Vana'diel, the stage where FINAL FANTASY XI is set, is a virtual world created by Square Enix and the players together. Just like the real world, a wide variety of things can happen-including problems players can't (or shouldn't have to) resolve through the game itself. This is where a special member of the Square Enix team comes in: the Game Master (GM). The GM's role is to facilitate players' enjoyment of the game.
The GM's Role
The purpose of the Game Master is to provide players with an enjoyable gaming environment.
The Support Hierarchy
Square Enix support staff serve the needs of our players in three categories, as explained below.
Game Masters (GMs)
GMs support the players directly, via in-game interaction or the PlayOnline Viewer chat console. They also serve as a point of contact for issues that are best addressed by other Square Enix teams. In addition, they address player violations of in-game policies. This includes cautions, warnings, suspensions, and terminations. The Account Administration team must approve any severe disciplinary action.
The Information Center addresses account issues, connection problems, and other out-of-game issues. They deal directly with the players via telephone, email, or chat, and like the GM team they can refer issues to other teams within Square Enix as necessary.
Account Administration Team
This team oversees disciplinary actions against a player by a GM. They also review and investigate players' complaints of unfair treatment by GMs. Also, Account Administration investigates permanent account terminations.
Basic GM Rules
GMs must always follow these rules in their player support role:
Provide professional and courteous customer service.
Convey as much information as possible to the players without disclosing any confidential information.
Assist customers' needs to the greatest possible degree.
Respond to players' questions and concerns in a consistent manner.
Provide an enjoyable gaming environment for the players.
Common Misconceptions about the GM Team
GMs are only there to catch the "bad players".
This is not the case. Although GMs do take action against players who violate the rules of the game, the point of having GMs is to keep the gaming environment enjoyable for everyone. GMs take disciplinary action against players who violate or disrupt other players' gaming experiences.
Calling a GM is useless; they won't help.
Sometimes GMs are unable to act immediately on a certain issue, but every player report is documented and investigated. We cannot promise that GMs will always take action, but we can promise that they will do everything possible to make the gaming experience enjoyable for everyone.
If you call a GM about something trivial, you will be punished.
GMs review all calls from players, no matter what the concern may be. Players cannot put themselves or their account in jeopardy by making a GM call. If you feel that a GM has not treated you properly, please contact us via email by Opinions and Complaints Concerning the GM Team.
GMs won't tell you anything about quests or missions.
GMs cannot give out hints during their interactions with players because it would be unfair to give an advantage over everyone else. However, if a GM determines that a technical problem has prevented a player from completing a quest or mission, then the GM will help.
Do GMs exist inside the game?
GMs work primarily inside the game, but they do perform duties outside as well in order to make the gaming experience enjoyable for all players. GMs use specifically assigned characters so that they can be easily identified.
Sometimes GMs will appear before players and speak with them. GM characters are unique in two ways: they have the text "GM" next to their characters' names, and their characters wear all-red armor. Both of these are characteristics of GMs in the game.
There are various types of GMs.
Support GM These GMs take calls from the players and perform a variety of other support roles. All GMs can carry out the duties of a Support GM.
Senior GM In addition to the Support GM functions, the Senior GM also oversees all on-site GM duties. Players will receive the same type of service from either type of GM that assists them.
Lead GM The Lead GM is responsible for all GM duties. Also, Square Enix staff members taking part in an in-game event use this icon.
Producer As the title suggests, this icon signifies in-game characters controlled by the FINAL FANTASY XI producer.
PlayOnline Official Staff
PlayOnline Official Staff This icon is used for in-game Square Enix staff members outside of the above categories.
The GM team is up and running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. GMs have the ability to visit any specific world or zone, so that they can assist a player whenever or wherever necessary.
What Languages do GMs speak?
Because most of our players speak Japanese, English, French, or German, the GM team is prepared to respond in any of those languages. Our bilingual GMs can always assist and support players in a second language.
When to call a GM
The GMs are available to assist players whenever an issue may arise during game play. The following are examples of situations players have encountered.
Another player is causing a disturbance and a violation of the user policies
Insulting or inappropriate language (harassment).
Behavior meant to obstruct the play of others (griefing).
Causing a monster to attack another player and disrupting his or her game play (MPK).
Defrauding or attempting to defraud a player out of an item (Fraud).
Unnecessarily repeating chat messages over and over (spamming).
A player's character is stuck in place and cannot dislodge himself.
The game software freezes or otherwise becomes unplayable due to a technical error.
Any other issue that prevents or hinders gameplay
Compromising an Account (unauthorized access), etc.
When You Are Unsure about Calling a GM
If you have an in-game concern, do not hesitate to contact the GM staff. The GM will listen to your situation and respond appropriately.
"GM Call" functions exactly as it sounds: it summons a GM. There are three ways to call a GM, two from inside the game and the other is from the PlayOnline Viewer's main page.
