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Posted by SgtSphynx (2606 posts) 3 years, 3 months ago

Poll: In your opinion, are gameplay spoilers really spoilers? (256 votes)

Yes 25%
Only when plot related or the evolution of gameplay mechanics is the bulk/entirety of the game (Frog Fractions) 63%
Not at all 12%

Got into a discussion about spoilers, nothing specific just the topic in general, and I hold the belief that gameplay mechanics are only spoiler territory when they are plot related or in special cases like Frog Fractions. Just curious what the overall feeling on the topic is.

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#1 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

Depends on the game or the mechanic in question, if something happens totally out of the blue and is way different than the rest of the game then it's a spoiler.

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#2 Posted by redking56 (218 posts) -

If the last couple of weeks tells us anything, everything is a spoiler. Knowing your character is is controllable and you control them is a spoiler.

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#3 Posted by redyoshi (1426 posts) -

Sometimes, like if there's a cool setpiece or something. Actually I wouldn't even outright call it a spoiler, just annoying. It's like when I'm watching a movie with a friend and they're like, "watch this awesome part coming up!" It could lead to heightened expectations and being let down by something that could have taken me by surprise.

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#4 Edited by nophilip (679 posts) -

Frog Fractions may be the only case where I would consider it an actual spoiler.

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#5 Edited by Devil240Z (5705 posts) -

Not at all. When I was a kid absorbing as much info about the gameplay/mechanics/screenshots as I could was part of the hype machine.

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#6 Posted by teaoverlord (592 posts) -

No, but I also don't really care about plot spoilers.

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#7 Posted by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

The only one I can think of is the ending of Brothers.

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#8 Posted by newmoneytrash (2440 posts) -

It all depends. It absolutely can be, but it isn't always

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#9 Posted by BoOzak (2474 posts) -

Any knowledge that can reduce the enjoyment of the game I consider a spoiler, even if it's in a trailer put out by the publisher to entice me to get the game. We all have different ideas of what constitutes a spoiler, but if you really care then you should know how to avoid them.

Like i'm avoiding all the Halo footage at the moment, even though I dont care that much about the story at large there could be moments i'd rather experience myself instead of going 'huh, I remember that from the trailer'

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#10 Edited by MezZa (3036 posts) -

There's no clear cut answer for this. Some games have some real surprising twists in gameplay that most people would rather see on their own than hear about online. In my opinion it's not usually much of a spoiler, but in these situations its not one's own opinion that matters. It's the opinion of those who you are revealing the information to that matters, and out of respect for that I usually just avoid saying anything that could be gameplay spoilers altogether. Follow the comma rule when it comes to spoilers. When in doubt, leave it out.

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#11 Posted by AnxiousTube (245 posts) -

I don't mind spoilers, but when the evolution of the gameplay is inherit to the merits of the game, I do feel slightly slighted by the information.

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#12 Posted by Lost_Remnant (383 posts) -

I'd say if a gameplay mechanic introduced at a later point in the game that changes how it plays completely could count and major story stuff of course.

For my part, it's mostly just major story stuff or the game ending. If I hear about a crazy new gameplay mechanic I get interested more in checking it out in a "that sounds totally nuts, I gotta see this for myself" sort of thing. For games I want to go pretty dark on, I just avoid most of it. I'm pretty hyped for Phantom Pain and the only bits of it I have watched is what Giantbomb has put on the site for the Metal Gear Scanlon trailer episode and the quick look. I'm sure I'll remember some of the stuff from the trailers but in the current moment I have no context for what is going on and that's totally fine.

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#13 Posted by Mirado (2557 posts) -

I've only ever considered story spoilers to be really harmful, and I always considered things in marketing materials as fair game for free discussion. I've learned that a lot of people don't see it that way, and as such I just tag everything anymore. It takes five seconds and it keeps everyone happy.

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#14 Posted by Turambar (8251 posts) -

Gameplay is capable of helping tell stories at times, so possibly.

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#15 Edited by TobbRobb (6541 posts) -

Anything where surprise or discovery is key to the enjoyment of it can be spoiled.

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#16 Posted by Underwhelmed (56 posts) -

It depends on the game, but it seems to me at least, that the lighter the traditional story elements in a game are, the more likely "mechanical reveals" are going to be important turning points/twists.

