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Thread: TMs and HMs

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    Default TMs and HMs

    TMs have evolved drastically since Pokemon's conception. From the sheer number of them to the fact that they can be used infinitely now to the fact that they are almost the only items found in the overworld that are distinguishable from other items. They have become such an integral part of the Pokemon world that traveling the regions without them sounds impossible. Some are even pseudo-HMs (such as Flash) that is heavily relied upon in certain areas but is readily removable if unneeded.

    HMs, however, are almost the opposite. You literally can't travel the regions without them, even if you want to. These hidden machines have hardly evolved since day one in Kanto. Especially the main ones. Surf, Fly, Strength, and Cut will forever remain as integral parts of the storyline and have forever. Some new ones like Waterfall have joined that group but weren't around in the beginning. Then there's Rock Smash, which started out as unremovable from your attack list to optional and then back to unremovable. Add Dive and Defog to the group, HMs that are practically exclusive to their native regions.

    But there are questions to be asked in regards to these systems and opinions to be had about them and I'm curious to hear yours.

    My thoughts, for example:
    -It seems as though they are finding ways around HMs in certain scenarios, such as Soaring. It is now unnecessary to have a Pokemon with Fly on your team to travel around the region. Granted, because of the cut scene, this process takes much longer and has a lot more to it than just flying back and forth to towns and routes. What do you think about it completely replacing Fly or your thoughts on Soaring in general?

    -What are your thoughts about HMs that have changed status like Rock Smash? I, for one, found it very convenient to be able to delete the attack whenever I felt like it, but I also realize that it did not serve a storyline purpose in Kalos like it does in Hoenn (see: Rusturf Tunnel, Route 111). How did you feel about its changed status? Did it make you feel as though HMs really weren't necessary to be unremovable?

    -TMs becoming of infinite use is one of the greatest upgrades in the game's history. However, in some ways, it accompanies the new Exp Share in the sense that it has made the game very much easier. For example, challenging the Elite Four was a daunting task before Unova. You had to make sure you had enough Elixirs and Ethers to replenish your PP before you made it through the Champion. Nowadays, however, you can easily and infinitely replace your PP by reteaching your Pokemon the same attack, thus making the Elite Four not as difficult. Just one situation off the top of my head, but there are more that exist. What are your thoughts on how the infinite TM system has positively and/or negatively affected your gameplay experience?

    -My final thought for the moment is this: Is there a method to the TM numbering system? I personally have never heard a reason the TMs are numbered the way they are, but there must be something. And I would love to know. I am a stickler for organization, and I do love that I can reorder my TMs by number or name in my bag, but I want to know why they are not grouped alphabetically by default. They clearly aren't ordered by which ones you can find earliest and on. They aren't organized by type. They aren't organized in a physical/special manner. So, what is the case?

    Anyways, ask your questions, voice your opinions, argue your cases, answer my questions if you have a valid/official response, etc. Discuss TMs and HMs.
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    I love Soar. It's really enjoyable for me to be able to actively fly above the region on a Pokémon while dashing and gaining/losing altitude as I please on the way to my destination or while I'm just goofing around on Latios' back. I do wish that the option was available for more Pokémon with the ability to fly, however. I don't think it should completely replace Fly, though(I.e: Fly being scrapped altogether, which I don't think will happen anyway). I wish Soar was more likely to stay in the series after ORAS but I feel like it'll probably be gone.

