Special Event: Blaseball Season 4
August 27, 2020 7:29 AM - Subscribe

Well, here we are, most of the way through season 4 of Blaseball's regular season but with a lot of games left to go and pretty much everybody still having at least a slim shot at a playoff slot. Eat some peanuts—carefully—and let's talk blases and balls.

q*ben proposed a weekly Special Event per season, which I think sounds great, so we're giving it a shot!
posted by cortex (39 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For my part, as a lifelong Shoe Thieves fan, it's been a season of drama and occasional heartbreak; the ominous Feedback effect new to this season has seen us losing a couple of our players in unexpected mid-game swaps. Morrow Doyle, author of the Grand Unslam that broke the blaseball universe last season, has gone to another team; more devastating still, Workman "9 to 5" Gloom was swapped and is no longer playing on the same team as his dog Beasley Gloom. We brought on Hotbox Sato and Joe Voorhees respectively in the feedback events and they're both settling in well in the Shoes clubhouse, but it's been an emotional rollercoaster.

Shoes are currently scrapping for a playoff slot, riding around fifth in the Good League and needing to up it to fourth to get into the post-season. Our pitching staff is...pretty rough. Gunther O'Brian is a penguin who doesn't know how to throw a ball. But we've got a chance. We've got moxie. We've got heart. We've got everybody else's shoes.
posted by cortex at 8:08 AM on August 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm new to blaseball this season! Picking a team was HARD. Nothing was really speaking to me, I definitely wanted to stay on the Good side. Wound up going with Yellowstone Magic, and finally got into the Discord (thanks cortex) yesterday. Lots of team chatter about how to prioritize their blessing votes, there's some interesting kinda-drama going on with other teams proposing decree or blessing pacts? So many people don't do anything in the Discord at all so I'm not sure how that would work in a practical sense when you have thousands of people voting.

Are there stats somewhere for which teams have the most fans?

Starting to work through the Magic fandom and liking a lot of the players people have come up with, but I'm not getting attached to anyone between Feedback and incinerations.
posted by curious nu at 8:22 AM on August 27, 2020

I made an account last season but this is my first season actually paying attention and I've been very into it this week. The Hellmouth Beams are struggling pretty badly but hanging out in the team Discord is fun, I like that everyone's cheerful and that all of our losses are just met with "Ah well... next time!" and then everyone's back to cheering for the next game.

One of our best hitters is Emmett Internet, leading to "THE Internet CONNECTS!!" cheers. Good times, good times.
posted by frenetic at 9:14 AM on August 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm finding I don't really want to bet, but I DO want to help my team, so.. I think I'm going to try and max out my passive income and then just spend that at elections as it comes up.
posted by curious nu at 9:30 AM on August 27, 2020

In the spirit of the game, I rolled a D20 to pick my team and came with with... the Mexico City Wild Wings. Which had a really great first day and every subsequent day has been bad. But hey, I'm a lifelong Cubs fan, this is a very comfortable position for me.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:31 AM on August 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

The tension between fandom stuff and the incineration / trading is really interesting to me - I think it parallels the, um, complicated relationship a lot of hardcore sports people have to athletes and teams. Someone on twitter pointed out this actually makes the fandom content generation more accessible to new players due to churn. I'm interested to see how this plays out over the next few months as it's been a wild ride over 4 weeks and it doesn't seem sustainable. Not that it needs to be - actually one of the great things is how this was a super low-investment project and thus doesn't need to have a million people putting nickels in the machine for 3 years to pay off.

Also, The Commissioner who is doing a great job is a great invention to lampshade the "sports-journalism-that-is-really-labor-journalism" aspect of most major league sports coverage (not to mention the NCAA). Whoever is writing their twitter posts is writing a really unique, interesting character and the tone is spot on.

In short, fresh breath fresh breath / death death death death.
posted by q*ben at 9:50 AM on August 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also need to admit that after every betting round I eat two peanuts for luck. Brings me back to my little league luck habits - Baseball and OCD are not great bedfellows...
posted by q*ben at 9:52 AM on August 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Couple of notable things today:

1. Blaseball went on sudden Siesta last night, around 6 p.m. pacific, as a note of solidarity with the various major league strikes happening yesterday re: Kenosha and related real-world events.

2. When play resumed this morning, the Microphone responsible for Feedback events that swap players between teams was...turned off? Stolen? Not clear. But as a result there have been I think no feedback events today, which is great if you don't to suddenly lose a player but also vaguely ominous the way bad things not happening in Blaseball kind of always feels ominous.
posted by cortex at 3:43 PM on August 27, 2020

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat even is
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:11 AM on August 28, 2020

So here we are, 12 games from the end of the season, and Blaseball is currently on a Siesta! Which, in exciting news, has an actual cute sleepy animation page that says "Siesta" now whereas it used to just have e.g. a 502 Bad Gateway server error page. (More on the Bad Gateway on the fandom wiki. Because of course it has lore.)

