BH Policy Discussion: Balanced Hackmons and Cart Legality (that went exactly as expected)

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UT

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It's time to talk about the identity of Hackmons and if or how we want to future proof it going forward.

Historically, Hackmons has been tied to what can be hacked into a local battle. This is why in ORAS Hackmons (where you cannot join local battles with more than 510 EVs) there is an EV limit, while in later generations (where this is not enforced in local battles) there is no limit. Due to some utter bullshitery that was possible in local battles in SS, we re-defined Hackmons to be: Anything directly hackable onto a set (EVs, IVs, forme, ability, item, and move) and is usable in local battles is allowed. At the time, this did not impact Balanced Hackmons at all, but it gave us a more clear framework for handling new and unexpected hacks in the future.

However, thanks to DaWoblefet, we have learned there has been a change to how in-battle transformations interact with local battles. In SS, you could hack in an in-battle only transformation (most relevant for BH, Zamazenta-C without Rusted Shield) and it would would keep its forme in the local battle. In SV, in-battle transformations do not persist into local battles. Out-of-battle transformations like Arceus and Giratina-O are not affected by this; they can still be hacked into local battles without their respective items and abilities.

This means that under our current definition, Zamazenta-C, Palafin-H, Meloetta-P, and Eiscue-N would not be useable in BH as a base forme and would only be accessible with the items / abilities / moves that cause their transformation. This also applies to Zacian-C, but since it is already banned as a base forme would not impact the metagame. Realistically, this mostly matters for Zama-C in the current generation, but it is unclear if it would apply to mega formes, should they return to the mainline games as well.

This presents us with two possible choices:
  • We can stick with the current definition of cart-playable and remove Zama-C and friends from Balanced Hackmons.
  • We can modify the definition of BH, again, to completely separate it from cart; any forme, move, ability, and item that exists in game is usable in Balanced Hackmons with no EV limit (minus bans, of course).
A few anticipated questions:
This definition change, should it occur, would also impact Pure Hackmons; however, considering the relative size and importance of the metagames, we want to prioritize BH.
Any definition change would not apply retroactively to old generations; those will exist as-is.
An OM not being cart-playable is not inherently a dealbreaker, but most cases like Trademark and Fortemons are much more dramatic breaks from cart.
Since BH's identity has included in-battle exclusive forme changes before, especially megas in ORAS and USUM, that is a factor here.

There is no set outcome to this discussion and we want to hear from the community what they feel is best. Both keeping a consistent cart-playable definition and maintaining the any-forme nature of BH as it has existed have merit, and we will heavily weight community feedback into the final decision.

With all that said, the floor is open for any questions / comments / opinions. glhf
 
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Tea Guzzler

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This basically just falls down to how much you value cart accuracy as opposed to having some options available in the meta. Palafin-P, Meloetta-P, and Zamazenta-C (excl. Sub Setup) are niche options at best, and removing access to them as base would instantly kill any and all viability they have without major impacts on the meta. Is this grounds to go with the cart accuracy by itself? Not really, since it means any future in-battle forme changes also become locked off from use.
  • Gen 7 - you can freely hack any Pokemon with an in-battle forme change out of battle simply with tools like PKHeX. These do not revert to base.
  • Gen 8 starts - logic is assumed to carry over for Zacian-C, Zamazenta-C, Darm-Galar-Zen, and Eternamax. These are usable on PS.
  • Soon after Gen 8 - Zacian-C and Zamazenta-C are revealed as unusable without rusted items with simple PHKeX use. Disabled on PS.
  • Soon after the above - this video surfaces, proving the rusted-less Crowned formes are usable. Re-enabled on PS. Problem here is that some sort of bypass is used to make this happen (PKHeX lets you insert the Crowned formes, but they instantly revert on boot-up). Since we don't know this bypass, we can't see if it works in Gen 9 (although it may have just been patched, I don't know).
  • Late in Gen 8 - Daylight opens up discussion about the above legality. Presuming that Zacian-C and Zamazenta-C were likely only accessible via RAM edits, the old definition of BH would have to allow different types of the same hack that made these accessible - stuff like custom Metronome queues. This led to the definition being changed.
  • Yesterday - DaWoblefet gets in touch about the PKHeX restriction persisting into Gen 9, and that there is no known way around it. Effectively, rusted-less Zamazenta-C / Z2H-less Palafin-H / etc are currently unobtainable on cartridge.
TL;DR here is that the current impact is not substantial, but it's a means of future-proofing the tier (again lol).

