Congregating with Cocktails
By: Paul "SLiDE" Shortt
What favorite past time includes an alcoholic beverage and your mouth? Drinking alcoholic beverages with your mouth! Is there any other way? Maybe, but we won't be covering that here today at least.
Many, many people mix alcohol with EverQuest 2 daily. Studying this article should better prepare you for what to expect, and what to look for. There are pros and cons to drinking while in-game. Yep, I said there were pros. Take a walk with me if you dare discover what lies beneath the sober shroud of responsibility and good behavior.
Grouping with the Unknown
Some of you fear the dreaded "pick-up" group, but many of you still brave the unknown sea of players lurking in the land of Norrath. If this is you, then you most definitely have found a tipsy player. How can you tell if he's been drinking? In most of my experiences, they come straight out and tell you. For some reason the drunk guy wants people to know he's drunk. Perhaps it's a warning uttered from the tiny sober part of their subconscious warning others that he probably won't be playing at 100 percent. That explanation is only for all you glass half full types. For the rest of us realists, we know that the drunken persona simply beams with pride and swims in it's own drunken glory just because it is. There is no reason other than "haha I'm drunk, slurring my speech and you are not!!" /points and laughs.
While these groups can be amusing at first, they can quickly become annoying. Witty banter soon is irritating, and play style becomes obviously sloppy. The worst part about it is, that these types of groups/players tend to catch the innocent player off guard. If you find yourself in a group with one or more drinkers, and have a specific agenda set for yourself, leave quickly to save yourself some time.
Grouping with the Guildies
If your guild has somewhat of a relaxed attitude, grouping with drinkers might not be so bad. Becoming involved in any battle or questing situation might have dire effects such as loss of life, or loss of time due to loss of direction during loss of sobriety. While these actions can rub even the most patient player raw, grouping with good friends can wash the pain away with a well-placed joke or slapstick maneuver. People are always more tolerant with friends than the perfect stranger. The drinks also tend to lower the hilarity barrier making even the most mundane actions seem funny.
Many guilds already have some sort of voice chat server set up like Team Speak or Ventrillo. The sound of an embalmed player can be much more satisfying than trying to read through a mixture of slaughtered English, unless reading misspelled words is something that excites you.
I had the chance to talk with a few veteran players who enjoy the occasional cocktail during EQ2 Play time with guild-mates. One of the most interesting forms of laughable communication deals with animal noises. A recurrent noise used is "moo". While "moo" may not bring copious amounts of zeal to just ANYBODY, this is the type of inside joke that can be enjoyed by a guild and in this case evoked by some form of "Grandpappy's Old Cough Medicine". Expect to hear lots of giggling and snorting. Alcohol tends to loosen those "anti-snorting" muscles.
When to Drink
There is no specific time to drink. If you are of drinking age, you can drink whenever you want. However, Drinking with guildies can be caused by somewhat of a domino effect.
Guildie X and Y are drinking which sparks the interest of Guildie Z who starts drinking and tells Guildie T and A that the beer is tasting pretty good which brings them on board the SS Guzzle. Guildies 7a and B ver 2.0 jump into the group with X, Y, and Z. B 2.0 and 7a are now sipping the sauce, Team Speak is fired up and the mooing commences.
Pros and Cons
The cons are pretty obvious when dealing with inebriated players or even becoming sloshed yourselves.
- Trapped in zones: Booze can turn your group around. Getting lost in Nettleville is even a possibility. Why in the world did your raid party go to Nettleville in the first place?
- Drunk Dialing: This is one of many causes of the blind afk. Did your healer stop healing but didn't go linkdead? Chances are they're leaving an unnecessary message for their ex-significant other right now. And you're dead.
- Puzzles: Need to finish a quest that involves solving some kind of puzzle? Do it another day.
- Logging Out: You are less likely to worry about where you zoned out for the night. You may find yourself popping up in the middle of an angry group of aggro harpies upon logging in next time. "Why in god's name did I log out here? REZ PLZ!!"
- Dying: There will be lots of it. That group mate you had on auto-follow just fell asleep at the keyboard and ran off of a ledge in Sinking Sands, what do you do?
- Sexual Advances: Beer goggles can magically conjure wanted or unwanted forms of flirting. Suddenly that mass of textured polygons starts to look pretty inviting. "What? You're a guy? But you're female woodelf is soooo hot!! Omg gimme yer number anyway."
(NOTE: If you do in fact feel uncomfortable by any unwarranted advances, contact SoE immediately and report it.)
The Pros aren't as prevalent, but there are a couple that might ride the pro/con line.
- Breaking the Social Wall: Some people are just naturally shy. Putting down some canned heat is shown to weaken inhibitions. Haven't you been meaning to chat it up with that good looking Ogre, Krunnk that you saw in town last week?
- Sleep deprivation: You can't sleep? Oh… it's only because you can't stop playing the game? Have a night cap. You'll be asleep at your keyboard in no time.
- Understanding l33t speak: There have been some studies where plastered players were actually able to understand OMG jo0z [email protected]|) 74r()u64 0uR (0|)3 6y \)r|\||(1|\|6 y0!! Or maybe understanding was mistaken for lack of caring. ::shrug::
- Don't go to jail!: If you stay home, play EverQuest 2 and have a few cocktails, your chances of going to jail have significantly decreased for the night instead of a night out on the town with your old buddies Jack and Jim.
In all seriousness, alcoholism is a serious issue. Please drink responsibly.
If you would like more information on alcohol use and its dangers, please visit http://www.health.org/.
Check out http://store.health.org/catalog/facts.aspx?topic=3 for some quick facts on alcoholism.
Editors Note: TenTonHammer and its staff, does not encourage the consumption of alcohol by minors. Also, as Slide mentioned, please be responsible when you drink, and be wary. The dangers of alcoholism are very real and should be treated with seriousness.
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