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Square Enix is taking steps to stop harassment and stalking of players in Final Fantasy XIV, announcing that there will be “in-game restraining orders” against those whose behaviour is affecting others’ enjoyment of the game.
With nearly 34 million players and just over three million of them logging into the super successful MMORPG every day, there are unfortunately going to be instances where people are inflammatory towards their fellow players. Toxicity and other issues are always a thorn in the side of studios who want to ensure that their communities have the space to roleplay and express their opinions, yet aren’t causing conflict or attacking anyone in the process. In fact, a recent report claimed that 62% of young gamers have been harassed online through various channels in games like Fortnite, Valorant, and Call of Duty.
The list of offending activities in the game has been laid out here, and Square Enix reminded players that this is subject to revisions and that the community should “err on the side of caution and to treat other players with civility and respect.” Stalking is counted under the category of harassment and also involves obstruction of play. If the player is “persistently moving to locations where someone is,” “creating new characters to message someone who has blacklisted you,” or “attempting to make contact in-game with someone despite official authorities forbidding contact with them in real-life,” then the support team will step in.
“The stalking player will be penalized, and we may contact the victim and obtain their consent to issue an in-game restraining order,” read the explanation, and if the player continues to try to contact the victim, then a “more severe” sanction will be enacted.
Moreover, Penalty Points record the number of violations and significance of these infractions. These are only viewable by the studio and were not publicly explained in the past, however, it is possible that the total of Penalty Points will be decreased if the player has not committed any offending action in the time since the initial violation.
“We felt that setting decay periods for Penalty Points would provide users with a clear goal in correcting their behavior, and decided to implement this system in order to better promote reflection and conscious restraint from repeating past violations,” said Square Enix.
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