FFXIV: Skill Up Bans?

September 27, 2010

Square-Enix has done it again…

I will get my review of the first 5 days of play on the live version of Final Fantasy XIV up tonight or tomorrow and let me say it will be a doozy.  There are so many things good and bad with this game it will be difficult to adequately cover them all in one post.  Until then I bring you the latest news out of the SE camp on an exploit that they fixed late last night.

We have confirmed an issue where players may obtain large amount of skill points by casting enhancing or healing magic to the party member. The issue is currently being addressed.

Also we would like to remind that repeating this method intentionally is considered as fraudulent behavior. With players who have abused this method, an additional investigation shall be made and their account may receive penalty including account suspension in case we determine it to be malignant. The investigation is expected to take a while until the completion. For those of you who have happened to abuse this method without knowing it to be fraudulent, please report yourself through GM Call. By reporting yourself in, the amount of skill point and skill rank you have gained will be corrected by GM and the penalty to your account will be exempted.

For details on account penalty and prohibited activities, please refer to the following pages.
Account Penalty Policy
Prohibited Activities in Final Fantasy XIV

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

This comes on the heals of many players of the Disciplines of Magic basically starting a guildleve and then engaging a monster and doing no offensive action towards it.  Simply healing themselves until they are out of MP and then killing the monster gaining thousands of skill points.  When you take into account that it is possible to gain zero skill while killing a monster and the average skill gains are probably along the order of 100-150 per kill, you have a large problem.

The answer to this is to threaten bans and suspensions and ask players to self report.  I can’t decide whether Square-Enix is arrogant or stupid in this request.  I am leaning towards a fair amount of both.  The players that will end of seeing repercussions are the ones that are already rank 25-30.  The rest will see nothing but a nerf to their skill.

The second step in the developers fix for the problem was to reduce the chance and amount of skillups that could be obtained from healing and buffing.  In a system that is designed to encourage the grouping of players this is a hugely bad thing.  The Random Number Generated skill up system already has a huge set of problems attached to it.  By removing the ability to adequately gain skill via healing, this limits Conjurers and Thaumaturges to casting damaging spells and TP abilities in order to gain rank skill points.  Not everyone can heal themselves.

Final Fantasy XIV is not unlike any other MMO.  There are tanks and healers and damage dealers.  If the healers can not level up via healing they are left who is going to heal?  Imagine a world where everyone was a Black Mage.  Not a very healthy world to live in.

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