The Black Waltz Free Company is committed to providing a safe, positive gaming experience for all players and has created a list of guidelines and expectations to protect our members:
1. Respect each other and the Free Company. <<Waltz>> welcomes any and all players, regardless of skill level or background. We know that our members come from all personal backgrounds (LGBTQ+, heterosexual, pansexual, religious, etc.) and should be treated respectfully. We are a Free Company that is devoted to kindness and compassion towards all players, whether they are a member of The Black Waltz or not. Members who are purposely rude, racist, discriminatory, elitist - or who put down other members or players - are not the type of individuals we want our Free Company to be associated with. We strive to provide a safe place for all players, regardless of membership, and we want our Free Company to be recognized by the compassion of our members. Racial or slang terms that were born from malice are not welcome in any aspect of Free Company communications whether it be in game public chat, Waltz's Discord server, or otherwise. If there is an issue with a member of The Black Waltz, please refer to Section 10: "Escalations" below.
2. Keep a Positive Attitude. We know there will be times that members will be exhausted from dying, grinding, a long day at work, etc., but keeping a positive attitude and encouraging each other is key. At the end of the day, everyone is here to play a game and have fun together. Venting frustrations is perfectly acceptable once in a while; however, this game is a haven and escape for some of our members who have hectic and stressful lives. Logging in and constantly seeing negative comments or outbursts by others will detract from a player's positive gaming experience. Always remember that helping players enjoy the game is one of the focal points of our Free Company.
3. Keep Free Company communications spoiler-free. We all know that exciting feeling of playing a game for the first time. Some players like to be surprised and deserve to see things through a fresh set of eyes. There are times where you may get excited/angry from plot twists or main story content, but please refrain from spoiling it for those who are not as far as you. If you need to vent, please reach out to a member who has already been through the content and share your thoughts; many of them probably had the same reaction!
Please Note: If content information has been released by Square-Enix (i.e. patch notes), speaking about upcoming job or quality-of-life changes is perfectly fine as long as they don't reveal story content and/or fight mechanics. A good rule-of-thumb is that if Square-Enix does not officially release the information themselves (story content, fight mechanics), it's probably best to keep it out of Free Company communications.
4. Help each other. Starting a new game can be overwhelming, especially if it is a large-scale MMO with a lot of content. If someone asks for help or advice regarding job skills, actions, or general content, do your best to help them. Being overwhelmed can cause a player to have a bad experience and we must do our best to ensure that this doesn't happen. If you see a new player (“sprout” icon) who is not part of a Free Company, reach out to them and see if they need help or a home. It is important to be mindful of who you are helping and what they are asking for - we want to help others, but not give carries or handouts. For example, we do not encourage giving people Gil simply because they asked for it.
5. Keep hot topics to yourself. Please keep political, religious, or controversial topics low-key. If it's getting heated or people are uncomfortable it probably shouldn't be happening. If you really want to discuss something of this nature, do so privately.
6. You can be lewd but don't be crude. In our efforts to maintain a safe environment, our Free Company has a PG-13 approach to comments and jokes and the occasional adult joke is totally fine. If the jokes or innuendos are too graphic or are about severe and inappropriate topics, share them in private with those you know personally that will take the joke as intended. Everyone comes from a different personal background filled with different personal experiences - what you may think is a simple joke might be a trigger for a negative experience in someone else's life. Generally, if it goes beyond PG-13, it's probably not appropriate for Free Company chat.
7. Take constructive criticism and advice gracefully. Many of us are Mentors and have been playing this game for a very long time. We will always ask if you would like us to share tips on how to be effective at the job you're playing prior to giving them, and as such this is not a personal attack on your skills as a player. We want you to be the best that you can be at the job you've chosen to play. Actively seeking out feedback and advice is encouraged.
8. Agree to disagree. It’s perfectly fine to voice your opinions about something, but remember that everyone has their own. Please be mindful and respectful of each other at all times, even if you disagree. If emotions run high, it's probably best to change the topic. Refrain from insulting something, saying something is stupid or gross, or any form of baiting out fights. You may state that you personally don't like or enjoy something, and explain your reasons, but please don't trash on someone else's preferences.
