The response to Monday's breakfast topic got me thinking about drugs, alcohol and WoW. A lot of people said they drink to pass the time while farming in WoW. If you're 21 or whatever the legal drinking age in your country is, that's fine -- at least you're not driving. And as for other substances, well .... we're not the FBI and we're not here to judge or moralize. Generally, it's probably better to play WoW while intoxicated than, say, perform brain surgery or control the country's nuclear arsenal.
But dealing with drugs and alcohol can be tough if you're in a group situation, especially if you're in a raiding guild. There's a thin line between "having a good time" and "wiping the entire group because the suppression room is spinning." I've been in raid groups with extremely drunk or high people, and the result has rarely been good. Sure, there's the odd person who can heal or tank just as well while under the influence, but I've also seen a drunk mage whisper me with "loool im kiting gluths stuff," and heard one too many guildmates explain that they couldn't remember why they quit the guild/insulted the officers/yelled out their phone number in Vent. Pretty entertaining for those of us watching, but for a guild actually trying to make progression, such members can be hard to handle.
The worst I've seen was when I was guilded with a tank with an admitted drug and alcohol problem. He was an excellent tank when he was present and conscious, which is why guilds kept giving him chances. The end of the line for him with our guild was when he was the main tank for Nefarian -- we were just beginning to learn the fight, and the guild leader figured a tank with Will of the Forsaken might make things easier. He did a good job the first try. He did a good job the second try. But after the ten minute break before the third try, he disappeared. He didn't log out or tell anyone he was going AFK -- he just stayed still until he disconnected. Turns out he had taken quite a bit of alcohol and/or cocaine before the raid and had passed out at his computer. Needless to say, he didn't get to tank Nef again (although he did stay in the guild.)
What does your guild do with people who are clearly intoxicated during instances? Do you have a drug-free zone policy during raids, or do you consider it a violation of the person's privacy to tell them what to do in their personal lives?
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Instances, Raiding