Before we go into today's touchy topic, I just want to be clear that we are assuming all people involved are of legal age and in good health. If that is not the case, then that's a whole other issue entirely. We don't condone underage drinking or illegal activities of any kind. And now that I have piqued your interest, let's get right to it.
Dear Drama Mamas,
My guild is currently running 10-man ICC twice a week. I had been raiding just once a week, but my schedule freed up and now I am raiding twice. The guild consists of real life buddies and coworkers. I am one of the few people who doesn't work with everyone else or date someone in the guild. Everyone in my guild is really close (except for me). Raiding has always been really chill (we only raid for about 2 hours and normally don't have to much trouble downing new fights). Well that's changed lately. We are now sitting in front of Sindragosa. It doesn't matter how hard we try - we seem to screw up on something every time.
I love wipe nights because I think they are fun. Well, I used to. It seems like the majority of the guild has found a new remedy for wipe nights. Lots of alcohol. Now, trust me I like to drink as much as everyone else does. Drinking (responsibly) doesn't bother me.
Recently we were raiding when I noticed one guild member quickly become more talkative. His speech wasn't exactly perfect. So I asked his girlfriend if he was drinking. Well duh. Then I asked his brother later into the raid why it seemed like everyone was drinking (granted this is on a Wednesday). His answer was "it makes the facepalm wipes more bearable."
To me this kinda defeats the purpose of raiding. It is supposed to be (in my opinion) about having fun and conquering new aspects of the game. Yes, it is also about gear. But if you can't bear raiding without having alcohol, what's the point of even doing it? Also, the drinking starts before the wipes even begin, as if they know we are doomed to fail. Trust me, I have seen these people - drinking does not in any way, shape, or form improve their raiding skills. In fact, for some of them it greatly decreases their skills. The drinking has also lead to some rather callous statements - that I know would not have been said were the person sober. Their drinking is turning me off from raiding with them.
So my dilemma: do I bring this up to my guildies? Or do I just accept that this is how they deal with new content?
Drama Mama Robin: Bri, when I first read the subject of your email, I saw "My guildies are turning into altoholics!" and I thought, "That's happening a lot this close to Cataclysm." Reading fail. What is actually happening to you is still related. There's a lack of urgency and seriousness going on in this in between time, which I'm sure is one of the reasons behind your guildies changing their definition of fun.
The interesting thing here is that there are many guilds who raid while under the influence of something (not necessarily liquid) and do so with success. But there is a difference between that being the status quo and it suddenly being forced upon non-participating members. And it is particularly unpleasant if the lack of inhibitions that alcohol brings about results in nasty things being said, making the sober feel uncomfortable.
Because it is a recent thing, I doubt that your guildies are actually becoming alcoholics. I think it's the time of year, plus the status of the content and a desire of many of them to just relax and get silly during their leisure time. But even if they are developing problems, they don't sound like they want to hear anything about it. You're just going to be seen as a buzzkill. It's really too bad that this happened before you all finished your progression, but I think they are done being serious until Cataclysm (if then).
Find another guild to join that is still serious about progression. Tell your current guildies that you will happily return when and if they want to go back to seriously trying. Don't burn bridges by placing blame or laying on a guilt trip. While you are looking, try to PUG raids and get a feel for other good players. You should be able to find more than one guild on your server that is hurting for raiders at this time. Apathy sucks for the non-apathetic.
Also, don't be surprised if your drinking guildies don't stop imbibing when the new expansion hits. They may be forming a new habit that they like. Again, that may be a sign of a problem, or it may be just a way to drink responsibly. It is better than hitting happy hour and then driving home. Regardless, it doesn't sound like you are likely to join them in their inebriated instancing. So finding a new raiding home now is your best bet. Good luck!
Drama Mama Lisa: I agree with everything Robin said. I would also add one thing to this equation -- a question that's becoming a refrain in so many Drama Mama responses ...
/whisper And what are GM and officers doing?
Your guild leaders may be among those turning raid time into happy hour. Even if they aren't, if they're laughing along with the rest of the gang, then they're condoning and supporting the situation. I'm not saying that's either good or bad -- but it is the way they've chosen to handle this situation. That, more than anything, is your signal that it's time to look elsewhere for your progression fix.
It's absolutely possible to hop to another raid group without burning bridges with your real-life friends and coworkers. Use our tips for making a drama-free move. Be matter of fact. It's not the end of the world -- just a temporary parting of the ways.
Dramabuster of the Week: Don't say anything in whispers that you wouldn't want screenshotted and plastered on the forums or somewhere else on the internet. Seriously. There is no privacy in WoW, and the internet is forever.
Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at firstname.lastname@example.org.