Pokémon - The Battle Between Legitimacy and Legality

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Ryukouki, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Yes

    106 vote(s)
  2. No

    87 vote(s)
  1. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    Hope you guys were not waiting too long for me to write something up for you guys! Those of us who are on team Nintendo have by now heard of Nintendo's woes with online services. As of Christmas Day, when thousands of people around the world have unboxed their new shiny Nintendo 3DS consoles and attempted to connect online were unable to do so. An error that is still ongoing, even as I type. The Christmas festivities also coincided with the release of Pokémon Bank and Pokémon Transport in Japan, which was bombarded with millions of users attempting to log into the game servers to transfer their old critters to the new game.​
    When further information was released about the apps, it also appears that the hacked Pokémon prevention was also rather poorly implemented, with rumors of level one Gengars and illegal Infernapes plaguing the titles, even spurring up a not-so-healthy discussion here. What this topic will attempt to go through is a debate presenting the sides of each respective argument and discussing the many facets of competitive Pokémon battle.​
    First of all, we need to establish the definitions and terms to at least acquaint you with the argument. There are three categories that Pokémon can be classified into.​
    • Legitimate - To be a legitimate Pokémon means that this creature can be captured in the game or via breeding.
    • Legal - To be a legal Pokémon means that the Pokémon can be created with outside resources such as Pokégen or Pokésav; however, their stats and move sets are within the allowable parameters of the game. This method is what a lot of simulator programs such as Pokémon Showdown! or Pokémon Online use, to create competitive teams in mere minutes rather than spending thousands of hours grinding for perfect stats.
    • Not-so-legal - These players are classified as a sub-class of legal players that have tendencies of both legal illegal aspects. They like to do most of the things that legal players do, but they do not care about the overall aesthetic feel of the Pokémon. They tend to get the move sets and stats okay, but then they mess up or disregard the details such as location or PID, and make blunders such as Totodile being caught in a Master Ball. Or, a Chimchar caught at Mt. Coronet. To some, these things do not necessarily matter.
    Common tools that players use to create Pokemon.
    • Illegal - To be declared an illegal Pokémon is to have move sets, stats, or abilities that violate the parameters established within the game itself. A quick example is Wondertomb. For those curious, Wondertombing is a nickname penned for Spiritomb, a Pokémon that until Generation VI had no weaknesses. Giving Spiritomb the ability Wonder Guard (only affected with attacks that are Super Effective) essentially made it invincible. Illegals can also consist of Pokémon that have move sets or abilities that are impossible, or maxed out 999 stats.
    Now that we have established the classifications of the Pokémon, we can begin to shape the argument a little bit. A popular debate that has struck the forums as of late is the issue of legitimacy vs. legality.

    Legitimate players argue that legitimacy is the only way to go because the Pokémon are "true," essentially. They are made perfect through hours of breeding and were caught and/or trained the way that they should have been trained. Such methods involve utilizing the complexities of breeding mechanisms and items to create Pokémon with perfect internal values (IVs) or isolating the perfect natures (which determine stat balances) and then proceed to train their Effort Values (EVs) to be set for a competitive outlook.

    Players who focus on legality are more along the lines of members who have access to a Generation IV/V game, which, as this forum is well aware of, had access to flash kits and computer programs to artificially create Pokémon, something that would have made Dr. Fuji proud. Legal players argue that their Pokémon are essentially "legitimate," which can be very much the case as such programs such as Pokégen allow the creation of such competitively based "legitimate" Pokémon down to the stats, their move sets, their IV/EV values, and aesthetics such as shininess, something that was made more accessible in Generation VI, both with more mechanics and an increased rate (increased from 1/8192 to 1/41XX). These programs are even thorough enough to modify them to their last detail such as catch location and even their personal identification value (PID). A legal player is one that can justify playing as such due to limited constraints such as time or dedication. If executed carefully enough, a legal player can very much hide themselves amongst the legitimate crowd and nobody would bat an eyelash.

    Players who focus on the illegality bunch are lowlifes who should never plague online. Okay, that was a bit harsh, but a lot of the time it's either for fun or to mess around, and sometimes they end up online to people's dismay. If you are an illegal player, please do yourself and everyone in the online community a favor and never come online.

