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  1. #51
    Player Jerbob's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Posts
    306
    Character
    Jeral
    World
    Phoenix
    Main Class
    WHM Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    Can the things it does be achieved without it? Yes, most definitely.
    I would like to know how to do the following things without third party tools:
    • Use Fast Cast gear to reduce the casting time of spells that aren't already extremely long, like Raise, while also landing the spell in potency/etc gear. This one is very significant.
    • Use obis and other situation-specific latent effect gear without having to create entire additional macro sets, books and equipsets for every possible combination.
    • Have my macros operate differently depending on my subjob, my current HP, MP and TP, etc etc.
    • Use more augmented items of a certain type than I have equip-compatible inventories, or store these items in the same inventory
    • Switch more than 6 pieces of gear (realistically 3-5) more than once per second.
    • Have my gear swap as expected when I accidentally press two macros too close together.
    • Use /equipset in conjunction with /equip and not end up with flip-flop behaviour.
    • Lock equipment slots so that I don't need entirely new, almost identical macro books for when I melee and when I don't, or when I use a capacity points cape and when I don't.
    • Use Quickcast gear and also be sure I can land spells at full potency.
    • Use a job to its full potential without locking myself out of doing the same for other jobs due to a lack of equipsets
    • Equip sets with the right amount of haste or dual wield based on my buffs without having to dedicate entire macro pallets and equipset pages to each scenario
    • Replicate a mode toggle function (another massive deal)
    • Cast spells from the menu in appropriate gear instead of the macro bar in situations where the latter is struggling due to UI lag
    • Cast spells using the console in time-sensitive contexts AND in the appropriate gear
    • Automatically reapply non-overwritable buffs without manually cancelling them
    These are a few things that I can recall off the top of my head. And I don't use this nonsense, so I obviously don't know the full scope of what someone can do with it.

    Some of these things are a bigger deal than others. Some are huge. All of them present an advantage that tool users have over legitimate players.

    I understand the appeal of referring to such things as "quality of life" when FFXI's UI struggles under the demands we place on it, but when those "QoL" features have a direct impact on someone's performance that grants them an advantage over others, that is cheating.

    Ultimately I can't give you numbers because I don't use the tools I'd need to produce the numbers. But I don't see how it's possible for someone familiar with those tools to look at the list above and suggest that at least some, if not all, of those examples make their characters more capable. And this is just one tool.

    Just look at the ubiquity of the terms "pre-cast" and "mid-cast" in all contexts where spells are involved, even ones like Cure. I can do a pre-cast for my Raise spells, certainly, but for Cure? Absolutely impossible. That means my Cure spells land in hybrid sets that have to cap fast cast as well as every other variable relevant to Cure - there's no way my cures will be as good. Same goes for nukes - I sacrifice casting time, or I sacrifice potency. Tool users get both.

    And, to anticipate a response, this example of fast casting at full potency may seem trivial - it's only shaving off a little time per cast, right? - but all of these cheats need to be considered in the wider context of the game - what they actually enable. Black mages that are able to -ja down Omen mob packs and take nearly no damage / lose MP via manawall because their -ja are nearly instant and they auto-swap back into -DT gear almost instantly? I just can't do that.

    Also: Yes, tool users may already have the functionality they want, but they can still encourage them to make that functionality available to everyone. Not everyone is so selfish.
    Does that ever happen, though? I don't think I've ever seen someone who uses gearswap come to the official forums and ask that the things be made equal. After all, their friends already have the same advantages they have.
    (1)
    Last edited by Jerbob; 06-01-2020 at 08:13 AM.

  2. #52
    Player Pixela's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    569
    Character
    Lynettta
    World
    Asura
    Main Class
    MNK Lv 99
    Switch more than 6 pieces of gear (realistically 3-5) more than once per second.
    You can do this in the game now. You can swap every piece of gear in one macro, you can have a macro that will swap every slot then wait 1 and swap every slot again now. Use gear sets in the menu, you can call a specific gear set in a macro line.