Only tangential to the first point: Axiom Verge has a lot of interesting mechanics mixed together, and many of them are exciting when you first get them. It helps that it has some pretty unique abilities and weapons, but that sense of awe a few of them give you when your brain starts thinking up ways to put the upgrade to use are pretty high points in the game. If you go in already knowing what the various gimmicks are, you don't really get that so much.

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#17 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (6354 posts) -

Gameplay doesn't have to be specifically related to the story to be a spoiler, and even developers and publishers know this. As an example, before Infamous: Second Son was released, the developers refused to talk about the last powers that you acquire. Leaving something to the imagination is important.

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#18 Posted by VampiricLunatic (38 posts) -

As long as the gameplay video does not reveal too much, as in too much of the story, I don't consider them a spoiler.

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#19 Posted by glots (4184 posts) -

@redyoshi said:

Sometimes, like if there's a cool setpiece or something. Actually I wouldn't even outright call it a spoiler, just annoying. It's like when I'm watching a movie with a friend and they're like, "watch this awesome part coming up!" It could lead to heightened expectations and being let down by something that could have taken me by surprise.

This. I remember listening to (at least) Brad raving about the Raptor News boss in DmC. I did find the fight fun when I eventually played it, but it definetly wasn't something as mindblowing as he made it out to be.

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#20 Edited by bceagles128 (788 posts) -

100% case by case basis. Really though, by definition, a spoiler is something that person A tells person B that ruins person B's experience. So person A's opinion on whether it should ruin person B's experience is irrelevant to whether it was a spoiler in that instance.

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#21 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

@glottery: What makes the fight interesting to Jeff or Brad is the audaciousness, sort of raw anti-American sentiment (even if that wasn't intentional by the designers, they were just making something based off of what they perceive) of the design, much like the last boss in Revengeance.

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#22 Posted by Teddie (2098 posts) -

Like most people are saying, depends on the situation. There were a lot of "spoilers" in the MGSV gameplay things, but they actually showed me a bunch of weird/cool stuff I never would have tried (and I never would have experimented as much with the gameplay without those videos). At the same time I wouldn't want to know that there's a rocket launcher in Ratchet and Clank that plays the 1812 Overture whenever you use it.

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#23 Posted by SgtSphynx (2606 posts) -

@teddie said:

At the same time I wouldn't want to know that there's a rocket launcher in Ratchet and Clank that plays the 1812 Overture whenever you use it.

I had forgotten about that.

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#24 Posted by Slag (8138 posts) -

Not often but they certainly can be, especially in survival horror games I'd think. E.g. I'd definitely not want to know some of the "sanity effects" that could happen to the player in Eternal Darkness ahead of time as it would really lessen their impact.

Hidden characters, jump scares, boss extra final forms etc, main playable character switch, anything Kojima related really.

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#25 Posted by hermes (2573 posts) -

It really is a case by case example. I am assuming for it to be a twist, it has to change at some point, but not all of the changes have repercussions in the narrative.

For example, I don't consider knowing that in Bioshock Infinite you can upgrade your weapons is a spoiler, because it is not relevant to the story. But knowing that the control scheme changes at the end of Brothers, or that you loose all your powers after the first stage in God of War 2 would be spoilers, since they have narrative repercussions.

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#26 Posted by Pierre42 (454 posts) -

Yes.

"So at this point in Puzzle-Adventure Game X you need to use Jim's head to progress further in the game.""Wait so does Jim die?"

"..."

I realise this is an extreme example but stuff like this does happen. Messages like "Call in X for help," where "X" is currently a bad guy in your game reveals allegiances and plot twists later on.

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#27 Posted by Dragon_Puncher (619 posts) -

If the last couple of weeks tells us anything, everything is a spoiler. Knowing your character is is controllable and you control them is a spoiler.

You should spoiler tag that shit dude!

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#28 Posted by Veektarius (6399 posts) -

To spoil is to reveal anything that was made better for the fact it was a surprise. Sometimes this is gameplay, more often it is story, but at the end of day it's almost always subjective.

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#29 Posted by CatsAkimbo (790 posts) -

I avoid story spoilers, but I seek out gameplay "spoilers". There have been too many cases where I just completely miss something in gameplay that I'd like to know about, like wasting time farming with a crappy weapon when an overpowered weapon is unlocked later, or getting bored with something, but later realizing you unlock an ability that makes combat way more fun.

