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Discussion Discussion of the Week: Are HMs important?

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  #1    
Old December 5th, 2017 (4:03 PM). Edited December 5th, 2017 by Disturbed.
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HMs. What do you guys think about them? Do you think they are worth putting in hacks? Why or why not? Also, do you think making it easier for the players to make their Pokémon forget them is a good idea?

I also want to go into this saying that there is absolutely no right answer to this question. Everyone is completely entitled to their own opinions, as they might enjoy certain things differently than other people. This is less of a debate thread and more of a way to find out what other people think, and maybe this might be a good way to influence people's decisions when it comes to creating their own hacks, as they'll have further insight to what the populous thinks. I also want to say that I'd love to continue doing more of these discussions about topics similar to this one where there's no 'correct' answer. Also we totally could use the feedback of anyone, not just those making hacks.

---
Anyways. I'll get the ball rolling with my own opinion and you all can tell me what you think while sharing your own opinions on the question at hand.

I think HMs play a very important role in hacks and Pokémon games in general. They serve as important gatekeepers. When you approach a route with Cut trees, and you don't have the Cut HM yet, the player will immediately understand that they'll be able to continue through this route whenever they acquire that HM. I feel like this is a better alternative than various things like, "Oh there's a blackout ahead!" or, "We're dancing here for literally no reason!"
Though, I also want to say, I don't like them being used as a gatekeeper for progressing through the main areas of the game more than one time. What I mean by that is, say you cannot continue with your adventure because of a Cut tree. Once you acquire Cut, you're able to proceed. I don't like the idea of requiring Cut in order to proceed after that point, however using Cut to block optional content is completely fine. Blocking optional content is another subject I wanted to touch upon, and is one of the reasons I love HMs. Cut and Rock Smash are functionally similar. They remove an impassable object from the game (temporarily, usually) and allow you to continue. They are also both weak moves when used in battle. Even having Pokémon on your team with them is usually less than ideal for the player, especially as you go further and further in your game. However, for dealing with that slight handicap on your team, you are rewarded with various things ranging from secret areas, shortcuts, and items that are all blocked behind these mediocre HMs. It gives the player a choice: Do I want to handicap my team slightly by teaching these crappy moves to my Pokémon to get all these cool things, or do I want to forgo using these moves, as I don't want my team handicapped in battle?

With the exception of Surf, I definitely think each field move HM (excluding Fly/Flash/Defog/whatever as well) should gatekeep the main quest only one time each, though I can see the argument for Strength being used multiple times, as it has unique interactions with creating puzzles.

Now, on the subject of having the player forget HMs... I think this is a bit silly. In Gen 3, you can't release the only Pokémon you have that knows a particular HM, like Surf for example. This is to prevent the player from ever becoming trapped, as they could easily do if they released their Fly and Surf Pokemon in Generation 1 on Cinnabar Island. Maybe if there was a way (and there probably is) of the game only letting you overwrite an HM onlyif you have another Pokémon with the HM already learned, I could see an argument for letting the players delete them then. Though, I also understand the argument of, "if you're given the freedom to delete them and you delete the only Pokemon in your party that knows Surf and you get trapped, that's your own fault." Though I don't like the idea of a player being able to trap themselves in the game.
---

Anyways! Those are all my thoughts for right now. I really want to see what you all think.
Remember: Keep this civil. There are no right or wrong answers. Asking for explanations on people's reasoning is totally fine. This is less of a debate and more of a discussion. Be respectful of the opinions of others.
Looking forward to your answers!
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  #2    
Old December 5th, 2017 (4:08 PM).
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They are important but it really sucks having to waste a spot with a HM Slave so no
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  #3    
Old December 5th, 2017 (4:11 PM).
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    I think it'd be nice if they were key items.
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      #4    
    Old December 5th, 2017 (4:12 PM).
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    Originally Posted by FaroreToC View Post
    I think it'd be nice if they were key items.
    I can understand that, but then what's the point of them existing beyond that point? They'd serve as a decoration in the environment that can always be bypassed by walking up to them and mashing A.
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    Old December 5th, 2017 (4:20 PM).
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      I can understand that, but then what's the point of them existing beyond that point? They'd serve as a decoration in the environment that can always be bypassed by walking up to them and mashing A.
      Other video games do that. Zelda does that quite frequently. For example in A Link to the Past you have the ability to pick up huge rocks that block your way. There are more heavier rocks that require something called the power glove that you find which mine as well be a key item in order to lift that particular rock and keep the item throughout in your inventory. I feel like it doesn't completely degrade the heavier rock concept because it still opens plenty of areas that you couldn't previously explore before that you might've been forced to ignore previously. It makes old areas somewhat new again.
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      Old December 5th, 2017 (4:28 PM).
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      I agree with the main post on basically every point.

