There is a simple way to enrage the FFXIV community: Use third-party tools to cheat your way to World First and behave like you did nothing wrong. And that's exactly what happened.
Just a week ago the Race to World First for the new FFXIV Ultimate Omega started, and we have a winner! I mean... kind of? The Japanese team UNNAMED_ came out of nowhere and claimed the title, but it wasn't won in the way intended by the dev team.
Here is a video that leaked about their clear. See if you can spot the mistake:
Every FFXIV Player immediately notices what is weird here. The camera is zoomed out far too much and therefore gives them an unfair advantage. This effect can only happen with third-party tools, which are strictly forbidden. So what does this mean for the race?
FFXIV Community Memes On Omega Clear
Honestly, as sad as this situation is, we got some quality memes out of it. I mean following the race as a raider myself, I really do not like this result. So like the majority of the community I don't really count this as a clear.
This doesn't mean other teams are innocent. It is well established that many teams from all over the world use these cheat mods for the race. One of the support members of UNNAMED_ tried to use this as a defense. To be honest though, "everyone does it" isn't a great argument in my opinion.
There's been a push for only streaming clears to count to better see if someone used third-party tools for their win. Maybe something like that could be a measure against it, but forcing all participants to stream is a bit eh.
One of the organizers for the event Frostly has made a statement towards this situation on Twitter and made it clear, that they will mostly focus on the event aspect and streaming teams. Remember this whole thing is volunteer work and this time even in the name of charity. Yet still somehow it got tainted with drama.
Cheating With Possibly Dire Consequences
Time to put this meme again from ffxiv
Sometimes it feels like people can't learn from past mistakes. Just last year, cheating was also a topic with Dragonsong Reprise, and oh boy... YoshiP wasn't amused in the slightest.
A race should be fair, and it’s our earnest wish that participants don’t use third-party tools. Indeed, we’ve only released duties that we have proven can be beaten with the game’s standard features.
Any use of third-party tools is not allowed, because of Japan's strict laws on the topic. Square Enix has made it clear multiple times, that they can't endorse such things. That's just how it is, even though mods are used by a large part of the community and the dev team adopted a policy of: "If we don't see it, no harm is going to happen to our players."
So imagine the disappointment on YoshiP's face as one of their hardest fights gets won by a team cheating with exactly these tools.
Last year he made a strong comment on the situation with the races:
Because such races are unofficial, we usually limit our involvement to some comments after a number of teams have cleared the duty. By offering our congratulations via the official Twitter account and confirming time stamps, we want to recognize your achievements and contribute to community excitement. However, if our recognition encourages excessive competition and controversy to the extent that players resort to third-party tools, I regret to say we may have to reconsider making comments in the future.
The real question that comes to my mind is, if there will be other consequences for this recurring issue. In May, we had a kind of purge. Maybe the dev team will feel pressured to once again step in, because past actions don't seem to have deterred many.