Personally I would just opt for maintaining the status quo and keeping the current situation. I care more about having a more diverse meta with more possible options than cartridge accuracy, especially when Smogon infamously doesn't have a perfect track record of keeping up with it (cough cough sleep clause mod), and we've never really worn "cartridge accuracy" as a badge of honour or anything. Someone will probably bring up a slippery slope or something but there's a key difference between changing the wording of the tier to allow for some niche sets vs. adding stuff that straight up doesn't exist.
 
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My personal opinion, is that the core idea of BH is that it's meant to be a gamemode which if possible, would be able to be played locally between two users. If we allow these forms to be used in the BH games, then that kind of goes against the original idea of BH. While implementing bans for meta diversity is valid, I don't really like the argument in this case, because there's a small slippery slope here, that kind of goes down pet mods territory. Also, the arbitrary definition of "playable on cart" + forms seems too forced.

Looking at preserving meta diversity though, all we're really losing out on is Zama-C and that's not too bad lmao. (This has the plus sid,e of also double "banning" Cramorant-Gorging lmao, and I see that as an absolute win.)

BH = balanced HACKMONS. If something can't be hacked into a local game, then it shouldn't be usable on PS. We are just trying to emulate what is hackable, not create a gamemode with "desirable" additions. We work with what we got, and create rules to wittle it down to what we like.

Although unfortunate that we would lose out on a few pokemon, I think it's something that we have to accept.

A little off topic, but I also wonder where ndbh would fall in here with regards to mega's, and their forms etc.

Addition / Edit for clarity: I believe that it's important for BH to be connected to the cartridge, and it takes away the meaning of "hackmons" if it is separated from it.
 
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As a player who don't care about current gen BH at all let me say my opinion.

The key problem of sticking with the current definition is that gamefreak will never consider how the game would be for Hackers at all. This may only cause slight issue as this time, while may also cause some very severe ones like re-introducig EV limit or doubling every Pokemon's HP which happened in gen 6 and gen 8. I know we accepted all these and still sticked to the original definition as close as possible. But if we still do that this time, from the past experiences I'd say in the long run we are bound to have similar discussions like in this thread again and again, in future generations.

On the contrary to sevag, I don't think the cart-doable property of hackmons formats is that important, instead I really want a gamemode with desirable additions. Among all OM formats, how many are really cart-doable? Like, even in major ones, MnM and GG are never doable on cartridge. And from my experiences of introducing BH to others, I've also never heard any of them asking the cartridge thing. So I think this definition is also quite unrelevant to most players.

With regard to the problems changing definition will cause, there are 2 main things I can think of. One is that Hackmons formats, especially Pure Hackmons, will drastically fall from what is hackable in cartridge to what is hackable on Pokemon Showdown, which will be too similar to Custom Game. Another one is when asked "why ev limit was like that in gen 6" it can be complicated to explain, a.k.a. the inconsistency. The first are quite acceptable as I stated in another post that Pure Hackmons will only be more and more dead as long as gamefreak still keeps all abilities implemented in game. And the second one is just a one-liner in Old Gen Balanced Hackmons Megathread if you call it.

Conclusion
  • We can modify the definition of BH, again, to completely separate it from cart; any forme, move, ability, and item that exists in game is usable in Balanced Hackmons with no EV limit (minus bans, of course).
Extra

Actually all Pokemon, including Megas and those not in the Dex, are easily hackable into local game in Gen 8 and Gen 9, but all with Pikachu sprites. If we finally choose to stick to the original definition can we also implement this plz???
 
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UT

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I am posting my own personal opinion, this is not a formal policy position.

When possible, I think it is worthwhile to stick to cart legality. Especially as OMs allow for combinations of moves / abilities / etc that are not normally attainable on cart, being able to actually check and test functionality is valuable. It also prevents us from having to entertain any ambiguity if there are future forme changes of questionable status, as we can just point to what is possible on cart.

