What I got, instead, was two more examples that real storm clouds appear to be on the horizon.
First, the one several other TTTO posters have already begun to comment on.
If you're an American player, and you've had:
-- a very recent change to your credit card information (or a new account on the game, say the last two months or so)
-- problems with your credit card stuff with Square-Enix
-- or your card is about to expire
-- that your card that was on file with Square-Enix is not 3-D Secure Enabled with Visa or Mastercard
That card is no longer on file, effective immediately! You have until September 1 to get a 3-D Secure Enabled card on file, or you are done with Final Fantasy XI until you do.
They're sending e-mails to as many players as they can find who qualify, and you've seen several comments if you've been reading recent TTTO posts.
Let's make several things clear:
-- There is MASSIVE credit-card fraud going on with respect to Square-Enix right now, and I'd almost wish there would be some people who would come out and just say how much Square-Enix is getting absolutely fucked up the ass by credit-card fraud. It's probably the other reason (with the proposal that they wish to codify themselves with the Japanese gaming standards on such matters) that they are doing this.
-- It is clear that they are probably going through a significant re-examination of the present player-base -- which will lead up to my central point of all of this (which will either be posted in this post or in one immediately forthcoming).
-- Square-Enix made clear (in their last set of financial findings -- at least the ones which were posted to JP Button quite some time ago) that they are looking far past FFXI, especially in a financial sense.
I'll get to more thoughts on that when I give the second thing I found.
To utterly no one's surprise who has read my blog, there are now reports that, in fact, there have been accounts with the Security Token which have been compromised, locked out of POL, and stripped of most, if not all, relevant stuff within about 5 minutes.
They're not clear if it's simply a keylogger or if someone (probably RMT, since actual hacking of MMO accounts is, by most belief, non-prosecute-able) has actually been able to jump in on the Security Token technology itself, but it's clear that RMT and the people around them are probably about as ahead of the game as that "university" in Jamaica with the sprinters and the drug-testers.
(Side point: If ANYBODY believes Usain Bolt is clean, I've got swampland in Omaha, NE to sell you...)
It is more and more clear that people, intent on destroying FFXI's experience for as many people as possible by compromising and stealing accounts, are winning the destruction of FFXI on the player side. If, as one poster said, it is essentially to the point of "If they want to fuck you up, they will, and there's nothing you can really do about it...", then you aren't playing for yourself anymore -- you're playing for the RMT scum, if they see you as relevant enough to their profit margin to fuck your account up.
Of course, this all gets to a central thesis I've been talking about for quite some time.
Does anyone STILL want to believe that Final Fantasy XI is not, as an official going concern, dead??
Because I'm going to tell you one thing:
People are bitching (and rightly so) that Square-Enix' customer service and policies are completely foreign to any company who wants to retain the present customer base.
I've asked the question before on this blog, and will do so again:
What if Square-Enix DOES NOT WANT the present customer base?
Has anyone else really thought of the real possibility that Square-Enix has so little trust or regard for the present player base (especially that in America), that they want rid of it as much as they can before they basically wash their hands of FFXI to put FFXIV out as a completely new MMO experience with a completely new (and, probably, largely Japanese-centric) player base??
They don't trust you.
They don't want anything but your money to bridge them to FFXIV.
And it's time we just admit that that's the case.
They see you (correctly) as a bunch of cheating little whiners.