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Cheating? In my VGC? (article proposal)

#1
A quick idea for a article that may get priority in being worked on, because the topic is rather current.

A summary of what has happened (in part) can be found here: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/07...o_cheating

Basically, Ray Rizzo, world champion of poke tournaments 3 times, was found to be using an impossible Aegislash. While its stats and moveset were fine, the pokeball it was in is impossible for it to have (dream ball, in 5th gen only for DW pokes). While you can pass down the pokeball a pokemon has via breeding, Kalos pokes like Honedge cannot get the Dream Ball (mother only, and dittos cannot pass them down). Ergo, he had broken the rules of the tournament.

That's fairly interesting in itself, but it's not even the full story. These logs were lying around from before the tournament:
Show ContentSpoiler:

An admission that he used pokecheck, etc.

Sure, that could be faked, but... it isn't. People went to that IRC channel and asked, and they confirmed it.

http://pastebin.com/6Zs9Ek1n

Said irc channel belongs to Nugget Bridge, a large fansite dedicated to VGC (the same sort of tournament that official Pokemon competitions use). With VGC style battling, they're more known than Smogon. So basically, staff there have admitted to using such things, if not to hack pokemon then to hack in pokemon for breeding and items to ease training. Meanwhile, threads about Ray Rizzo on the forums were closed, and then deleted by admins trying to defend him. Not cool.

So there's a slippery slope. I propose an article discussing that. (Maybe it'd need an [Opinion] tag like a previous article we had?) There's been a bunch of discussions around the internet about it, and a friend summed up one viewpoint ('it ticks me off that these are people who run the most informative vgc website and they're blatantly breaking the rules of the game in an official competition').


Not quite sure how I would write it, but open to suggestions, or allowing others to write parts (e.g. as a multiple opinion piece? A quickly done debate?) As said, it is probably better this is done sooner than later otherwise it'll be less relevant.


That is, if you think it's a good idea. =p
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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#2
Well, this would definitely be a controversial topic, for sure.

I'm sorry to say, but I don't really have an idea on how to go about this. The real trick will be writing this and not really attacking anyone in the process. I think this should be an opinion paper, but on a more neutral point. I don't think an opinion paper on the extreme side of the scale would attract the right attention.
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#3
Yeah, that is something I'll have to consider. I do think that I may still need to lean towards the 'well it can be seen as breaking the rules which isn't cool', but I'll refrain from slander. ;p
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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#4
Personally I'm also very ticked off that nugget bridge staff have admitted to cheating seeing as they're the most influential and well known VGC community. However I agree with slayr that this article would need to be written in a neutral tone. We don't want it sounding like fox news.
"We dreamed of creating the world's strongest Pokémon...and we succeeded." ~ Neil Degrasse Sagan
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#5
Another thing is that the Aegislash wouldn't have any unobtainable unfair advantage in the tournament, because the Pokéball is purely aesthetic. While breaking the rules shouldn't be accepted, a fair point is that he 'missed having x999 wings', aka he needed to EV train and that's a bum, as it could take days. Again, as he didn't cheat up his stats over the limit, there isn't any harm done.

The hard truth is that even professionals have to go through the effort of EV training and all that, and no matter how skilled you are, it will take the same time. Competitive battling is changing into a realm of luck, intelligence and wits, rather than strength or dedication or skill. You'd have to breed for ages and ages to get the right nature and egg moves nailed down, then train all the way to Lv 100 and get the right EVs. Not to mention that the breeded Pokémon should have near flawless IVs to get a competitive chance in the game, as most people work hard enough to get that. So in the equal field where all the Pokémon are the same level, the EVs and IVs would surely make a lot of stat difference, huh?

This is just another viewpoint in the argument, mind. Not that I personally would be in favour of cheating where most other contestants may have loyally toiled to get the right Pokémon. Especially coming from the nugget bridge staff...
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#6
(11th Jul 2014, 12:54 PM)Hoenn Wrote: Another thing is that the Aegislash wouldn't have any unobtainable unfair advantage in the tournament, because the Pokéball is purely aesthetic. While breaking the rules shouldn't be accepted, a fair point is that he 'missed having x999 wings', aka he needed to EV train and that's a bum, as it could take days. Again, as he didn't cheat up his stats over the limit, there isn't any harm done.
True - besides the pokeball, everything about it would have been possible.

That said - days is sort of an exaggeration now. Super training and the usual assortment of Proteins/etc bring it down to within an hour comfortably per poke. Of if you have one of the EV training items (a little bit of work involved in the battle maison) and sweet scent on a pokemon (easy to get), abusing Horde battles gives a good bunch of EVs as well.

