Final Fantasy 14 Mod Bans Spark Toxicity Debate In Competitive MMO Culture

ByJose A. York

May 13, 2022

This is really the heart of this controversy. On the one hand, it makes sense that the FF 14 The team prefers to put a blanket ban on most mods rather than trying to say which are correct and which are not. While the security concerns of using these mods are historically minimal, Yoshida rightly points out that it’s technically safer to not allow third-party mods at all than to allow some of them or even to encourage the use of some of them via Any means. Yoshida even said he believed “people use [mods] to expand the HUD and display more information as they feel that the existing functions are insufficient to tackle high-end tasks. To this end, the team “intends to review the most important tools and, in order to discourage their use, strive to improve the functionality of the HUD”.

Although it sounds like the FF 14 The team basically wants to add popular mod features to the game and make them official, they haven’t confirmed their plans for these additional features at this time. As fans wait for such features to potentially be added in the future, they must navigate an uncertain present where what are generally considered relatively harmless tools may be classified as cheats by Twitch and Square Enix. So far, the consequences of using such tools have apparently mainly affected FF 14 streamers (who may have been targeted by users online for their use of mods), but it’s pretty clear that the FF 14 The team fundamentally disagrees with the idea of ​​these mods being used in the first place.

Why is this the case? Well I can’t put words in the FF 14 the mouth of the team, but it should be noted that some feel that these tools contribute to a competitive, sometimes toxic environment in what is meant to be a cooperative experience. Basically, things like damage meter tools can contribute to an environment where everyone is expected to perform at the highest level in order to participate in certain content. If your numbers drop, you can be singled out for your performance or even kicked out of a band. This can lead to an almost “work” atmosphere where the fantasy of an MMO is replaced with hard data.

That said, there is a degree to which to play games like FF 14 at a very high level (i.e. participating in world premieres without fail) is a kind of work. Those who participate in such content are generally aware that their participation comes with certain requirements. Where things get tricky is when this mentality shifts into more casual forms of play. It’s pretty clear that FF 14 was designed to reduce instances of what Yoshida calls “excessive competition”, and anyone familiar with raiding in other MMOs knows the fear of encountering “that guy” who takes things a bit too seriously. To that end, you could argue that these policies appear to be part of an effort to combat this element of MMO culture.

The problem is that there has long been a bit of a split among MMO fans as to whether this part of the culture is really a problem and if there is something that can actually be done to eliminate it or reduce its influence. We’re already seeing fans wondering whether or not this is just people being punished for not following the rules, or whether this is an attempt by the game developers to impose an artificial atmosphere of cooperation. and harmony. There’s no doubt that these players violated the terms of service, but there’s a pretty heated debate to be had over whether or not those rules should exist in the first place.

Ultimately, the FF 14 did an exceptional job of listening to the gaming community and meeting their demands. The incredible success of the game reflects their achievements in this area. While there’s no reason to suspect that they won’t be able to find a solution to this particular problem, it’s fascinating how this problem highlights what might turn out to be a philosophical difference. in how the team would like the game to be played and how it is actually played at certain levels.