Would you believe me if I told you that there are some rather extreme levels of politics within the Pokemon community debated and argued about for years through countless forum debates? These things vary from the best way to battle Pokemon, what Pokemon should be allowed to be used, use of items etc. Well with the upcoming release of Pokemon Sun and Moon, and the fact that we like to focus on politics here, let’s mash the two together for a bit. One of the single-handedly most hotly debated aspects of the Pokemon community is the lack of being able to breed Legendary Pokemon, and the ability to manipulate IV’s as well as you can EV’s. For the uninitiated, EV’s are referred to as effort values, and IV’s are referred to as individual values by their full names by most who are aware of them.
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What do they do? They determine your Pokemon’s end stats and how strong they are. Effort values are a type of hidden point you can gain with special items called Vitamins, as well as a hidden reward every time you beat a Pokemon. For example, when you beat say a Geodude, you get a defense EV, for every four defense EV’s you earn you will have one more defense point than any Pokemon untrained in defense by the time you reach level 100. You can have a maximum of 252 EV’s in any one given stat and a maximum of 510 EV’s spread among all your stats when raising and training your Pokemon.
You might be asking, what does mechanics within the game have to do with heated Pokemon politics debates? This is where IV’s come in. IV’s are individual stats, they are stats a Pokemon is born with. For every IV a Pokemon has in one stat they will have 1 additional point in that stat at level 100. This can be the difference between a Pokemon surviving that ice beam or a Pokemon dying to that Ice Beam in many circumstances. In order to guarantee good IV’s a trainer under normal circumstances must breed a Pokemon with other Pokemon that already have existing good IV’s. The best IV stat a Pokemon can have is 31 so as you might imagine that was the stat to go for. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with the Pokemon Ditto, who can breed with any Pokemon.
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So why has this been a topic for internal Pokemon Community debates for, quite literally at this point, decades? Well simply put these hidden values, combined with the lack of ability to breed legendary Pokemon, and the lacking ability to alter IV’s created a very dedicated hacking community within the main Pokemon Franchise on the handhelds. They would create perfect Legendary Pokemon, already trained with an optimized EV spread and the desired attacks, duplicate these Pokemon and then Spread them among the community. Often they would be offered for simple things like Rattata or Caterpie.
This, in turn, created a large sense of distrust among players who preferred their games to remain “Hackemon” (as they were called from time to time) free and sparked a number of debates among players as to how fair or unfair this kind of cheating was. Players who preferred to stay “Legit” would argue that this tainted the trading community as a player could not be sure whether the Pokemon they were receiving was a fake or legit Pokemon corrupting the trading community. There was also the worry that it devalued their own trades with other players.
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On the other side of the debate, you had the people who embraced this form of cheating pointing out that to get perfect Legendary Pokemon required an unbelievable amount of luck and or using a computer program to manipulate your game in such a way you naturally caught a perfect version of that Pokemon. It was also argued that the breeding process was so luck based a person could very easily theoretically never get the desired Pokemon they wanted with the desired stats.
These debates ended up sparking side debates regarding the visibility and lack of knowledge of the relatively hidden values EV’s and IV’s, where again there were two sides in the debate and neither side really agreeing with one or the other. One side argued that EV’s and IV’s should have a way, at least by the end of the main game to be able to view these two hidden aspects of the game. This was argued that it would cut down on a large amount of the hacking as the most desired aspects of Pokemon training were the hardest to ascertain in an easy fashion.
While the other side of the debate argued that because this game was primarily marketed towards children that the introduction of that would be too confusing. It was also argued that players already had large databases and assets online in which to train their Pokemon effectively if they were simply willing to put in the time and energy to train and breed their Pokemon for the perfect stats.
These “PokePolitics” are more just large scale debates about the various aspects of the game and how people should and should not play in regards to what is better overall for the online Pokemon community. So the question is, why is this being brought up? What relevance does this have? Weren’t they just silly debates?
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Well yes and no. These rather polarizing debates in regards to what players would and would not like to see happen in the Pokemon games were slowly, but steadily making their way to the developers. Who not too long ago in their slow trickle down of announcements for upcoming Pokemon games revealed that IV’s would finally be allowed to be trained when a Pokemon reaches level 100 for the upcoming Sun and Moon. Which not only puts many of these debates to a long-awaited finish but in many ways gives all players more of what they probably wanted in the first place. A fun experience with less of a need to worry about hacked Pokemon if that was one of their concerns and legitimate ways to get the Pokemon they desired if they put a little extra work into it.