Granted, these ways do require a bit of set up (money for the items, etc), but it's no longer the case that it takes ages to EV train a Pokemon. On that note, you only need to train to level 50 these days, not 100 (as that's what VGC levels are set to). Breeding has also been improved upon every generation.

I'll probably say something along those lines. In the end - yes, hacking in items and etc saves time and may not change the end result, but it's lot like the alternative (playing the games without using external devices and hacking in free items) is all that terrible. And as you said - 'Not that I personally would be in favour of cheating where most other contestants may have loyally toiled to get the right Pokémon. Especially coming from the nugget bridge staff...'
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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#7
Rough draft outline, mostly thinking aloud here.


Cheating? In my VGC?

Intro - Pokemon has always been one of those games where there have been access to cheat codes and devices. The Game Shark and Action Replay were staples and made you the cool kid of any school playground. After all, what kid wasn't amused by the idea of a Sunkern with 999 stats and moves like Flamethrower?

But there's the other side of it. People don't exactly it when you beat them up with hacked Pokemon, and that can be a fair enough viewpoint. Throw in a recent event in this year's VGCs, and you get an interesting topic of discussion. Here we look at both sides of the debate on how 'right' it may be to use the newest of the external devices to show themselves - the powersave.


The Issue

So what is the issue just mentioned above?

*cue stuff said in first post explaining the ray rizzo thing. Introduce who he is first, then the event this year about the aegislash, etc etc*

Viewpoints on this alone - the fact of the matter is that it is impossible to have the pokeball. And everything else was (supposedly) legal about it - the stats were within the limits, just at the highest point. He may also have just bred his Pokmeon from a parent (explanation about passing down pokeballs would be in the previous part). Let's not beat around the bush - a lot of people this gen still breed Pokemon from hacked, perfect 6IV ditto that beat PokeBank's problematic hack checks.

But there's more!

*stuff about what was said in logs above, and the apparent stance by Nugget bridge - who they are, why it's important*

So now there's a different beast - it's not just the case of Pokemon being in a different ball, or easing the time taken to breed your own good Pokemon, but also items used to do aid EV and level trading.

So what's the problem with that? *Points for, followed by points against*

A key point in among all this however is that these are people from the most influential and well known VGC community, admitting and condoning the use of such items. (Smogon has only every really focused on singles). *points about this*

*some conclusion*
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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#8
Quote:People don't exactly it

People don't exactly like it

I think before we start the issue we could mention a bit about what the powersave actually is (I don't know what it is either XD) and what it does. And write about the anti-hacking system we now have (the pentagon thing).

As for the sections to write, I guess you could just fill in the points we've been discussing before this post. Then again, like Slayr said it may be a problem to go all-neutral in this topic, because there isn't much ground for cheating to be defended for. So I think we could alter/add the points needed after the whole opinion sections are complete.
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#9
Yeah, definitely going to need a paragraph about the powersave. It's like a lesser action replay.
Quote:As for the sections to write, I guess you could just fill in the points we've been discussing before this post. Then again, like Slayr said it may be a problem to go all-neutral in this topic, because there isn't much ground for cheating to be defended for. So I think we could alter/add the points needed after the whole opinion sections are complete.
Yeah, that's the intention for the filling-in-section. We'll see what needs editing when I get around to writing it!
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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#10
Here's a draft. I probably need at least one more image in the last part of the area. Probably would like this out next weekend too, but I don't think I would need to add more to this (the main thing is if it reads balanced or not). Have at it!





Cheating? In my VGC?

Pokémon has always been one of those games where players have access to cheat codes and devices, going all the way back to the first two generations. The Game Shark and Action Replay were staples and made you the cool kid of any school playground. After all, what kid wasn't amused by the idea of a Sunkern with 999 stats and moves like Flamethrower?

But there's the other side of it. People don't exactly like it when you beat them up with hacked Pokémon, and that can be a fair enough viewpoint. Throw in a recent event in this year's Pokémon VGCs (Video Game Competition) in America, and you get an interesting topic of discussion. Here we look at both sides of the debate on how 'right' it may be to use the newest of the external devices - the Powersave - to help you prepare for a Pokémon competition, and let you weigh up both sides of the debate. Warning - a few battling terms exist in this article.


The Issue

So what is the issue mentioned in the introduction?

