Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Upon Further Review, Square-Enix: Your FFXI User Agreement is a Legal Impossibility, and hence a Fraud and a Sham

When I got the form letter last night detailing my 24PB, one of the things they asked me to is to review the Final Fantasy XI User Agreement before I return.

The fact is, though I will return, it is impossible for me to agree to the UA in doing so, and I will have to lie to return to the Game.

It is no longer possible to play this game under the User Agreement and the Terms of Service Square-Enix imposes.

There is no reason that I should not RMT Starcade to death.

There is no reason that any player who chooses to play the game should not commit acts to openly disrupt the game play of other players -- because it is the socially-accepted way to play the game.

Why do I say this?  Well I did review the User Agreement, and, when you add one further reality to the equation, you realize fairly immediately that the Agreement of this game (the only rules which, purportedly, prevent anarchy and open hacking) are legally impossible to perform.

That reality goes back to my second visit to Mordion Gaol last night.  I sent a GM call after being warned for my altercative language, saying, simply:  "If the preservation of the community makes my language more harmful than the usage of Windower and other 3PP (third-party programs), then you will have to suspend me."

Well, the preservation of the community appears to be the final law.

At that point:

The acceptance, by a North American community of shitheads, lowlifes, and criminals, of a widening array of illegal third-party programs and other disruptive practices either forces the individual player to violate the User Agreement of Final Fantasy XI by taking part of that array (Section 2), or forces the individual player to violate the same User Agreement by not taking part in that array, Disrupting the Game Experience of those players who do (Section 3, especially Section 3.2).

I quote the following from the Square-Enix Support Center and the User Agreement:

3.2  Disruption.  You may not in any way disrupt or interfere with the Game experience of other players, including the disruption of SQUARE ENIX’s computers and servers.

I could GM probably 80% of the North American player-base.  No joke.  And I will do it to make the point if the hierarchy of SE forces me to do so.

So let me lay down several in-game scenarios and explain exactly what is going on.

1) Yellow = Fair Game

This is a ruling that has been a great contention of mine with Square-Enix for a very long time.  To allow this practice is, in fact, in and of itself, a violation of the Disruption of the Game Experience for the Beastmasters in Dynamis. 

Often, while in Dynamis, my main M.O. would be, take one mob, proc it, make sure the pet has hate, run to a second mob, (hopefully) proc it, and as long as the first mob didn't link anything, Snarl the pet on the second mob and then go run off to a third.

Under the GM rulings, it is legal for a player (and this has happened from time to time, and the fuckers who do this should get their asses kicked RL) to steal the mob that I am fighting, as long as the mob is yellow when they gain the killshot.

That is a violation of the Terms of Service under User Agreement 3.2 .  The stealing of that kill interferes and disrupts the Game Experience of me, as a Beastmaster, in Dynamis.

You can reverse that and then say that having enough players in the camp (either alone or in conjunction) is ALSO a violation of 3.2, as written, because it not only disrupts the Game Experience of players attempting to enter the camp, it disrupts the Game Experience of players in the camp.  This could mean that a BST who starts grabbing 4-6 could also be considered in violation of 3.2 .

(This could probably be the best case that anti-BST/DNC crusaders could use to nerf BST/DNC in Dynamis.)

2) To use the BG designation:  "Confused/Gimp/WTF Players"

In short, any player who attempts to complete a task for which he or she is wholly unqualified to do through their gear or skill level is, in fact, committing an illegality under the Terms of Service through the attempt.  Again, 3.2 .

And this CAN include "gear" that is illegal under section 2.1, as well.  (Necessary illegal third-party programs for the completion of events such as Neo-Nyzul Isle.)

2.1  Cheating and Botting.  You may not create or use any cheats, bots, automation software, hacks, mods or any other unauthorized software designed to modify the Game and gameplay. In addition, you may not take advantage of game system bugs and exploits during gameplay.
2a) If the player is part of an alliance:

Especially in the reliance of everything from outside-game audio-chat to Windower and other player-created illegalities for much of elite-level content, the refusal to use that may, in fact, result in the defeat of the alliance.

