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Final Fantasy 14 Producer Warns Abusive Players

Gamers have grown familiar with meeting toxic players online, those who make the loudest noise in the communities of games. Countless "Minecraft" players who have joined a multiplayer server have stories of other players "griefing" them by blowing up their base or stealing their valuables, despite the iconic game's largely positive community. Other multiplayer-heavy games like "Valorant" and "Call of Duty" earned the distinction of the highest harassment rates last year (via the Anti-Defamation League). "Final Fantasy 14" is the latest example of a title to receive significant trolling, enough to catch the attention of the game's producer.

"Final Fantasy XIV" has come a long way since its less-than-stellar launch for PC in 2010, when it held a 49 on metacritic for its laggy graphics and chore-like quests. After flopping at the start, it has become one of the most popular MMOs today. That 49 on Metacritic is now an 86, signifying how millions of fans find the game still worth playing over 10 years later for its accessibility and engaging story. But that passionate playerbase also means there are plenty of bad actors in the bunch.

The team at Square Enix released its latest patch for the MMORPG earlier in April, adding new quests, a Duty Support mechanic, and the Crystalline Conflict battle mode, in which two teams compete to bring their tactical crystals to the opposing goal before the other. That particular mode has become a source of player trolling, and one major "FF 14" producer has since taken steps to curb this unwanted behavior.

Defining abuse in Final Fantasy 14

In an official Square Enix blog post, Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida details an "unprecedented" volume of reports regarding taunting during Crystalline Conflict matches. He lists several examples of what he deems unacceptable behavior. Examples include but are not limited to: spamming Quick Chat with repeated phrases, sending messages like "Nice Job!" or "Good Match!" in a sarcastic manner, and launching fireworks after defeating an opponent.

Yoshida writes that the basis for determining abusive conduct depends upon the intent of the player and the effect of their taunting. He clarifies that this behavior is intolerable not only for the Crystalline Conflict mode, but in all other modes of online play, and is punishable by locking the player's account. Suspensions will last between three and 20 days, but repeated instances of abuse or particularly malicious ones may lead to permanent bans.

The purpose of Crystalline Conflict is a contest of skill, according to Producer Yoshida. Players must bring their best selves if they hope to win, which means no room for ugly behavior. This extends outside of the game itself to harassment via social media, also punishable by bans.

No one enjoys a poor sport, whether they win or lose a game. With toxic behavior all too common in the communities of modern games, Square Enix's actions should at least help weed out bullies and dissuade others from ugly behavior in the future, allowing players to resume Crystalline Conflict and other modes of play.