If you're new to Blaseball, a siesta is site downtime. It lasts until its over, and then things pick back up. This particular siesta came on suddenly a bit earlier in a scary way: games stopped suddenly and then people were getting "account not found" errors when trying to reload. Probably just a service issue and not a mass incineration of the entire fanbase! But we'll find out after the siesta. A lot of people freaking out right now.
posted by cortex at 10:45 AM on August 28, 2020

I my list of Things Neat About Blaseball is how completely the technical shortfalls have become part of gameplay. Bad Gateway, the peanut shenanigans, "siestas", the Grand Unslam. When there's no way that the game is *supposed* to go then the game is always going the way it's *supposed* to go.

I've also noticed that feedback, peanut reactions and incinerations always seem to increase at the end of the day...
posted by q*ben at 10:57 AM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've been reading about this and ready to throw myself into this. Sounds great.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:10 PM on August 28, 2020

Was tweeting earlier some thoughts about Blaseball as a proxy for living through 2020.
posted by cortex at 1:17 PM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seeing some wEiRd behavior post-siesta over here, all the odds are 50/50 and occasionally getting a spinning peanut instead of a spinning blaseball for the idle animation...
posted by q*ben at 1:24 PM on August 28, 2020

I think this is a clue.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:30 PM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah, there was some data loss during the big Siesta earlier, it turns out; they doubled everybody's coins as an apology (so most folks came out ahead) and also the odds weren't calced for day 89 ahead of time. Day 90 has proper odds again, so things look steadier now.
posted by cortex at 2:18 PM on August 28, 2020

I saw a team with a 75% chance of winning, which is the highest I can remember seeing. I figured they capped it at 70-30.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:29 PM on August 28, 2020

I saw 75% a couple of times yesterday. I want to say I saw a 77% but can't swear to it.

I bet on those favored teams each time and lost big!
posted by curious nu at 2:47 PM on August 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Post-season kicking off!
posted by curious nu at 6:13 AM on August 29, 2020

Also cortex I was very sorry to hear about Doyle this morning.
posted by curious nu at 6:21 AM on August 29, 2020

Doyle was a good player and a heck of a universe-unraveler and I will miss them.
posted by cortex at 7:50 AM on August 29, 2020

Aw cheese, Shoe Thieves are out of the playoffs after game four of the quarters vs. the (decidedly fearsome) Chicago Firefighters. That we got into the playoffs at all is a testament to Shoes resilience, after losing three core players during the season, and the game that clinched our playoff spot was a win by Gunther, his first win in 18 straight games. Humongous love and excitement in the discord Shoes chat last night for that.

I made a video game for Gunther the other day, Gunther O'Brian's Pitching Simulator, and I'd like to think that's what got him over the hump for that game. He lost his playoff appearance and gave up 13 runs in the process, but he had fun and it's o_o okay.
posted by cortex at 10:16 AM on August 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Really not liking the Tigers at the moment.
posted by nubs at 10:47 AM on August 29, 2020

What are people voting for? That "break up the Tigers" one seems popular on Reddit but this is Blaseball so I suspect a monkey's paw sort of thing.

(Mills fan here — they're down 2-1 in the Good League Championship Series but either way that goes it's been fun.)
posted by Ampersand692 at 1:33 PM on August 29, 2020

The hand drawn brackets are cute but could they move a playoff standings page up their dev list?

Definitely the pico game crossed thru the ether and upped Gunther’s stats. That’s like nether internet 101
posted by q*ben at 1:34 PM on August 29, 2020

I am cheering for the Tigers because a couple of my friends are partisans and, well, our division should win at least, right? But I think it'll take me another season to have a firm opinion on Firefighters vs. Millennials.

I've been saving my votes but I am not in favor of Tame the Tigers - I think it's just less interesting an option than, say, Alternate Reality, which could *really* shake things up. But I think I'm going to save most of my votes for blessings, because the Wings could sure use some.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:36 PM on August 29, 2020

I feel like Tame the Tiger had a little more thematic energy before Jessica Telephone got swapped (back!) to the Pies by a Feedback event. It's also hard for me to get behind "just literally destroy this team because they're winning" as an interesting development, vs. the pure chaos of AR or just having another season of weirdness and excitement with whatever the blessings do.

Real curious what new weather if any we'll get next season. There's been a sort of "story" option in the Decrees in previous season, some unexplained option that led to e.g. Peanuts and then The Microphone, and none of this seasons have that ominous vagueness, they just do concrete things.
posted by cortex at 2:05 PM on August 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Hades Tigers win it in a three game sweep against the NY Millennials in the finals. That means the Tigers, like the Philly Pies, have two championships and are one more championship away from triggering an Ascension, the implications of which no one knows but the gods.