In-game GM Calls
When summoned, a GM will typically appear at the player's location. Depending on the content and urgency of the call, the GM may instead send a message to the caller. In that case, any GM chat will be preceded by the tag [GM]. When chatting with GMs, please provide as much detail as possible, so that they can address the issue to the best of their ability.
How to call a GM:
Type /helpdesk in game or Select "Help Desk" from the in-game menu.
Select "Help Desk" from within that menu as well.
Select the item that most closely matches your issue, and follow the instructions on the screen.
PlayOnline Viewer GM Calls
Players can summon a GM from the PlayOnline Viewer as well. Use this function in the following situations.
You cannot log into the game
You have a question about the PlayOnline Viewer functions
You have a question about the PlayOnline Viewer contents
For more information on the PlayOnline Viewer GM Call function, see the online help section of the PlayOnline Viewer.
In most cases, when GMs receive a call from players, they will take the appropriate action after learning all the details from the caller. GMs will document the information provided by players in a timely manner so that they can return to the game as quickly as possible.
Characters stuck on the game's terrain
When players make a GM call because their characters are stuck on terrain, GMs will move swiftly to rescue them without contacting them first. The goal here is to minimize response time, and we expect that players prefer a minimum of fuss as well. Some situations are similar to these "stuck calls" and warrant action without contact from a GM.
GMs take all calls seriously, but some issues require immediate attention.
For example, a GM might have to choose between a question on the game or a call from a character stuck on terrain. The GM should address the stuck character first, even if the question arrived earlier. The reason for this action is because being stuck prevents players from enjoying the game, and it can be dealt with quickly.
Messages from the Help Desk
In a situation where a GM wants to send a message swiftly, the GM may send a special message via the Help Desk. When a GM sends a Help Desk message through the PlayOnline Viewer, a "GM" icon will appear in the upper right corner of the screen. This indicates that a Help Desk message is waiting for the player, and can be accessed from the main menu by selecting "Help Desk". This function lets GMs address players' concerns without disrupting gameplay. In the event that a Help Desk message does not address the issue in question, please make a GM call and let the GM know of the situation.
Mordion Gaol (a.k.a. Jail)
In the interest of making every player's gaming experience more enjoyable, GMs can use a special area known as Mordion Gaol, commonly called "jail". This is simply a place where GMs and players can talk in private, without players or monsters to disturb them. Mordion Gaol is inaccessible from other areas and players there cannot speak with players in the world outside. Anyone in Mordion Gaol should follow the instructions of the GM that accompanies them. If there is no GM, please make a GM call.
Other Points of Access
We have prepared a Q&A section for our players that mentions nearly every issue that could arise in FINAL FANTASY XI. The Q&A is accessible in-game, from the PlayOnline Viewer, and from the PlayOnline website. Players who encounter a problem in FINAL FANTASY XI should consult the Q&A prior to making a GM call.
In the following cases, the fastest way to receive assistance is to contact the PlayOnline Information Center directly.
Questions about billing and account information.
Questions about email accounts and/or passwords.
Problems connecting through the game client.
If an emergency occurs outside normal business hours, please make a GM call instead.
Problems in the GM Service
Players who feel a GM has mistreated them should first accept our apologies for failing to serve their needs and also remember that the GM staff's sole purpose is to assist players with what they need. Please let the Square Enix support staff know about such issues. All of us strive to improve the level of our support, and such feedback helps us improve our customer service. We welcome all opinions and suggestions on our service, whether they are positive, negative, or otherwise.
Making Yourself Heard
Access the mail forms from the PlayOnline Viewer with the following three steps to let us know your thoughts.
Select "Service & Support" from the main menu.
Select "E-Mail Support" from the "Support" menu.
Select "Other Inquiries" and fill out the mail form.
How to Help Yourself
GMs work day and night to make sure players can enjoy their gaming experience, and we need your help to make that happen.
Issues Between Players
When consulted on an issue between two or more players, GMs may determine that the best solution is to let the players settle things on their own. This is not because the GM wishes to avoid the issue, but rather because reaching a solution is in the interests of the players themselves. Just as monsters and NPCs appear on a player's screen, so do other players. In this sense, everyone is a part of the same game. If everyone goes out to have a good time with each other, then Vana'diel becomes an enjoyable gaming experience for everyone. When a GM gets involved with player disputes, all of that fun comes to a halt. This is why we sometimes ask players to settle certain issues between themselves. Of course, even with issues that should be resolved between players, a GM may get involved when necessary.
The "Game Master" Title
The word "Game Master" is originally the name for the person running a classic pen-and-paper role-playing game. In this sense, the GMs of FINAL FANTASY XI serve to progress the game, but their role is somewhat different.
When online games first came about, individuals who supported the players from within the game were called "Game Masters," and the name has stuck. Since the title is easy to understand, we've used it in FINAL FANTASY XI for members of our support staff.
↑Last modified Mar. 25, 2009. See the official page for the most up to date version of this Square Enix policy.
↑For details on policy and policy violations, please see the "GM Policy" Page.
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