      I think turning HMs into key items fundamentally misunderstands the philosophy of Pokémon games, which is that Pokémon are exceptional and you should want to use them at all times. I think this is the same reason why Sun and Moon didn't turn HMs into items the player uses but still achieved the same thing with Ride Pokémon by just making it other Trainers' Pokémon that help you overcome these obstacles instead of your own. I'd still argue that the decision to do so deviates from the point of raising Pokémon, and that your own Pokémon are your partners on your adventure, but I think it was a nice compromise (especially as it lets them add new roadblocks without necessarily having to create more weak moves that bloat movesets and the TM/HM list).
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        #7    
      Old December 5th, 2017 (4:34 PM).
      CynicalUnicorn CynicalUnicorn is offline
         
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Disturbed View Post
        I feel like this is a better alternative than various things like, "We're dancing here for literally no reason!"
        Not gonna lie though I thought that was funny when I ran into it.


        Quote:
        Though, I also want to say, I don't like them being used as a gatekeeper for progressing through the main areas of the game more than one time. What I mean by that is, say you cannot continue with your adventure because of a Cut tree. Once you acquire Cut, you're able to proceed. I don't like the idea of requiring Cut in order to proceed after that point,
        That's an interesting thought. Going through games in my head, I don't think RSE ever required Cut. FRLG did for Route 9 and Lt. Surge shortly after getting it, but also to block Erika's gym later in the game. Rock Smash in RSE was used on Route 111, but also many times in caves later in the game. I suppose when combined when Strength puzzles it's more justifiable (as you said later).

        Other HMs like Surf and Dive are fine an unlimited number of times, I'd say, since they introduce completely new maps. That leaves Waterfall then, which in Gen III I think is only ever required once each: Ever Grande City and Icefall Cave.


        Quote:
        Now, on the subject of having the player forget HMs... I think this is a bit silly. In Gen 3, you can't release the only Pokémon you have that knows a particular HM, like Surf for example. This is to prevent the player from ever becoming trapped, as they could easily do if they released their Fly and Surf Pokemon in Generation 1 on Cinnabar Island. Maybe if there was a way (and there probably is) of the game only letting you overwrite an HM onlyif you have another Pokémon with the HM already learned, I could see an argument for letting the players delete them then. Though, I also understand the argument of, "if you're given the freedom to delete them and you delete the only Pokemon in your party that knows Surf and you get trapped, that's your own fault." Though I don't like the idea of a player being able to trap themselves in the game.

        With the exception of Sootopolis in RSE, the only HM that should technically be required to prevent such a situation is Surf. HMs like Flash, Defog, and Fly, in my opinion, should be replaceable at any time; these are not required to progress through a map. Others such as Cut, Strength, or Rock Smash you can argue either way, but in my opinion I think they should be forced to stick around. Surf and Dive though should not be forgettable without the Move Deleter's assistance.
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          #8    
        Old December 5th, 2017 (4:36 PM).
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by FaroreToC View Post
        Other video games do that. Zelda does that quite frequently. For example in A Link to the Past you have the ability to pick up huge rocks that block your way. There are more heavier rocks that require something called the power glove that you find which mine as well be a key item in order to lift that particular rock and keep the item throughout in your inventory. I feel like it doesn't completely degrade the heavier rock concept because it still opens plenty of areas that you couldn't previously explore before that you might've been forced to ignore previously. It makes old areas somewhat new again.
        I can agree with this for the purpose of backtracking, but I feel like it'd ruin the purpose of including them in the future. Also having them function as shortcuts in later routes if you still keep them around is a really cool way to reward the player by making routes easier to traverse.
        But I do wonder if there's something we can do about it with backtracking, now.
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          #9    
        Old December 5th, 2017 (4:37 PM). Edited December 5th, 2017 by FBI.
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        I think HMs are sort of an older relic. It limits team building, and enforces a usually unwanted move into a move slot. For example, a special water type user may enjoy surf, but then sticking waterfall on it is less than ideal. Mono-x Pokemon team runs are also hindered. Also moves like Rock smash, cut, flash and Defog are outclassed after the first badge.

