If you are a Final Fantasy 14 player, you''ve probably heard of the recent third-party tool debate. Sure, console players might not fully comprehend or care as it doesnt affect them, but the community has evolved quite a week. What is the beef?
Square Enix has recently reduced restrictions on players using third-party tools, imposing suspensions to those found using them, and prohibiting repeat offenders. This might seem like a no-brainer, but everyone knows that using hacks and mods to gain an unfair advantage over other players is a no-no, yet it''s not quite as straightforward as it seems.
As a result, many players feel as if Square Enix has advocated the notion of a grey zone when it comes to its use of third-party tools, as it often overlooked players who utilized them that didn''t affect the gameplay of others, provided that they weren''t shouting from the rooftops about it. Various tools, such as parsers or UI modifiers, have been shown to suit their specific needs.
The main reason behind this is that, in the recent affirmation of its policy on third-party tools, Square Enix explained some examples of which tools were prohibited, including the Modification of the UI to display additional information. Despite this, many players now think that Square Enix has immediately moved the goalposts. Notably, there was no mention of shaders in the list, one of the most popular FF14 third-party tools used, nor does it appear that players using shaders have been targeted since the crackdown
ACT (Advanced Combat Tracker) is a parser that records the information of your party during duties, allowing players to analyze and understand the game. People will often use this information to create plugins that provide things such as DPS meters or visual/audio calls for certain mechanics, for example.
ACT is a tool for self-improvement, identifying where they can best improve as a player and team. In a game that often uses DPS check mechanics in raids, it''s easy to understand why people would want to see how well they''re actually performing so they may adapt as needed. There''s a whole sub-community dedicated to the task of trying to be the very best they can be, and tools like ACT are invaluable to them in achieving this.
Other than that it is a third-party tool, however, some players use it as evidence to deter or harass other party members for poor damage output. Unfortunately, the recent wave of bans has always helped to lower toxicity in the community?
This is why Square Enix is now holding on to other players'' anticipation comments. I doubt the game was attempting to encourage third-party activities and reporting as many players as possible. However, the recent clarification on third-party tools has created vigilantes who have taken it upon themselves to clear out any toS breakers on Square Enixs behalf.
Oftentimes, youll hear a lot of players talking about balance, expressing that these tools give them an unfair advantage, particularly given that console players may not benefit from them. Similarly, some players may alter the colors of markers or even adding audio cues to assist with visual impairment. So at this point, it appears that Square Enix is in a lose-lose situation.
Square Enix has no choice but to allow third-party services because of the players who do not use them to get an unfair advantage, but bringing out the ban hammer en masse is currently alienating a large portion of its player base that rely on these tools to improve the game. It''s clear that there''s a need for the native game to be addressed.
In its most recent post on third-party tools, Square Enix has promised to review the most prominent tools in order to improve the games functionality, although it is clear that this will take time to complete.
I can only help but believe that a lot of the recent drama might have been avoided if Square Enix had waited until after it began implementing certain of these features in-game. However, who knows how long it will take to get these features in-game, appears to be a response to the recent increase in cheating that has gone hand in hand.
Square Enix has noted that it is impossible for its users to discover which programs they are running on their PC. Naturally, when players cheat in-game by using bots or spoofing to another location, its an obvious remark, but other than when players out themselves on streams or explicit it in-game, you wouldn''t notice when people are using the most third-party tools.
While I do not believe there is a real solution that is right now, it is disconcerting to see the public fracturing with recent events. I wish that people would put down the pitchforks and leave imposing the ToS to Square Enix. If you notice someone cheating in the game, you should absolutely report them. Are we really need to go out of our way to seek out other streaming platforms? Probably not.