mask mandates, and lots of uncertainty. Amidst the stay-at-home orders, the army community witnessed unparalleled growth. A perfect example of the surge in popularity can be traced back to Club Penguin Army League. Hundreds of members flocked to the community, with some returning, and this led to the revival of multiple armies such as Golden Troops, Special Weapons and Tactics, and the Underground Mafia Army. However, as life is going back to “normal,” many armies are seeing a downfall in activity, especially those who were primarily open to the large amounts of time on their hands when the pandemic started.
Lack of motivation and morale
The key to keeping your members active is motivating them and allowing them to acknowledge why they are in the army. If the army has a motto, make sure they never forget it and live up to the greatness it has. However, without proper motivation or confidence, things can possibly fall apart. Members get bored and drop out, activity plunges, and the max sizes tend to drop. Upholding motivation and morale is a fundamental staple for leading an army, and without it, the army falls off. Think of it as taking care of a plant. The plant is the army, and the sun and water are the two aspects that keep members active. Remove those components, and the plant dries out and fails. Prevention is pretty simple: keep encouraging your troops to stay strong no matter what happens.
“It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path of success may be recognized.”
A Recent Example
In September 2021, the Army of Club Penguin witnessed multiple High Command members, including two leaders, resign from their positions. The cause was a major blow to the army, affecting the max sizes they were achieving prior. Nobody was been able to predict this happening despite their sizes dramatically plunging after the Project: Conquest tournament where they were reaching incredible numbers. The last thing the army needed was for a huge number of staff to resign at once, especially during a reconstruction era. Therefore, this stands as one way circumstances can cause an army to drop off.
Nowhere to Go But Downward
The point of an army is to continue creating goals that get progressively higher as you reach them, encouraging your troops more that anything is possible. But once a milestone is reached, the only direction to go is backwards, which is the last thing any army wants. When the army reaches the goal and asks itself, “What’s next?”, that’s where another goal should be created. A higher milestone to work towards. It’s a humbling thing that keeps an army otherwise it’ll sink from doing nothing after the accomplishment. For example, say an army just reached the number one spot in the Top Ten. The next achievement from there is to defend their spot and uphold the prestigious milestone instead of go back and undo everything they’ve done, leading to closure. Even the smallest action being taken after a goal is reached to stay active is better than going downwards.
All armies have a peak era before eventually falling off and multiple factors can contribute to that time coming sooner or later. As priorly mentioned, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a surge in armies before going back down because of the significant amount of time people had to dedicate to Armies. If there’s little to no morale or motivation to keep your troops going, they’ll start dropping out and add more to the eventual downfall of your army. As the community moves past Summer 2022, armies will collectively have to overcome unforeseen circumstances to navigate the waters of max sizes and motivation. When will the community begin to stabilize following the return to “normalcy?”