When the premise of the OM requires deviation from cart like Trademarked, sure, we can accommodate that. Even Godly Gift the mechanics are true to cart outside of a turn zero stat change; MnM is a far larger exception, but again it’s premise requires a substantial break from cart to be possible. From a non-BH main perspective it sounds like conforming to cart would not be a major meta disruption, so that also leads me to prefer cart legality.

I don’t think there’s a question if we were drawing up BH today we would be using cart legality, it’s just a question of is preserving the alternate formes worth the trade off of breaking from cart. I am willing to listen to and defer to more qualified experts on that part, but to me it seems like a minor disruption for a cleaner definition.
 

UT

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Actually all Pokemon, including Megas and those not in the Dex, are easily hackable into local game in Gen 8 and Gen 9, but all with Pikachu sprites. If we finally choose to stick to the original definition can we also implement this plz???
No, this is a non-starter. If the mon is not actually coded in game, it’s beyond the scope of BH / PH.

Whelp this aged beyond poorly, my bad y'all.
 
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Tea Guzzler

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i've done some more thinking and ranting on discord and here's what i have come up with:

either BH definition (current or tweaked) has 6 trillion hoops to jump through, meaning neither is actually the robust answer we're looking for. "anything hackable onto a set" is simply not sufficient or specific enough to define things in the long-term because of how bad gamefreak is at scrubbing their code, meaning leftovers from old games are "hackable onto a set and usable in local battles" meaning you could theoretically run deo-a and be perfectly bh legal. defining the tier as "if you can get it in standard play, you can use a hacked version of it in bh" to alleviate that creates another one as things that aren't obtainable in normal gameplay but are perfectly hackable like torques and abilities with no native users get locked off. "anything you can make with a set in pkhex" also just creates a variable middleman that adds yet another layer of complexity by tying tiering to a third party app. point here is that a definition that covers all bases simply does not exist, so why bother bickering over which fake one is the least fake?

No, this is a non-starter. If the mon is not actually coded in game, it’s beyond the scope of BH / PH.
this leads on from the above. how do you define "coded in the game"? the spreads for these mons exist, and as far as i can tell, they have all the right flags they should to be real mons (see ultra beasts no longer being internally considered sub-legendaries, new to gen 9, despite not existing), and as nihil proved they can be used in local battles; there is no good reason (beyond common sense, which given we're having this discussion in the first place is in the bin) as to why these shouldn't be bh legal. exclude them because the mons themselves can't be obtained in the game? then we're cutting primal weathers, v-create, torques, most IoA tutor moves, and more out of the meta. cut because they don't have sprites / animations? then primal weathers are gone thanks to desland not bringing out the sun in-game, and also they may now have menu sprites in-game (would need confirmation though).

my point here is that both potential BH definitions are not sufficient for the level of integrity we're going for. unless we fancy current definiton + loads of clauses saying what fits the definition but isn't usable (the "invisible mons" in this case), something has to give here. i'm all over the shop on which side to go for here, but realistically, a third "none of the above" option might just be the most bulletproof.

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1690071760559.png
 
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E4 Flint

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I am perhaps surprisingly not opposed to changing the definition only because “thats the way it’s been”. However, my thoughts pretty much echo this post about making new definitions

i've done some more thinking and ranting on discord and here's what i have come up with:

either BH definition (current or tweaked) has 6 trillion hoops to jump through, meaning neither is actually the robust answer we're looking for. "anything hackable onto a set" is simply not sufficient or specific enough to define things in the long-term because of how bad gamefreak is at scrubbing their code, meaning leftovers from old games are "hackable onto a set and usable in local battles" meaning you could theoretically run deo-a and be perfectly bh legal. defining the tier as "if you can get it in standard play, you can use a hacked version of it in bh" to alleviate that creates another one as things that aren't obtainable in normal gameplay but are perfectly hackable like torques and abilities with no native users get locked off. "anything you can make with a set in pkhex" also just creates a variable middleman that adds yet another layer of complexity by tying tiering to a third party app. point here is that a definition that covers all bases simply does not exist, so why bother bickering over which fake one is the least fake?