    Now, the main crux of the issue is the release of the Pokémon Bank/Transporter application on the Nintendo eShop. A lot of users are complaining that these hacked Pokémon, though legal, should have no place in the current meta game as they were not created legitimately. And now the lines begin to bend. What makes a legal Pokémon not good enough for somebody's eyes? Assuming that the Pokémon itself follows the conditions of legality (acceptable IV/EV values, qualified move sets, locations, PIDs, etc.) what makes it that much different than a legitimate Pokémon? When it comes down to the bottom line, the only thing that separates them is the time investment, which can be argued that some do not have and simply want to have fun while being capable of at least keeping their head out of the water when faced with these competitively based teams. I have also seen arguments that sometimes shiny Pokémon appear within the legitimate category, and jealousy that a team is perfectly made with full shininess and perfect values. There's a serious misconception here that shiny Pokémon for whatever reason are causing issues. Shiny Pokémon are nothing more than aesthetics. I see people here making a huge deal on that factor, but they are only aesthetically there, with no influence on stats. They are only different color palettes, they do not influence stat gains or losses, otherwise this meta game would be all sorts of screwed up. As my old chap Veho pointed out, this idea has similarities to the idea of micro transactions, where the player can play and win the loot themselves, or pay and get the same result outright.

    If you have been following me thus far, that is awesome, and you should have more than enough information to make a suitable reply. It is time for you to do some thinking. If you're just tuning in, do you personally feel that legal Pokémon fit in the meta game, or that they should be completely abolished no matter what? Do you find that legal Pokémon are wrong to use in comparison to legitimately earned Pokémon? Do you find that programs such as Pokésav or Pokégen help or hinder the competitive structuring of the game? Sound off in the comments below, and seriously, keep the comments civil.
    lordofthereef, Satangel, Veho and 9 others like this.
  2. pyromaniac123

    pyromaniac123 ส็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็(ಠ益ಠส็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็

    Sep 24, 2011
    This thread is going to be hilarious.
    tbgtbg, ekko25, TheDreamLord and 2 others like this.
  3. Black-Ice

    Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

    Oct 31, 2011

    Give me a second to worship this beautiful paragraph.
    YayMii, Riyaz, Inuuto and 7 others like this.
  4. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States

    Yup, I can't wait.
    _acid_ likes this.
  5. RikuCrafter

    RikuCrafter GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 8, 2011
    In full agreement with much of this article. Awesome write up.

    Now, I can sit back and wait for hilarity to ensue. Come, Pokenerds.

    To answer the question, I believe legal Pokemon are perfectly fine. If they are in the bounds of the game, how would you tell the difference facing them online?
    Ryukouki likes this.
  6. Nah3DS

    Nah3DS Madre de Dios! Es El POLLO DIABLO!!!

    Feb 9, 2010
    absolutely NO!!!
    I bought a Magikarp for $500 and it always loses in online battles.... those damn cheaters :angry:
  7. Heien

    Heien GBAtemp Regular

    Nov 13, 2013
    Online gaming, which requires any kind of grinding should award those who spend their time. Time is the most valuable thing you have, i fail to see any logic at this poll.
    donaldgx, Narayan, ekko25 and 2 others like this.
  8. Arras

    Arras GBAtemp Guru

    Sep 14, 2010
    I'm fine with edited stats as long as it's within legal bounds, but shinies... meh. They completely lose any and all meaning (as in, a very rare, special kind of thing) if you just hack them in. Also, RNG abuse is the exact same thing as using Pokegen or whatever for me.
  9. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    If the thing is functionally no different than what can be made within the parameters* of the game** then I have no real objection to people generating them. Common sense would say even if it is functionally no different (where something is caught makes no odds as far as I know for instance) you probably still want to make it doable within the context of the game just to avoid poking the bear so to speak.

    *as far as competitive advantage goes. Assuming it does not cause the stats at the limit to be out of bounds I see no problem with making level 1 versions of things you should not be able to get as level one.

    **reading around I understand the devs sometimes deviate here. Copying that is fine.

    If the generation of pokemon could not be summarised as "grind more" and actually took any amount of skill (timing challenge or something) to do properly* then I would be forced to change my opinion**. As it does not and as they are unlikely to change this any time soon then I am OK with it. If it took some absolutely crazy amount of time to do the grinding (thousands of active hours) then I might also have to say something, it does not though.