    I kind of wish that the HMs were put into the Key Item pocket and only brought up when needed, making it unnecessary for Pokémon to actually learn them(though the option to permanently teach the move should still be available). They would essentially work the same way as they do now just without taking up move slots on your team. All you would need is a Pokémon that can use the move(which should be checkable using the items themselves, and the number of teachable Pokémon for certain HMs should be increased a bit). I'm imagining it being a bit like field moves from Pokémon Ranger.
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    Soaring was way cooler to me at first than it is now, but I still like it. I would honestly use it much more if I could bypass the cutscene.
    I agree about Fly not being scrapped. It's been too big a part of the series for so long. But I still want Soaring to stay and with more available Pokemon like you said.
    Surely they can come up with a way to change the HM system. If they can change the TM system so drastically (infinite use thing), I don't see why they can't change the HM system to accommodate the player.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokeBroKing View Post
    My thoughts, for example:
    -It seems as though they are finding ways around HMs in certain scenarios, such as Soaring. It is now unnecessary to have a Pokemon with Fly on your team to travel around the region. Granted, because of the cut scene, this process takes much longer and has a lot more to it than just flying back and forth to towns and routes. What do you think about it completely replacing Fly or your thoughts on Soaring in general?
    I'd like Fly and Soaring to both remain, both are great. (Sadly though knowing game freak and the habit of dropping features, soaring may get the boot next game...). Fly being able to be used on Routes is amazing now, and should remain the case.
    -What are your thoughts about HMs that have changed status like Rock Smash? I, for one, found it very convenient to be able to delete the attack whenever I felt like it, but I also realize that it did not serve a storyline purpose in Kalos like it does in Hoenn (see: Rusturf Tunnel, Route 111). How did you feel about its changed status? Did it make you feel as though HMs really weren't necessary to be unremovable?
    HMs imo certainly need a revamp. Require say that the ability to use it on the overworld cannot be truly 'forgotten' by the Pokemon even if it is removed from the movepool, for instance, or can be optionally a '5th move' (so usable on the overworld, but not in battles). The base idea for it should remain; the game is about commanding creatures with powers after all so you should use them to overcome obstacles! But it needs some improvements. Other improvements also - could Cut trees stay cut? Strength rocks can now be permanently moved, but rock smash and cut trees respawn the instant you leave the route. Annoying for when you say want to go north of Mauville.

    -TMs becoming of infinite use is one of the greatest upgrades in the game's history. However, in some ways, it accompanies the new Exp Share in the sense that it has made the game very much easier. For example, challenging the Elite Four was a daunting task before Unova. You had to make sure you had enough Elixirs and Ethers to replenish your PP before you made it through the Champion. Nowadays, however, you can easily and infinitely replace your PP by reteaching your Pokemon the same attack, thus making the Elite Four not as difficult. Just one situation off the top of my head, but there are more that exist. What are your thoughts on how the infinite TM system has positively and/or negatively affected your gameplay experience?
    Minor negative points tbh, especially as it's a far better problem than that of 'my Pokemon doesn't learn any good moves for ages'. They could always say apply a restriction to being able to use TMs when in the league itself, and ever since 3rd gen you could grow your PP-restoring berries anyway.

    No idea about the numbering system myself, except maybe that it comes from the Japanese names of the moves and is sorted like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
    I'd like Fly and Soaring to both remain, both are great. (Sadly though knowing game freak and the habit of dropping features, soaring may get the boot next game...). Fly being able to be used on Routes is amazing now, and should remain the case.
    HMs imo certainly need a revamp. Require say that the ability to use it on the overworld cannot be truly 'forgotten' by the Pokemon even if it is removed from the movepool, for instance, or can be optionally a '5th move' (so usable on the overworld, but not in battles). The base idea for it should remain; the game is about commanding creatures with powers after all so you should use them to overcome obstacles! But it needs some improvements. Other improvements also - could Cut trees stay cut? Strength rocks can now be permanently moved, but rock smash and cut trees respawn the instant you leave the route. Annoying for when you say want to go north of Mauville.
    I like the inherent overworld ability you mentioned. For obvious reasons, I like having certain HMs available as attacks (Surf, Strength, Waterfall), so I would love it if they became TMs in the event that HMs converted to simple inherent abilities.

    Minor negative points tbh, especially as it's a far better problem than that of 'my Pokemon doesn't learn any good moves for ages'. They could always say apply a restriction to being able to use TMs when in the league itself, and ever since 3rd gen you could grow your PP-restoring berries anyway.
    I don't know that I've ever been so annoyed with myself. Never once in my original Sapphire playthroughs did I think about harvesting PP-restoring berries. I knew they existed, sure. But I was so focused on completing the storyline that I hardly ever took the time to farm any berries. No wonder the Hoenn E4 always gave me a hard time as a kid, sheesh.
    Agreed that there are very few (if any, now that you bring that up) drawbacks to the infinite TM system.

    No idea about the numbering system myself, except maybe that it comes from the Japanese names of the moves and is sorted like that.
    That would make sense. I'll investigate that.
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    Fly is more convenient but Soaring is more fun, I don't really know what I like better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dontkilldyl View Post
    Fly is more convenient but Soaring is more fun, I don't really know what I like better.
    Both are pretty handy for different situations.

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    IDK. In my ideal games, Pokemon would have a Utility slot, for such field moves, that they naturally have, such as any decent-sized Flying type getting Fly, decent-sized Water types getting Surf and either Dive or Waterfall, most pokemon with decent physical strength getting Strength and Rock Smash, pokemon with sharp talons/claws getting Cut, etc. etc. 'Decent sized' meaning you ain't flying around on Pidgeys, or Surfing on Poliwags and the like.

