Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Too Scared And Lazy To Use Mods

In MMORPGs, a lot of people like to use mods for end game content. Usually the mods are against a game's terms of service. Final Fantasy XIV is no different. The half-a-joke about FFXIV is glamour is the true end game. Yes, raiders have add-ons, but the hard-core social crowd seen at the game's clubs are really serious about their glam game.

I'm not going to say I don't care about graphics. I run GShade to sharpen up my graphics just a little. Hopefully the upcoming graphics update in 7.0 will mean I can ditch the program, but for now it's running. But that's my limit. A graphics program that only affects my PC and hopefully Square Enix makes obsolete.

Over the last couple of months I've heard of a new mod called Mare. The mod allows a user to share their character's appearance on a local client with other users. In. The. Game. Definitely against the terms of service. Yoshi-P turns a blind eye to what players do on their local machines. Want to use a mod to put tattoos on your character? Want your Viera to have the ability to wear hats? Great! Just don't stream it or otherwise make the violation clear. Then he might have to crack down on the behavior.

I decided to look at the software. Oh my! The mods required to run Mare remind me of the botting software in EVE Online. The mod devs warn users they use code injection. I got the impression that intercepting packets between the client and servers was a given. And like EVE Online botting software, a warning about how the mod software violates ToS, but they make sure its safe and well, Square Enix doesn't really care.

The biggest red flag is to use all the glamour mods listed on the web page is the requirement to use a custom launcher for FFXIV. And the possibility the user's anti-malware/anti-virus may detect the launcher as a virus and require the user to white list the application. I don't think so.

But even if I decided to ignore the security issue, I have an even bigger problem. I am not messing with the way I access the game. I had enough trouble setting up an account to play FFXIV. I wound up using Steam, which presents additional issues when using the mod. I can access the game now. The old saying is, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." Quite frankly, I'm too scared to touch what I have in place now. I have too much time and money invested in the game to start over on a new account.

Eventually, I believe Square Enix will crack down on Mare. The glamour mods I've seen allow hard-core glamour enthusiasts to skip paying for some items in the cash shop. While Yoshi-P may turn a blind eye to certain things, I don't think the beancounters will when they hear there is an application that allows those users to share local glamour mod use with others in the game. So for now I'll keep my head down and hope friends don't get caught up in a ban wave that hopefully will not happen for a very long time.

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