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  1. #31
    Player TullemoreAsuraFFXI's Avatar
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    Tullemore
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    There is no truce. It is ineptitude of monitoring capabilities.
    I've submitted a comprehensive design change solution to eliminate prohibited conduct from peer to peer interface last year in a digest reply.
    If it's Square-Enix's choice not to implement that design change to the interface, they can and should establish one traditionalist designated server so honest players can seperate from those who are not.
    (0)

  2. #32
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    The problem is not hacks or the game. The problem is money.

    Figure out how to keep the same amount of cash flow or don't bother. If the solution makes less money, the answer is lolnope.

    FFXI is no longer a game it's a meth lab. You can't not make meth.
    (0)

  3. #33
    Player Alhanelem's Avatar
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    Shiva
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    I know it's not a popular opinion here (or anywhere), but the widely-held belief that certain community-sanctioned tools are not harmful just isn't true. The entire point of them is to make the game easier, even if that's just by streamlining inconveniences. If the majority are using them, then the game's development is based on the level of capability that the tools enable. That makes the game disproportionately challenging for people who don't use the tools.
    I mean,, it's not a popular opinion because it isn't "not true."

    How does it harm you if I use a UI mod to move my HP bars somewhere else on the screen and make them bigger so I can actually see them? How does it harm you if i use a tool to calculate how much XP I'm earning over time? How does it harm you if I keep a map of the current area on screen, which I can do with a web browser too (just a little less convenient)? Most UI mods are harmless and don't affect anyone but the user in any way- its quality of life, not gameplay advantage.

    FFXIV's UI lets you move everything around and make it bigger or smaller and it's one of the best stock UIs on the MMO market- its one of the reasons why you don't really see anyone hacking the game to change the UI, because there aren't that many thing you can't do with it compared to other MMOs, even wow, which has UI mods up the wazoo precisely because its stock UI is too limiteded in customizability?

    These mods exist because the XI team can't (now) or wouldn't (in the past) spend the time and resources to revamp the UI to bring it to modern standards.

    Had the new UI they promised actually got finished, the need for any external UI mods may have been greatly diminished. I don't condone tools that amount to cheating (i.e. things that give you information you couldn't determine or have access to yourself, or any of the more obvious cheats out there), but I don't see how making the UI more readable and useable harms you or anyone else.
    (2)
    Last edited by Alhanelem; 05-26-2020 at 03:23 AM.

  4. #34
    Player Sirmarki's Avatar
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    Sirmarki
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    I mean,, it's not a popular opinion because it isn't "not true."

    How does it harm you if I use a UI mod to move my HP bars somewhere else on the screen and make them bigger so I can actually see them? How does it harm you if i use a tool to calculate how much XP I'm earning over time? How does it harm you if I keep a map of the current area on screen, which I can do with a web browser too (just a little less convenient)? Most UI mods are harmless and don't affect anyone but the user in any way- its quality of life, not gameplay advantage.
    Ok, so you have singled out the community made 'quality of life changes' by using third party software, but unsurprising failed to name any other so called 'features' that DO affect other people and give an overwhelming benefit to that person that another person playing stock retail version does not get. This is why we have a ToS and official guidelines, or it becomes a free-for-all. It's not about what you want, its about what is permitted, regardless if you see it as a benefit or not. SE decide that.
    (2)
    Last edited by Sirmarki; 05-26-2020 at 03:48 AM.

    Sirmarki, ex-Fenrir, a young warrior, in the heyday.

  5. #35
    Player Alhanelem's Avatar
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    Ok, so you have singled out the community made
    I feel like you didn't read my post. Yes, I did single those things out, because that's what I'm talking about. And I specifically noted things I'm NOT talking about.

    The point is, many of the tools out there are out there for the benefit of the community and not the detriment. Unfortunately there are some out there that enable cheating as well, and of course I'm against that.

    Most players using these tools are doing so for their convenience and the betterment of their experience- NOT to cheat and NOT to ruin anything for anyone else.

    Ultimately, permitted or not, the things so many players are using do not harm you. Again, I listed a bunch of common things people use, and you have tried to tell me they are harming you but haven't demonstrated any way in which they are doing so.

    My vision is pretty crappy. I depend on some of these UI mods as an accessibility feature. It would actually be very difficult for me to play the game without them. SE only provides one option for this- pixelating the UI. If SE wants people to stop using these things, then they need to create comparable features of their own.

    If anything, part of the reason these things were made in the first place was to convince SE that they needed to make these things themselves. SE had the ps2 limitations excuse for long enough, but then they drop ps2 and yet since they took so long to do it, we're still bound by those limitations.
    (0)
    Last edited by Alhanelem; 05-26-2020 at 06:44 AM.