Hence, at that point, the player refusing to break Section 2 of the User Agreement has, BY THAT ACT, broken Section 3.2, because that action alone is, in many major elite hypergame entities, ensured the defeat of the party, Disrupting the Game Experience of the other players in the alliance.

2b) If the player is either alone or with non-Section 2-infringing players (how few that remain):

Even this would be a problem.


Because the presence of what is seen by the community as "lesser persons" infringes on the ability of the community to foster what they see as proper play.

If the community is the final law, then Windower should be required, under the User Agreement, for every player capable of using it.  Any player not making their fullest effort to get the best gear and the like is infringing upon the play experience of all other players.  Perhaps through content denial, perhaps through simply non-acceptance by the community, perhaps through forcing every Voidwatch shout group to have to filter them out, which is still a Disruption act.

In fact, it could easily be concluded that simply to request to join a group that you are not declared fit to join could also be an illegality under the User Agreement:

3.9  Non-Commercial Spamming/SpimmingYou may not use (or abuse) the in-game chat and message services to harass other players.

... in that your request serves no legitimate purpose.

3) The user-run casinos, which have been declared legal to advertise for by GM's (I GM'ed this question a couple months back after the controversies surrounding Vana'fest 2012.) are, in fact, illegal under the FFXI UA:

3.6  Any Illegal Activities.  You may not conduct any illegal activities whatsoever in connection with the Game.  This includes every illegal activity not specifically highlighted above, including without limitation gambling, defamation, harassment, and fraud.

4) The players who have put, on their Bazaars, single Ancient Currencies for 100-piece prices should be GMed for illegal acts under this same situation, but have not been because of the acceptance of the community of open defrauding of "lesser persons".

It is common knowledge to most of the players that these acts are committed intentionally, with the intent to defraud another player of the use of "their gil".

5) In fact, if we really want to get technical:  The name "Starcade" is, in fact, the same name as the arcade in the Walt Disney themeparks (and a 1980's video-game game show hosted by Geoff Edwards).  It was also based (incorrectly, the wrestling card has two R's in it's name) of the old Jim Crockett Promotions/NWA/WCW holiday wrestling supercard.

Why do I point this out?

The use of the name Starcade is, in fact, then an illegality under the User Agreement!

3.5  Naming Right.  You may not use any name or other intellectual property belonging to SQUARE ENIX or any other third party in your use of the Game (for example, naming a character after a celebrity, company, product, or superhero).

And, in fact, under the same "brand confusion" rulings which result in decisions being levied against the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment, any player using a derivative of a Final Fantasy name is committing a similar offense.  (This means all the names based on Cloud, Sephiroth, I know there's at least one based on Rikku on Leviathan, etc. and so forth.)

6) I am not 100% sure on this one, but I will call about 95% because of the possibility that Test Server situations use may use GM Invincibility, which might require making the players appear as GMs on the Test Server.

I've seen a number of the BG crowd, in various screenshots, post pictures of themselves with their character names appearing to be GMs.  Now, unless this is Test Server GM Invincibility, this, too, is a violation:

3.4  Impersonation.   You may not impersonate any person or entity or fraudulently hold yourself out as a SQUARE ENIX employee, representative, or any other SQUARE ENIX-connected person or being affiliated with any such person or entity.  This means you cannot log into someone else’s account, or deceive or mislead other people as to your identity.  For your own safety, we encourage users to safeguard their privacy, remain anonymous, and never give out personal information to other users. 


And this list will increase over time.

The point I'm making, to the brass at Square-Enix is that your User Agreement is Invalid, a Fraud, and a Sham.

(Maybe that's why Baccanale cut off the conversation the moment I even MENTIONED the word "fraud".)

This raises the very real possibility that you have attempted to insulate your Japanese player-base from your North American, and that you are openly allowing these criminal shitheads on BluGartr and their supporters to run the show over here since the preservation of the Community is the Final Law.

At that point, you don't want me back.

At all.

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