The Black Waltz Free Company is committed to providing a safe, positive gaming experience for all players. By being a member of The Black Waltz, you must adhere to the following rules in our Membership Charter:
1. Respect each other and the Free Company. We welcome 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 individuals we want to associate 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. Additionally, racial or slang terms that were born from malice are not welcome in any aspect of Free Company communications albeit chat, Discord, 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 you 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 your 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. Free Company chat is not a vessel or pulpit to preach from. Please keep political, religious, or controversial debates 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. Making adult jokes or comments is perfectly fine as long as you know your audience. 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 the topic goes beyond a PG-13 environment, it's probably not appropriate for Free Company communications.
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 for something, but remember that everyone has their own. Please be mindful and respectful of this at all times. If emotions run high, remember that empirical evidence trumps anecdotes and feelings. Keep in mind that not everyone shares your opinions. 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 NEVER trash on someone else's preferences. For example, saying that a specific job “sucks” because you don’t like it is not allowed as it would negatively affect a player who happens to enjoy playing that job.
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. If the violation is deemed highly severe, the player will have their membership revoked without warning. If the violation is not deemed highly severe, the player will receive an immediate Final Warning and any further violations, regardless of severity, will lead to immediate membership termination to The Black Waltz Free Company. 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).
1. Ultima/Flare - FC Leaders*
2. Good Samaritan - Winner of the monthly Good Samaritan Award
3. Comet - Member of the "Crafting Emporium" Free Company Program, tenured member and positive contributor to the Free Company.
4. Meteor - Tenured Member and positive contributor to the Free Company. Members are awarded this rank automatically by being active and contributing positively to the Free Company.
5. Demi - FC Entry-level rank. Additionally, if a member is offline for more than 2 weeks, they are assigned this rank.
6. Lvl. 50 Death - Members who have been offline for more than 30-days and have not notified anyone that they will return. Members with this rank are removed from the Free Company after 50 days.
7. Sleep - Members who are taking a break from the game and have notified a Free Company leader that they will be back at some point. This rank prevents removal due to inactivity for up to 200 days, but can be extended on a case-to-case basis.
*Leaders are active members of the Free Company who embody our Free Company Charter and are known to consistently promote positive, loving, and helpful environments.
**Note: All active ranks have access to turn on Free Company buffs in the event they fall off while leaders are in a duty or offline. Everyone is treated equally and has the same access to Free Company benefits and programs, regardless of rank**
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.