this leads on from the above. how do you define "coded in the game"? the spreads for these mons exist, and as far as i can tell, they have all the right flags they should to be real mons (see ultra beasts no longer being internally considered sub-legendaries, new to gen 9, despite not existing), and as nihil proved they can be used in local battles; there is no good reason (beyond common sense, which given we're having this discussion in the first place is in the bin) as to why these shouldn't be bh legal. exclude them because the mons themselves can't be obtained in the game? then we're cutting primal weathers, v-create, torques, most IoA tutor moves, and more out of the meta. cut because they don't have sprites / animations? then primal weathers are gone thanks to desland not bringing out the sun in-game, and also they may now have menu sprites in-game (would need confirmation though).

my point here is that both potential BH definitions are not sufficient for the level of integrity we're going for. unless we fancy current definiton + loads of clauses saying what fits the definition but isn't usable (the "invisible mons" in this case), something has to give here. i'm all over the shop on which side to go for here, but realistically, a third "none of the above" option might just be the most bulletproof.

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View attachment 537053
I think that originally the intent of having the definition the way it was was to stave off these kind of questions, like why can’t I modify types, change sprites, change damage values, have more moves etc. it was convenient catch all rather than a love for the cartridges themselves. And if that meant losing Evs, or Megas or losing mons, that just comes with the territory

Or go for Ti’s suggestion - change the tier name to be in line with the other OMs, like AAAMFmons. Once you decide though, my hope would be tier redefinitions don’t happen in the future with new gens
 
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Ren

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I am of the opinion that futureproofing a metagame with so many unlisted changes popping up is something that's swiftly becoming more trouble than it's worth.

For context, when a new game is released, we typically find out about the new mechanic, new Pokemon, abilities and moves. We do not, however, find out about changes to how hacked stuff is played immediately upon release and that's probably not going to happen. These interactions silently change. We can't respond to these interactions before the games are out because we don't know if they'll exist. We can't tackle new hacked rules early on because hacking a game isn't the first priority in the new gen and also because there's so many interactions to test. Game development companies care about making their changelog digestible to a newer player, less so an experienced player, and almost never a hacker.

Reason why I'm saying this is Gamefreak doesn't care about us. They can do whatever they want, whenever they want, with no warning. They could mess up DLC and accidentally add Zamazenta-C back into the game, who knows. Code is hard and stranger things have happened.

I'm not gonna provide an opinion on what definition you guys should use, but I will say you probably shouldn't set a definition woth the intention that it'll still be futureproof when Gen 10 arrives (or even DLC). It's anybody's guess as to what changes will come and bc of this I firmly believe discussion about the definition of BH should be strictly related to Gen 9. If we're lucky, that definition also happens to be futureproof. Chances are it won't be.

For me, I've always explained BH to friends as "you can use almost any move and almost any ability on almost any Pokemon with almost any item" and that seems to get the message across fairly well.
 

Tea Guzzler

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i've done some testing with the actual game cartridge, since the discussion on these "invisible mons" made me curious on how much the definition can fall apart because game freak doesn't scrub their code.

tl;dr all of the cut pokemon (including cut formes) have their BST spreads and typings still in the code. these can be accessed with a simple click-and-drag in pkhex, and under both proposed definitions, neither explicitly excludes them.

here's a shoddily recorded video detailing the process:
from the above video:
  • cut mons and formes from old games can simply be moved into SV by clicking and dragging pokemon in pkhex.
  • these have a pikachu 3d model and menu sprite, unless they're a cut forme of a not-cut mon (like mmy); it has the sprite and model of the base forme in this case. in both of these cases, everything else about the mon (type and base stats) functions exactly as they're supposed to.
  • these can be used in local battles.
  • invisible megas and primals can use tera.
  • this is different from gen 8. hacking a mon into gen 8 that doesn't "exist" (in the traditional sense) does not work.
  • none of this involves directly modifying base stats or typings.
does this solve the debate of allowing the in-battle forme changes or not? no, not really. what it does do though is put a red flag on any definition that we make since it's inherently going to be flawed and complicated (and also subject to severe change) beyond the accuracy we're reasonably trying to achieve. we can't just sweep stuff like this (which is cart possible) under the rug for much more time

in less wordy terms: both of the definitions don't cover edge cases and don't really define "hackability" to a good degree. it might be better just accepting that we're never really going to land on a perfect one, because i don't really see it.
 