    Use Fast Cast gear to reduce the casting time of spells that aren't already extremely long, like Raise, while also landing the spell in potency/etc gear. This one is very significant.
    Use obis and other situation-specific latent effect gear without having to create entire additional macro sets, books and equipsets for every possible combination.
    The addition of this gear makes very little sense to me, then you realize that the developers intended you have a tradeoff. As in, if you want fast cast you aren't supposed to get the potency boost. Gearswap gets around that and lets you have both but that wasn't the intention of the gear.

    It sucks really since this one addon gives players a massive boost that others simply never achieve.
    (2)

  3. #53
    Player Jerbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    306
    Character
    Jeral
    World
    Phoenix
    Main Class
    WHM Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by Pixela View Post
    You can do this in the game now. You can swap every piece of gear in one macro, you can have a macro that will swap every slot then wait 1 and swap every slot again now. Use gear sets in the menu, you can call a specific gear set in a macro line.
    I was trying to illustrate that I can't do this more quickly than 1/second, which is the limit enforced by equipsets and results in several frustrating limitations. Nevertheless, I appreciate you drawing my attention to this in case I didn't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixela View Post
    the developers intended you have a tradeoff. As in, if you want fast cast you aren't supposed to get the potency boost. Gearswap gets around that and lets you have both but that wasn't the intention of the gear.

    It sucks really since this one addon gives players a massive boost that others simply never achieve.
    I agree that that was probably SE's intention. However, people have been doing this for so long that the game's feedback-based development now assumes people can have their cake and eat it. Whether that's SE's intent or not, it's baked into the capabilities of the majority of players and thus must be reflected in the challenges they set for us. And I agree with you - it sucks - though I don't believe this is the only addon that has the same sort of effect on the game.
    (1)

  4. #54
    Player Divaud's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    31
    Character
    Divaud
    World
    Quetzalcoatl
    Main Class
    GEO Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    "gearswap" doesn't really do anything you couldn't achieve in some fashion with the game alone (at least, not anymore). Before the advent of gear sets and switching to them with macros, you'd have a point, but not any more. the gear set feature is by far the best new feature they've ever added to the game. Does that tool make it easier? Yes. Can the things it does be achieved without it? Yes, most definitely. From my view it fits squarely into QoL (That said: I've never once used it because I just don't see it as necessary). It rarely comes into play that that cooldown or lack thereof has any impact on anything, I'd challenge you to find an actual measurable difference that extends beyond margin of error. I'm also pretty confident the minimum gear swap delay is for server performance reasons and not game-play balance reasons. It kind of toes the line. But I'd want to see proof that gs makes anything that wouldn't be possible possible, or has a measurable effect on making hard content easier (provable dps increase outside of margin of error, etc) before I would entertain the idea of it being cheating.
    Before I give examples i'd simply ask; if it offers no advantage why is it so much preferred over the in-game equipset function and why do so many use it and suggest it to new players?

    Couple examples off the top of my head:

    Cure spells being able to be cast as fast as possible with max potency. This can't be done with equipsets due to the 1 sec cooldown.

    Gearswap lets you cast cure 6 in .4 seconds, at max potency. Equipsets the best you can do is 1 second at max potency.

    Same for cure 4 and 5, gearswap you can cast them in .5 seconds, with equipsets 1 second minimum (and often times if you are at exactly 1 second cast time, the equipset may not take effect in time.

    You may claim you don't see how that has a measurable affect, but again i'd say if it didn't then why would people do it? And if you don't see how casting a cure 6 in .4 seconds vs 1 full second has a measurable affect, i'd be curious as to what content you are doing, because the stuff i'm doing (especially solo) that .6 seconds can mean dead or alive.

    Another example would be multiple magic bursts. Depending which spells you are bursting with you can fall into the same trap of not having your equipment take effect in time for the second spell and miss out on the gear taking effect.

    When that gear is for instance the Ea Attire Set which boasts a 30% Magic burst bonus (1 and 2), i'm sure you can see how to gear not being calculated for the cast can make a significant difference.

    I'm sure there are plenty of other examples, I mainly play mage jobs so that's where it sticks out to me.

    Does this all mean there is some content that cant be done without Gearswap? No, not necessarily. But it certainly helps people accomplish things at a much higher and more successful rate than others.