    Or at least they could make Cut a field TM, like they did with Rock Smash.
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    Personally, I think your character him/herself should be able to learn skills to replace HMs post-story, like being able to swim rather than surf, or learning how to break Rock Smash boulders from some Black Belt guy or something. I mean there's numerous references in the games to human characters being able to do these things, why not your player?
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    I think that Fly should gain the same usage as Soar in future generations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    Personally, I think your character him/herself should be able to learn skills to replace HMs post-story, like being able to swim rather than surf, or learning how to break Rock Smash boulders from some Black Belt guy or something. I mean there's numerous references in the games to human characters being able to do these things, why not your player?
    Because your player is supposedly 10 years old. How many 10 year olds can break rocks?
    Despite this though, you do save the world pretty much single-handedly...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironthunder1604 View Post
    Because your player is supposedly 10 years old. How many 10 year olds can break rocks?
    Despite this though, you do save the world pretty much single-handedly...
    I foresaw this argument and was about to bring up the fact that your character fearlessly jumps onto the back of a godzilla monster with the power to torch the world and rides it through a lava river to a power nexus and fights said monster after it absorbs the power, but I guess you did that for me...


    An alternative would be to introduce key items like a rock hammer and a machete to clear Rock Smash rocks and Cut trees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missingno.Fan View Post
    I think that Fly should gain the same usage as Soar in future generations.
    I'd love to see this. With a special model for each Pokemon that learns Fly. However, in the options menu, there should be a "Soar Animation On/Off" for quicker transportation. But, yeah, I'd love to see this.

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    As I said before, I agree with the idea that HMs can and should be replaced by key items. While this might "screw up" the in-game usage of weaker Pokémon, we can give other reasons to use weaker Pokémon.

    As for TM numbering, there are several reasons, I don't think the current list has any order since it is a reorganization of the Gen V TM list, which is an reorganization of Gen IV list, which were an addition of Gen III TMs etc. so on and so forth. BUt I agree that there should be an option to reorganize them according to other elements such as type, alphabetical order, category etc.
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    Well I haven't played ORAS so I can't really comment much on Soar, but from the sounds of things I wouldn't expect it in any non-Hoenn game except maybe the next Kalos game.

    In general though, I think the best solution to the HM problem is to rethink how movesets work. We're expected to choose 4 moves to be used in battle, on the field, in contests, etc., and that doesn't really work. They should implement some type of multiple moveset system so that you don't have to sacrifice a battle move slot just to explore the damn overworld.

    I also think that HMs should have some type of greater function as opposed to being just simple obstacles. What I mean by that is they shouldn't just have random obstacles that only exist to block progress, that's pretty pointless. Cut and Waterfall are good examples of this, they don't really add anything to the overworld, they're just there to block your progress. As opposed to something like Surf or Strength which actually adds something to the gameplay or level design (Surf adds a completely new method of transportation and a new way to encounter Pokemon, Strength is used to create puzzles and more recently to create a temporary one way roadblock).

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    Personally, I think your character him/herself should be able to learn skills to replace HMs post-story, like being able to swim rather than surf, or learning how to break Rock Smash boulders from some Black Belt guy or something. I mean there's numerous references in the games to human characters being able to do these things, why not your player?
    I think the point of HMs is to show people and Pokemon working together. It sort of defeats the purpose if the player can go everywhere by themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolt the Cat View Post

    I think the point of HMs is to show people and Pokemon working together. It sort of defeats the purpose if the player can go everywhere by themselves.
    That's why I explicitly said post-game. Once you're finished with the storyline there's no reason why you should have to carry HM slaves if you want to go anywhere, so implementing alternatives as a matter of convenience's sake would be good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    That's why I explicitly said post-game. Once you're finished with the storyline there's no reason why you should have to carry HM slaves if you want to go anywhere, so implementing alternatives as a matter of convenience's sake would be good.
    Doesn't matter, it breaks the idea regardless of what part of the game it's in.
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    I'd rather just see HM moves be considered "innate," with any Pokemon capable of learning the required field move capable of using it without having it in its moveset (provided you have the correct Badge). Implementation would probably be funky with the legacy mechanics already in place, but it seems like the simplest solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    Personally, I think your character him/herself should be able to learn skills to replace HMs post-story, like being able to swim rather than surf, or learning how to break Rock Smash boulders from some Black Belt guy or something. I mean there's numerous references in the games to human characters being able to do these things, why not your player?
    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    That's why I explicitly said post-game. Once you're finished with the storyline there's no reason why you should have to carry HM slaves if you want to go anywhere, so implementing alternatives as a matter of convenience's sake would be good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bolt the Cat View Post
    Doesn't matter, it breaks the idea regardless of what part of the game it's in.
    Got to agree with the latter quote. Dropping it post game and giving your character a hammer or machete or whatnot to bypass these obstacles diminishes the point of 'you control creatures with powers', which is... the game. You use the Pokemon to travel oceans, make it through forests and caves, and so forth. It doesn't make sense to drop that whole theme postgame - there's no reason for your character to become like Link or something. I agree that HMs could be implemented better, but that way doesn't make sense for the Pokemon world nor the theme.

