The latest edition of Final Fantasy 14 sparked controversy as the first world champions were accused of cheating.

What was supposed to be a celebration of the group clearing the toughest possible content in Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker has turned into controversy, as the first team to clear the latest FF14 raid has been accused of cheating.

Except… that’s not cheating either? It depends on who you ask.

In summary, last week, FF14 patch 6.31 was released, which includes a new, much harder version of the current raid: Omega Protocol. A typical race to become the world’s first raiding team to clear it ensued, with the eponymous group claiming the crown on Monday by posting screenshots of their victory. However, shortly after, an uncredited video circulated showing one of their members using a mode to zoom the camera out further than it normally would. Should be able to fill in, possibly to get a better view on the mechanics. The video also shows off some less obvious UI mods that track various elements of combat.

According to FF14’s terms of service, mods of any kind are not allowed in the game. Nam_ has since been disqualified from the race and his assassination annulled. In both games And By a popular logging site. Additionally, a lengthy statement was posted on the official FF14 newsboard by FF14 director Naoki Yoshida, reiterating Square Enix’s stance on third-party tools (not allowing any) and that Unspecified penalties will be imposed for their use. This post also condemns the recording and circulation of certain in-game cutscenes and other footage not intended to be recordable.

“The Ultimate Raid series is the most difficult combat content within FFXIV, and we release this content after testing that it can be cleared without the use of any third-party tools,” Yoshida wrote. wrote “However, if the assumption is that this content will be handled and cleaned up using third-party tools, then any reason to create more difficult combat content seems lost. For me as a gamer It is very difficult to understand what would make sense behind using multiple third-party tools to compete for the first cleanup.

“…If our investigation reveals illegal use of third-party tools, I, at least, will not recognize this team as a true World First.”

If you’re unfamiliar with FF14, it reads like a game about cracking down on cheaters, but the reality is much more complicated than that. Third-party tools, mods, add-ons, whatever you call them, are actually very common with raid content in MMORPGs, including FF14. A large portion of advanced players will use mods to tweak boss mechanics, customize their UI to make it more helpful, or otherwise make the game more user-friendly. FF14 rivals World of Warcraft, a game with a similar “world first” race around its hardest content, with an active high-level raiding scene where everyone uses dozens of mods publicly. – If you’re not, you’re dragging the group down. . Although the FF14 scene isn’t as clear cut, it’s still no secret in the community that many high-level players are using them. They’re just not broadcasting the use of it because, well, things like this happen.

But all that said, it’s also true that given the crackdown, it’s likely that many teams are trying to clear content without using mods. Given the threat of punishment around it, it’s hard to say exactly how many common mods there are in FF14. So across the community, reactions from players appear to be divided between those who feel the ban was justified, and others expressing dismay that such a harsh punishment was handed down for something they consider normal. . Some are suggesting that while some mods (such as the aforementioned small UI tools) are fine, the camera zoom was what crossed the line. All told this is a messy situation, not helped by the fact that there are virtually no anti-cheat measures in place to prevent this from happening.

While the community may never reach a consensus, FF14 modding is likely to continue until Square Enix’s crackdown becomes severe enough to affect regular players en masse. That said, actively taking away such a prize would likely discourage serious first-world candidates from making such an attempt in the future.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find him on Twitter. @duckvalentine.

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