Final Fantasy 14 dispute ends in the death of its most popular mod

Final Fantasy 14 character
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Square Enix)

Ask a Final Fantasy 14 diehard what mods they use and many of them will say GShade, a fork of Reshade that lets you customize the game's visuals. GShade has long been the tool to make the MMO (and several other games) look pretty for screenshots, allowing you to add shaders for a more vibrant or avant-garde aesthetic.

GShade, at least for the moment, is gone. Its creator, Marot Satil, announced in the GPOSERS Discord that it "will not receive updates for the time being." But at the time of this writing, GShade's GitHub page, including Satil's account, have been removed.

Over the last few days, Satil has been battling another modder, NotNite, who made an alternative version of the software called GeezShade. GeezShade is essentially a fork of ReShade that uses a workaround to download and install most of the custom shaders from GShade.

"[GShade's] installer is a total mess that also is not open source," NotNite wrote on their blog. "Of course, monkey see and monkey get idea - let's install ReShade with the GShade shaders!"

NotNite also made an online tool to patch GShade and fix how it works when there's a new update available. Usually, GShade disables itself when there's a new version—a frequent annoyance for anyone that uses it. NotNite's patch simply removes the check.

All of this prompted Satil to release a new version of GShade that breaks GeezShade and password protects all the files so third-party apps can't access them. In response, NotNite updated GeezShade (under the name DeezShade) so that it uses GShade's installer to get around the password requirement.

On Monday, GShade users attempting to use NotNite's new installer started having their PC's restart. Understandably, this quickly made its way through the GShade community as people were worried if it could cause actual harm to their PCs. 

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NotNite confronted Satil about the forced restarts on the r/FFXIV Discord. Satil admitted that the restarts were part of an anti-tamper code for third-party software using GShade's installer. "This was meant to be a lesson to you specifically about taking this approach to the problem," Satil wrote, "anything could have been in the payload and you'd have been responsible for distributing it to people and triggering it.

"I chose a restart specifically because I wanted something that was still completely harmless, but slightly more noticeable than a quick process kill. Considering it similar to what anticheat software does when something particularly bad turns up."

Satil was then banned from the r/FFXIV Discord and the mods announced that they will no longer support GShade.

Without one of FF14's most popular mods, players are migrating their custom settings to ReShade so they can go back to taking photos of their catgirls. 

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.