March 13, 2013

To plug or not to plug?

Where do ethics fit in the context of gaming?  If this is an area where we are here to relax, do we truly need such stringent rules of conduct?

I think I probably take these rules to heart a bit much.  When I buy games, I've never used any plug-ins, game hacks, or even pc mods.  As a general rule, I refuse to even look at a guide, Youtube video, or any other source of assistance until I have finished the game.  It's just a quirk of mine.  I feel that finishing a game with the help of those materials takes away from the overall experience.  There's no surprise or emotional connection when you play with a guide.  Call me weird, that's just how I am.

That carries over to FFXI as well, and it makes me wonder.  Now that I have a computer and the ability to use things such as Spellcast, Cake, and whatever else is out there, am I truly holding my linkshell or other groups down because I refuse to install them?  When I first started, even mentioning those things was considered taboo.  Power leveling was looked at as being lazy, and bot-claimers were the bane of Vana'diel.  I remember how morally conscious players used to be, and I felt at home among them.

It's not the same anymore.  Now, people take screenshots which blatantly show the plug-ins they use.  Claiming Tiamat with a bot and almost proud to show it off.  The entirety of Beaucedine Glacier filled with people using fishing bots to acquire gil.  Running through Nyzul Isle using whatever it is to see through walls and find enemies in seconds and flee-hacking all over the place.  Square-Enix isn't doing anything about it, and the general public seems to be embracing it.

So is it still an ethical no-no, or is it just me being stubborn?  Afraid to step from the pillar of imagined purity that I started on when I first began playing?  What keeps me from using these plug-ins?  Hell, if I use them and get banned, that would actually help break my addiction to this game and maybe I could have a social life again.  I can probably keep playing this game for a few more years, but there's no way in hell that I would start from scratch.  No matter how "easy" this game may be to some, I have emotion and time invested in Jacinda / Carinde.  If she every goes away, that's it for me.

Still, I continue to wonder.  Am I taking the ethics of gameplay too seriously?  If I did the things that so many others are doing, I wouldn't be so stressed out about what I don't have here.  I could have max gil in a matter of weeks.  I could have the most complex macros in the world and let the game nearly play itself based on some conditional statements.  I already have a product key for a second account when I bought my PC version, so I could make a heal-bot and never worry about finding help again.

Is that really the path I want to take though?  I'm tired of feeling like I have to struggle in this game but, is taking the stance of "everyone does it" really enough to justify the action?


Lisa said...

In my humble opinion, yes, you should do it. This is a 10 year old game with 10 year old interface. Windower just enhances things that should be on there in the first place. I mean, how does SE wants us to obtain full potential of items such as Fast Cast, Cure Casting Time and several others with just a few lines of macros? It's impossible...

Not to mention jobs that have impact on things like weather and day of the week...

If SE were to ban people that uses Windower they would lose at least half of their playerbase. Yes, it's becoming more "acceptable" because in the end we all benefit from it, who doesnt have a friend that came help with a cure pocket WHM bot?

Lisa said...

I tend to say those things are like marijuana, before you try it you have that bad stigma about it, that's forbidden and a bad thing to do, but once you try it.... You see it's not that bad and actually enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

(Dierdren) I also am with Lisa on this hmm my name is Lisa too irl wow but yeah, ever since I embraced the usage of Spellcast/Yarnball/all the things, it only helps your game play and you will enjoy the game more than having to press 3 macros just for one ability/spell/etc. It will only make the already amazing player in you better! <3

Anonymous said...

(Alerith)You've known where I stand on that dear. If you're just going to download a bunch of things to play the game for you and not win under your own skill, then why bother playing anymore? You don't become a better player by letting a program keep track of things for you and it'd be a disgrace to your playing ability if you let them.

Anonymous said...

(TamTu) I'm personally too lazy to learn to use the plugins. When SE came out with its own windowed mode, I used that. I always thought I played pretty well without plugins, albeit not "optimal" for the few endgame stuff I did.

Stick to what you believe makes you the kind of player you want to be. I'm with Alerith on this one.