Those of you who are long-term readers may recall a post I made over a year ago. On November 9th, 2009, I posted about missing Apotheosis. That followed a post from June 4th, 2009 where I informed everyone to prevent me from doing the whole GM thing again. (And no one did. Typical! ;D)

Basically, I have been working to get Apotheosis back together for over a year.

A year.

While raiding from 11pm-2am with my RL friend the Resto Druid or 9pm-12am with Choice (in need of holy pallies for Cata!), I was also getting back in touch with people. Making plans. Setting up forums. Organizing people. Inviting people back to Apotheosis from my level 4 toon.

When Cataclysm launches on December 7th, that will be the real start of a new era in Apotheosis history. But all the work that went into ensuring there WOULD be a new era in Apotheosis history is crazy. It’s been a long, long road. Assembling officers. Checking in with people. Making sure people are still around and interested. More recently, interviews, loot rules, forums, recruitment videos, 10 and 25-man raids…

I’ve put a lot of effort into this over the last year and certainly a lot since 4.0 hit and I moved Madrana home to Eldre’Thalas.

None of this annoys me.

What annoys me is the people who clearly haven’t put a moment’s thought into expansion plans.

I’m talking about a mage app who applied with a bad spec, bad gems, bad gear and bad grammar who said they’d decided to make the mage their main. Really? Did you decide to make your mage your main five minutes ago? Looks that way from the effort you’ve put into the toon. Nice spirit gems, by the way, and that green trinket is just to die for.

I’m talking about guilds out there who haven’t started retooling their rosters and recruiting. Seriously? How have you not started to prepare, yet? I’ve been preparing for a YEAR and you, yes you, with your raid group that’s 11/12 ICC 25HM while working on HLK attempts, how are YOU less prepared than I am?

It’s true that when you’re running a guild, you have a lot less time to prepare for the future than someone who’s “just” a raider. I’m deluged in emails and private messages this week. I get it. But good leaders don’t assume anything. A good GM and officer team checks in with their members and keeps checking in. Just because I have… 39 people on my Google Docs spreadsheet does NOT mean that come the first planned raid date, we’ll have 39 people ready to raid.

I’ll have to make sure that everyone listed HAS the expansion and is over on Eldre’Thalas. I’ll have to make sure that everyone’s levelling at a reasonable rate or maybe drop them from consideration for that first raid. And depending on how hard it is to finish dungeons and heroics and gear up, we might even have to push our first raid date back a week or two.

This is what annoys me — I’m already working 3-4 weeks down the road and looking at problems that may arise. And so many people aren’t making plans, aren’t trying to work around potential problems, aren’t even bothering to discuss stuff.

I realize that plans aren’t that important in terms of RL priorities, especially during the holiday season, but if you play this game as a raider — or you want to play the game as a raider — how have you not been thinking this stuff through already when I’ve been doing this for a year, now? Raiders and guilds alike, I see so many people completely unprepared and it’s like, well what have you been DOING since Cataclysm was announced?!

The people who haven’t done 4.0 research for their classes just make me sad.

The guilds who haven’t got planned raid dates and deadlines make me facepalm.

These are going to be the people complaining out the wazoo when Cata hits and they can’t immediately queue for a dungeon because they don’t know where the entrance is yet. These are the people who will be mystified that half their guild has left for another guild because they weren’t ready to raid, yet.

I see so much disorganization that is going to lead to a huge wakeup call, which will lead to so much complaining, which, God willing, will not lead to demanded nerfs or buffs.

As a result of this general state of unpreparedness that I’m witnessing, plus my experience in going through the BC and Wrath expansion transitions, here are three predictions:

Fearless prediction #1: Random dungeons will suck for a minimum of 3-4 months, probably closer to 6. Random heroics will possibly suck until people really outgear them, meaning the first raid tier (T11) being available to the general public, so this is looking at when the second raid tier comes out (T12).

Fearless prediction #2: Guilds who have been recruiting and plotting out dates, deadlines and plans will be much better at dealing with issues that crop up mid-January than those who haven’t even started to plan things out.

Fearless prediction #3: I’m not going to feel prepared enough because there’s ALWAYS curve balls thrown at guilds during expansion transitions, but, by golly, Apotheosis will prosper because my officers and I actually care about the people and the guild and we will do what we need to in order to hit those curve balls out of the park.

I feel a bit better for having ranted.

Coming soon: pre-raid gear suggestions!