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#30 Posted by Ares42 (4224 posts) -

In my entire life I have only had one thing actually spoiled for me. It was a movie, and it wasn't because someone told me a plot point or something cool that happened or anything. It was purely because all my friends kept telling how awesome it was so it inevitably didn't in any way live up to expectations. So ask yourself this question, do all these supposed spoilers actually ruin the experience for you ? or are they just minor missed opportunities of "maximized enjoyment" that probably made you more excited about checking out the entire experience for yourself ?

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#31 Posted by Damodar (2152 posts) -

To spoil is to reveal anything that was made better for the fact it was a surprise.

This is a quite eloquent way of saying how I feel about what constitutes a spoiler.

It doesn't have to be a massive thing that prior knowledge of will be of major detriment to the experience in order to be a spoiler.

For example, in Bayonetta, when first seeking out the gold LPs with the Angelic Hymns that give you new weapons, the anticipation of what they could possibly be added to my enjoyment of that. There were one or two weapons in there that just had me cackling with glee and I'm really glad I actually got to have those moments by not knowing what that stuff was going to be. In fact, that game is just full of all these little bits of gold like that which would really be nothing major at all to have spoiled, but I got so much enjoyment out of being surprised by them.

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#32 Edited by ajamafalous (13805 posts) -

Depends on the game. Obviously, in mechanics-heavy games or puzzle games or something then it's a spoiler (think something like how to fight a boss in Dark Souls, or games where they subvert your expectations with new mechanics like Axiom Verge or Fez).

Honestly I don't understand why people get so mad about other people not wanting to have something spoiled. @veektarius said it best:

To spoil is to reveal anything that was made better for the fact it was a surprise. Sometimes this is gameplay, more often it is story, but at the end of day it's almost always subjective.

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#33 Edited by paulmako (1956 posts) -

@tobbrobb said:

Anything where surprise or discovery is key to the enjoyment of it can be spoiled.

1,000 times this.

Even if something is just a mechanic or gameplay change, often the element of surprise or the game defying your expectations makes it all that more awesome. For instance, alternative ways to beat bosses.

Or an example from Half Life 2: When the gravity gun at the end of the game freaks out and lets you start zapping dudes. It's such a cool moment and I didn't know about it beforehand so would have been slightly annoyed if someone told me about it before.

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#34 Posted by Netherdiver (97 posts) -

I think it's just safe to assume that ANYTHING can be a spoiler to any chunk of people. We live in an age where early E3 leaks are considered spoilers.

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#35 Edited by BradBrains (2248 posts) -

this "spoiler" culture is getting out of control if basic gameplay stuff is considered spoilers to some.

if both gameplay elements and story outside of the first 20 minutes are considered spoilers whats the point of even talking about games?

obviously thats hyperbole but I guess my point is if I have to black out every gun name or move than its really silly. I feel the mgs talk has been more black bars than text

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#36 Posted by Efesell (4165 posts) -

I think at a certain point if your sensitivity to spoilers is so extreme then it's time to just excuse yourself and not expect others to always walk on eggshells. I think gameplay is drifting awfully close to that.

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#37 Posted by Litation (19 posts) -

I'd say to a degree yes, maybe its not necessarily direct game play itself but knowing how something works can ruin how you play or how you feel when playing. For example having the mechanics of how Until Dawns story mechanics work (not the story) on the Beastcast made it far less enjoyable and removed the sense of control I thought I had over it. I think in Stealth/Horror games its more prevalent because once you know how the AI works the fear is gone because you know how to game the system.

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#38 Edited by BeachThunder (15100 posts) -

General rule of thumb:

[Is it surprising?] --Yes--> [Don't spoil it!]

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#39 Posted by clagnaught (2084 posts) -

I'm a little torn, but in the end I voted No.

This is probably a nitpicking response, but I think I would define gameplay mechanics in terms of basics regarding how the game plays, while specific or limited/short term gameplay mechanics could be considered story focused. To give an example:

Gameplay: BioShock Infinite is a first person shooter where you can use guns and special abilities called Vigors to use against enemies. The way it plays is very similar to the original BioShock. Even though the focus of the game is trying to rescue Elizabeth, this is not an escort mission in the sense you don't have to protect her from the bad guys. In fact, at various points in the game she will help you out, like finding money and ammo for you.

