Parsing in Final Fantasy XIV is the practice of keeping track of damage dealt using outside programs.

It’s often used for keeping score in instances like dungeons, raids, and trials, despite Square’s best efforts to discourage its employment.

So, what does it gives?

Individual and group DPS may be tracked using add-ons like ACT (Advanced Combat Tracker).

To do so requires changing your game client, something Square has repeatedly stated is illegal.

Even using software to change your character’s look with a third-party application is forbidden in Final Fantasy XIV, and can lead to a variety of consequences, including a mystery jail sentence.

Depending on the severity of the offense, the player may possibly be banned indefinitely.

In most MMORPGs, damage meters may be downloaded as a free add-on.

Square has already indicated that they have no plans to introduce an official one to XIV and that players who do so would be punished.

What’s The Point In Parsing?

Typically, this is done to improve overall performance.

The official Final Fantasy XIV damage meter does not exist.

Moreover, developers have said emphatically that this would never happen.

The details of your performance in battle may be gleaned, though, by going through your combat records.

You may see if you’re hitting your rotation appropriately or investigate the cause of a failed raid encounter.

You can improve your odds of successfully completing a difficult encounter by studying your battle records, which will reveal both your successes and failures.

Why Does Square Discourage Parsing?

To be clear, the terms of service for Square prohibit more than simply parsing.

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In most cases, it refers to any client-side changes made by an external party.

The visual quality of Final Fantasy XI may be improved by installing external shaders, and the user interface can be customized in a number of ways.

The process of parsing, however, is a bit peculiar.

Common in the raiding scene, but also extremely dangerous.

Some players may utilize the fight logs to ridicule and intimidate less skilled players by publishing them in the game’s chat.

The XIV community is well-known for its kind reception of newcomers, from Sprouts to veteran players (forget the Asmongold issue for the time being).

Many new players would be put off by parsing after being yelled at in the beginning dungeons for not knowing their rotation by heart.

Should I Parse?

In order to parse, further software is required.

Use of any third-party add-ons is expressly forbidden under the FFXIV Terms of Service, and as was previously indicated, doing so may result in a permanent ban.

Therefore, I can’t recommend that to anyone to use them here.

However, if you insist on using one, know the potential consequences.

Are parsers being aggressively sought by Square?

Perhaps not, but probably not.

However, your actions will be taken into consideration if you use one to harass or otherwise negatively affect another player and that person reports you.

Will I Get In Trouble For Parsing?

The consequences of being reported for using one by another player are severe.

The length of time spent in jail depends on the seriousness of the crime and is entirely at the GM’s (in-game moderator) discretion.

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As long as you don’t use the information to harass other players or make the logs public, many gamers — though this isn’t gospel — feel that parsing is safe.

A GM would take this into account when deciding on a penalty for someone caught with one.

While parsers are widely used in the endgame and raiding communities of XIV, you won’t typically hear of widespread bans being issued because of their use.

It’s possible the game’s moderation personnel don’t give a hoot about eradicating them until they cause problems, such as toxicity between players.

If you use a parser and keep it to yourself, you probably won’t get in trouble.

Remember that this is still a violation of our terms of service.