Playing on a role play preferred server is a great thing. The population is high, the people are friendly. However, it does have a few draw backs. On Antonia Bayle I’d say that 70% of the raiding that takes place is through alliances. Not always a bad thing, but it certainly has some draw backs. People are comfortable in their little guilds, also not a bad thing. I’ve been a part of quite a few alliances on the server, and it can work, but over the last little while the alliance I’ve been in has pointed out all the reasons why they can also be frustrating.
Loyalty. There’s such a lack of loyalty to one another and to the “core” alliance group that it can become more of an issue then intended. Lets take last night for example. The alliance I raid with had scheduled MMIS (Mistmoore Inner Sanctum) for Monday. For some reason the main tank of said alliance, and one of the core healers, decided to go tank and heal for another raid guild in MMIS, and didn’t take into consideration the fact that 20+ other people had signed up for this raid for Monday. When I approached the tank about it, he basically shrugged, and said that they’d just move the raid to accommodate him having gone last night. He’s not an alliance leader, just another member, and didn’t talk to other members at all about this, just assumed that for him, it would be done. Of course I was fuming.
Attendance. People can pick and choose which raids they attend (for whatever reasons they have in mind, be it loot, or timing for that matter) and there’s no consequence for the actions. A great example of this is when an old KoS (Kingdom Of Sky) raid was scheduled and 12 people showed up (the “core” of this alliance, who pretty much attend every raid as scheduled, raids are four days a week) and completed the zone. The next week, on the exact same day, a Chel’Drak raid was scheduled, and 30 people showed up. You could think this is merely a coincidence and people simply were not around the previous week, but it’s not so. It happens all the time. Schedule a raid for a zone that the alliance can handle with quite a bit of ease, and where the loot is a significant upgrade, and people come out in droves. But schedule a zone where the alliance is still learning the encounters (such as the final fight in MMIS or Emerald Halls) and suddenly we’re struggling to put people together. You can’t prevent this from happening, because it is simply an alliance. If you push too hard for people to show up, they’ll simply move on, as their main interest is not raiding.
I’m all for smaller guilds, and the significant perks they come with (since I belong to my own guild myself) but I some times wish those who are in raid alliances out there would take into consideration the other 23 people who sign up and who enjoy raids, but don’t want to leave their families and friends in another guild. Alliances are looking for the same thing that full raid guilds are looking for. They’re looking for knowledgeable people who understand their class. Who work and strive for excellence in whatever means they can, and who are steady. Reliable. It is just as frustrating for an alliance raid leader to fill in the blank spots of a raid without knowing who is going to show up as it is for the every day raid guild. They want people to sign up, to show up on time, and all that good stuff. The only difference in fact is what happens when you’re not raiding. You still should come prepared. Know as much about the zone as possible. Just because the raid is tagged as “alliance” doesn’t suddenly give people the right to dumb it down.
I know there are exceptionally successful alliances out there on servers, there are some on AB who are taking down all EoF (Echoes of Faydwer) content aside from perhaps the throne room and avatars. They can work beautifully — but last night and the past few weeks have just not been what I want out of any alliance and were only a constant reminder of how they can go wrong.