        On the point of clear story progression, I think that if you had some sort of item or Pokemon riding system, the player would still know that they can't come back to that zone until X item/method is learnt or obtained.

        And you can't get stuck, unless in situations where you get Surf before the fishing rods. If you flew somewhere and released your Fly mon, you still had to have gotten there some other way since you can only fly to known locations. If you surf somewhere and release your Mon, you can still catch a surf mon at the water you're trying to surf at, ect. I think it takes a lot of effort to get stuck somewhere.
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        Old December 5th, 2017 (4:44 PM).
        CynicalUnicorn CynicalUnicorn is offline
           
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by FBI View Post
          I think HMs are sort of an older relic. It limits team building, and enforces a usually unwanted move into a move slot. For example, a special water type user may enjoy surf, but then sticking waterfall on it is less than ideal.
          I'd argue that it's more useful with the Gen 4+ battle system to have Surf and Waterfall than previously, since the "wrong" category move could help out in a pinch. In the Gen 3 battle system there was a tiny advantage to having both moves in double battles, but in singles it was pointless. In Gen 2 it was entirely worthless, since there were no doubles and both moves were special; Surf was just stronger.

          The best way to fix HMs? Make them worth using on a team and don't let them waste a slot. Plus, in a hack, it's something entirely new for the player to discover, which is a fun bonus for a mechanic that largely went unchanged for over 20 years.
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            #11    
          Old December 5th, 2017 (4:55 PM). Edited December 5th, 2017 by FBI.
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          Quote:
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          I'd argue that it's more useful with the Gen 4+ battle system to have Surf and Waterfall than previously, since the "wrong" category move could help out in a pinch. In the Gen 3 battle system there was a tiny advantage to having both moves in double battles, but in singles it was pointless. In Gen 2 it was entirely worthless, since there were no doubles and both moves were special; Surf was just stronger.

          The best way to fix HMs? Make them worth using on a team and don't let them waste a slot. Plus, in a hack, it's something entirely new for the player to discover, which is a fun bonus for a mechanic that largely went unchanged for over 20 years.
          Depends on the Pokemon really. Something like Suicune, sure I can run two (it's still silly to do so..but OK). Something like Gyarados with over 2x atk than spatk won't want to do that. Also why can't my Gyarados swim in it's natural environment without learning a move? The whole premise seems a little silly to me. I'm speaking for a hack with PSS split added.

          Also making them worth using in the early game (without being overtuned) and worth using later on in the game is a hard hurdle to jump. The solution to me just seems to get rid of them for important game storylines and maybe have a few field moves with cool effects like Teleport/Dig/Softboiled ect.
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            #12    
          Old December 5th, 2017 (5:16 PM). Edited December 5th, 2017 by Disturbed.
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          Also why can't my Gyarados swim in it's natural environment without learning a move? The whole premise seems a little silly to me. I'm speaking for a hack with PSS split added.
          I honestly can't disagree with this.

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by CynicalUnicorn View Post
          With the exception of Sootopolis in RSE, the only HM that should technically be required to prevent such a situation is Surf. HMs like Flash, Defog, and Fly, in my opinion, should be replaceable at any time; these are not required to progress through a map. Others such as Cut, Strength, or Rock Smash you can argue either way, but in my opinion I think they should be forced to stick around. Surf and Dive though should not be forgettable without the Move Deleter's assistance.
          I like the idea of making Surf not forgettable but maybe making the others forgettable. Strength and Dive as well, perhaps.
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            #13    
          Old December 6th, 2017 (3:49 PM).
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            I always loved the idea of Pokemon being used to interact more with the overworld (getting around, removing obstacles, finding things, etc.). Pokemon have such a vast array of abilities, I can imagine in a world inhabitted by them, they would be really useful for everyday things.