  6. #36
    Player Jerbob's Avatar
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    Jeral
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    Phoenix
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    WHM Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    How does it harm you if I use a UI mod to...
    I will accept that some of the UI mods are less problematic than a lot of the cheating, particularly if they're predominantly used in low-pressure environments, but broadly speaking, why are people using UI mods? If they find the UI frustrating or difficult to use, removing that frustration is going to make them a better player. Of course, in a low pressure environment that may not matter significantly in terms of fair play or feedback affecting game development, but what about battle content?

    I'm torn on the idea of making HP bars more visible. For you this is clearly a necessary feature and I obviously support you being able to actually access the game. That's not an aspect that I'd considered before, and I apologise if I was insensitive. But could such a feature improve a player's performance when playing any job that cares about other people's HP bars? As someone who plays WHM more often than any other job, I'd argue yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    Most players using these tools are doing so for their convenience and the betterment of their experience
    In battle, even the most minor benefit is important because they all stack up. Removing this irritation, adding this extra feature, putting that UI element over there so it's next to something else... at what point does that transition from meaningless to meaningful? At what point does that loss at 1% become a win?

    And, of course, a lot of the convenient tools are game-changing. Changes to the macro system, for example.

    Even for trivial things, when things are made more convenient, by definition a person's attention is freed to work on other aspects of the game. I'd love it if I didn't have to worry about the game's UI slowing down when lots of stuff is on screen - I'd be a far better player if I knew my keystrokes were actually going to work first time every time. But they don't, so my attention is divided, and I'm frustrated, and I'm less effective. On the surface, it's an aesthetic thing, when in reality it significantly affects my abilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    These mods exist because the XI team can't (now) or wouldn't (in the past) spend the time and resources to revamp the UI to bring it to modern standards.
    I think I remember that you were really looking forward to the new UI when it was announced, and I'm also disappointed that it didn't happen. But I don't remember it being something many other people were very excited about. I know SE had some difficulties with it, but would they have shelved the project if people showed more interest? Would people have showed more interest if they didn't already have a UI they could customise? We'll never know. But feedback is important, and if a lack of feedback on new features caused by cheaters already having those features has a material effect on game development, then those cheaters are damaging the game for everyone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    If anything, part of the reason these things were made in the first place was to convince SE that they needed to make these things themselves.
    I don't believe that this is how third party features actually affect SE in the majority of cases, and I don't believe for a moment that they're intended to motivate SE to update the game. If a tool is made available in a way that's considered acceptable by the majority of the community, most people will just use that instead of asking SE for a replica. And when SE does provide a replica, it's often ignored by the community in favour of their third party versions that have more features, while simultaneously being held as an endorsement for the third party software creators that are explicitly condemned in the ToS. Of course SE's feature development is going to parallel third party tool development at times - they're both working on the same game for the same set of users!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixela View Post
    "cheaters" "cheat" because they have played the game for many many years and are annoyed with stupid long grinds or are used to their easier means of doing things (that don't really hurt anyone else much), most windower addons are "cheating"
    They hurt me every day that I play this game.

    Off the top of my head, these are some disadvantages I have compared to a significant proportion of the population:
    • I don't have access to an arbitrarily sized set of enhanced macros that include conditional logic. This is a massive deal. I can elaborate in excruciating detail if necessary.
    • Everyone on my screen blinks when they swap weapons. A lot of people don't lockstyle because they have some means of not blinking client side, so I have to look at everyone in starting gear. <stal> breaks under certain conditions that I'm willing to share if necessary.
    • I can't see through HP cloaks to know when NMs are about to use Catastrophic Move X.
    • I can't tell when my job abilities and spells come off recast at a glance. I have to dedicate precious macro space to a /recast macro that I have to hammer.
    • I don't have advanced chat filters, so I can't clearly see what's happening to who and when.
    • I can't play more than 3 or 4 jobs because I don't have equipset space.
    • Even if I could, manually moving 80+ pieces of gear between bags on every job change is horrible and discourages me from changing jobs if I can help it.
    • Ditto using porter moogles for any gear I regularly use.
    • I don't have access to an improved graphics system. Graphics lag affects UI lag, and when it's bad, controlling the game becomes a whole new battle.
    • I can't distinguish between half of the identically-iconed buffs I have at any given time.
    • I've seen some of the enhanced text commands people have when they hilariously mess up typing them. I don't have those.
    • I have to manually faff around if I want to convert accolades and sparks to gil. Every. Single. Time.
    • I can't control my own personal army of functional (read: non-trust) characters to complete any content of my choice at a whim.
    • I can't move when I'm using job abilities or raising.
    • I can't automatically perform action X based on condition Y.
    • I'm affected by knockback.

