When I last talked about my guild's raiding, I was moaning about the difficulty of recruitment. Unfortunately, it didn't help in this case. We reached 9/12 normal modes in mid-April and then just couldn't progress anymore because we kept having to cancel raids. We had lost a couple of key players that we couldn't find replacements for, and even though we still had enough people to form a raid in theory, there was always someone who couldn't make it, leaving us with eight or nine sign-ups and unable to have more than a couple of farm nights. I'm sure a lot of guilds are familiar with this problem.
However, then something surprising happened! We were approached by another guild, asking us to form an alliance. We were quite familiar with this guild, as a couple of our players had raiding alts there, and some of its members had also been members of our guild in the past. Up until then our two guilds had been progressing through content at a nearly identical pace, but as it turned out they had run into the same problem as us, only worse, as they were missing even more players.
We agreed to the alliance, and while we're still working out some final details, it's been great so far. We're very much on the same wavelength in terms of skill and attitude, and the other night we finally got Cho'gall down and are now ready to start working on Al'Akir. It's also great to see more than ten sign-ups per night again. Truth be told, the roster of our combined forces is almost too large for ten-man raiding now, but considering that we're pretty loose with attendance requirements, bigger is definitely better. The other night I was signed up to raid but came down with a headache in the evening - it was a big relief to be able to drop out with the knowledge that there was a replacement to cover for me, and that I wasn't ruining the raid night for nine other people.
Despite of this success we're currently not looking to merge our guilds, but after thinking about it for a bit, this is actually not as much of a disadvantage as I thought it would be. The only "problem" is that our raids aren't recognised as official guild raids for either guild by the system, which means that we don't get guild experience or achievements for it. However, guild experience accumulates with or without raids, if a lot more slowly, and I've met few people who really care all that much about guild achievements (*cough* goblins *cough*). The actual achievement of downing the boss is worth so much more than a text pop-up telling me that I did it, or access to yet another vanity mount.
Still, it feels highly ironic that Cataclysm, the expansion that was supposed to be all about guilds, has made us go beyond the boundaries of our guild for the first time in years and actually revived the concept of the raid alliance for us.