Fans Divided About Whether 'Spamming' Is OK In Mortal Kombat

Fans Divided About Whether

One of Mortal Kombat's newest characters is gaining a reputation, at least among casual fans. According to the internet, Jacqui Briggs is a problem.

More specifically, it's the way people are playing her. There's recently been a lot of salt directed at players who pick Jacqui Briggs and then proceed to spam the same move over and over again.

Fans Divided About Whether

What you're seeing is herthe "Hand Cannon" move, which is performed by pressing down, forward, triangle (at least on the PS4). It's a pretty simple move to pull off.

Players who are on the receiving end of Briggs' cannon aren't particularly happy about how often it's used. Taking a look online, it's not hard to find a number of threads around the web complaining about Jacqui's spam:

Fans Divided About Whether

Some players have resorted to creating tutorials to help others deal. Others have taken to Twitter to beg Ed Boon, the co-creator of Mortal Kombat, to do something about it:

Fans Divided About Whether

And there are also a few videos floating around of players who gloat after beating Brigg's spam, as we saw yesterday.

Of course, just because some people complain about something doesn't necessarily make that thing an actual problem. Turns out people have very strong, but very different philosophies about stuff like "spam."

Some people would argue that repeatedly using the same technique over and over again is cheap; a thing that only newbies that don't know how to play the game would do. Spamming in this case is seen as a crutch. Lots of fighting games have infamous spammer characters — Street Fighter's Ken was ridiculed because players liked to solve every problem with a Shoryuken, and BlazBlue's Nu -No.13 had a stigma because players could use her to spam endless swords that put a lot of pressure on the opponent.

Others would argue that "spamming" isn't a problem at all: you are either good enough to deal with the problem at hand, or you're not. After all, if spamming is such a low-level technique, shouldn't that mean capable players can get past it with ease? Isn't learning how to deal with common strategies the cornerstone of the fighting game experience? Why should someone switch it up to kill you if doing the same thing over and over again is all that it takes? Don't we play games to win?

Heck, more experienced Mortal Kombat players might not call reliance on Jacqui's Hand Cannon spam at all — to them, her arsenal is well-suited for "zoning," which the Street Fighter Wiki describes as "tactics centered around keeping the opponent at a specific distance." Naturally, a smart player will make use of a character's strengths — in this case, that means using Hand Cannon whenever necessary or convenient.

The problem isn't that some Jacqui players spam, not really. It's that people have very specific ideas of how games should be played, and few completely agree on what that looks like. Calculating players have no problems with techniques that get the job done; to them, finding ways to get what they want is the entire point of the game. Others seem seem more fond of the idea of honour — just because the battlefield is deadly doesn't mean combatants shouldn't display some etiquette. Doing a cheap move over and over again could be seen as a form of disrespect.

Things get particularly messy when you consider games as a spectator sport. The most effective way to win is not always the most entertaining thing to watch — seeing Jacqui spam the Hand Cannon move isn't particularly exciting to see. This isn't a problem unique to Mortal Kombat, of course. Earlier this year, Smash Bros. fans booed Diddy Kong at a tournament: they didn't like seeing this character use the same moves over and over again, regardless of how effective it was. Earlier this week, there was a lot of commotion over Floyd Mayweather's win over Manny Pacquiao. To some fans, the match was considered garbage thanks to how defensively Mayweather played. As Drew Magary of Deadspin explains, "[Mayweather] clearly built his fighting style around with a calculated strategy of gaming the compubox system so that he gets credit for even the most cursory of punches."

The "problem" with the Mayweather match is one that gaming sees pretty often: players are predisposed to want to game the system. I'd argue that it becomes easier to do when you're playing online, dealing only with a digital representation of your opponent. If I were sitting on a couch with someone who is a friend, I'll at least think twice about using an infamous technique or move that's considered cheap. After all, I'd have to deal with my opponent's reaction in person. Maybe they'd get mad, or I'd feel shame. But when I'm playing online and my opponent is a stranger halfway around the world? Fuck it. I don't owe anyone anything. I'm guessing that professional Mortal Kombat players have a similar no-mercy attitude about matches, particularly when money or glory is on the line.

Given how long people have argued about the way games "should" be played, and what techniques are supposedly "cheap" to use, I suspect the tensions between playing to win and playing for honour are going to be around for a while yet. Game designers may continually strive to keep their games balanced — nerf one move, buff another — but creative players will always find unexpected routes to victory. Regardless of how we feel about Jacqui Briggs and her tricky hand cannon, I hope we can at least agree that she's probably still not as annoying as all those damned Scorpion players running around.


Comments

    I was able to beat a full auto briggs last night.

    crouch
    don't block
    ??????
    profit

    Of course it shits people, losing usually does.
    Ultimately though, a win is a win and at the end of the match, when you see the words victory you pat yourself on the back, and when you see the words defeat, and it was at the hands of a single move spammer then it stings all the more. You would think though, with the amount of people that are doing it, that you would have some practice with defending against it...

    edit*
    Spawn camping, and camping in general
    FOTM builds that are OP
    Turtling

    If the game, whichever one you choose, allows for a particular style of play that fits in the intended use of mechanics, that is considered cheap because it leads to easy wins then you can bet that people will abuse it, but it isn't wrong, or cheating, or hacking or any number of excuses that people come up with. An argument could be made for morally wrong but that is in the eye of the beholder, usually the ones losing to said strategy.

    Last edited 07/05/15 11:23 am

    Dunno why Jacqui Briggs is being singled out here. There are other characters in the game that are built around zoning...Kano and Quan Chi being two prime examples. In fact in most cases the zoning game is variation specific to boot, one of Jax's variations is very much built around zoning.

    There are always ways around it, you just need to actually use your brain. In the video that was shown yesterday, the Kung Jin player that eventually won the match wasn't much better, all he did was spam the same setup and combo over and over again - the same combo that almost every Kung Jin player tries to abuse. He didn't try anything else. He didn't even think about trying to fire his own projectiles back at her, or using EX moves to armour through the spamming. All he wanted to do was get off the first hit of his setup so he could combo to 35-45% damage and repeat until he wins. His spam was just as bad, really.

    Last edited 07/05/15 12:03 pm

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but why say that "casuals" have an issue with this?

    Oh god it's Deathstroke all over again.

    The problem with that attack is the bullets fire in bursts and are guaranteed to hit. You can't jump over like with most projectiles and not everybody can duck them.

    Personally I've always thought that projectiles should never cause chip damage.

      You can jump them and pretty sure all characters can duck them too (except maybe Goro).

        I main Ferra/Torr, pretty much have to block all projectiles.

          No you don't. If the projectile is going to hit high, Like Jacquie's guns (Apart from the ex version) you can just neutral crouch without blocking and the bullets will miss you even though it may look like they are going to hit. As a newbie to fighters this was some invaluable advice I got from testyourmight .com - go into training with Ferra/Torr set the dummy to Jacquie's machine gun spam and you'll see.

          Last edited 07/05/15 5:39 pm

      Every character can duck them. I've just tested with Goro (and seen a video with Ferra/Torr) one of the biggest characters in the game and the bullets just miss even though they look like they will hit. The game is designed so if the projectile/attack hits high (like the bullets - the rocket that they can use 1 bar of metre to do hits mid) you can neutral crouch to miss it.

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