31/01/2023 – Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki ‘Yoshi-P’ Yoshida has released a lengthy blog post discussing UNNAMED_’s use of third party tools, noting that he is “extremely disappointed.”
Japanese MMORPG gaming team UNNAMED_ has won the FFXIV Race to World First, but their Omega Protocol Ultimate victory has come under scrutiny because of the team’s use of addons; something Final Fantasy 14 strictly prohibits.
Square Enix’s campaign against the use of addons in its highly-successful MMO seems to continually reach deaf ears, as yet another team has won a Race to World First tournament while using in-game modifications.
Controversy swirled around last year’s Race to World First winners, Neverland, who also used third-party tools to achieve their victory. While most of these are simply UI changes to instances like the FFXIV Aglaia Alliance raid, Naoki ‘Yoshi-P’ Yoshida and co. have been very, very clear that third party tools are “strictly prohibited.”
As seen in the clip from UNNAMED’s run below, on the bottom left-hand portion of the screen there’s a DPS tracker, and we see the player zooming in and out to show the entire arena – something players can’t achieve using the game’s current systems.
Fans have been quick to criticise the team, with a dedicated Reddit thread flooded with comments. “Yoshi-P cocking his disappointed dad sigh,” reads one, with another stating “he’s going to have to stay silent on the World First race and teams won’t get acknowledgement. This was a big event for FFXIV, Mogtalk raised so much money for charity, and at least in some circles there was so much hype around this race and this will put a damper on all the good stuff.”
Following the backlash, UNNAMED_ support player known simply as ‘Feuer E.’ responded with a lengthy Twitter message. Please note that a translation has been provided courtesy of Twitter user xnaclx_osu, and this is what PCGamesN has used to inform this article.
“We sincerely apologise for causing the current situation,” the post reads. “Our team members, including myself, have met quite a lot of overseas players, and that lead us to believe that high-level raid teams were using various tools for the Race as well.
“To compete against that, we decided to at least use a third party tool for the camera that allows support member to easily take control of the mechanisms and give order to players smoothly.” As a Sage player, I assume this means that this exploit allows healers to better target their allies, allowing for a smoother rotation.
The player whose screen is shown in the clip above, known as ‘Rafuita’ allegedly did not have the addon installed before the race, and only used it due to an express “order” from other members of the team. Feuer E. goes on to conclude with an apology, which reads “we sincerely apologise for defaming the ultimate Race, or even FFXIV in general.”
In response, FFXIV producer Yoshi-P has released a lengthy statement reiterating the company’s stance on third-party tools. He goes on to confirm that the developers are looking into the clear, and will be considering how best to police races in an official capacity moving forward.
“It is extremely disappointing for me personally to see this commotion surrounding third-party tools once again in the wake of what happened with Dragonsong’s Reprise (Ultimate),” he states, referring to Neverland’s clear last year. “As the individual who is entrusted with full supervision over FFXIV, it is my responsibility to enact countermeasures and police the use of these tools, as well as educate people to not use these types of third-party tools—this is especially unfortunate when I, as a gamer, am cheering on everyone who is learning this content by trial and error and putting in the effort to clear.
“I am of course apprised of the race to the World First clear, and we have shown our support for everyone in the community by sharing information on the first clears once multiple clear teams came forth, and exact clear times had been confirmed. However, as announced in a previous statement, I plan to refrain from doing so for the time being. If the illicit use of third-party tools is made clear through our investigations, I, at the very least, will not recognize that team as the true World First.”
Yoshi-P’s full statement can be found on the official Final Fantasy XIV website, with potential punishments for UNNAMED_’s infraction remaining unclear.