    And if it didn't, people wouldn't be using it.
    (2)

  5. #55
    Player Alhanelem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bastok
    Posts
    7,166
    Character
    Tahngarthor
    World
    Shiva
    Main Class
    PUP Lv 99
    I was trying to illustrate that I can't do this more quickly than 1/second, which is the limit enforced by equipsets and results in several frustrating limitations. Nevertheless, I appreciate you drawing my attention to this in case I didn't know.
    I've legitimately never found this to be a significant issue. It can't really be a lot faster than this given the server update rate.
    • Use obis and other situation-specific latent effect gear without having to create entire additional macro sets, books and equipsets for every possible combination.
    • Have my macros operate differently depending on my subjob, my current HP, MP and TP, etc etc.
    This stuff can be done without tools by just using more macros. Not saying GS doesn't make it easier, because it does, but the goal of the above points can still be achieved without GS.
    Use more augmented items of a certain type than I have equip-compatible inventories, or store these items in the same inventory
    You got me there, but I question the number of people for which this is actually an issue (or SHOULD be an issue). I suppose if you want to be a hyper min max perfectionist, you could make a cape for every ability weaponskill and/or spell but that's just ridiculous overkill and not in any way necessary. I do have more than one cape for some jobs, but for others, it really just does not matter enough. I can't imagine legitimately needing more than five (4 wardrobes and inventory) for any job.


    Have my gear swap as expected when I accidentally press two macros too close together.
    This is probably a bug, honestly, not a design decision. Or a more legitimate tangible result of the 1 second limitation- but this can also be avoided by simply not pressing wrong buttons. A player skill issue, more than anything else.

    Use /equipset in conjunction with /equip and not end up with flip-flop behaviour.
    Have never had an issue like this, but maybe you can give examples that would occur regularly for ordinary players and not just the top 0.1%.



    Automatically reapply non-overwritable buffs without manually cancelling them
    The point is that you can do these things manually without tools, so saying "can do them automatically with tools" doesn't negate the point. The point is, you can still perform these tasks without tools, it just might be less convenient.

    These tools are used, in the majority of cases, because it makes their in-game lives better, not because of any perceived gameplay advantage like "more dps" or some kind of instant win button or what-have-you. i.e. virtually no-one is doing this with the objective of harming another player or to make themselves better than another player- the focus is entirely on improving one's quality-of-life experience.
    (1)

  6. #56
    Player Jerbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    306
    Character
    Jeral
    World
    Phoenix
    Main Class
    WHM Lv 99
    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    I've legitimately never found this to be a significant issue. It can't really be a lot faster than this given the server update rate.
    My understanding is that people routinely use what is effectively a /wait with 0.5 seconds - often significantly less - quite successfully. 0.5s may seem irrelevant, but it allows whole new sets of spells to be pre-cast with fastcast gear. It's significant because it allows whole new sets of equipment to be used with spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    This stuff can be done without tools by just using more macros.
    Theoretically yes, but let's consider an example of a job that makes heavy use of obis - BLM. If I want to use obis, I have to make completely different sets of macros for each nuke I want to cast. Let's say I have macros just for tier III - VI nukes, and -ga III - ja AoE nukes, of all elements - restricting some options, but not too unreasonably. That's eight sets of macros. I have to have both Stone >> Thunder freenuke and Stone >> Thunder magic burst macros on each set. Now I have to duplicate that entirely for obi use. That's 16 sets of macros. Switches to those sets barely fit on my "home" macro pallet - completely infeasible if I need some of the other bread-and-butter mage macros available, as well as switches to other groups of spells such as self-enhancing, enfeebles, cures.

    Certainly, there are ways to do this, such as stacked macro set switches, but they all involve flipping through two, three or more sets to find the spells I want. Each set adds a delay, and each set flip can fail to complete properly if activated too quickly in succession. This all adds up to be a noticeable inconvenience. Add in the variable lag of the interface caused by graphic lag, which makes the necessary delay in macro presses itself variable, and the chances of making a mistake with stacked macro switches increases. And if I poorly judge this variable timing as WHM, and it takes me a couple of seconds to resolve, someone dies.