    *this means if you win at the timing challenges then your mon will be better than it could have otherwise been, if it is just "timing challenges to reduce then grind" then it is back as making no functional difference.

    **naturally if you are doing a challenge like "new game, 30 play hours later we will face off" then we will have issues.

    Things that could not exist normally, we are back to the all parties have to consent idea that is common in game modding.

    Going back to the second sentence then if you want all your mons to be theoretically obtainable in the game then fair enough. If you somehow consider a generated but otherwise as it could have been caught in the game to be tainted... yeah no.

    The very short version would then be "If I am writing a perfect AI/model to play the game then would generation change this at all? If no then carry on, if yes then we have problems".

    Edit. Oh and on RNG abuse vs cheating. One is forcing the game's internal memory to return a given result and the other is cheating.
  10. EZ-Megaman

    EZ-Megaman Likeanator

    Aug 11, 2009

    They're a lot more common now in 6th gen, so I'd say they've already lost some meaning.
  11. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth GBAtemp Fan

    Feb 6, 2009
    United States
    Well one thing that makes the 'legal' Pokemon route have a negative impact is actually the extreme shortening of time-vs-experimentation. Without the time investment, theorycrafters and meta-strategists can immediately have the new wave of fighters in a few hours and have shaped their team a dozen ways till Sunday to find exactly what stops 'that other guy'. The extremity of the time this takes will strongly negatively impact the environment thanks to those top-tier theorists. Rather than having things gradually shift as people experiment and build new teams, they will jump around almost wildly as different information pops up on what is considered 'best'.

    To give people such drastic flexibility changes the way the atmosphere feels. To that end, 'legal' does have a negative impact. Food for thought. :3 *Doesn't even play*
    Hozu likes this.
  12. Arras

    Arras GBAtemp Guru

    Sep 14, 2010
    Some, yes. But 1/4096 chance normally (or, what, 1/200 in the Friend Safari?) is still not nearly "here have all the rare shit you want" levels. Hell, it's probably better this way because with the old 1/8096 there were some people (like me) that had played hundreds of hours of Pokemon and never saw a Shiny.
    EZ-Megaman likes this.
  13. total_split

    total_split Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    United States
    I think they should be allowed in the games, it's the players personal choice how they want to make their teams and how to have fun! But nintendo are in a position where they have no choice but to take the moral high ground and prevent all tool generated pokemon from the poke bank and out of GTS and competitions.

    If the fake detection is already weak then it could take a long time for nintendo to fix it up, and I guess thats really where our $5 per year is going to be going.

    It would be horrible for legit but exceptionally well raised pokemon to be detected as fake - like false positives in antivirus terms, and i doubt trainers would get much respite from nintendo if the situation arises, you'll just be branded a cheater and thats that.

    I actually now wonder if $5 a year is going to be enough to keep up with implementing all the anti-cheating measures, and wether I'll be able to finally transfer my Black2 pokemon before January.
  14. Sheimi

    Sheimi A cute Vixen!

    Oct 22, 2009
    United States
  15. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States

    Now you're just showing off since you have a Japanese console with the apps on it. :angry: :D
    Sheimi likes this.
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I had considered such a thing in the past but between TMs, EV/IV stuff being averaged out or max for certain stats (not exactly many combinations, certainly not out of the realms of possibility of maintaining a stable of mons), move relearns and the relatively simple nature of the maths involved (linear probability is about as tough as it gets) I am not sure how valid it could be. It might be the case out in the wild but that would then seem to be more of a function of a lack of skill on the part of the pokemon community than hard physics. When it comes to that sort of thing I am nothing if not Darwinian in mindset.
    Also to go a bit further I really do like systems maths, AI design and things like game theory/competition theory/mechanism design and as pokemon provides an interesting case study I do try to keep up with it.... the woo is ever so slowly being sliced out but the other stuff is largely nowhere to be seen. Granted this seems to be common to most "competitive" gaming that I have bothered to look at and I could we be wrong and there could be some private forum somewhere that runs the numbers properly (doubtful as such a thing is not reflected in any contests I have ever seen*).
    Now you could quote yourself again as a reply and I would have to consider it. About the only negation is apparently the top peoples already breed in parallel and the previously mentioned possibility of keeping a stable.