In early July, an official VGC event was held in the U.S. in Indianapolis, Indiana. A stream of the event was hosted, so people could watch battles over the internet. During this stream, a battle started involving a player named Ray Rizzo. Besides being an arguably snazzy name (that alliteration!), the name is actually rather large in the VGC and Pokémon scene. After all, he's won the Pokémon World Video Game Competition three times within the last five years. That's no small achievement.

Now, officials at these events do at times check the legality of Pokémon used - that is, whether they are hacked, particularly to have impossible stats or moves that would give a player an unfair advantage. But they missed this event, which occurred the moment Ray Rizzo sent out his Pokémon, an Aegislash.

[Image: original.jpg]
Why can't enchanted ghost swords have a pink aura, huh?

While it had the right stats, and all the moves it had were legal, the issue that wasn't picked up by officials, but was by a lot of the watching fans, was that the Poké Ball the Aegislash was in is a Dream Ball. Any casual Pokémon fan would know there are different types of Poké Balls - Poke, Great, Ultra, Master being the main ones. A Dream Ball is a 5th generation Ball that was only assigned to Pokémon found in the Dream World feature in BW/B2W2. You can tell the difference between it and any other ball from the animation that plays when you send out a Pokémon. The obvious problem is that Aegislash is a 6th generation Pokémon. While you can pass down the Poké Ball a Pokémon has via breeding in 6th Gen, Kalos Pokémon like Honedge cannot get the Dream Ball. It's only passed down via the mother only, and Ditto cannot pass them down.

In short - the Aegislash was obtained with an impossible Poké Ball. This meant that this Pokémon was either hacked, or bred from a hacked Pokémon. Ergo, he had broken the rules of the tournament. Take this version of the rules for Australian VGC for example:

2.1. ILLEGALLY MANIPULATED POKÉMON
The use of external devices to modify or create items or Pokémon in a player’s party is expressly forbidden. Players found to have Pokémon or items that have been tampered with will be disqualified from competition, regardless of whether the Pokémon or items belong to that player or were traded for.



What's the big deal with this?

Naturally, something like this draws different opinions. If Ray used a hacked Pokémon that had better stats than possible or the such, then it would be clear cut - he cheated to gain an unfair advantage, end of story. However, the only thing that sets this Aegislash aside from any other is that it has a differently coloured Poké Ball, hardly something that will decide the outcome of a battle in itself.

He may also have just bred his Pokémon from a parent hacked Aegislash, so in a sense people may say this one is 'legit'. (And in fact, Ray later claimed he got a Dream Ball Aegislash from a trade, and hadn't realised until it was too late, and would have stopped using the Pokémon as well). And let's not beat around the bush - a lot of people this Gen still breed Pokémon from hacked, perfect, 6IV Ditto that beat PokeBank's problematic hack checks. The only benefit they have in doing that is saving time spent in getting a good Pokémon.


So how does one hack?

There's a few ways, ignoring sending over a hacked Pokémon from a previous gen into X&Y that isn't caught by the Poke Bank filter. But this gen, the most known method involves the Powersave.

[Image: 71DU0INaJXL._SX466_.jpg]
Gotta hack them all!

Basically, it works like a Action Replay, and allows you to alter your game's save file. By inserting the game cart into the Powersave and then connecting online, you can create and edit Pokémon on your cart - their gender, whether they are shiny, and also what Poké Ball they have. You can also clone Pokémon, obtain as many items as you like, and back up your save file (but not extract it). There are restrictions, such as the inability to trade event Pokémon that aren't officially released yet, and the need for a physical copy of the game (downloaded titles cannot be used). You also can only use specific codes within the device - you cannot create your own.

That's pretty nifty. That said, the rules of the official competition are pretty clear cut. You aren't allowed to use external devices to help create a Pokémon or hold item, and the rules do not make exceptions to having fancy Poké Balls. It flat out states not to use external devices even if you get a hacked Pokémon from a trade, and that's the only way Ray could have gotten such an Aegislash in the end.

But many people don't mind it in the end, and that would be the end of the matter, if it hadn't been for some other online events.


You mean there's more?

Yep. Someone revealed the following chatlogs on an IRC (Internet Relay Chatroom).

[Image: 1404804085677.png]
'F Pokémon!' - Three Times Pokémon World VGC Champion

The general gist is that this is not the only time Ray Rizzo used external devices with his games. This is a direct admission that he used the likes of Pokecheck to gain items. And while chatlogs can always be faked, a number of people followed up by visiting this IRC channel to confirm. For instance, this is another chatlog confirming that.