Also at one point in the semifinals, the game froze up right after Thomas Dracaena hit a ground out to Edric Tosser, which became the meme of the Season 4 playoffs. I carved a linocut while time was frozen.
posted by cortex at 6:37 PM on August 29, 2020

The Season 4 election results have definitely been spicy. Tigers vote-dumped into Targeted Shame to avoid being Tamed; and Alternate Reality picks up the second slot.

Everybody's still figuring out which teams did better/worse with AR.

The Crabs are making a solid push for "Look at our schemes and despair" as they revealed their campaign to focus votes on Decrees vs. Blessings was a ruse while they focused 10% of the league's votes on their target blessings.

Some questions rolling around in the leagues where anti penalty-blessing pacts were in place (and possibly violated?).

Exciting stuff and it'll be interesting to see if anybody can manage to keep the Tigers from ascending next season.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:33 PM on August 30, 2020

Yellowstone Magic is now two seasons without blessings, and we're figuring that out!
posted by curious nu at 3:11 PM on August 30, 2020

The Flowers absolutely violated a No Bad Vibes compact in Chaotic Good, and I'm looking forward to a full report by the ILB Ethics Chamber but also good for them.

Shoes got a grappling hook, which is nice, and we also had minor staffing weirdness thanks to Alternate Reality, which honestly hurt our pitching when we're already a team whose pitching is in constant pain. We're expecting to expect a win 1 out of 5 games next season and the rest to be unhappily weighted coin flips. But if Richardson Games can get on base he might steal home every time.

curious nu, I know no blessings feels like a wild letdown (that's what we got last season too), but consider the Mexico City Wild Wings, a team to which literally nothing at all has happened in recorded Blaseball history. No blessings, but also no staffing changes, no incinerations or feedbacks or peanut reactions. They are, it seems, the control group of the Blaseball Gods, which is a terrifying prospect in its own right.
posted by cortex at 5:15 PM on August 30, 2020

Hahaha eat the rich is a permanent feature! There appears to be a small contingent of fans that don’t seem to get that betting is the least important part of the game - usually the ones comparing this to SaltyBet. I do wish they’d introduce some “unreliable narrator” elements to the odds posted, or even just remove them entirely, although this would make people focus more on gaming the odds and less on that sweet sweet fan art so I’m probably totally wrong.

KCBM didn’t get totally shut out of the voting, but the alternate reality stuff didn’t appear to favor us (unless it hasn’t kicked in yet?)
posted by q*ben at 5:19 PM on August 30, 2020

HAHAHAHA! For once in my life I was in the one percent, and my coins have been distributed accordingly. I bet maybe twice a day if I remember. I feel so honored.
posted by mollweide at 5:59 PM on August 30, 2020

Oh wait, the Wild Wings did get one blessing this season: Mushroom, which made Jose Haley get (a) larger and (b) otherwise apparently even more unremarkable. Plus they (and every team, maybe?) got two players Alternated, the mechanics of which I'm still unclear on. Stat swaps within the two players on each team maybe?
posted by cortex at 6:44 PM on August 30, 2020

Oh, I'm totally down with no blessings! It's weird, the team Discord regulars seemed pretty frustrated by it. I kinda like being a team with none; someone else in the chat and I were joking about us being organic (no BGBs -- blaseball god blessings). When I say "we're figuring it out" I guess I really mean "some people are working through it". That's an interesting fact about the Wings, tho!

The Discord culture is mostly great and sometimes kinda iffy, which, y'know, all people everywhere, so that tracks.

The alternate seems to be sometimes a reroll and sometimes not? I haven't dug into it too much. Mostly it seems a lore opportunity.
posted by curious nu at 7:03 PM on August 30, 2020

Yeah I'm not sure the mushroom is a blessing so much as an event, the implications of which may be pretty trivial. But Alternate Reality granted us a second decent pitcher, so that is a clear improvement. We had one decent (3.5 star) pitcher and a pretty dire roster otherwise, and now we have two 3.5s. (Our other alternate is a two-star batter and I honestly don't remember what they were beforehand.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:18 AM on August 31, 2020

Welcome to the first day of season five, everyone. Whatever blaseball weather comes, we will face it together, knowing that whatever doesn't incinerate us makes us stranger.
posted by nubs at 6:58 AM on August 31, 2020

I love it that they give the players good vibes at the beginning of the season. I'm so excited for them! We haven't discussed it here but blaseball is, essentially, a crouton petting game.
posted by q*ben at 8:42 AM on August 31, 2020

Made up a new post for Season 5!
posted by cortex at 8:49 AM on August 31, 2020

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