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The Final Fantasy XIV raid scene has been rocked by controversy (again) following the revelation that the Japanese raid team that was World's First to clear The Omega Protocol (Ultimate) did so with the aid of third-party mods. The Omega Protocol is a super-challenging raid encounter added in patch 6.31. The use of third-party mods or tools is strictly prohibited in the hyper-competitive raid scene of XIV and explicitly so in the game's terms of service.

Naoki Yoshida, the producer of XIV and the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI, wrote in a blog post that "it is extremely disappointing for me personally to see this commotion surrounding third-party tools once again in the wake of what happened with Dragonsong's Reprise (Ultimate)". Dragonsong's Reprise was a raid added in 6.11, and a similar situation occurred, in which the team first to clear it was found to have used unauthorised tools.

The group in question are known as UNNAMED_. Video was posted on Twitter of the encounter, which shows the group using what are known as zoom hacks, a modification that lets the player pull the camera out further than normal, allowing for a better view of the battlefield.

The concept of World First is an unofficial one, really just for bragging rights within a community. Still, Yoshida indicated that it could become a feature in the future, stating that "we hear the community voice that an official raid race should be supported, and regulations should be decided upon - this is a topic which needs to be discussed internally, so please allow me to keep this as an item for future consideration."

Third-party mods and tools can be a contentious subject in the MMO space. Not all of them give explicit advantages, for example, some are used to optimise skill rotations to allow for a higher level of play or measure the DPS a character is capable of dealing. Obviously, things high-level competitive players would be very interested in knowing.

Such players argue that these tools should be included in the game for everyone to use. Still, the sentiment of platform holders is often that such tools could be used to bully players that are not performing "optimally", which makes the entire situation rather tricky.

What do you make of this whole affair? Are the third-party mods in question the video game equivalent of doping, or are they tools which should be included in the first place? Race to be the first to the comments section below.