9. Participate. Our community within the Free Company can only grow stronger if we are adventuring together. The Free Company puts on weekly and monthly events in which all members are encouraged to participate. If you have an event idea you'd like to do, please reach out to any Leader within the Free Company. All competitive events must be screened by Leadership prior to being formally announced to the Free Company in order to ensure they are completely fair and accessible to as many members as possible.
10: Escalations: In the event that something has occurred in Free Company chat or Discord that you find inappropriate or offensive, immediately reach out to a Leader of The Black Waltz and let them know. Ensure you capture any relevant screenshots or information pertaining to the situation so that a Leader can gain full insight if they were not online themselves. Once a Leader has accepted the complaint for review, that individual will be solely responsible for the complaint until it is resolved. Additionally, there are situations where a Leader may address a situation on-the-spot without receiving a complaint. For example, if a discriminatory or racist comment is made in Free Company Chat, it is expected that a Leader will address it immediately. If the situation is pertaining to one individual's joke or comment, they will be addressed in private. If it's pertaining to an entire conversation topic between multiple people, the Leader may issue a blanket / general statement in Free Company Chat.
11. Charter Violations: Our members’ enjoyment of this game is our topmost priority and we strive to create an environment that is warm, welcoming, helpful, and inclusive; The Black Waltz will not take violations of the above charter rules lightly. Any member who is in violation of the Charter will have their membership reviewed by The Black Waltz leadership team. In all instances, the Leadership Team will vote on all violations to determine the correct course of action. Any members who have had their membership revoked must wait a minimum of 30-days and issue a formal apology before they can reapply to the Free Company.
*Note: In all situations, Leadership will only take action if there is ample evidence or recurring behaviour that negatively affects the atmosphere of the Free Company. All complaints will be accompanied with screenshots of the Charter Violation in question and presented to the member who is at fault.
12. Open door policy. Please remember that The Black Waltz has an open door policy regarding questions, concerns, feedback, complaints, etc. If you ever have any questions about anything involving the Free Company, please reach out to Istari or any other leader. Lastly, if there is a concern with how a Free Company Leader handled a situation, any member can reach out to Istari directly.
**Every rule listed above applies to both in-game FC chats and the Free Company Discord Server (see below).
Many of our members have been playing Final Fantasy XIV for years and the story has become very important to them. We ask that our members provide their fellow Waltzes the opportunity to experience the story on their own in their own way without having the content spoiled. As mentioned in Section 3 of our Membership Charter, we encourage of our members to keep all Free Company communications spoiler-free. Note: We have applied this policy to any content from the Shadowbringers expansion onwards.
Waltz defines a “spoiler” as anything that has not been shown to the public or released by Square-Enix themselves. Here are some of our “spoilers” definitions:
Having said that, we also want our members to ask for assistance in Free Company Chat with the trials and duties throughout all parts of the game. Instead of asking for help by using the name of the dungeon/trial, please try to use the level of the duty instead.
“Would anyone like to do the level 71 one dungeon with me for the first time?” Instead of, “Would anyone like to do Holminster Switch with me for the first time?”
Or, “Queuing for the level 80 trial,” instead of, “Queuing for Hades.”
Context vs. No-Context Spoilers
We recognize that mistakes can happen and that occasional spoilers may be mentioned in Free Company communication. If a simple spoiler is mentioned with no context, they will be overlooked. For example, if an NPC name is revealed in Free Company chat with no context, it is fine and will not be treated as a "spoiler;" however, if there is more detail provided about the NPC that relates to the above spoiler definitions, it will be treated as a spoiler.
"It's pretty awesome that at Waltz Estate you meet the NPC Istari Xiomar! You have to /say his name out loud to get his attention" versus just "Istari Xiomar."
The former in the above example would be defined as a spoiler.
