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Starting a Micro-Alliance?

King Wally

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Back in 09 I helped start a little micro-alliance called KIA, admitedly I didn't actually do very much apart from recruiting & organising our first defence treaty but I got a feel for it. In the end my part in the experiment only lasted a month after which I joined Ragnarok where I have been for about the last 2 years, quite happy and enjoying myself actually.

Today though I had to take an unexpected day off work to watch the kids and well all the free time led to me deciding to take on the challenge of learning how to build a forum... admitedly I know NOTHING about the area so it was a bit of fun and after some trial and error I ended up building a little test forum.

An extra spare couple hours and I had decided to theme it up and create a demo alliance idea (one i'd often thought about but never seriously... you can see the test run here if you want... [url="http://s15.invisionfree.com/DogsOfWar_CN"]Dogs Of War - Link[/url] ... dont expect to be impressed there's really nothing much there at present). Now here I am at the end of a day and I'm getting that dreaded idea of actually starting a Micro-alliance again in my head.

I want to just mull over the idea but ideally I need someone to slap me in the face with some logic here. Should I drop this whole idea from my head now and save myself the worry or should I run with this thing and actually try and have some fun with it?

I'd be interested to hear from anyone else out there who has recently started a micro-alliance and can speak first hand. Also anyone thats sitting out there like me with half baked idea's but holding back.

At the end of the day I'll be the first to admit I could never in a million years create anything thats close to the awesome of Ragnarok but there's just that little creative spark that says take a crack.

OK... you may now commence e-bashing some sense into me :P

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[quote name='SWAT128' timestamp='1303369299' post='2695394']
Join Cat Land.

Well I did join the Brotherhood of Steel for 3 drunken days of nuclear fun back at new years... Ive gotta get some cat land credit there surely :awesome:

Also Alf :wub:

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You are not likely to get many serious answers to this question.

Only form an alliance if you have a ton of free time. Otherwise it's going to just be another one of those meaningless ciphers whose best hope is to sign a protectorate agreement and sell some tech.

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Do you have a lot of extra time? How about a few other people (at least 2, but more would be better) who are level headed, also have time and are willing to take government positions? If so, go for it - but plan everything out (including at least one military treaty) before announcing, switching AA, etc.

If you don't have the time or people willing to help, forget it.

(and yeah, I've got experience)

Also, if you want to be more than a micro, you'll need people good at recruitment and also people good at training new members.

Edited by White Chocolate
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I have two responses.

First, like everyone else, I have to say don't start your own, join mine :D

It's hard for me to recruit you seriously though, which is why I will probably always remain a micro. I mean, having your own AA, if you are ready for the responsibility and have realistic expectations of workload, is just super. I love it more than life itself. So how can I say join me instead of founding your own?

But definitely join me in preference to joining anyone else. Cause I rule. And two people can build an alliance a lot easier than 1. So we should talk.

Ok, second response, here is what you need before doing it in my opinion;

Have a plan, a credo, a reason for being. It doesnt have to be anything simpler than "do things the way I think they should be done. Have a little fun, and do a little good, every day." But do you want to recruit and grow? Do you have a goal to be sanctioned, or do you actually want to avoid that and build an elite alliance, or just a really closeknit alliance based on some shared creed or theme? You need to think this through and be able to clearly state your goals, before you can make any sort of evaluation as to whether or not they are realistically possible.

Be ready for attack. Having a protector can definitely help, but that doesnt excuse you from your own defense. Even the strongest protector can suddenly become occupied and leave you vulnerable. Protectors can interfere and they can fail to defend and they can simply be ripped away by various and sundry gambits or turns of bad luck as well. Ultimately if you dont have a warchest and the will to use it mercilessly when attacked then forget about starting a micro.

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questions to ask yourself before you start your own alliance:

-Do you have the time? Running an alliance is a lot of work, and while it can be fun initially it will turn into real work later on.

-Do you have a good core group to start with? If you're starting from scratch by yourself, you're going to find yourself having to promote people who you don't know if you can trust and who you don't know the capabilities of into leadership positions. Before you even consider doing all the work to get an alliance off the ground you should know who's going to be your leader(s), who's going to handle FA, who's going to handle the military, who's going to do IA, and who's going to do recruitment. If too many of those jobs fall on the same shoulders your alliance will more than likely flame out quickly.

-Are you going to do / be something that makes you different from all other alliances out there? And no, a new theme doesn't count.

-What will your new alliance have that your current/former alliances doesn't?

-What are the goals of your new alliance?

It seems most alliances are founded for one of a short list of reasons:
1)A group of capable friends want to do their own thing
2)A group is dissatisfied with their current alliance and thinks they can do better,
3)A group wants to break from the status quo and do things their own unique way
4)A group wants to re-orient themselves politically
5)A group of ranking members break off due to an internal schism or power struggle
6)A group of players who didn't have power want to have power

1 through 5 have a chance at making it if the alliance can maintain its starting momentum and can really develop its own culture / style. Number 6 nearly always fails or becomes a pathetic shell of an alliance after a couple weeks/months.

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Join The Bear Cavalry.

Also, starting an alliance and running it is a lot like having a part-time job. If you feel that at any point in the near future you won't have enough time for it ... then don't bother. Founding an alliance puts everything on you and the venture will fall apart if you leave it alone for more than a day.

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The luster wears off quickly and after the initial hype is gone, you see your member's activity level dip off, along with yours. It begins to feel more like a job and becomes frustrating and disappointing. The only way to survive that period is to have a real love for what you've created and keep your head up. Keep recruiting, prepare to send out thousands of recruitment messages, pick up a handful of members from it and lose 4/5ths of them before you can train them well enough to hold their interest. That sounds harsh, but it's reality in today's Bob. If you're willing to accept that it will most likely take a solid year to get anything going, then go for it.

Some other things you can do to help, and all are seriously time consuming:

Live on IRC.
Network through IRC.
Get close to other micros through IRC and hope they decide to throw in the towel and join your alliance.
Send diplomats to visit others OFTEN and routinely.
Offer more than an embassy for others to use who visit your forums but aren't members.
When they do visit, engage them, talk to them, be friendly.

As you see, it's all about constant communication, which most don't have the time to shoulder all on their own for a sustained period of time. Trust me, I know all about it.

But, if you can be devoted enough to your alliance to pull it off, then I wish you well. It's tough.

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Many thanks guys... there's been some very good responses here and have leveled my thinking.

In a nutshell unless someone arives on my doorstep with an amazing idea that I'm "into", a core base group ready to go... and a willingness to not dump everything on me then I think I'll leave this thing in my spank bank where it belongs ;)

[quote name='Van Hoo III' timestamp='1303418244' post='2695807']
Join The Bear Cavalry.

Also, starting an alliance and running it is a lot like having a part-time job. If you feel that at any point in the near future you won't have enough time for it ... then don't bother. Founding an alliance puts everything on you and the venture will fall apart if you leave it alone for more than a day.

Riding a Bear into war... pure insanity Hoo I keep telling you! :P

...also now I think of it I can clearly remember applying to join Ragnarok after quitting KIA telling myself I didn't want CN to be like working a second job anymore. This is one of the great benifits of being in a larger alliance, I can help where I have the time but when im pushed theres no pressure in just walking away for a day or two or more if I want.

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