Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-10-27 20:06 (JST)
Translated by. Ryuki Ishii
Square Enix revised the “Prohibited Activities” and the “Account Penalty Policy” document for Final Fantasy XIV on October 27. As for the Prohibited Activities document, two activities related to the Party Finder have been added as a countermeasure against RMT (Real-Money Trading) activities, which have rapidly increased in proportion to the influx of players as of late.
“We have deemed it necessary to prohibit the advertising of RMT services and the creation of recruitment listings in incorrect categories within the Party Finder, actions which are routinely done by RMT vendors.”
The number of players in FFXIV has been increasing rapidly since July 2021 thanks to the influence of famous MMO streamers. However, RMT activities became more rampant as the player population skyrocketed. RMT was already prohibited in FFXIV, but the developers had to investigate each possible RMT activity before issuing penalties, which required time, and apparently, not fast enough to curtail the wrongful acts. This latest revision aims to change that.
The first prohibited behavior added to the list is, “Advertising offers to help clear content, to help earn loot, etc. via the Party Finder.” Currently in FFXIV, clearing the Ultimate raids for other players (and receiving compensation for it) is rampant. Advertising such service using the Party Finder is now prohibited, along with other similar acts. Offering service in exchange for in-game currency gil, is also considered penalizable.
It is important to note that the new revision penalizes those who are “advertising” such activities, and not the players on the receiving end. Examples of non-violations include: “Help my clear [duty] and I’ll pay you 1 million gil!” and “I’d like to get some items from [duty]. will pay 1 million gil if I can get it”.
The second prohibited behavior added to the list is, “Other solicitations that fall far outside of the intended purpose of the Party Finder.” The recent surge of RMT activities was often done in the “Duty Roulette” category, which is placed at the top of the Party Finder page. This goes without saying, but the purpose of the “Duty Roulette” category is to find other players to participate in the said content with. Not sticking to the original intent will hinder its purpose.
With the new revision, “Any recruitment listing that does not match its intended category is prohibited.” If you want to promote player events or do housing-related promotions, you can use the “Other” category instead.
In addition to the countermeasures against RMT vendors, a large amount of explanation had been added regarding “prohibited activities that primarily arise from communication-related conflicts.” With specific examples of speech and/or behavior that are considered harassment or nuisance.
It’s not limited to the usual obscene or discriminatory expressions, but also goes into precautions when expressing opinions to others: “It is prohibited to force personal views or disregard the opinions of others.”
It’s quite unusual for a game’s guidelines to explain behavioral precautions to such extent. I think it is worth going over, since the explanation includes some of the most common interactions and communication-based conflicts you’ll come across when playing high-level content. It’s a lot of text, but if you’re a FFXIV player, you should read through it at least once, and look back on your own actions.
Unlike RMT, which is relatively easy to draw the line as to what is prohibited, it is difficult to determine what is acceptable and what is not in human-to-human communication. As stated on the announcement page, “there are innumerable expressions used in communication, and the provided examples do not cover every possible instance. Therefore, these examples should be seen as a reference for learning more about prohibited behavior, or for situations where you are uncertain about how to act or what to say.”
Account Penalty Policy has been revised to add an explanation regarding Penalty Points. In FFXIV, Penalty Points are given to players who commit violations, and the penalties imposed are determined by the total points. Although the specific criteria for determining the number of points given to each violation is undisclosed, the system of “Reduction of Penalty Points” has been added and is now explained in the document.
The developers have decided to add this new reduction system because they “have confirmed cases where the permanence of past penalties instead led offenders to commit subsequent violations.” Now, accrued Penalty Points “may be reduced if a significant amount of time has passed since the last penalty was issued.”
To be more specific about what “significant amount of time” means, the document goes on to say, “Penalty Points accrued from penalties of the lowest severity (a Caution) will not start decaying until at least one year has passed.” This revision is aimed at fostering a long-term commitment to better behavior, so the new rule does make sense.
For more details about the revision, check out the full announcement from here.
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