            That said, I don't like how HMs are taught to Pokemon and use move slots. If I were to put time into it, I'd make a game where Pokemon have the ability aready (depending on which Pokemon it is) regardless of their moveset.
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              #14    
            Old December 6th, 2017 (9:40 PM).
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              Oooh HMs, my favorite topic!

              I *love* the concept of using your Pokemon's natural abilities to interact with the environment,and overcome obstacles that a human couldn't by themselves. I think it makes Pokemon's overworld feel different from just any generic other RPG overworld.

              While I'm not a fan of HM being moves (more on that later), I actually am a big fan of the way they challenge you to think ahead and put together a team of Pokemon with a diverse set of abilities. If you want to explore the entire region, then you need a Pokemon with each overworld ability - or you can compromise and change up your team for particular excursions. Maybe you temporarily switch out one of your members for one who can Cut down trees before you journey into a forest, or one who can Rock Climb as you head up a mountain. I think it's close to how exploration would work in an actual Pokemon world, and adds an element of strategy into the game, rather than just building your team from the strongest Pokemon you find.

              But I think the implementation of HMs as moves is not a great choice. Many of them are terrible moves (Flash, Rock Smash), some are redundant (Surf, Waterfall, maybe Dive), and they take up moveslots you'd rather use for better moves. It also restricts your team options, since only certain Pokemon can learn each move, and it's a struggle to come up with combinations that fit everything you need into your team. In addition, not being able to forget them easily is just inconvenient.

              I built a hack (based hugely on FBI's work) that changes FireRed's HM system to allow you to use HM moves in the overworld if you have Pokemon of certain types in your party, rather than if you actually have the moves (for example, if you have a Water-type, you can Surf). In my mind, it more closely mirrors the way this overworld interaction would take place in a real Pokemon world, in addition to solving the problem of having to dedicate moveslots to often-useless moves, while still retaining the team-designing challenge (forcing you to use many different types).
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                #15    
              Old December 6th, 2017 (9:51 PM).
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              Quote:
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              I think it's close to how exploration would work in an actual Pokemon world, and adds an element of strategy into the game, rather than just building your team from the strongest Pokemon you find.
              I love how you put this actually, and agree 100%
              Quote:
              I built a hack (based hugely on FBI's work) that changes FireRed's HM system to allow you to use HM moves in the overworld if you have Pokemon of certain types in your party, rather than if you actually have the moves (for example, if you have a Water-type, you can Surf). In my mind, it more closely mirrors the way this overworld interaction would take place in a real Pokemon world, in addition to solving the problem of having to dedicate moveslots to often-useless moves, while still retaining the team-designing challenge (forcing you to use many different types).
              I feel like that would work really well with fighting types knowing Rock Smash or Strength, water types knowing surf...
              It almost might work to make it instead of specific types, specific Pokémon could also use them in the field without needing to train them. Like, it just makes sense for a Pokémon like Lapras to always be able to ferry you around the water.
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                #16    
              Old December 7th, 2017 (12:53 AM).
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                alter he moves so they don't suck make cut 80 with critical hit, rock smash 55 damage, surf is actually good, give fly 90 , etc etc make the hms like a great gift , not a curse
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                  #17    
                Old December 7th, 2017 (12:55 AM). Edited December 7th, 2017 by Arma.
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                I actually thinks HMs are a bad thing to have in hacks, or fangames in general. The concept has been used thoroughly enough in the official games, I'd like to see something new in hacks. I actually think they remove a lot of strategy/creativity from the game, since you're forced to carry around the same 6 or so moves every godforsaken playthrough.