Story/Spoilers: At one point, you can use Songbird to attack a large group of enemies.

Reason being you only have control of him for one segment of the game and it is something that would not be known by people who haven't played the game. In terms of all the mechanics available in a game like BioShock Infinite, interacting with Songbird is towards the bottom of the list of noteworthy gameplay things about the game, while the same fact would be towards the upper half of the story side of things.

Maybe I read the question too literally. Saying something like MGSV has a cardboard box and one of your buddies is a dog named D.D. isn't a spoiler though.

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#40 Edited by LackingSaint (2185 posts) -

@bradbrains said:

this "spoiler" culture is getting out of control if basic gameplay stuff is considered spoilers to some.

if both gameplay elements and story outside of the first 20 minutes are considered spoilers whats the point of even talking about games?

obviously thats hyperbole but I guess my point is if I have to black out every gun name or move than its really silly. I feel the mgs talk has been more black bars than text

I think it shows that the dialogue around games as an art-form is still in its infancy, that a lot of people still find it so difficult to discuss them without simply describing things that happen. With many films and works of literature, you can write entire essays without getting into "spoiler territory", looking at stuff like cultural context, influences, tone, and even narrative themes if you're vague about it. There's a whole language out there for it, where you can really understand a work without any blatant discussion about specific beats and details. It definitely exists with games, but maybe due to the generally-younger audience (which is getting older over time), it's harder for that to be the kind of conversation we have rather than "Oh but dude wasn't if fucking crazy when that lady that was helping you turned out to be the villain?"

Kentucky Route Zero is probably the best example I can think of right now, as far as a game where discussion can be a little more mature and we don't need to worry about "spoilers". Because, honestly, talking about the design, style and influence of that games is way more interesting than just talking about narrative and gameplay twists, and I wish that were the case with games more often.

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#41 Posted by Teddie (2098 posts) -

@bradbrains: I think it'd only really be getting out of control if those people who think anything and everything is a spoiler, were reading/watching/engaging with conversations/coverage of a game, and then blaming everyone but themselves for getting "spoiled".

Although people probably do that and I just haven't seen any of it...

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#42 Posted by pkmnfrk (304 posts) -

If the whole game is building up to a specific moment or beat or whatever, then yeah, that's a spoiler.

Otherwise, anyone who would be offended by the knowledge that there exists a specific gun or whatever should grow up.

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#43 Edited by mellotronrules (2493 posts) -

@bradbrains said:

this "spoiler" culture is getting out of control if basic gameplay stuff is considered spoilers to some.

if both gameplay elements and story outside of the first 20 minutes are considered spoilers whats the point of even talking about games?

obviously thats hyperbole but I guess my point is if I have to black out every gun name or move than its really silly. I feel the mgs talk has been more black bars than text

FWIW- i completely agree. even the language itself- 'spoiler' - implies that the entire value of a thing rests upon its ability to surprise you...almost as if you have prior knowledge of a thing, it isn't worth experiencing.

and i don't know what the bigger bummer is there- that your enjoyment is so superficial that you require surprise to enjoy a thing, or that the material itself relies entirely the element of surprise to keep its audience engaged.

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#44 Posted by BradBrains (2248 posts) -

@teddie said:

@bradbrains: I think it'd only really be getting out of control if those people who think anything and everything is a spoiler, were reading/watching/engaging with conversations/coverage of a game, and then blaming everyone but themselves for getting "spoiled".

Although people probably do that and I just haven't seen any of it...

I specifically brought up the metal gear solid threads for a reason. go into them. its more black bars than text. things like weapon names are blacked out. I just think people are getting too sensitive about that kinda stuff.

now im not gonna go up to a guy and say the game equivalent of " SOLIENT GREENS ARE PEOPLE" but I think going into a thread discussing a game you should know that stuff like "guns are used in metal gear" might be a thing"

@lackingsaintcertainly makes a good point though. I think the big thing is usually with movies and things tone and basic elements arent considered spoilers. yes, there a big plot points that are avoided but if you read an essay and it talked about how a bar scene helped this womans character it probably would be considered a spoiler.

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#45 Posted by SgtSphynx (2606 posts) -

@bradbrains: yep, my main issue is dealing with Quiet and her relation to gameplay outside of mission 11 (I think) when trailers have shown that gameplay status since the word go.

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