The state of alliances is constituted to a few things really as someone running one myself.
-The Microsoft issues has slowly been killing off players drives to actually try and play the game, meaning the replacement job is a lot more work then needed. This is further made harder by the fact you can't even get a read on who's inactive due to no "last online" system. So you have to figure it out between yourself/other officers.
-Recruitment is well not an ideal system, I mean it's easy enough to throw out a scout, but if you want to actually sell your alliance to players, the search system doesn't even tell you if they're currently online, yes you can send whispers to offline players in there. Really helpful...
-This game revolves more around fun events to keep your alliance together and online, honestly content wise. There's not a lot of it once you get to ultimate grinding. So you need to be creative, if you aren't people are going to play other games.