The first Final Fantasy 14 raiding groups have begun to clear the Dragonsong’s Reprise (Ultimate) raid, prompting director and producer Naoki Yoshida to congratulate the victors. However, his congratulation came with a stern reminder that Final Fantasy 14 has a zero-tolerance policy on third-party mods and datamining.
Normally, when a Final Fantasy 14 raid team wins the World First clear for its content, Yoshida congratulates them on their victory personally. This time, he was unable to congratulate them by name, as there was irrefutable evidence the teams had used third-party plugins to help clear the content–a breach of Final Fantasy 14’s Terms of Service.
In the letter Yoshida shared with Final Fantasy 14 players, he outlined what third-party tools garnered priority investigations for penalties and explained its reasoning for the forbiddance. Many of these tools provide additional information about a difficult battle to make clearing it easier–which is unfair to other players who aren’t using those tools. Yoshida insists all content in Final Fantasy 14 can be cleared without these add-ons with practice and dedication. In fact, he said using these mods carries more risks than rewards and asks players to refrain from doing so.
He also commented about datamining–the retrieval of files from the game’s servers and leaking them to the public. Final Fantasy 14 encrypts its files to prevent datamining, but mistakes happen. Yoshida asserted Final Fantasy 14 considers these leaks “utterly unacceptable,” as they “undermine the efforts of the development and operation teams, but also take away from our players’ enjoyment.” He said leaking such information is grounds for legal action, which it has taken against individuals in the past, and asks fans not to share mined data when it happens.
Most players who read Yoshida’s words took them to heart. While many Final Fantasy 14 players use mods, most players look down on mods that influence the game outside simple cosmetics. Final Fantasy 14’s development team is known for its dedication and compassion, so most players will likely obey their wishes and refrain from participating in the prohibited activities.
On the other hand, some fans are frustrated by Final Fantasy 14’s zero-tolerance policy on mods. They assert these mods are essential to completing difficult content like the Dragonsong’s Reprise (Ultimate), despite FF14’s claim to the contrary, and find the existing UI is lacking. Some have even posted screenshots proving they use such mods themselves–an interesting decision, given Yoshida explicitly asked players not to do so. Much of these complaints come from World of Warcraft fans, as WoW engages in significant amounts of datamining and encourages the use of mods. Nevertheless, Final Fantasy 14 has said it is committed to improving its own UI in the future to add features requested by players, thereby discouraging the use of third-party tools.
Final Fantasy 14 is available now on PC, PS4, and PS5.
Source: Final Fantasy XIV