Step into the pages of the second edition of the column “Picture Perfect”. In this edition, we will deeply analyze how recruitment dynamics changed throughout Club Penguin Armies’ history.
A single picture has the remarkable ability to convey a multitude of emotions, ideas, and messages in a single frame. Through the artful interplay of its elements, a picture can capture the essence of a moment, evoke profound emotions, and tell a complex story without the need for words. Thus, a picture transcends linguistic barriers, making it a universally accessible means of communication that can resonate with people on a personal level.
Recruiting in an army is crucial in making it succeed. Without a strong recruitment department, the chances of an army being successful are virtually nonexistent. Therefore, I invite you, dear reader, to join me in an analysis of how recruiting methods changed throughout the history of armies.
THE IMPACT OF TIME ON RECRUITMENT DYNAMICS
Recruiting is how armies enlist new members and increase their influence within the community. While maintaining activity by attending events is important, recruitment plays a massive role in an army. Accordingly, troops who are adept at recruiting are often given priority for promotions within their army, given the critical role it plays in maintaining and expanding their ranks.
That being the case, throughout the annals of army history, many utilized a diverse array of recruitment methods. Among these, bot recruiting gained prominence, if not conspicuous recognition. In the picture above, it is possible to see a recruitment session of Doritos of Club Penguin in-game, where their troops were using the infamous auto-typers. Pre-CPPS armies widely used the auto-typing method. Many encouraged troops to download these programs and log on to crowded servers to display the aimed advertisement. Later, even bots were developed to stay online advertising the army.
Several players, however, complained about these methods, since it was detrimental to their gameplay. Moreover, the auto-typing was arguably responsible for turning armies more artificial and, literally, robotic from the players’ perspective. There was no interaction between the recruiter and the potential new recruit. In addition, the recruiting lines were selling a different product than the one they described it as, even falsely claiming to give away free memberships. Its whole effectiveness would soon be cast in doubt with Club Penguin staff banning players who used said programs, and censoring armies’ names. Surely the outcomes were not the best.
Nevertheless, there were better alternatives to the aforementioned methods. Manually recruiting in-game, despite having a small success rate, was the best method to get loyal new recruits. However, it was not that easy. Armies could only hold events and recruit on servers they owned. For instance, if Army A owned Blizzard, and Army B owned Avalanche, B could not recruit on Blizzard, nor could A recruit on Avalanche. In that way, only the biggest armies could project their monopoly over the most populated server. The smaller armies had to face the challenge of recruiting via secondary methods. When not recruiting in-game, armies used to recruit via XAT, the main communication platform used at that time. Armies deployed recruiters on the various Club Penguin-themed xats. Even social media platforms like Twitter were not left behind. Armies proceeded to create their accounts on the now-called X to reach a larger audience.
With armies moving to Club Penguin Pirate Servers (CPPS) after the original game’s closure, the dynamics of recruitment faced considerable changes. A steady decrease in a consistent player base forced armies to innovate in their recruitment methods. Little by little, Discord became a popular platform among armies, possessing a wide range of features and greater organizational capacity than its predecessor.
Armies in 2018 experienced a large – and necessary – boom in recruitment. When Club Penguin Online reached its peak, armies truly benefited from this sudden growth. The Rebel Penguin Federation [RPF], the Pirates, and the Elite Guardians of Club Penguin [EGCP] were the most noticeable examples of armies that reached high maxes as a direct outcome of in-CPPS recruitment. However, after controversies surrounding CPO and its Army League being exposed to the public eye, the scenario changed. Disney shut down famous CPPSes, which made armies migrate to army-exclusive servers, like CPA: The Game, and CPA Battleground. CPPSes that returned to activity, such as Club Penguin Rewritten, had explicit rules against in-game recruiting, which posed even greater challenges.
Once again, the recruitment dynamics faced changes. With the community casting doubts about CPPSes’ safety and Club Penguin becoming a more unknown game, recruiting via other games, such as Roblox, has evolved into a widely adopted method. Like OG armies recruited in XAT servers, CPPS armies widely recruit through Discord servers, direct messaging users. Nonetheless, Discord has been increasingly enforcing rules against DM spamming and in favor of alternative account validation. This package of safety updates has hindered armies’ progress regarding recruitment.
It is safe to say that recruitment nowadays holds some resemblances to gambling. Discord recruits are mostly not familiar with Club Penguin, and, therefore, have fewer chances of remaining active in the army, unless it offers secondary options of entertainment like game nights or active voice chats. On the other hand, Club Penguin recruits are already familiar with the game and have greater chances of remaining active. Whether an individual poses a debate over the best recruiting method, it is safe to affirm that recruitment in-game is proven to be more effective. Armies just have to do it properly (please, no auto typers!).
The army community is currently witnessing an increase in the CPPS’s popularity. Servers like Club Penguin Journey and Club Penguin Avalanche are becoming new homes for armies like the Army of Club Penguin, People’s Imperial Confederation, RPF, and EGCP. Could we expect another growth in the army community? What recruiting method is working for your army? Do you think it is possible to invent a new method?