Final Fantasy 14's new 5v5 PvP mode, Crystalline Conflict, has apparently led to such an uptick in bad manners among the players that the game's producer, Naoki Yoshida, directly addressed players in a news post regarding their behavior.
"We are receiving an unprecedented number of reports concerning uncooperative/lethargic or taunting behavior during matches," Yoshida explains, before diving into the offending tendencies in more detail.
The "Uncooperative/Lethargic" behavior Yoshida singles out first is a bit hard to pin down, though many of us have likely witnessed a gaming teammate sandbag it out of spite at least once.
"All PvP content, including Crystalline Conflict, is intended to be a battle/contest of skill between players," writes Yoshida. "Participants must bring their best to the fight, and for this reason uncooperative or lethargic behavior is prohibited. Let's strive to do our best even in situations where defeat is imminent, regardless of whether or not you're interested in the rewards."
The meat of the post, however, is a detailed list of other rude antics that Yoshida politely asks Crystalline Conflict players to stop indulging in:
- Repeatedly using the Quick Chat phrase "Nice job!" during a disadvantageous situation
- Repeatedly using the Quick Chat phrase "Good match!" before the outcome of the match has even been decided
- Excessively repeating a particular Quick Chat phrase
- Persistently placing a negative target marker on another ally player
- Using and repeating an emote on top of a downed opponent
- Setting off fireworks on top of a downed opponent
- Using Tell or other methods to directly harass/criticize a player outside of a duty after a match has ended
- Slandering other players through means outside of the game, such as social media
It almost doesn't bear mentioning that slinging abuse through the in-game chat or external social media is inexcusable, but it's funny to see genuinely nasty behavior lumped in with the more benign competitive jabbing on this list.
Sarcastic use of a "Nice Job!" or "Good Match!" quick chat strikes me as some classically good natured smack talk, reminiscent of the "Very Good!" carvings from Dark Souls, "What a save!" taunts from Rocket League, and the "I'm Using Tilt Controls!" flex from Mario Kart Wii. The map ping abuse also seems relatively harmless, if annoying, and could be addressed with a cooldown timer.
The funniest request is that players stop using emotes and fireworks to taunt their opponents. At least 70% of an emote's utility is for good natured PvP taunting in my view, and the fireworks strike me as the perfect cheeky sendoff after outplaying an opponent. Maybe I've just let myself get too deadened to this sort of thing after years of Overwatch and League of Legends.
Yoshida wraps up the post by reminding players that the FF14 team reserves the right to temporarily suspend them for three to 20 days for the listed behaviors, and that repeated or "exceptionally heinous" violations will result in a permanent ban.