    *If it has evolved a stage further and stats are deliberately held back then I will actually be impressed. The closest I have ever seen anything here might possibly have been the smash brothers stuff earlier this year but as competitive smash is built on such a wonky foundation I can not even really consider it.
  17. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    My answer is going to be "No", and here's why. Catching, breeding and training your Pokemon is sort of an essential part of the equation. Legal generated Pokemon or not, a player who generates automatically gets the best possible result within the legal limits. There's no way an average gamer would get there - not without wasting days if not weeks carefully breeding and taking notes, doing maths and whatnot - ain't nobody got time for that. Not only that, we're forgetting about the degree of randomness that's in the leveling mix, making every Pokemon unique.

    Generating is a lazy alternative and it takes away all the effort from the process, but not only the effort - also, partially, the fun. If you used generated characters in any other game, overpowered or not, you would be called a cheater and Pokemon is no exception. Imagine if you were to log on Battle.Net with a generated character that wears the best armor, the best weapon and has the best stats - a practically maxed-out character. Would that be okay? I mean, you can find all this in-game, right? Right? Except you have to play the game to do it in a legit fashion. Generating stuff is not playing the game.

    What I will say though is that the Multiplayer section of Pokemon requires a revamp. So what if whatever Pokemon you're using is upscaled or downscaled to a given level, for example 50, if higher-level Pokemon are still going to do better in combat than lower-level ones precisely because of all the forementioned factors? I personally think that the system should average the Pokemon not just in terms of the level, but also the special stats, the moves or even the evolutions. What good is my level 50 Pokemon if it only knows Tackle? Hell, there should even be an institution of renting virtual Pokemon from a built-in box to make matches absolutely fair - make them focus on the strategic prowess of the player, not necessarily whether they could min/max their Pokemon in a legit or non-legit way.
    donaldgx, Kouen Hasuki and Ryukouki like this.
  18. Clydefrosch

    Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

    Jan 2, 2009
    Gambia, The
    I see it like this: The game should be the only tool people use if they want to play against other people ingame.
    Those that put more time into their pokemon should be the ones with the best pokemon. Easy and simple.

    If they want perfect pokemon in seconds and just do the battles, use showdown. If all you want is strategize and theorytest, use showdown.

    But if you want that edge over people that dont use pokegen, which last gen was huge considering it could take months to get a 5iv pokemon, in addition to easy access to eggmoves and tutor moves from 2 gens back, you hack your pokemon and then put them on a game and play online against everyone, people who do the same and people who dont. That's all there is to me. People that hack their teams together want that edge and they can't live without it.

    I also keep reading how people brought gened pokemon into official tournaments and how all the winners use pokegen etc. Its great that you can bring pokegened pokemon into tournaments because hack checks are faulty and perfect pokemon can't be identified as hacked (other than by the fact that last gen, having pokemon with more than 4 perfect ivs was pretty much impossible without hacking), but their rules clearly state that third party devices are not to be used. Not that its fine as long as you stay within the boundaries of the games mechanics.

    Personally, I just don't get whats so hard about just not hacking when you have showdown or shoddy or any other simulator

    This gen changed a few things, namely that almost perfect pokemon are now something people can get. But that, to me, is no reason to say hacking is now ok because everyone can get similar pokemon (hackers still get the advantage of minimizing confusion damage on special attackers through 0 attack ivs), instead it should be: Because its easier to get those pokemon now, you dont need to hack anymore.
  19. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

    pip Contributor
    GBAtemp Patron
    Tom Bombadildo is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Jul 11, 2009
    United States
    I forgot
    Honestly? I wish people would stop taking Pokemon so fucking seriously. Like, people seem to put Pogymanz up on some sort of pedestal, as if it's the only game where cheating is terrible and rampant. But really? Every game is gonna have some dickbag who cheats. Who cares if some guy edits a Magikarp to have max IVs/EVs and all the best moves? Yeah, maybe you get boned in some online battle but...does it really matter? I mean, I would get it if there was some sort of big tournament with some sort of prize and that happens but otherwise...it's not a big deal at all and people need to stop treating it like it is.
    tbgtbg, powered_by_tux, Riyaz and 3 others like this.
  20. pasc

    pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

    Sep 9, 2006
    Gambia, The
    Yo, I heard Pokémon is serious business.
    I have a suitcase full of Pokémon, and apparently I'm dressed in black.
    Is that legal ?