“There’s no perfect system”, but the FFXIV devs want to do more to combat harassment

Sq. Enix is trying into enhancing Final Fantasy XIV’s social options following calls from gamers for higher safety in opposition to stalking and harassment. Nonetheless, it appears we might have to attend some time to see any such modifications applied.

Whereas problems with player misbehaviour have been raised on the FFXIV subreddit numerous times over time, one post in late September introduced the dialog again to the fore. A number of the concepts the group proposes to sort out the issue embody the talents to take away your self from another person’s buddy checklist and to make your Lodestone profile non-public. It’s additionally been instructed that it’s best to have the ability to block somebody’s account, not simply their character. We just lately acquired the prospect to attend a preview occasion for FFXIV’s subsequent growth Endwalker, so we took the chance to ask director Naoki Yoshida if the group has any plans for the replace or past to implement modifications like these.

“We’re conscious that it is a massive dialogue in the neighborhood, however on the similar time, there are numerous explanation why our specs are designed as they’re,” he explains. “It’s a really severe matter, so I want to take quite a lot of care in how I reply this, so please enable me to elucidate.”

Yoshida acknowledges the factors raised about Lodestone profiles, telling us that the group is contemplating methods of addressing the suggestions. FFXIV’s buddy checklist, nonetheless, is one thing that the group is a “little bit nervous about adjusting”. He explains that the group’s time in different MMORPGs influences numerous design selections in Ultimate Fantasy XIV. The group observed that a number of arguments between gamers escalated when one came upon the opposite had unfriended them, in order that they designed their buddy checklist with that in thoughts.

“Beforehand, we’ve seen in different video games that there are instances the place this ultimately develops into stalking due to the best way that these buddy lists are designed,” Yoshida explains. “So it was for that motive that we determined we’d construction our buddy checklist the best way that it’s – in order that it’s harder for the opposite particular person to seek out on the market’s a separation between them.”

Whereas the group is trying into the matter, it could be a while earlier than you see any significant modifications applied. For Yoshida, dashing to implement an answer may introduce extra surprising issues.

“Now we have to be very cautious with the strategy that we take for this,” Yoshida explains. “On this respect, I want to spend extra time discussing with the related events concerned, to get a transparent concept of what’s happening, and to place some substance into what we wish to implement in FFXIV.

“It’s simply the fact that there’s no excellent system on this world – there’s by no means going to be a system that’s 100% simply, however the very best that we are able to do is to work in the direction of creating one thing nearer to that preferrred. So as soon as once more, I want to perform extra dialogue and develop our plans for addressing that transferring ahead.”

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A Reddit submit (linked above) highlighting how sure social options can allegedly allow stalking and harassment gained traction in the neighborhood in late September. Considerations raised embody remaining on somebody’s buddy checklist after you delete them, being unable to make your Lodestone profile non-public, and nonetheless matching with blacklisted gamers in duties. “Even if you happen to server swap, title change, [use a] Fantasia, and do that thrice over to make them lose observe of who you’re (which, is pricey and a problem and you actually shouldn’t be compelled to do one thing like this simply to keep away from people who find themselves creepy to you), then if they only have your Lodestone URL they will discover out precisely who/what you’ve grow to be and the place you play,” the submit reads.

One particular person tells us that blocked gamers can nonetheless comply with you across the map and discuss you within the public chat – be that close-by chats or the zone-wide shouts – even when they will’t communicate with you straight. We’re additionally informed that gamers can reportedly make limitless alt accounts by which they will ship you messages, since you possibly can create and delete new characters “kind of indefinitely” after getting your common account.

Gamers are additionally discussing the scenario because it pertains to housing, as you possibly can’t resolve who comes into your own home on a person foundation – you possibly can solely lock your private home completely, not selectively. “You’ll be able to’t even kick individuals out of your personal home,” one participant writes. “The one factor you are able to do is to lock the door, but when somebody is already inside, they will stay inside till they log out or get kicked out for server upkeep”.

Gamers additionally report that divorcing somebody, destroying your eternity ring, and blacklisting them in-game nonetheless isn’t sufficient to free you of a stalker, and it’s not unusual to see somebody flip to the subreddit for aid as getting help from a Game Master is seemingly tough.

It stays to be seen, then, what Sq. Enix has in retailer to fight these issues, but it surely’s clear the group has an extended checklist of points that have to be addressed.

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