                In the end, Hms are used as roadblocks in games, and I think everyone who's developing their own fan-game should have to creativity to come up with something more interesting than "this skinny tree looks like it can be cut down".
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                Old December 7th, 2017 (4:09 AM).
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                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Disturbed View Post
                  HMs. What do you guys think about them? Do you think they are worth putting in hacks? Why or why not? Also, do you think making it easier for the players to make their Pokémon forget them is a good idea?
                  1) What do you guys think about them?
                  From an In-Game perspective? I think they're fine. They're obstacles that makes your team relevant outside of battles. You have to teach a specific move to one of your Pokémon so it'll be able to help you when you need to cross or get rid of a certain obstacle.

                  2) Do you think they are worth putting in hacks? Why or why not?
                  I don't see a reason not to put them in at least one form because removing them, is giving the Pokémon less chances of existing. I mean, without the HMs, they're just our tools for fights, that's it.

                  I would personally put them normally, but would also make an alternative like PokeMMO did with its Ocarinas, only obtainable in the Post Game.

                  3) Also, do you think making it easier for the players to make their Pokémon forget them is a good idea?
                  Well, we have already discussed this in the Community Discord and I personally think that as long as you're sure that the Player will not get stuck ANYWHERE, it is a good idea to allow the Player to manually forget some HMs without having to use a Move Deleter's services, mostly because going to the Move Deleter's house is nothing but a literal waste of time.
                  That's all there is to it, same thing that happens with the 2 Bikes situation in RSE.

                  Things like Surf would be an exception though, because assuming that you can remove them at will, it wouldn't make sense if the player decided to replace his dear Blastoise's Surf with.. I don't know, let's say Water Pulse WHILE he's surfing.
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                  Old December 8th, 2017 (4:40 PM).
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                  I wanted to take a moment and say that I really appreciate all the amazing feedback all of you have provided, even if it disagreed with my opinion. This is definitely all useful information, so thanks for responding so awesomely!

                  Except FBI. He's bad and his opinion is bad.
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                    #20    
                  Old April 11th, 2018 (3:02 AM).
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                    I think the way to overcome the fact that the HM move is taking up a move slot, but still use it's benefit in overworld interaction is to:

                    1. Include a move deleter in every town
                    2. Include a move rememberer in every town

                    I think this is a good solution.
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                      #21    
                    Old April 24th, 2018 (3:08 AM). Edited April 24th, 2018 by Chillywray.
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                      Since Ruby and Sapphire came out I've always thought why can't we have an additional move slot for over world interaction that can't be used in battle, so then you have to weigh up whether or not to use a HM such as surf in battle or have it set as an over world move.

                      I'm glad that this a similar idea played out with the page ride in the newer games.
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                        #22    
                      Old April 24th, 2018 (3:37 PM).
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                      I don't think they're needed at all.

                      Just make everything you can't reach by a certain point surrounded by water (Surf is at least a good move) or just don't have them interactive until a later part in the story, ie what GTA did, finally, with V. You can access the whole map, but stuff to do in them doesn't actually happen until you progress through the story.

                      If they have to have them, go back to my first idea at least make them ALL moves people don't mind using.
                      Right now people only care about Surf or Waterfall, with Fly being somewhere in the middle.

                      The others are just simply terrible by every definition.
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                        #23    
                      Old May 1st, 2018 (4:08 AM). Edited May 1st, 2018 by MegaWeedle.
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                        HMs have always bugged me, mostly because most of them just arn't very good moves. Surf and Fly are excellent (though the former sucks if you've got a Water type with poor SA, like Gyarados), Strength and Waterfall quite good (but there's no point having both WF and Surf), but then you have the thoroughly mediocre Cut and Rock Smash and the virtually useless Flash. And I can't even remember whether Rock Climb or Dive were any good. Yes, you can use HM Slaves and the Move Deleter, but it all still results in having a sub-par team for large swathes of the game, and often having to miss out on good moves learnt through level-up because the slot was taken up by bloody Cut or something. It's particularly frustrating during something like fighting Red in the original Gold and Silver games - in a fight where you want to have the most optimal team possible, you have to have Flash, and at least two or three other HMs, just to even reach him.