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    It does seem to break the working together aspect, though it would give you more freedom to pick your ideal team. But, saving the world aside (and the weirdos who give you vacation homes/malls/ect), who in their right mind would hand a 10 year old stranger a machete? I get some kids learn to hunt/forage young and can handle guns/knives, but there's some adults I wouldn't trust with a machete.

    The slot idea wouldn't be too bad, my Seaking is currently carrying all the water HMs, and it's frustrating when he levels up and wants to learn new moves, because I can't just say yes. I'd have to go get moves deleted and remembered.

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    Agreeing with Excitable Boy that HMs can be retooled to allow Pokemon to use their field abilities without knowing the move once you have the apporiate badge. There is still the option to teach to your Pokemon if you want to use it in battle however though Surf, Waterfall and to some extend Strength are the only ones worth using in battle.

    Soaring over Fly is also cool though the Soar feature will likely be restricted to Pokemon large enough to carry a human. (You would probably look silly Soaring on a Pidgey or Tailow).

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    Quote Originally Posted by VampirateMace View Post
    But, saving the world aside (and the weirdos who give you vacation homes/malls/ect), who in their right mind would hand a 10 year old stranger a machete? I get some kids learn to hunt/forage young and can handle guns/knives, but there's some adults I wouldn't trust with a machete.
    Alright, I understand the "Pokemon games should be about Pokemon" argument but this argument makes no sense. I noticed you said "saving the world aside" but that's like a convicted murderer saying "well, that murder aside, I'm a perfectly good law-abiding person!", cause no one in their right mind would make a ten year old kid chase a monster through a lava filled cave and then fight it. Fighting Groudon/Kyogre > being responsible enough to handle a machete or a rock hammer. Or if a machete really bothers people so much, there's a number of other tools that could do the job as well, like garden shears or something.

    But I do kind of understand where Bolt the Cat is coming from even if I don't necessarily agree with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post

    An alternative would be to introduce key items like a rock hammer and a machete to clear Rock Smash rocks and Cut trees.
    People mentioning key items here need to realize that Pokemon are far too awesome to have their moves replaced by some random items.And I don't get the hate moves like Surf and Waterfall get,if anything,they're the best Water moves in the game.Now that some Pokemon have their own unique Surf models,maybe someday every single surfing Pokemon will receive this treatment.
    That being said,I'd like the field moves to have a separate slot,since moves like Strength(even with the new mechanic)and Rock Smash aren't good in battle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Retribution View Post
    Alright, I understand the "Pokemon games should be about Pokemon" argument but this argument makes no sense. I noticed you said "saving the world aside" but that's like a convicted murderer saying "well, that murder aside, I'm a perfectly good law-abiding person!", cause no one in their right mind would make a ten year old kid chase a monster through a lava filled cave and then fight it. Fighting Groudon/Kyogre > being responsible enough to handle a machete or a rock hammer. Or if a machete really bothers people so much, there's a number of other tools that could do the job as well, like garden shears or something.

    But I do kind of understand where Bolt the Cat is coming from even if I don't necessarily agree with it.
    Clearly, the fact that I was mentioning reasons we can assume the hero wouldn't cut off their own hand, was lost on you. But my point was that 99% of the NPC do not know your character, so for them to assume they can give a child a machete is pretty much lunacy. But you've brought up another good point, with the game corner gone, and gun related episodes of the anime banned, we can assume a machete (which doubles as a weapon) is not appropriate for the game. - I can see garden shears, but it still violates the working together aspect.
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    To top it all off, I think people in the Pokemon video games have foregone the use of items like machetes for doing mundane tasks. Instead, they use Pokemon. After all, why would you waste money on a machete if your Pokemon can cut trees in the first place? Though it might be absurd to consider, I think it's valid in a world where magical, powerful monsters roam.

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