Final Fantasy XIV has just recently released the latest Ultimate raid, “The Omega Protocol” with the latest patch 6.31. As this raid is considered an Ultimate raid, it can be said that The Omega Protocol (Ultimate) also known as TOP Ultimate is currently the most difficult fight in the game. As such, to make sure that the players are at least competent enough to try out the fight, the developers usually lock this fight behind the current Savage raids. This means that the players will need to clear the current Savage raids to even unlock it in the first place.

When these types of high difficulty encounters such as TOP Ultimate are released, the Final Fantasy XIV community usually comes together to hold a contest of who could clear the fight first. Many hardcore raiders typically assemble their raid groups to go into this fight and conquer it. Because this race to be the first to conquer the fight is a spectacle, many of these hardcore raiders stream their progress. With many teams streaming their progress, other players are able to watch them go through the fight and solve the many mind-boggling mechanics thrown at them. On the other hand, there are also the teams that do not stream their raid progression since they do not want to give out their strategies. There are even those who use their channel to stream these attempts at the fight collectively while also providing interesting commentary with it. This usually falls on the MogTalk team that have been doing this since the early Savage races. For TOP Ultimate they held a 6 day long stream checking out streams and commentating on the puzzles and the current balance of jobs in FFXIV. However, due to the difficulty of the encounter, many teams haven’t cleared the fight past day 6. As such, they had to end the program even before a world’s first was reached.

However, on January 31st 3:34am JST, a non-streaming raid group from Japan, _UNNAMED, announced their clear on Twitter with a screenshot showing the clear screen.

https://twitter.com/rinif_ff14/status/1620130628833517569?s=20&t=TQRMOTmjj9aa7vWb90vFpg

With this announcement of their clear, many Final Fantasy XIV players congratulated them on their clear and their achievement for being the world’s first group to clear TOP Ultimate. However, after some hours had passed, the winning group soon found themselves in hot water due to a controversy that had popped up regarding their clear.

In a video leaked by one of their members, it can be seen that _UNNAMED used illegal 3rd party tools to aid them. Typically, when it comes to these tools, people would usually just use the ones that provide fast calculations for them. However, the 3rd party tools used in the video were those that gave the team an unfair advantage as it let them zoom out all the way and let them see the entire arena. This is a highly unfair advantage and can be considered cheating as it gives the team a lot more info than the developers intended. Because of this, there was uproar in the community regarding the use of these 3rd party software.

With this uproar came a lot of memes from the community most of which were posted on Twitter.

While these memes are being thrown around, a story was developing around why these illegal tools were used and how it became public.

The story so far is that _UNNAMED is an 11 man group with 3 people serving as observers to point out patterns and mechanics to make it easier for the actual players to focus on the fight itself. There was an agreement between the 8 players and the 3 observers that after they had obtained the clear, the 3 observers would also get their clear for TOP Ultimate. However, the team had refused to give these observers their clear and even neglected to pay them. Because of this, one of them made a youtube channel that literally translated to “Divine Punishment” and posted the VOD of the Dragoon of the team using a zoom out mod to get a clearer view of the arena.

However, later on, the team had clarified that none of the members had any ill intentions for that matter and that the clip was illegally obtained from the Dragoon’s youtube channel as their had been some unusual login activity with the account.

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Because of all these issues and controversy popping up, some of the members of the group made statements apologizing for their use of these tools and the accountability that they planned to do. In a Twitter post, they stated that they deeply apologize to the community and to the FFXIV team and they plan to be held accountable by disbanding the team.

https://twitter.com/feuer_ei/status/1620313377070522368

They also further admitted that they had been doing this as far back as the previous Savage raid tier. This caused a lot of uproar and a lot of people began to question the legitimacy of the RWF of FFXIV. Considering that the race is not regulated by Square Enix, many argued that because it is a community effort, the community should decide what should be done. Frosty, the head of MogTalk put out a statement regarding this.

He had decided that because of this entire controversy, he has decided that he is no longer counting teams that do not stream as part of the race. His statement carries a lot of weight considering that he is the person who initiated this whole race.

With all these controversies regarding the use of 3rd party tools for raiding, it is still a mystery as to what the stance of Square Enix is on all that is happening in the FFXIV community.

Update:

Noaki Yoshida, Producer and Director of Final Fantasy XIV has put out a statement on the Lodestone regarding the illicit activity done by the raid group _UNNAMED. In his statement, he made it clear that he was greatly disappointed with what was currently happening and had hoped that as fellow gamers, they would have more integrity. Furthermore, he stated that he does not recognize this group as the world’s first as they had used illegal 3rd party tools to achieve this.

Following this, in a tweet by one of _UNNAMED’s members, the region’s GMs had taken action and took back the rewards that the group had obtained from clearing the fight encounter.

https://twitter.com/Haruka_Setsuna_/status/1620502206645669888

With this, the race to world’s first had resumed and the different groups continued to race to finish TOP Ultimate.

With the race having been resumed, Neverland claimed the World’s First on February 1, 2023 4:23pm. They showed proof with a screenshot with the completion screen.

Following this post, Final Fantasy XIV TOP Ultimate race to world’s first has finally reached its conclusion. Although there have been many controversies with this race, a lot of the players and spectators enjoyed this event especially with the many memes and jokes that were thrown around especially with all the controversies that popped up all over the place.