Some Final Fantasy XIV players might have to revise their decision to use third-party tools on the game, since game director and producer Naoki Yoshida has said it will strengthen its policy to curb use, in a recent blogpost.
Third-party tools have been used for years, similarly to most other MMO games. They allow players to get more information on the fights, character, and performance. But following the release of latest Ultimate trial The Dragonsong’s Reprise, there has reportedly been a surge in their use.
As a rule, every form of use of third-party tools is prohibited in the game. “Players who are determined to be using third-party tools will have their accounts suspended, or permanently banned for repeat offenses,” Yoshida said.
But while most are explicitly forbidden due to offering an unfair advantage and other reasons, some third-party tools are effectively tolerated by the developer, such as those used to track the players’ damage and performance.
It’s still unclear if they will still be tolerated in the future.
The developer said it cannot tackle the issue on every front, so will sanction the use of tools that give an unfair advantage, those that modify the user interface, and “packet spoofing tools” first.
But this is not the only course of action taken by Square Enix. “In recognition of this, we intend to review the most prominent tools, and in order to discourage their use, endeavor to enhance the functionality of the HUD,” Yoshida wrote. “Though it will take some time, we’re determined to make it happen─not least for the benefit of those who play on consoles.”
The developer also said data mining was “unacceptable,” which is a way for players to discover upcoming content by excavating the game’s files. It also reminded having previously taken legal action against a leaker.
The Dragonsong’s Reprise might be the most challenging duty ever released since the launch of the game. It includes six phases, one being a time loop that will force players to go back to the second phase indefinitely if they don’t break it, as well as countless wipe mechanics. It took over six days for the first party to clear it following its launch.
For this reason, some players are trying to obtain a shortcut with the use of third-party tools that can give information about mechanics shortly before they are shown in the trial in order to react faster and clear the trial easier, such as the one shared above.
In the video, the yellow circles show the successive explosions the player has to dodge in the trial’s second phase. Without the use of this tool, their area of damage is not visible until they actually hit, and all team members must be highly precise with their sidesteps.
Other popular tools include buff timers and customized callouts to improve team coordination. While their use is also explicitly forbidden, the developer acknowledged it will improve the user interface so players are not tempted to use those anymore.