Star Trek Armada II: Fleet Operations is a popular fan-made multiplayer-oriented total conversion modification for Star Trek Armada II. It includes polished graphics and deeper focus on the Star Trek movie athmosphere. It also contains gameplay changes recreating the predecessor game Star Trek Armada where it seemed appropriate: The warp-drive feature is removed to avoid arcade-style hit-and-run tactics and only two dimensions are used for ships and buildings. There is also a bigger focus on individual techtrees and building smaller specialized fleets to make multiplayer matches more challenging.
Fleet Operations also has an online guide which is designed to explain as much as possible about the unique universe in which Fleet Operations' storyline takes place, the gameplay of Fleet Ops, how to get online in the first place, how to make maps, and how to mod this total conversion.
In the past few years, Fleet Operations has strived to improve the capabilities of the Armada II engine to better mesh with new technologies for use in online gaming as well as modifications. With the introduction of Vista, it was no longer possible for many people to play online and it was difficult to even run Armada II on the new operating system. Release of several unofficial patches corrected these issues. Recently, the 2.0 GB RAM limit of 32-bit applications has been broken, allowing an enhanced Armada II engine to use up to 3.0 GB of RAM. Improvements to the engine have also resulted in increased compatibility with WINE. The integration of a new sound engine - FMOD Ex - has allowed an enhanced Armada II to bypass many issues related to sound cutoff, limited numbers of sounds playing at once, sound quality, and the previous lack of support for OGG and MP3. Recent years have also seen the D3D8 render rebuilt to compensate for software rendering (already outdated upon release of Armada II), and in the future there will be support for D3D9. An enhanced Armada II shows more efficient RAM usage and can handle higher polygon game objects due to streamlined coding.
Improvements have also extended the longevity of the gaming community. Although the online channels at GameSpy are still active for Armada II, the age of the service has led to increased connection problems, where players can't join or host games, despite all firewall and router settings being set up correctly. As a consequence, Tunngle, a new peer to peer VPN client, has been integrated into an enhanced Armada II engine to allow people to meet in a lobby based chat and start games over the internet much more easily. There has also been ongoing support in regard to removing exploits and bugs which have been around since the release of Armada II.
Armada II also enjoys a large community interested in creating modifications, and thus it has been important to improve this realm as well. A new file format has been created to give Armada II faster loading times and the capacity to support more overall files. New commands and enhancements of the original commands have been introduced to allow easier manipulation of the game’s functions. Improvements have resulted in support for new file formats, such as PNGs for map makers. A modification manager system has been set up to give casual users a quick and easy system to install modifications without the need for a new installation at every round. A detailed bug reporting system has been integrated to more easily identify issues for more experienced users.
Fleetops has more detailed backgrounds and models of higher quality than the original game.