KaenSoul

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In my opinion, we should just accept the changes instead of trying to change the rules yet again, Hackmons is supposed to be about playing with what you can hack into the game, we already removed a bunch of stuff to make it playable, like editing HP to absurd levels and controlling RNG, and now the current definition allows us to use dexited mons but not battle only formes of mons in the game, it changes how the current meta works, but that shouldn't be a reason to change the definition, the format is about using hacked sets not about modding the game, we have plenty of formats about modding the game to make whatever mechanics we want, but BH isn't supposed to be one, is supposed to still follow what mechanics exists in the games with the only exceptions being quality of life changes acceptable on most smogon formats like the Cancel Mod and Unlimited Timer.

I think allowing BH to not be deserved of being called Balanced Hackmons would be an awful precedent for OMs, we shouldn't turn this into a petmod where we choose what we want the format to have, we can add quality of life changes like the invisible mons having their species revealed, so we don't have to wonder what the Pikachu we are facing is supposed to be (would be similar to any other rule that is an agreement between players, like how HP Percentage is the equivalent of asking the opponent how much HP they have left), but not allowing them at all because someone says so and then allowing Palafin-Hero with any ability despite being against mechanics is what pet mods do, not how OMs should behave if we want to keep the distinction clear.
 

HiZo

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we can add quality of life changes like the invisible mons having their species revealed, so we don't have to wonder what the Pikachu we are facing is supposed to be (would be similar to any other rule that is an agreement between players, like how HP Percentage is the equivalent of asking the opponent how much HP they have left), but not allowing them at all because someone says so and then allowing Palafin-Hero with any ability despite being against mechanics is what pet mods do, not how OMs should behave if we want to keep the distinction clear.
In Gen 3, Deoxys has limited sprite capabilities, causing different formes to have misleading sprites depending on the forme of deoxys is against a different cartridge.

The result of that discussion resulted in the Deoxys Camouflage Clause, which effectively tells the player what Deoxys you're up against, regardless of the sprite shown in an accurate game. This does mean there is sort of precedent that could be applied to allow Kaen's proposal for misleading sprites, but that is up in the air about whether or not these "incomplete" Pokemon are allowed in BH beforehand.
 

Gimmicky

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This presents us with two possible choices:
  • We can stick with the current definition of cart-playable and remove Zama-C and friends from Balanced Hackmons.
  • We can modify the definition of BH, again, to completely separate it from cart; any forme, move, ability, and item that exists in game is usable in Balanced Hackmons with no EV limit (minus bans, of course)
I strongly believe that modifying the definition of BH would be a poor choice. While it's true that the identity of the tier has included these in-battle changes,namely Megas and Zac/Zama-C, it's also true that even more integral to the identity of the tier is the inherent cart-playability. It is the name of the tier itself. Balanced Hackmons. Pokemon you can hack in. The entire idea, at least to me and many others, is that it's a metagame you could theoretically play on the cartridges, but with some quality of life changes. This is not a quality of life change, it is an inherent change to the mechanics of the games.

To change the mechanics themselves is not inherently bad, but it is inherently not Balanced Hackmons. While it's true there is no one, perfect definition, that doesn't mean the current definition of cart-playable is broken. I think there's merit to adding in invisible mons, with an invisible mons clause of some sort, but that is also an entirely different question to ask. We're never going to land on a perfect definition, giving the inherent complicacy of the topic, but I do think we should stick as close as we can to what is possible without mechanics changes. What this means for Invisible Pokemon is a different discussion, but what this means for the in-battle forms is that we should stick to the current definition of cart-playable in the case of Zama-C, Palafin-H, etc. Don't fix what isn't broken.
 

