To spoil or not to spoil?

 that is the question...

Before I begin, I just wanted to take some time to address some of the feedback I've received over the past few posts I've put up. First and foremost - yes, I know that I incorrectly attributed my difficulty with tabletop roleplaying to the era rather than being 32 years old. The specific era in which we live (while it is a contributing factor to the distopian alienation many of us feel from one another) has very little to do with the convenience or complications of hosting a D&D campaign. the problem is being 32 and having all of my friends being late twenties to late thirties and all of us picking up endless responsibilities over the past five years.

That one is on me guys, and I'm glad that so many people read the piece and had such a passionate reaction to it that you felt you needed to correct my improper verbiage. I'll keep making the same mistakes over and over again, though... so be warned - I'm not particularly details oriented. But the point remains with me, D&D is alive and well across the globe!  That said, my point remains that it might be D&D not offering the players what they are looking for, so I'll have to look into that a bit more.

Also, I just wanted to say that my issue didn't really have to do with the concept of the public game - I could go to my LGS any Monday or Wednesday evening and find a game... but I don't want to play with strangers in a loud obnoxious gaming store. My principle concern was the trouble I was having getting a group of friends together for a regular game. Everyone wants to play in the game, but when it comes time to put something on the calendar, it is pretty tough to get consensus.

It might be me, and it might be the world, but I think it has more to do with one of our group having a baby, another starting an entrepreneurial venture, and yet another being a burden to the group and being asked to leave. I think that it was this combination of things that led me down the path to writing that piece.

That said, we met this past weekend, and it felt like old times! Mike rejoined the group, and the six of us completed chapter two of Horde of the Dragon Queen with raucous laughter and some very poor planning!

This piece is one I've been storing in my head since Gencon; when FFG shocked the world by releasing the next three month's worth of Netrunner all at once and without any warning. Is it better to dive headlong into the spoilers for cards that won't be out until nearer Christmas than now, or should you avoid those threads and revel in the cards you have now?

On our Netrunner podcast, Tag Me, one of the co-hosts has been trying to stay spoiler free since the start of the SanSan cycle, and until two weeks ago he was doing a pretty good job. When Data and Destiny, Old Hollywood and Universe of Tomorrow were released and subsequently posted all over the internet, he gave up on his quest to remain spoiler free. It was just going to be too much work to avoid the spoilers for the next three months. I had the opposite reaction... I decided I was going to do my best to avoid all of the D&D spoilers I could.

I had purchased Universe of Tomorrow, so I know what is in that set, but I also have it in hand, so that's not exactly spoiling the pack for myself. I know the official spoilers from FFG regarding Data and Destiny, but I do not know what the Breaking News card does, or what a Directive is - just that Adam has three of them to start the game. My goal is to keep spoiler-light right up to the release of the set.

But why? Am I getting anything out of going without spoilers beyond the smug self-satisfaction I get from being "pure" or whatever? I don't honestly think so, except for one small thing.

Order and Chaos came and went like a firestorm, and all of the spoilers really made what should have been a mind-blowing experience into just thirty minutes of sorting cards into their respective piles without really taking the time to appreciate how amazing the set was. We already knew about Hivemind, and Eater, Government Takeover and Titan Transnational; there were already MaxX decks populating the internet and people already knew whether or not they were going to like the next generation of Weyland decks.

Data and Destiny contains my all-time favourite corporation, NBN, an homage to which you can find in the name of this website; and I feel it would be a disservice to myself to lose any of the wonder that I so eagerly anticipate from the cards yet to be released. I want to be so surprised by the expansion that I'm more or less willing to separate myself from Netrunner content articles for the foreseeable future.  We all know they'll just wind up being: "Which is better, Adam or Apex" and I don't want to know the answer to that question until I can figure it out for myself!

Everyone else in my home group, including the other hosts of my podcast have already embraced the spoilers surrounding the Gencon releases, but I'm acting like the petulant child who wants his toy to be more special than theirs. Is this a logical response to what happened at Gencon? Should I just join the cool kids club and blow my excitement three months in advance?

I really don't know if there is a single correct answer to that question - since virtually nobody gets to actually play with the cards until they come out, we are just looking at another Order and Chaos scenario whereby the OCTGN players get to test everything out before hand and the rest of us just know what's good and what's bad by the time we even hold the box in our hands. I don't love that... even if it puts me at a disadvantage at local game night events, I think that the exploration and discovery itself has value.

Admittedly, this is a departure from the stance I had six months ago when we were learning all about Order and Chaos weeks ahead of its release - but that experience soured me on the spoiler culture in Netrunner. Why should I get so excited for something I can't even have, just to fit in with everyone else who is excited over something they don't have either?

So with all that said, what do you think? Is it worth it to try and stay "pure" in terms of Data and Destiny - or is it a pointless exercise in futility? I would really like to preserve my excitement for the expansion, but I also love being involved in the conversation of the day.

As you will hear on the coming episode of Tag Me, Alex and Kevin are both crazy pumped to talk about Data and Destiny, and I felt like I was holding them back from that conversation. Is this fair of me, to take the conversation away from my co-hosts on the podcast?

I think that maybe this is just me being selfish and wanting to hold onto something that doesn't exist anymore. I'm trying to preserve some perceived innocence that was taken from me three weeks ago.

So what are your thoughts on the subject of the Netrunner spoiler? Do you devour them and start building new decks right away? Or do you try and hide yourself away from them in order to more fully enjoy the cards you already have?

Food for thought, at least.

Thanks for reading, and remember - always be gaming!

Matt