It has easily been 10 years since I was last a member of the Armada community. To say that it has been far too long would be a monumental understatement. Some of you may be wondering what has prompted me to get back into the fold. Well; after marrying and fathering two rambunctious little boys, I have found myself becoming nostalgic for the "glory days" of my teenage years when I would spend an embarrassing amount of my life playing my favorite RTS of all time.
I'd be surprised if I were alone in that sentiment to be completely honest. I know that Armada 1 had a very active and vibrant fan base at one point in time. A fan base that was almost unanimously disappointed with that stinking pile of garbage Activision labeled a "successor" in Armada 2, and has all but given up hope that we would ever get the chance to relive those experiences again. Well; friends, I am here to tell you that the only reason that we are not able to do so has more to do with our own complacency and potentially a lack of knowledge than with the perception that there is not a game out there that lives up to what Armada brought to the table.
The fact is that there is absolutely a game on the market that has the potential to fill the very big shoes left behind once the Armada servers went dark, and many of you have probably heard of it. The name of the game is "Star Fleet Armada 2: Fleet Operations," and I can personally testify that the current version of the mod absolutely lives up to the name of its grandfather. I only realized it existed after being introduced to it by an old friend over a week ago at a LAN party, and I've been hooked ever since.
Let me just state that I am in no way officially associated with the dedicated team of developers that are working on this game, and I am absolutely not going to advocate for you to donate money to their cause. Rather, I have taken it upon myself to try and rally the old fan base into giving this community another chance. There are active; albeit only a few, players that still play this game on a somewhat regular basis. The only thing that keeps them from playing more is; quite simply, a lack of people to play with. The most exciting aspect about this team is that they are currently in the midst of porting the Fleet Operations game off of the Armada 2 engine and into its own, stand-alone, custom game engine! The name of that project is Fleet Operations-NX, and should be out in the next year or so as a 100% free RTS game based in the Star Trek universe.
In the interest of full disclosure; I do need to point out that the game has a steep learning curve, and guides to help you get started are in short supply. However, this should not discourage anyone. The reason that the game is harder to learn is simply because this team has done exactly what Activision should have done with Armada 2. They re-implemented all of the great game mechanics that made us fall in love with the first game, and then took it a step further by addressing the only real flaw the first game had - that the factions were implemented in a cookie-cutter fashion. The first game factions had their differences, but they were nuanced at best. This new take on the game will introduce you to 5 distinctly different, yet remarkably balanced factions to choose from. The thing to remember here is that the more people we can get active in this community, the more content that we can put out to help new players as we bring them in.
Now that I've droned on and likely lost the attention of many of you; I'd like to ask you a couple of questions. Don't you miss playing a great game with a bunch of other goofy trekkies just like you? Don't you miss the comradery, the clans, the tournaments, and the role playing? Don't you miss the beautiful display you witness as you destroy the enemy fleet? Don't you miss being a member of an active Armada community?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then stop wasting time! Spread the word, get active on the site's message board, and then get in on the action! Myself and a few of the game's veterans are usually in the Tungle lobby every evening sometime between 6PM and 11PM CST. My Tungle lobby name is hanserya, but I am still MightyMax in the game's lobby. The mod does require that you have a copy of the Armada 2 CD (or ISO) as it does currently run on that engine, so you will need to obtain a copy (which is not hard at all these days) before you can play.
I sincerely hope to see you all on the field of battle!
Talk here about any Star Trek Game you play.
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