Ren

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i've done some testing with the actual game cartridge, since the discussion on these "invisible mons" made me curious on how much the definition can fall apart because game freak doesn't scrub their code.

tl;dr all of the cut pokemon (including cut formes) have their BST spreads and typings still in the code. these can be accessed with a simple click-and-drag in pkhex, and under both proposed definitions, neither explicitly excludes them.

here's a shoddily recorded video detailing the process:
from the above video:
  • cut mons and formes from old games can simply be moved into SV by clicking and dragging pokemon in pkhex.
  • these have a pikachu 3d model and menu sprite, unless they're a cut forme of a not-cut mon (like mmy); it has the sprite and model of the base forme in this case. in both of these cases, everything else about the mon (type and base stats) functions exactly as they're supposed to.
  • these can be used in local battles.
  • invisible megas and primals can use tera.
  • this is different from gen 8. hacking a mon into gen 8 that doesn't "exist" (in the traditional sense) does not work.
  • none of this involves directly modifying base stats or typings.
does this solve the debate of allowing the in-battle forme changes or not? no, not really. what it does do though is put a red flag on any definition that we make since it's inherently going to be flawed and complicated (and also subject to severe change) beyond the accuracy we're reasonably trying to achieve. we can't just sweep stuff like this (which is cart possible) under the rug for much more time

in less wordy terms: both of the definitions don't cover edge cases and don't really define "hackability" to a good degree. it might be better just accepting that we're never really going to land on a perfect one, because i don't really see it.
20230722_012749.jpg


The Immortal might be time to bring back mampmons /j

jokes aside -- UT does this put the removal of dexit on the table for bh? If we're going for cartridge accuracy then we shouldn't gaslight gatekeep girlboss these from the game, but if we aren't then it becomes super hard to define bh as a meta unless we're just agreeing to pretend dexited mons don't exist.. idrk what leadership wants to do here bc it's a lose/lose situation.

btw Tea Guzzler did/can you test ashgren since the required ability's mechanics were changed? sorry for asking for specific clarification on one niche forme but i am sorta curious bc ashgren got a ton of new tools
 

berry

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Although not a current gen BH player, I have a history of having strong opinions about hackmons policy- I think pulling away from cart mechanics is a pretty bad idea because it gives zero grounding to what generation BH you're actually playing. Back in the day, Classic Hackmons was the oldshark community-preferred format, being played with selective gen 6 mechanics while retaining others from earlier gens: supposedly a gen 6 format with no team preview and max evs, it was a mash of gen 4, 5, and 6 mechanics without actually having any justification to do so other than "it's just kinda built that way". Did that offer any longevity to the tier over the last 9 or so years? No- it got replaced with cart-accurate gen 6 pure hackmons, which is easily able to be applied to each new generation that comes out.

If the community's aim is to tie itself to a generation and progress with new additions to the meta into each new generation, there has to be some sort of sanctity granted to cart mechanics. However, after reading Tea's invisible mons post, you have to wonder how deep this sanctity extends. I think gamefreak's own metrics offer something of use here: I think the current definition we run on is one based on the intentionally available pokedex, intentionally available moves, abilities, and items, and I think that's the definition that should stay, albeit a little bit tweaked. My proposed definition includes what was intentionally left to be used in the game: obviously, invisible pokemon, unobtainable items, and moves that just have stats and no animations aren't intentional, and I don't think they should be accessible. I think my definition is also decently modular between generations in accounting for what moves, abilities, or pokemon have been cut. For moves, abilities, and items: if it is obtainable legitimately on another pokemon in-game, then it can be used on another pokemon.

My final and ideal definition lies here:
All Pokemon, Formes, Abilities, Moves, and Items that are intentionally available on the Generation X cart in a local battle can be used in any combination.

Intentionally available: obtainable legitimately in-game (for pokemon or items) or through a legal pokemon's ability set or learnset
 
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Isaiah

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My final and ideal definition lies here:
All Pokemon, Formes, Abilities, Moves, and Items that are intentionally available on the Generation X cart in a local battle can be used in any combination.

Intentionally available: obtainable legitimately in-game (for pokemon or items) or through a legal pokemon's ability set or learnset
I brought up a similar idea when discussing this in the BH channel in OM disc the other day, and one of the concerns is that would this mean that for example, torque moves, dexited moves like V-create and Rising Voltage, dexited abilities like Triage and Primordial Sea, and the like would be illegal? Those aren't obtainable on any legal Pokemon (yet), but I feel they are relevant to the identity of what "hackmons" implies.
 
