The clear of a new ultimate has re-opened some old issues
The use of third-party tools in Final Fantasy XIV has been a hot-button issue for a while, and a recent clear of the MMO’s newest Ultimate content has breached the topic once again. Producer Naoki Yoshida published a letter today, addressing information surrounding “concerning instances of unfair play” within the XIV community.
In the letter from the producer, Yoshida cites the controversy surrounding the recent world-first clear of The Omega Protocol (Ultimate). Ultimates are Final Fantasy XIV‘s highest tier of content, and the race to be the first to clear it is intense, much like in other MMOs. The Omega Protocol (Ultimate) introduced in 6.31 is the latest, and saw top-level groups competing for days to try and get past the hurdles and see the fight through.
Team Unnamed was crowned as the world’s first clear. But soon after, footage emerged of team members allegedly employing the use of third-party tools, including a zoom hack. The video appeared on a YouTube account and soon spread around forums and social media, with plenty of ensuing memes.
“We are aware of information that is being spread regarding the use of third-party tools within The Omega Protocol (Ultimate)—we are conducting an investigation on the matter, including reviewing of reports we have received, as well as self-confessions and other information,” said Yoshida. “In the event that we confirm the use of third-party tools through this investigation, we will enact penalties such as temporary account suspension or permanent account bans to those involved.”
Details on those punishments will not be publicly released, Yoshida says. The producer does confirm that penalties were doled out as part of investigations into previous ultimate raids.
Looking for outside help
Yoshida himself has said it before, and reiterates here again, that the use of third-party tools is strictly prohibited. “This has always been the case and will to be so,” said Yoshida. “And unless announced otherwise, there are no plans to enact any changes.”
He also goes on to address an illicit access of the post-clear cutscene for The Omega Protocol (Ultimate), using a specific exploit, and says penalties have been enacted in those cases too.
Yoshida closes the letter by expressing disappointment in seeing this happen again, after similar issues surrounded the clear of Dragonsong’s Reprise (Ultimate). Support for an official raid race is something Yoshida says needs to be discussed internally, but in the meantime, the producer reiterates Square’s stance against third-party tools.
“The ultimate raid series is the most difficult battle content within FFXIV, and we release this content after testing that it can be cleared without the use of any third-party tools,” said Yoshida. “However, if the presumption is that this content will be tackled and cleared with the use of third-party tools, then any reason to develop high-difficulty battle content seems to be lost. It’s very difficult for me to understand as a gamer what the meaning behind using numerous third-party tools to compete to clear first would be.”