Developers have taken action against two streamers who used mods while playing the MMORPG Final Fantasy 14 live in front of an audience. Both streamers Hiroro and Bagel Goose had their characters put in an in-game “jail” after streaming the game while using mods that violated the Terms of Service. Active moderation is the latest development that has sparked greater discussion and concern about the use of mods in Square Enix’s popular online game.
Final Fantasy 14 is a busy online world where players work as teams in high-level, multi-stage raids. While the game continues to receive regular patches, players have taken it upon themselves to create mods that improve aspects of the game such as its graphics or quality of life. One type of popular mods are those that allow players to enhance the information captured by the in-game HUD to display information such as combat mechanics and damage per second, which are often used by high-level players to complete tough raids.
The mods violate the game’s Terms of Service and now Square Enix has taken action against streamers like Hiroro and Bagel Goose for using the mods. In a VOD, you can see Bagel Goose being sent to Final Fantasy 14’s “prison,” an area called the Mordion Gaol where players are sent to speak with a general moderator. From there, the moderator decides on the player’s specific punishment, be it a temporary ban, taking away certain items, or so on. Streamer Hiroro was similarly penalized, but the VODs have since been cleaned up, leaving only enforcement screenshots.
Third party mods or tools are prohibited Final Fantasy 14, although many players use them. On May 9th, producer and director Naoki Yoshida published an official blog post Final Fantasy 14 Website stating that player accounts could be banned or even banned for using mods. The post then specifically lists the HUDs mods and says that “modifying the user interface to display additional information” is prohibited. (However, it should be noted that the team said the developers are working on an official fix to improve this aspect of the game, although it may take some time.)
Yoshida’s blog and the high profile moderations have sparked a larger discussion about moderation on the platform. Gamers have often interpreted many of Yoshida’s statements about third-party tools as fine as long as players don’t bother people, but now they’re not sure what’s allowed and what’s not. Additionally, it’s still unclear to many in the community whether the developers will start enforcing a stricter ban policy on all mods or just some. For example, some players use mods for accessibility purposes, like removing particle effects to reduce eye strain.
Polygon has reached out to Square Enix for clarification and will update the article once we receive feedback.
https://www.polygon.com/23068526/square-enix-final-fantasy-xiv-mod-ban-jail Final Fantasy 14 developers are cracking down on illegal mods