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berry

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I brought up a similar idea when discussing this in the BH channel in OM disc the other day, and one of the concerns is that would this mean that for example, torque moves, dexited moves like V-create and Rising Voltage, dexited abilities like Triage and Primordial Sea, and the like would be illegal? Those aren't obtainable on any legal Pokemon (yet), but I feel they are relevant to the identity of what "hackmons" implies.
Yes, I'm advocating for exactly this. Even though it's not a popular opinion and might lead to some backlash if implemented, the line of preserving a generation's identity (for example, gen 9 not having megas) shouldn't be one that we can selectively bend around moves or abilities or items. Obviously, we can: it's just a made up set of distinctions for an other metagame, but there's a reason we don't still use the Special stat past gen 1, and are able to hold items, and crunch is now a physical move instead of a special move. Maybe my post is more tilted towards preserving generational integrity in hackmons formats, but with that lack of generational integrity, there's enough of a justification to allow just about anything in the tier.

Additionally, allowing everything that's in-game but isn't intentionally available leads to some pretty messy situations. How about the legend plate, which is available in SV and has a set of traits in another game, but doesn't have those same effects in sv? We already preserve some generational integrity, even if we don't fully realize it (or else we'd still have no team preview bh formats), my case is just to extend that generational integrity across all aspects of the game, even if that means losing out on abilities that aren't available yet.

Keep in mind I'm not advocating this change for any other OMs at this moment, just for anything tagged "hackmons".
 

UT

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First, for everyone like me who has a hard time figuring out exactly what's going on here, Anubis has a great post up here: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...chanics-research.3709545/page-34#post-9713378

The TL;DR:
Code:
Some examples of how it works:
- Hack in a Rayquaza, set its form to 1. It will use the Mega's stats. It will appear as a regular Rayquaza since Mega has no specific model.
- Hack in a Blastoise, set its form to 1. It will use the Mega's stats. It will appear as a Pikachu since Blastoise is not in the game.
- Hack in an Eternatus, set its form to 1. It will revert and become regular Eternatus-0.
- Hack in a Morpeko, set its form to 1. It will revert to Morpeko-0 and appear as a Pikachu since it's not in the game.
(This does not cover in-battle form changes, just if you put them in a box, take them out, and try to start a battle with them.)
Secondly, with further research and discussion here, it's clear that there is a much large discussion to be had as well. The current definition technically should allow Dexited mons to be used but with default sprites, including megas.

This would obviously be a massive change, not only bringing back dexited mons, but allowing megas as well. Additionally, we would need to figure out what to do about the default sprites, which is a nightmare and a half in of itself. With all that in mind, I would like to engage the community on the following questions:
  • Should we allow dexited mons into BH, or re-write the definition to exclude them?
  • If we allow them, how do we want to handle the spriting issue?
    • Instruct referenced a past clause here where we could potentially show the correct sprites anyway, or we could say "they're allowed by definition but we're adding a clause to ban them cause the spriting would make them broken / uncompetitive"
Please discuss / give input / etc. We heavily value community feedback in making this decision, and want to make sure that it's properly assessed and taken into account.
 

UT

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Also making this more clear: any potential definition change should only apply to formes. Since all ability and move based metas are impacted by our definitions, including AAA and STAB, and we do not want to disrupt those metas either, any proposed definition that impacts what moves or abilities are legal will be rejected.

Obviously, "maintain current definition but [add clause / ban these things / etc]" are still on the table.
 

DaWoblefet

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With regard to dexited Pokemon/forms appearing as Pikachu models, I want to point out that a good deal of information is available from the Y-info screen about a particular Pokemon. You can see a Pokemon's true typing and true species name (see for example Ultra Necrozma in Tea Guzzler's video being reported as "Necrozma" with Psychic/Dragon type). Of course, that information is not going to be comprehensive, because say, Mega Charizard Y will also be called "Charizard" with Fire/Flying typing.

