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On the expansion of small alliances


Lord Boris

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In the last several months, there has been marked increase in the number of smaller alliances bursting onto the scene. Some people feel that this is a bad thing, while others believe it makes no difference or is beneficial to the game.

Reasons why I believe so many small alliances have been popping up:

1. Desire for leadership - Many people feel that they have what it takes to try their hand at leadership. Given this, it is only natural that small groups of these people will group together and form an alliance to give them that opportunity.

2. Desire for change - Some folks have difficulty sitting still in one place for too long. These alliance hoppers generally don't feel quite at home in established alliances, so they instead try to create an alliance that they can bond to and direct to suit their desire for a change of pace.

3. Creation from destruction - Some smaller alliances form by groups of people fleeing the destruction of a larger alliance. The most prevailing example of this was seen in the aftermath of the Unjust War, where we saw the disbandment or annihilation of alliances such as \m/, GOONS, and Gen[m]ay. Those displaced members were left with the options of leaving the game or going somewhere else. Some took the first option, but many went other places. Some of these new places were alliances created by small groups of displaced members.

4. The Challenge - Some folks believe that small alliances don't have much of a challenge, however I believe those folks are horribly wrong. Large alliances have challenges, but small alliances also have tremendous difficulties. Small alliances have a disadvantage in manpower for tasks such as recruitment, aid programs, foreign diplomats, and other areas. Additionally, small alliances typically require the per capita usefulness of its members to be much higher than in a large alliance in order to see success. Because of these issues, thrill seekers and people searching for a challenge may form an alliance.

The effect of small alliances on the concentration of power:

There are two schools of thought about how the surge in small alliances effects the concentration of political power in the game. Some believe that the increase in the number of alliances causes a decline in the concentration of political power by certain groups. Others believe that by removing some people out of mainstream politics, you're basically amplifying the per capita power of those in established groups, turning those large alliances that have lost some members to smaller groups into somewhat smaller alliances wielding a relatively unchanged amount of power.

I am of the opinion that this argument can go either way on a case by case basis. If the small alliance in question remains active in mainstream politics, than it can go with the former. If it falls out of mainstream politics, it is more likely to create the latter effect.

On the future of small alliances:

Given the above factors, I suspect that we shall continue to see a fair number of newer, smaller alliances popping up in the foreseeable future. Some of these will succeed, while others will fail for one reason or another. What is true about all these alliances is that they often are a hiding place for a significant amount of determined talent due to the challenges that shape those alliances. Additionally, regardless their outcome, if worse comes to worse, they all instinctively know that Ragnarok will probably eat them to grow their own numbers :P

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I agree with everything in this entry, except for the first part about the last couple of months. I've noticed this has actually be popular since right after UJW. What happened is that so many alliances disbanded in that war, a lot of the people left over went to found their own alliances, then other people saw that and said "Hey, that sounds fun," and decided to try it too and so it just kinda became popular.

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I agree with everything in this entry, except for the first part about the last couple of months. I've noticed this has actually be popular since right after UJW. What happened is that so many alliances disbanded in that war, a lot of the people left over went to found their own alliances, then other people saw that and said "Hey, that sounds fun," and decided to try it too and so it just kinda became popular.

You're definitely right about there being a surge post-UJW. I touched on that briefly in the third reason. A few months after the war, though, it seemed to slow down a bit, but in the last several (4-5) months, it seems like its been taking off again. I'm sure there's probably some OOC reasons for that (summer months more younger players have free time to spend on games).

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Very good article. I might suggest another reason why small alliances are popular: freedom from association. It seems that many players are identified with the alliance that they first were noticed in. For instance, purely as an example, AirMe is constantly thought of as a member of NAAC. Heck, even MK is called 'LUE 2.0' by many players.

Usually, smaller alliances don't tend to give a negative association to players that may be associated with them, unless that alliance does something really stupid. So it also allows players to be judged more on their words and actions than on their past alliance membership.

Just a thought, and well done, Lord Boris.

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I agree with everything in this entry, except for the first part about the last couple of months. I've noticed this has actually be popular since right after UJW. What happened is that so many alliances disbanded in that war, a lot of the people left over went to found their own alliances, then other people saw that and said "Hey, that sounds fun," and decided to try it too and so it just kinda became popular.

You're definitely right about there being a surge post-UJW. I touched on that briefly in the third reason. A few months after the war, though, it seemed to slow down a bit, but in the last several (4-5) months, it seems like its been taking off again. I'm sure there's probably some OOC reasons for that (summer months more younger players have free time to spend on games).

I can see that, but you know, some of today's most dominant alliances rose during that time period as well. And you know, maybe it was just me, but I never noticed it slow down any time after UJW.

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