The IRC channel in question belongs to Nugget Bridge, a large fansite dedicated to Pokémon VGC. While Smogon is more known to the average Pokémon fan, they focus on Single Format. When it comes to Doubles and VGC style battling, Nugget Bridge is bigger. And a quote from the site admin:

There's a big difference between an impossible spread, actual illegal stats, and dumb crap like an impossible ball. People can decide where they want to put their own neurotic line of what shouldn't be allowed, but it seems pretty clear on TPCI's end that line is illegal stats or the Pokémon itself has shown obvious enough signs of being modified. Really sick of other fansites full of players who have basically zero knowledge of VGC stirring crap in these events about stuff like this. If it was a problem that needed to be solved, it would be."

Essentially, staff there have admitted to using such things - if not to hack Pokémon, then at least to hack in Pokémon for breeding, and items to ease the training training.


So... can it be 'okay' to hack Pokémon?

That question gets a different answer depending on who you talk to. If you want to go fully by the official rules, then the answer is 'no'. If you feel otherwise, and only want to use external devices to save time in making your Pokémon and training them, you'd say otherwise. And if you don't care about entering competitions and don't trade hacks to kids or people who may care about it, then you can also argue that as long as what you do on your game stays there, it's perfectly fine as it doesn't affect anybody else. So the general case comes down to whether you feel that, official rules aside, it's okay to hack only to save yourself time.

[Image: sunkern_legit2.jpg][Image: sunkern_legit.jpg]
My AR brings all the boys to the yard.

One can argue that this isn't a particularly strong argument these days though. In Generation three, when things about EVs were not well documented, and there was only one real 'way' to EV (effort value) train that involved beating up specific Pokémon a number of times for the specific stats you wanted, it was a bother. But nowadays we have the likes of Horde battles to speed up that method, coupled with Power Items (like the Power Brace which give more EVs per battle) and a more common PokeRus (a Pokémon in-game disease that doubles EVs gained) thanks to the like of the GTS.

And there's now Super Training, an acknowledgement by Game Freak of the competitive community by implementing a whole minigame to allow for easier EV training. Pokémiles can be used to buy Rare Candies, and a minimum level of 50 is far easier to reach than level 100 too. Breeding meanwhile has become far more manageable this generation. Nowadays, legitimate 5IV and even 6IV Pokémon are far easier to get thanks to the numerous breeding mechanics introduced every generation.

But people in general are lazy, and saving time is always a temptation.

As for Ray Rizzo, the beef some people have with the whole issue has to do with him being a world champion of the official competitions, three times no less. Sure, his Pokémon only had a differently coloured Poké Ball, and as far as we know his other Pokémon had legal stats - they were just made and trained quickly via external devices. But that's not a very good example for a champion to make, especially in the face of such rules. It is also admittedly a bit of a silly mistake by him to not notice the different Poké Ball - he could have used a hacked Aegislash parent that didn't have a Dream Ball, and nobody would have talked about this in the first place.

An important point too is that there is a case where a Pokémon in a hacked Poké Ball could have an influence in the battle. If you sent a Pokemon in an Apricorn Ball (back from 4th Gen) that had a Hidden Ability (something that is impossible), then the opponent could assume the Pokémon doesn't have that ability and act accordingly. While this isn't the case here, it does show that even the smallest details can be used in such competitions.

Meanwhile, Nugget Bridge deleted any discussion on the incident. A key point is that here we have people from the most influential and well known VGC community, admitting and even condoning the use of such items. No wonder people feel a bit ticked off, and I personally feel that mere discussion about a rather polarising event for the fandom isn't something that should be prevented.

So where do you stand? Are you fine with people hacking Pokémon and using them in competitions, as long as they have legal stats and moves? Or are you completely against it, no matter what?
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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#11
Pretty good imo. As it stands now, it's a lot more neutral than it should logically have been (because there isn't much support for cheating on paper anyway) so I have to say a good job done. A pick:

Quote:The only benefit they have in doing that is time spent in getting a good Pokémon.

'saving' time spent?

Anyway, I guess this thing is looking pretty nice. It would be funny if you managed to hoard a pic of a Sunkern which is actually displaying the stats you mentioned.
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#12
Fixed that typo, and added in a couple pictures created by someone else when I asked around for hacked Sunkern. :V

If there's no other comments (I'll add that Musty looked at it and thought it decent too outside of the forums) I'll post this tomorrow.
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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#13
And posted.
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By TwilightBlade of PC. =D
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