What are the advantages of joining an alliance? By alliance, I mean the larger alliances, not the 2 team alliances during competition.
You can bounce ideas off other people. Something sound good in your head until someone else finds the flaws with it.
Friends are nice. Also the more broad coolness of being part of a community
Getting constructive criticism on a robot. I would like to say this is a necessity for every robot and alliances make it easier to achieve this.
Would you classify VF as an alliance of sorts? It seems to fit the criteria NightsRosario set.
The VEX Forum definitely fits those criteria. (So does the Discord.)
One advantage an alliance has compared to the forum and the main Discord is that you can share ideas with people you trust, without revealing them to teams who might try to copy you against your wishes (or who are from your region and would be competing against you directly, if none of them are in the alliance).
Edited to add:
The reasons you might want to share your ideas only with teams you trust might be because you want other teams to learn more by thinking of their own ideas (or just not to make an exact copy of your robot), or because you don’t want a robot that copied you to be used against you in a match, or just because you don’t want your ideas to be copied in general.
This is fair. There are maybe 10 people I bounce ideas off of openly, but I wouldn’t want to put them on the forums or on discord for anyone to copy. A smaller alliance can be calmer and have more mutual trust, which means everyone can share ideas more openly.
Another thing that i might add: having an alliance might get you in a better position for elimination rounds, because you already have a network and know who plays to each other strengths - and thus you might know that you’re being ‘picked’ before.