    Because most of the population use at least some of these things, SE's feedback for new development assumes that I am just as capable.

    Please, explain to me how I am not MASSIVELY disadvantaged compared to other players who routinely have access to all of this, and a whole lot more stuff that I probably don't even know about.

    I know some of these seem trivial - moving gear between inventories? Porter moogles? Converting sparks? Yes, those things are trivial, but there are reasons that people have automated those things. They're frustrating to do with the interface we have, and we have to do them a lot. When all my PLD gear is in a porter moogle and the mog case, and I have to manually copy my equipsets back out of a spreadsheet every time I want to play it, I'm not very keen to play PLD very often.

    More impactfully, enhanced macros are a game changer. I've seen what people can do. I can never replicate it, and I'll never be as good as they can be.

    I'm sorry but I have little sympathy for people perceive themselves to be above the "stupid long grinds". I've played for many years - I know how the grinds work, and I want some things to be easier. I've heard all the arguments in the "But I Have A Job Now" category. The difference is that I don't unilaterally decide that my experience of the game is more important than everyone else's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixela View Post
    For the "cheaters", and keep in mind "cheating" is a fairly minor thing in ffxi. I've played f2p mmorpgs, you have no idea how bad it can be on other games.
    I mean, that does scare me a little, particularly as tolerance to cheating is increasing in FFXI. But ultimately I'm not interested in other games. "It's worse elsewhere" is a poor justification to mess things up for people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixela View Post
    If you are mad about "botted" shields, this is a failure of content. Make the shields less of a boring grind or add a harder way to get them
    I absolutely agree with you that the content is terrible. However, SE will never make it less ridiculous, and it's because people are already making them by the hundred. SE sees the shield creation statistics are fine, so the process won't change. People willing to cheat couldn't be bothered to give critical feedback, or put in the work (admittedly absurd work) themselves, or even just not make them. They've reinforced the problem that they've tried to solve by cheating. They have affected the development of the game by cheating.

    I'm not a brainless optimist that assumes that everything that's broken (like the shield creation process) will be magically fixed. But it certainly isn't going to be fixed now. Cheaters have locked any sane person out of the ability to make a shield. This means that legitimate players are even more dependent on cheaters for gear that is now common enough to be the new standard.

    This logic applies equally to job point acquisition. If people are willing to auto-grind for absurd quantities of job points, SE sees that people are actually doing the insane tasks they set. The next challenge has to be bigger. The numbers increase. The cheaters come up with a new hack, while everyone else sighs and trudges back down to Dho Gates.

    The statistics are collected. The new normal is even more informed by cheaters. And so the cycle continues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixela View Post
    Lets say the STFU listen to you guys and take a zero tolerance policy, what will happen?
    It's entirely possible that you're more informed about the consequences of rooting out RMT than I am. I'd be interested to see where your information comes from. I agree that you can't root out all RMT, but at the moment there seems to be zero control over it.

    RMT aren't acting benevolently towards players by being unobtrusive. They're doing literally the easiest thing they can do to get their gil. Setting a bot off in Ceizak and coming back a week later to a mound of gil is less labour intensive than doing actual difficult content or paying someone to develop and distribute malware for them. They aren't doing this out of the goodness of their hearts to support the game and stay out of people's way. They're operating on the principle of minimum effort, maximum gain.

    I honestly don't know what will happen if the bots are squashed - no-one does - but I can't recall a time when it was this bad. I don't remember entire zones crawling with bot armies that subsequently fleehack and poshack completely openly around one of the most populated zones in the game (West Adoulin). I don't remember Dynamis zones crawling with THF/DNC bots that run around in circles trying to proc statues with steps 24/7. And even if it's been this bad before, that doesn't make it okay!

    And this isn't just some shady business operation - these are also players of the game that just can't be bothered to work for what they want. I've read the forums on certain community sites. I've seen how clever these people think they are, on both sides of the RMT operation.

    Obviously, if you're correct in your assessment of how RMT get when they're challenged, then there are some unpleasant consequences for slamming RMT. But that doesn't mean we should let them get away with whatever they like. If we really have to settle for some middle ground - and frankly I don't believe that we do - then that middle ground shouldn't be "do nothing".

    Sorry, that got a little excessive. I'm fully prepared to accept a TL;DR on this one.
    (3)
    Last edited by Jerbob; 05-26-2020 at 08:45 AM.

