Being Poor in FFXIV Pays Off

There’s been a lot of buzz in the FFXIV community about the recent bans handed down to players with ‘a lot of gil’.   Allegedly players with 8 million or more gil have been temporary (72 hour) banned while their resources are investigated.  The reason being given is that the players violated the user agreement.  As of this moment, none of the players reporting their bans have any idea about whether or not their gil is gone or if they’ll be unbanned.

This is a tough one.  On one hand I can appreciate the company taking action to protect the sanctity of the game.  On the other hand, I feel awful for the honest and resourceful players who worked hard/smart to earn their cash.  Tonight alone I had to blacklist 10 spammers, and the bots farming fleece and diremite webs are still there — but the guy who played the market is trying to prove the only thing he did was succeed.

To complicate matters further, many of the banned players think they were banned because they sold their goods to players who obtained their gil illegally — essentially receiving dirty money through legitimate trade.  Ban the player who bought the cash and the person who sold it, but leave the crafter out of it.  Square is doing it backward.

Now I don’t feel so bad about being dirt poor in the 99 percent.

  • They should make the effort to make a one-click “ignore and report spammer” function before they waste time with crap like this. Seriously, I find it beyond astonishing that in this day and age, any MMORPG developer could be so rock-stupid as to ship a game where you have to manually copy a spammer’s name from the chat window to a blacklist to ignore them. Hasn’t anyone at Square Enix actually PLAYED an MMO in the last decade?

  • Every MMO has some people who say they’re having trouble making money, but FFXIV (like FFXI) seems to be designed to limit cash more than most. Things I remember vividly about my time in FFXI that could have been solved with money in significant excess of what I could afford:
    – At level 8-10ish, a player inspected me and told me I could now equip earrings. I asked what earrings to get. When I checked the broker, his answer cost 30 times my character’s net worth… for each ear.
    – Once you were beyond the newbie zone, you were expected to make your own way to the farming camp. If you did not want to aggro mobs that you could neither solo nor leash (since mobs don’t leash in XI), you needed costly consumables. You were also expected to have consumables to reduce your downtime once you were at the camp, because no one grinding mobs at low levels actually wanted to be there any longer than necessary.
    – The popular level 20 farming zone required airship access… which required either a story quest in the 40’s or else something like 600,000 gil.

    Bottom line: when people are willing to pay you to get out of playing your game, some of them may legitimately be lazy, but most are doing it because you have required something they don’t want to do (in this case, playing the market board until you get banned) as a prerequisite for something they do want to do (above examples, or being able to pay your repair bills in group content). You will never solve the currency selling problem until you solve the demand problem, and this currency design exacerbates the demand problem.

  • @Green Armadillo

    All of those things are what made me enjoy FFXI I really felt that sense of accomplishment. You were forced to find groups and in turn friends for these types of things. Made things mean something.

    I do however feel the pain as far as FF14 is concerned. It seems we are getting all of the bad with none of the good lol in the sense of the economy. But dailies are coming 2.1 as is pvp gear so im sure things will change as far as the economy is concerned.

  • When a game company starts acting like the IRS, FBI, DEA and NSA it is time to leave the game. A person with just a little common sense knows what other players need and want. You then gather it or craft it to make money. Playing the game more then others will always make you more money. When I was recovering from a broken leg, I can’t tell you how many hours I played non stop because there was nothing else I could do.

    You don’t suspend an account to investigate. You investigate when the account is active to prove your case.

    I was farming mobs while watching football games I had recorded. I was moving around the area so I did not have to wait for mobs to spawn again. I never saw another player for a couple of hours. Then I received a message from a game master who asked me if I was a bot. I asked them why are you ruining my gaming experience. No reply. Then an hour later the same thing happened again. I asked them is this normal behavior for you to bother paying customers. No reply. When it happened a third time, I sent off the screen shots and I told them I wanted a refund. They refused. My credit card company took up the fight and I received a total refund. I won’t stand for poor customer service. There are plenty of companies that want my money.

  • SE is notoriously draconian when it comes to their games. They don’t bat an eyelash at banning first and asking questions later and erring on the side of punishment.

  • @Sine; Well put. SE has always done this. They are also notorious for looking the other way on a number of things and be incredibly strict on others. They also have a tendency to go big or go home when the economy or loot is involved.

    Honestly, I do not blame them for taking action for those players that mysteriously have the 10s of millions of gil that is rumored to be the minimum number. Outside of a legacy server where a number of items are selling for obscene prices there is really very little way to have amassed that much money in a legit manner for 99% of the community. There will always be outliers, but Keen is correct. Even they technically did something wrong by selling product to gilbuyers. I can’t see a legit reason to ban for that unless they were doing it via trade and “knew” what they were doing. But, SE would rather lean on the side of caution and I am fine with that.

    What I will never be fine with though, is the timing. Why give them a 72 hour suspension (they may or may not have deserved) on a Friday. If you know you are going to catch some innocent people in your net, do it on a Wednesday so they can go into the weekend feeling “good”.

  • Hey guys! I was reminiscing and thought of you guys. It’s awesome to see your blog is still going strong! Keep up the good work!

  • My brother is one of those banned, to get unbanned they want him to send a copy of his drivers license or passport…….wtf?

    No he didn’t buy anything and he has tons of spammers blocked too.