I think there's a few options available for handling these dexited Pokemon/forms.
  • Amend the BH/PH policy to only allow Pokemon if they have a proper model in-game.
    • This preserves metagame integrity, since it doesn't introduce several hundred new options into the metagame.
    • This is like how dexited mons were treated last gen. Last gen, even though it was possible for you to use Infernape with 0 BST, PS just didn't support it, and although this was not explicit, I think you could adopt it as a policy consistent with older generations. I could be wrong on this since I only have 1 Switch, albeit hackable.
  • Allow the dexited Pokemon/forms, but use "standard" models to represent Pokemon.
    • E.g. Infernape would use Infernape's model, not Pikachu's, and Mega Rayquaza would use Mega Rayquaza's model, not regular Rayquaza's.
    • This would just be a clause akin to, say, Dynamax Clause in Gen 8 OU metagames. Both players simply agree to reveal their actual Pokemon at Team Preview, in a similar way to how they agree to not Dynamax, or how players currently agree to not bring Baton Pass to a game of Gen 9 BH.
    • Instruct is correct that there is a precedent for this in how Deoxys was handled in Gen 3.
  • Allow the dexited Pokemon/forms, and use the actual models presented by the game to represent Pokemon.
    • Much more challenging to implement. We'd have to send along true species and true typing information, but only once that Pokemon is sent out (think about e.g. Imposter vs Roar). We'd have to modify how sprites work.
I would second the opinions of others that a cart-possible solution is preferable here. It seems to me that tied up with the identity of BH/PH is that this is cart-possible. My main concern with what I originally messaged BH leaders about is that BH is currently allowing Pokemon that cannot be used in a local battle on cart - in any feasible non-ROM hack way. Whether or not folks want to include dexited Pokemon that are possible is up to y'all, but I see no reason to break a core identity of Hackmons over a handful of battle forms.

I also want to comment on this.
I am of the opinion that futureproofing a metagame with so many unlisted changes popping up is something that's swiftly becoming more trouble than it's worth.

For context, when a new game is released, we typically find out about the new mechanic, new Pokemon, abilities and moves. We do not, however, find out about changes to how hacked stuff is played immediately upon release and that's probably not going to happen. These interactions silently change. We can't respond to these interactions before the games are out because we don't know if they'll exist. We can't tackle new hacked rules early on because hacking a game isn't the first priority in the new gen and also because there's so many interactions to test. Game development companies care about making their changelog digestible to a newer player, less so an experienced player, and almost never a hacker.

Reason why I'm saying this is Gamefreak doesn't care about us. They can do whatever they want, whenever they want, with no warning. They could mess up DLC and accidentally add Zamazenta-C back into the game, who knows. Code is hard and stranger things have happened.

I'm not gonna provide an opinion on what definition you guys should use, but I will say you probably shouldn't set a definition woth the intention that it'll still be futureproof when Gen 10 arrives (or even DLC). It's anybody's guess as to what changes will come and bc of this I firmly believe discussion about the definition of BH should be strictly related to Gen 9. If we're lucky, that definition also happens to be futureproof. Chances are it won't be.

For me, I've always explained BH to friends as "you can use almost any move and almost any ability on almost any Pokemon with almost any item" and that seems to get the message across fairly well.
I think that this is an extremely good point; in order to do proper Hackmons research, you have to 1) have a hacked Switch, 2) have at least two Switches, 3) know how to use the relevant hacking tools, and 4) want to actually do mechanics research (not trivial since all proper testing needs done in a local battle). However, I think it's crazy to suggest that when that research does occur, the response should be, "well, we should just ignore that". That sort of idea discourages researchers who care about cartridge accuracy from researching potentially interesting things. It makes asking legitimate hackmons questions (example) a waste of time, since answers could just be ignored for whatever behavior is preferred. I suppose that reflects my opinion that BH/PH in fact should be cart-possible.
 
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I think that it would be best for the meta to stay as it is. I'm more or less in complete agreement with what Tea Guzzler said regarding Zama-C and friends.
TL;DR here is that the current impact is not substantial, but it's a means of future-proofing the tier (again lol).

Personally I would just opt for maintaining the status quo and keeping the current situation. I care more about having a more diverse meta with more possible options than cartridge accuracy, especially when Smogon infamously doesn't have a perfect track record of keeping up with it (cough cough sleep clause mod), and we've never really worn "cartridge accuracy" as a badge of honour or anything. Someone will probably bring up a slippery slope or something but there's a key difference between changing the wording of the tier to allow for some niche sets vs. adding stuff that straight up doesn't exist.
I think phantom mons shouldn't be usable, if that's by changing the definition or by letting them in then banning them, it doesn't matter to me.
 
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