The Free Company Chest is meant to be a place where members can share items, crystals, and other materials with each other. The Free Company leadership team will try to ensure important things like crafting crystals, chocobo food, glamour materials, etc., are stocked at all time but any help with this by members is greatly appreciated. In order to support the growth of our Free Company and continue to supply our members with these important items, we encourage a free-access system where anyone can have what is in the FC Chest.
Regardless of Free Company rank or program, all items in the Free Company chest are part of a free-access system. If you are a “Demi” ranking member and you would like something from a restricted compartment, please reach out to “Meteor” or higher members and they will get it for you. In addition, please remember that these items are meant to be shared and are for everyone, so please only take what is needed.
The Gil in the FC chest is only meant to fund FC events. Any contributions to this are welcomed and appreciated.
In order to build upon our community and strengthen our relationships with our members, The Black Waltz has supplied a free-of-charge Discord server for day-to-day use. This Discord server is not monitored by Square-Enix or its affiliates. The Black Waltz Discord Server is a platform in which our members can communicate via voice or text not only while playing Final Fantasy XIV together, but also outside of the game. As a result of this server being an independent body outside of Final Fantasy XIV, The Black Waltz has created guidelines in addition to our Membership Charter to protect our members' social experiences and privacy while using the service:
Failure to follow these guidelines may lead to a suspension / removal from The Black Waltz Discord.
The Black Waltz Free Company Grant (hereafter referred to as “The BW Grant”) exists for situations where members need a little "top up" to their Gil in order to purchase something they would be unable to otherwise due to being short a small amount of money. This service is meant to supplement a member’s own Gil to help them acquire something rare that would benefit them and / or the Free Company.
Disclaimer: Due to how in-demand housing is in Final Fantasy XIV, if a member utilizes the bank for property and is unable to acquire the property (someone has sniped it or they couldn’t wait-out the repurchase timer), the Gil must be returned to The BW Bank until another property becomes available. Returning the Gil removes the 60-day restriction on using the service. Furthermore, this program was created to help bring our community even closer and is funded by donations and Free Company auctions. Any Gil donated to the Free Company via the Free Company Chest is contributed to this program.
We recognize that Final Fantasy XIV is a video game and that members may want to take a break for an extended period of time. Our Free Company is very active overall, and we have implemented a fair policy when it comes to members who are inactive. We utilize the various ranks within the Free Company to measure the health of our community:
Inactivity Guidelines and Recruitment
Our Leadership Team has reviewed our Inactivity Guidelines and have found them to be fair; we want to balance the potential influx of new members with current members that periodically take breaks. If a member needs to take a break for a while, please inform one of our Free Company Leaders (Flare) so that they give you the Lvl. 60 Sleep rank. If no Leader is informed, that member may be removed at the 14 day mark.
All new members, including friend referrals, must apply to the Free Company via our website application so that we can be assured they have read our Membership Charter; our Charter provides general expectations that protect the community and members within in.
In the event that our Free Company has reached member cap (512) and we have no members within the inactive timelines that we can remove, applicants will be placed in a waiting list based on the order they have applied. Applications are sent to our Free Company email and are received in order of submission. All applicants will be provided with a response within 24 hours indicating that we are currently at cap, but will find them space as soon as possible. Each applicant will be provided a link to our Free Company Discord so that they can still be a part of the community while waiting for an invite in-game.
Invites will be sent when space is available in the order the applications were received. We will do our best to find everyone a home. <Waltz> is a special place and it makes sense that our community is bursting with activity.
Members who have been removed due to inactivity are welcome back at any time. If our Free Company is not at cap, previous members can just reach out to any Waltz Leader for an immediate invite back to the Free Company. If our Free Company is at cap, previous members will have to re-apply on the website and will be placed on the waiting list (if there is one); however, they will be given priority when a space becomes available.
Due to the incredibly active nature of our Free Company, we have decided to temporarily limit the amount of characters in Waltz to one per player. If you have an Alt Character in the Free Company that you play regularly (as much as your main character), you can reach out to any Waltz Leader for an exception to be made.
If there are any questions regarding these activity guidelines, feel free to reach out to any Waltz Leader for clarification.