  7. #37
    Player Sirmarki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    Ultimately, permitted or not, the things so many players are using do not harm you. Again, I listed a bunch of common things people use, and you have tried to tell me they are harming you but haven't demonstrated any way in which they are doing so.
    Read Jerbob's reply to Pixela regarding their cheating comment, and you will find all of the answers you seek.
    (2)

    Sirmarki, ex-Fenrir, a young warrior, in the heyday.

  8. #38
    Player Divaud's Avatar
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    GEO Lv 99
    We can quibble about which add-ons do or don't make a difference, how much difference, and whether they should be baked in to ffxi or not at this point.

    All valid discussion topics.

    Some of us however would prefer none of that be left up to question. I don't like having to question whether the purchase I just made was a legit 100% vanilla crafter, or someone who botted their shield.

    I don't like having to question if the Delve items on the AH were from legit parties or 1 dude multi-boxing.

    We can go down the list of "what if's" but I think the point is clear.

    Again, we can quibble about how things do or don't negatively affect us on the aggregate, but it frankly shouldn't be a question in the first place.

    I would appreciate being able to log in knowing that everyone on the server with me is playing the same game as me, with the same tools.

    And if I had to pay extra for that assurance? Absolutely.
    (0)

  9. #39
    Player Alhanelem's Avatar
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    In battle, even the most minor benefit is important because they all stack up. Removing this irritation, adding this extra feature, putting that UI element over there so it's next to something else... at what point does that transition from meaningless to meaningful? At what point does that loss at 1% become a win?
    Making the UI readable does not give me an advantage in battle in any way. It only makes me able to play at your level.

    Making information more easily accessible doesn't either. The game is slow paced enough that you can press through the million menuis this game has to get the information, it's just annoying.

    Ultimately there have been inequalities throughout the game's history, since PC users had inherent performance advantages over PS2 even with zero tools. Trying to make a case that such tools which don't modify gameplay give me a tiny advantage are absurd. It's not even measurable.


    They hurt me every day that I play this game.
    I really don't like this air of pompous righteousness you project. It does not harm you in any way if I use a tool to make the game screen easier to read, it does not harm you if I put an XP count on the screen so I don't have to press through a couple menu buttons to check my TNL and back out of said menu again. Most MMOs today have customizable UIs and you can make things bigger or smaller, add or remove elements, configure how they work, to your personal tastes, and nobody on the planet playing these games sees that as harming any other player. Many other MMOs, even WoW, which didn't come out that long after XI, initially had very set-in-place UIs but have gradually improved them. FFXI's UI has seen minimal improvement/updating over the years, probably the biggest change they ever made was adding the second log window feature (and I might argue the context menu in the full screen log).

    Arguably the reason the game's combat is slow compared to most MMOs is because it's so slow to navigate the game's clumsy menus. I love the game, but I do so in spite of the user inteface that fights me at every turn.



    Some of us however would prefer none of that be left up to question. I don't like having to question whether the purchase I just made was a legit 100% vanilla crafter, or someone who botted their shield.
    In defense of the tool creators, they generally didn't intend for any of this and don't condone cheating. Things like the medal duping and voidwatch exploit were possible because of security flaws in the game that anyone with the proper knowledge and skill could have exploited.

    But tying back to the topic at hand, ultimately every player deserves an economy free of item duping and RMT-farmed gil, and I'm against the idea of creating a special space for this- They simply have to stop half-___ing (I really can't think of a sanitized alternative to that term...) it: either devote more time to keeping the game clean or just give up entirely. I'd really like SE to demonstrate that integrity is worth something and not let the fact that a client is paying them money get in the way of them receiving punishment for breaking the rules.

    They absolutely should not capitulate and create a "safe space" and leave the rest of the population who doesn't feel like they should have to pay more for a cleaner experience (since they didn't have to for up to the last 18 years) stuck in an increasingly corrupt environment. Those players are more likely to just leave than transfer, do you really want to see more legit players quit?
    (0)
    Last edited by Alhanelem; 05-27-2020 at 09:43 AM.

  10. #40
    Player Jerbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divaud View Post
    Some of us however would prefer none of that be left up to question. I don't like having to question whether the purchase I just made was a legit 100% vanilla crafter, or someone who botted their shield.
    I agree with almost everything you've said, but I don't believe we should have to pay more for a single policed server - that should be a basic part of the service.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    Making the UI readable does not give me an advantage in battle in any way. It only makes me able to play at your level.
    As I stated, I hadn't considered the game's lack of accessibility options in my previous assessment of UI-related tools, and I apologise for that. If someone is using such tools as accessibility measures to allow them to actually interface with the game, my personal view is that it's acceptable, and I absolutely support you being able to access the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    The game is slow paced enough
    Sometimes, yes - if I'm working on job points or farming wild onions. I'm less inclined to be tolerant of this viewpoint when I'm the sole WHM in an alliance of melee DDs flailing wildly at Kin while it spams back to back Interference, which is something I had the dubious pleasure of experiencing on Monday. Yeah, that's bad tactics (and not tactics I'd endorse), but someone with the appropriate tools can perform better in that environment than I can. That's an advantage. That's turning a 1% loss into a win. That's cheating.

