A lot has been going down (literally as well as figuratively) in the German scene, so Starym asked me to write a few lines about it. Especially since it involves a few old (and new) crowd favorites! Note: Especially opinions voiced in this piece are my own.
Germany as a whole always bolstered the highest amount of successful one-country-only guilds (except the US, of course) in the progress race. In some tiers more successful, in some less. But they were a force that you could never count out and that was ever present.
One of the bigger problems, though, was that while German top tier raiders have always been very strong, they were also spread all over the place. Germany had many guilds that competed fairly highly on the world stage, each having a handful of world class players on their rosters - but with the exception of For the Horde in ICC/T11 never really competed for a spot on the podium.
Luckily, or sadly, this has changed slowly over the past few years. It started with the merger of a few decent guilds into Pulse for Cataclysm. During the expansion itself, many guilds struggled with membernumbers - which allowed Why Me to absorb a large part of premium talent. For the Horde merged with a rather infamous guild, Affenjungs (also known as Apeboys internationally), after the T13 ban wave + SW: ToR hit. In the aftermath of T13, a new guild named “why so serious” was founded by former For the Horde stars, who rounded out their roster by recruiting the best German damage dealers and healers they could find on World of Logs and through personal recommendations.
Fast forward to T14. German guilds came out very strongly. Why Me and genuine taking World 8th and 6th in MV and HoF respectively, why so serious downing bosses neck to neck with top of the line guilds in HoF (although they skipped Zor’lok about 5 minutes before his nerfs, which cost them the instance, unfortunately), Pulse always hot on the heels of the German Firsts. The visibly weakened For the Horde still able to hold a Top 20 position.
Now, in the past 7 days we could see first hand - and through the highly developed stalking tools like WoW Progress or WoW Track - what happens if the players in a guild do not share the same views on raiding, performance and expecations.
At first, For the Horde let go of 10 players and two of their core players left. Merely a shell of themselves, they tried to formally merge with Why Me. Some guys in For the Horde didn’t like that very much so that idea fell through. The result? The remaining active players in For the Horde left and joined Why Me anyways, making it one of - if not the - strongest rosters in Germany with a huge pool to draw from.
A similar fate befell why so serious. They were no longer able to field a full 25m raid. However, instead of flailing and grasping for straws the leadership decided to pull the plug. The result? A group of players decided that not all is lost and founded a 10m guild named “Skyfall”. A large part of the core went to Pulse. The rest is scattered in the wind.
Was this a sad week for fans of German raiding? Yes. But was it a bad week? Not necessarily. In the beginning I said that one of the core problems of our scene has always been the fact that the real talent did not raid together. The result of what happened during Cataclysm and ended this week is that finally a large part of German top tier raiders are playing in the same raids. Why Me has probably the strongest roster in Germany and probably the most diverse pool available in the world (although you never know with the Asians). Pulse got a huge influx of top dps players as well as one or another healer, continuing to make them a constant threat to the German throne - whoever will sit it at the end of T14.
That leaves us with genuine. For them, it was a really bad week as well. You see, their roster is really thin. They have basically every member in their raid with no fallback capacities. All the while their competitors have become exponentially stronger. They have the potential for greatness despite their small roster, but somehow they are unable to build up and strengthen their roster.
Where will this all lead? Honestly, it is hard to say. It should lead to really high positions for Why Me, followed by Pulse. Between these two there should be no big difference, only time will tell who will emerge as the stronger guild. Of course, there is always the Karate Kid-chance for genuine, but I personally see them not doing so well in the future.