Generally in the early game, there will be many alliances large and small which are formed by random players grouping together. Most and probably even all early game alliances will not last. The weak ones will be dissolved as they are hammered by other alliances. The stronger ones will merge with other alliances to form new and bigger alliances. Eventually, all successful alliances will evolve to become multi winged, or what is known as a meta alliance.
As the server matures, meta alliances will form within each quadrant. Many of these will not reach the end game either, as they fight each other and are either defeated or merged. By the end game, only a handful of meta alliances are left in every quadrant – with every side unable to defeat the other. These meta alliances will compete against each other for the WW race.
If you are forming your own alliance, then focus on growing your alliance. Allied players should be close together so they are tightly clustered for easy defense and offense. How close they are is generally up to you, but it is a wise idea to keep within a certain quadrant, such as the NW or NE quadrant. Don’t spread too far out otherwise your ability to support allied players would be severely limited.
Don’t recruit any farms, because that will create discontent among your alliance members if they are farming them. Farms are also weak players and sooner or later, they will become inactive. Farms cannot help your alliance.
As mentioned, your focus should be on growing a strong alliance. Do not worry about diplomacy during the early game because there will be plenty of diplomatic offers that will come your way. Even the smallest of alliances have diplomatic offers.
There is however another type of alliance which is far more lethal than those that naturally form over time. These are organized alliances formed by groups of players from a previous server.
These players are friends who have already formed their alliance even before the server started. This group of players will start within a certain quadrant. As soon as they have their second village, they migrate en masse to a secluded area, which have been agreed beforehand, usually far away in the corner of the map.
There they grow in peace and will be a major force to reckon with during the mid to endgame. These types of alliances are very well organized, and are much more potent because of the friendship factor and their experience with the game. Its like comparing veterans to rookies.
You might consider browsing the forums of a server that had just ended. Look for discussions on forming future alliances when the server restarts. If you’re experienced enough, you might be accepted into an alliance.