    This is one example where streamlining with tools improves performance. Now add in all the other little tricks that people can do with macros and it builds up to become a very significant overall increase to proficiency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    You got me there, but I question the number of people for which this is actually an issue (or SHOULD be an issue).
    This is what I mean when I mention a ceiling in effectiveness. For some tool use I can usually make do in some sort of hacky, less effective, error prone way. I'm still not as good as the cheaters, but I can cope. But I can't be the best - it's impossible. Part of the fun of this game is squeezing the most one can out of everything a job can do, even if it's not what the job is designed for. I know that's not something everyone enjoys, and I absolutely respect that, but the fact remains that someone who is cheating can absolutely do things I just can't. That's absolutely unfair.

    I would also argue that no one person should be in a position to judge what "should" be an issue in terms of trying to optimise one's performance. We all play differently, and that's great, but asserting that someone is playing the optimisation game "too much" is no different to someone condemning another player because their main enjoyment of the game comes from HELM activities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    but this can also be avoided by simply not pressing wrong buttons. A player skill issue, more than anything else.
    I agree that it's a player skill and dexterity issue, but it's a skill that cheaters don't need to possess to the same level. They've removed a skill requirement from a certain level of play. That's cheating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    Have never had an issue like this, but maybe you can give examples that would occur regularly for ordinary players and not just the top 0.1%.
    Firstly, even if cheating only benefits the top 0.1% then it's still cheating. I'd argue it's almost worse; when new content is released, it often caters to the most proficient players. If they cheat to increase the ceiling, then only the cheaters get to access that content (or some part of it).

    Secondly, let's revisit the BLM example. If I have an equipset for nuking, and a Quanpur Necklace that specifically enhances Stone spells, then I have two options: I waste two equipsets, one for Stone and one for other nukes, or I /equip the necklace in the Stone macro after the equipset. If I cast two Stone spells consecutively, one will /equip the necklace and one won't. I'm not sure why, but this is how it works.

    This is a problem for any spell that uses niche, spell-specific or situation-specific gear. Cursna is another example, as are obis. I can either sacrifice precious equipsets, which are limited, or I can deal with half my spells landing with reduced potency, or I can use another equipset in-between to "reset" the process, adding at least 1s of delay. Or I can cheat with a tool, removing this entire layer of complexity.

    You could certainly argue that this is a bug that needs fixing, and I'd agree, but I'd also question why it hasn't been widely reported to SE. The answer is that so many people cheat that they don't even know this bug exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    The point is that you can do these things manually without tools, so saying "can do them automatically with tools" doesn't negate the point. The point is, you can still perform these tasks without tools, it just might be less convenient.
    I have tried to argue that convenience affects performance, and that lots of small conveniences significantly affect performance. Anything that I can replicate without tools is more difficult, more time consuming, or more resource intensive for me. In a challenging battle, time and difficulty matter. Without tools, my resources are limited. And, of course, there are things I just can't do at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhanelem View Post
    virtually no-one is doing this with the objective of harming another player or to make themselves better than another player- the focus is entirely on improving one's quality-of-life experience.
    Let's assume that you are correct and that no-one is using tools (including gearswap) deliberately to enhance their performance. I absolutely don't believe this is true, given what I have consistently read on community sites, but I can't prove it in a meaningful way, beyond inviting people to check these community sites.

    Whether someone intends to damage the game or be better than a legitimate player is irrelevant. The consequences of their actions are what matters. First and foremost, making the game easier is cheating because it's unfair, and I'd argue that's reason enough to condemn people who are cheating. If that's not an important consideration, however, then consider the effect on game development. When the top tier of players are all cheating, the top challenges of the game will cater to the cheaters. When the majority of the players are all cheating, the majority of challenges in the game will cater to the cheaters. This game becomes a game driven by the achievements of cheaters. Those that don't cheat have to compete in an environment that is the product of cheating. That is absolutely unfair, whether the cheaters intend it or not.
    (2)
    Last edited by Jerbob; 06-04-2020 at 08:09 PM.

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