                        I have no idea if this is feasable or not to implement in a hack, but what I always wanted to see future Pokemon games do was essentially seperate the in-battle element of a HM from the out-of-battle element. So, when you teach a HM to a Pokemon, it gets the ability to fly or carry you across water or move rocks or whatever, but doesn't learn a new move. Meanwhile, the actual moves are just regular TMs or moves learnt in battle, with either the HM ability or the move being renamed.

                        I suppose Sun & Moon already more-or-less did this with the Pokerides, but - while they were certainly a a big improvement over HMs - I think they really missed a trick by not letting you ride Pokemon on your team.

                        What I've seen some hacks do is just up the power of the less useful HMs to make the slots they take up seem less wasted. Some have also changed the typing - ie. making Cut a grass-type move. That seems the most elegant solution if you want to makes HMs more viable without putting too much work in.

                        (Incidentally, while we're talking about altering and/or renaming HMs, one thing I'd like to see in a future Pokemon game is changing Teleport to function like Fly, with Fly working like riding on Latios in ORAS.)
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                          #24    
                        Old May 1st, 2018 (8:58 AM).
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                          I understand that they can be extremely useful as gatekeepers that will stop you from going to the route you should not be going yet, and I understand that for some people it's an awesome thing that your Pokemon help you advance even out of battle, but Gen 7 created an amazing thing that combined those two features, along with the "a tool to find secret / or not accessable items) with Poke Ride. It's why a lot of people love those. Also, a "device" that could operate all the HM moves could be a replacement, but it leaves Pokemon off the table.

                          But, come to think of it, I don't have any experience when it comes to "adding something new" to the games, but I would think that in terms of coding this must be a hard task to accomplish, probably even impossible. It was in the last generation's mechanics after all, so either there should be an alternative, or improved/better versions of HMs.

                          As a person who doesn't like HMs, they are not much of a problem if you minimize them/make the actual moves "useful" and give an ability to forget them easily. Surf, Fly even Waterfall. I don't feel bad when I teach Surf to my SpA-based water pokemon, or to my Helioptile as a coverage, but Rock Smash, Cut etc. are inefficient in the long turn. I don't think anyone would prefer using Cut in any other way than passing a block to collect an item or continue the journey. A world without HMs would be stale for some people. I love it when I fly with my Talonflame instead of an airplane. Keeping only the useful HMs is not a good option either, because "usefulness" is an objective term. A person could rather Hydro Pump, or use Brave Bird/Acrobatics instead of 2-turn Fly. The best suggestion would be, as MegaWeedle said, HMs being out-of-battle moves.

                          In this case, they can either be learnt like usual HMs, or make some Pokemon already have the ability to cut a tree instead of requiring the move "Cut"to do so. When it comes to their obtaining those, it could be "teach" from experienced trainers all over the world instead of giving you a HM. For example, you have a level 9 Scyther who has arms suiting the cutting, but it won't cut unless you know how to cut trees by commanding/using your Pokemon. After you learn something about that, or even get an item in shape of book etc. for that, all the Pokemon that can learn Cut as a HM will be able to cut that tree.

                          As I said, I don't know if it's possible or not, but it would be a dream thing for me. I would even be happy if that was the case in Switch game. Seeing this in a hacked rom would make it unique, and I'd definitely start playing it.

                          Otherwise, just make HM's forgettable and TM's reusable. So you can change a move to HM and TM when necessary, which saves a lot.
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                          Old May 1st, 2018 (10:28 AM). Edited May 1st, 2018 by Enpatsu Shakugan.
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                          Quote:
                          Originally Posted by Seff View Post

                          Otherwise, just make HM's forgettable and TM's reusable. So you can change a move to HM and TM when necessary, which saves a lot.
                          They've basically done that already, just not the easy to forget bits. There's literally no purpose in keeping that. It's just a way to piss everyone off.

                          Keep trade restrictions in place (ie, you can't send over HMs to ruin someone's game), but there's literally no reason why HMs can't be easily forgotten like any other move. Literally none, apart from just being an intentional inconvenience.

                          I personally think that's why they're so hated. If they were just regular moves, I think a lot of people would be more accepting.
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