    Having to do annoying things is distracting. If I'm playing a role where I have to focus, that's detrimental. Perhaps only to a tiny extent, but it all adds up, and the majority of people who use tools don't just use one or two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    I really don't like this air of pompous righteousness you project
    It's not pompous righteousness. I'm frustrated, and I'm angry, because I don't like the air of legitimacy people try to cultivate around cheating.

    I am angry that people around me feel that they can flaunt the rules and then have the audacity to insult me for being annoyed.

    I am angry that I can never reach the same level of capability as other people, no matter how hard I try, because they feel that they're above the rules.

    I am angry that the development of a game that I enjoy is being influenced by people who can't play fair and then in some cases go on to think it's funny.

    I've provided a list, off the top of my head, of some tools that significantly widen the gap of capability in this game. I've done so before, and I've yet to see anyone successfully dispute that I am at a disadvantage as a result.

    I've acknowledged that certain UI interface additions are significantly less damaging than some of the other, extremely prevelant tools, and I support your ability to use UI enhancements for accessibility reasons. But this is like me accepting that dropping a banana skin is hugely less damaging to the environment than pumping mercury into the sea. Both acts are on the same continuum - messing up our environment - but they're at completely opposite ends.

    I've seen the threads on community sites for game updates. One of the first things people talk about is the tools they use breaking. They find the game (and I quote) "completely unplayable" without them. That's not something people say if they're not gaining some advantage from a tool.

    I'm sorry that you feel I'm being pompous and righteous, but I don't think I should have to apologise for feeling that I'm right to call out people who defend cheating when I've experienced the negative side effects, day in and day out, for years. It's not like I have to put up with this only occasionally. I party with people using tools using equipment I've obtained with the help of people using tools. I'm faced with an action house stocked with items generated by tools. I play a game where the difficulty bar is set by people with tools. Even the gil I've earned has likely been generated by bots, and then possibly been passed on to me directly through a person buying gil. Tool use is in every facet of the game that I interact with, every day. I think I am justified in being angry about that, and I think I'm justified in wanting it changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    Most MMOs today have customizable UI
    That's true, but this one doesn't. I recognise that the static, janky UI is a pain sometimes, and that it should have been improved, but we're all stuck with it. When someone decides to unilaterally improve their own experience, they gain an advantage. Perhaps it's relatively innocuous, like the ones you have suggested. Perhaps it's not, like displaying recast timers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    I love the game, but I do so in spite of the user inteface that fights me at every turn.
    We're in absolute agreement here. Especially when the UI becomes unresponsive due to graphics lag. It's a complete nightmare when macros just decide you've not pressed them. And as someone who plays WHM, that usually means someone dies. It's hard not to feel bad about that.

    I don't want to accuse you of discussing in bad faith, but the examples you select in your reponse are examples that I've already accepted have a low (but not zero) impact on game fairness. I also agree with you with regards to accessibility. But the list I provided earlier contains a subset of tools people use that clearly affect their ability to interact with the game to a far greater extent. These are the kinds of things I'm focusing on because their impact is the highest. Particularly with macroing, their use by the community has become the standard. Go to any community site and you'll find next to nothing about using in-game macros - it's all based with the assumption that you're using tools. These tools are vastly more capable than what I have. I don't know how this is defensible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    they generally didn't intend for any of this and don't condone cheating.
    Tool authors update their tools with every game update and distribute them to the community immediately. They aren't providing people with an interesting piece of programming that they can study. They intend for their tools to be used. I'm not sure how that's not condoning cheating.

    Specifically with regards to cheating to create HQ items, perhaps the authors of the widespread tools don't condone it, but the tolerance of the average player for cheating in this game has built and built over the years, and the tool creators have to take some responsibility for that. I know that some of these exploits aren't necessarily new, but the community is far more willing to turn a blind eye now than they did before, and that's because of the creep of tool usage and its normalisation. When people condone crafting cheating because it lowers prices, there's something wrong in the community. And I've seen people's reactions on community sites - some think it's hilarious, and that they're very grown up to be so faux-pragmatic about it.

    Beyond this point I think I agree with you for the remainder of your post. I agree that SE should police the whole game. All the servers should be safe servers, not one.
    (2)

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