Believe it or not, there’s a seedier side to Final Fantasy XIV that casual players and outsiders might not be aware of. It’s real money trading. Basically, some people offer certain services, items, Gil (the in-game currency), and even entire characters in exchange for actual money.
Unsurprisingly, Square Enix doesn’t like it when players do this and has been making an effort to crack down on such activity for years. In a recent blog post, it provided an update on exactly what it’s doing to combat real money trading (or RMT as it calls it) and how players can assist.
Every week, Square Enix shares how many accounts it’s had to ban. No doubt some of them were found guilty of illicit trading, but the company admits that it has found a certain level of RMT activity each week. So, it’s increasing staffing, upgrading tools, and adding new procedures to clamp down on guilty players. Although it doesn’t specifically explain what these new procedures are, probably so traders can’t then immediately come up with their own countermeasures.
The company also asks that if you observe any RMT activity yourself, you inform Square Enix ASAP using the in-game Report Cheating feature. Any advertisements for RMT shared in chat can be reported by simply selecting the character’s name in the chat log, opening the subcommand menu, and selecting Report RMT Activity. These reports are processed automatically and if Square Enix decides the reported player is indeed promoting RMT activity, they’ll be restricted from sending messages.
The blog post takes some time to explain precisely why RMT isn’t allowed to begin with. Since the very act upsets the balance of the game, it violates Final Fantasy XIV’s user agreement. “These vendors do not care about adhering to the User Agreement and will often obstruct the gameplay of normal players to benefit themselves,” writes Square Enix. It also warns that such vendors tend to engage in criminal activity, such as using stolen credit card info, so any potential reward for using their services isn’t worth the risk.
“We strongly encourage players to refrain from engaging with these groups, as there would be no reason for RMT vendors to exist if players do not use their services.”
In the meantime, players can still earn rewards legitimately through the game’s All Saints’ Wake event. It’s not available for much longer, however, with it scheduled to wrap up in a week’s time on November 1.