Special Event: Blaseball Season 8
September 21, 2020 8:19 AM - Subscribe

Another week, another year of Blaseball: season 8 opens with the entire Los Angeli Tacos pitching rotation encased in giant peanut shells, Jaylen Hotdogfingers apparently still around and pitching deadly bean balls, and a huge squid rising from the Trench looking for eggs to eat. The Hall of Flame has been revealed, and every incinerated player lurks there (in what state?!), waiting for tribute. We have literally no idea what's going to happen. Play ball!

Here's the Season 7 thread.
posted by cortex (44 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The most immediate question for me is: what's going to happen with the Tacos? On the one hand, it'd be a bit of a let down for the devs to respond to the Tacos' deeply satisfyingly weird stunt of having no viable pitchers by just somehow blandly saying "nah" and having them pitch anyway somehow. On the other hand...what would happen? Tacos just don't pitch and the game stops? Tacos auto-walk the opposition to infinity? It's a real rock-and-a-hard-blase situation and I am hoping the solution is something weird and in the middle.
posted by cortex at 8:25 AM on September 21

I bet you anything this has something to do with it.
posted by Ampersand692 at 8:44 AM on September 21

Looks like everyone has "Chances of winning: 0%"
Maybe simulations predict an asteroid destroying the planet with 100% certainty next game?
posted by kaibutsu at 9:02 AM on September 21

So the Tacos have a new player on their team, a sixth pitcher in their rotation. The player's name is Pitching Machine, and it is a better pitcher than most of their currently-shelled pitchers.
posted by cortex at 9:02 AM on September 21

I do sort of enjoy that in this major league splort, a pitching machine is better than the average pitcher. Where do these players come from? Is it a hunger-games like system where random people are drafted on the spot and just pray to avoid being incinerated?
posted by kaibutsu at 9:05 AM on September 21

I have my own theory that "Pitching" is just 73-year-old Elmer Machine's nickname.

Also in game one Gunther O'Brian has swallowed a peanut and had a yummy reaction and is now a 3.5 star pitcher. I love this bird.
posted by cortex at 9:09 AM on September 21

Also, Jaylen Hotdogfingers does indeed still have a debt but apparently it is a "Refinanced Debt" now and boy howdy I wonder how soon we'll figure out what that means.
posted by cortex at 9:21 AM on September 21

I bet 300 coins on two of the games when the odds had both teams with 0% chance of winning, and won 2700 on each. I don't know why I couldn't bring myself to bet my max. Funny feelings about fake money, I guess.
posted by mollweide at 10:26 AM on September 21

I'm idolizing Pitching Machine this season because it's the perfect set-it-and-leave-it option.
posted by curious nu at 12:37 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]

Also the decrees and blessings are pretty interesting
posted by curious nu at 12:48 PM on September 21

Where was the eat the rich line this season? I was below it with 7.5k
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:39 PM on September 21

I was about 8.5 and safe as well; my guess based on past seasons is probably somewhere upward of $14K but there's folks who have been actually tracking it in more detail in SIBR so there may be a fairly definitive answer available somewhere.

Also: turns out that with the refinancing, Jaylen is now giving people a "Flickering" status instead of "Unstable"; Marquez Clark on the Breath Mints is the first person with that status, and nothing new has happened with it yet so...? But I saw someone guessing it might induce feedback instead of incineration, which, as guesses go, is as good as any. A swap with the Hall of Flame also seems plausible to me, which is a weird sort of "incineration but not" at that point.
posted by cortex at 2:12 PM on September 21

Looks like EtR was somewhere in the range of 18.5-19k this season according to SIBR.
posted by noneuclidean at 3:22 PM on September 21

Looking at the pitching stats, if you're actually engaged game-to-game then I think idol chasing the best pitcher each game is still the way to go, but otherwise the just idolizing Pitching Machine should produce a a very nice return for those times when you can't pay attention (we all gotta read MF and sleep at some point, right?).
posted by noneuclidean at 3:27 PM on September 21

Yeah, I played around with just switching pitchers on my team for the last day, day and a half last week when I'd maxed out those pendants, and was astounded at how much more it made than the hitters. It doesn't compare to $MAXBETS with a good return, obviously, but it helps even out the bad gamedays and sometimes is a pretty large payout.

I just.. I love that everyone is idolizing Pitching Machine. We are all love Pitching Machine.
posted by curious nu at 3:54 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]

Although obviously the blaseball gods are cowards for summoning it in the first place and we should attack and dethrone them.
posted by curious nu at 3:55 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]

to be fair, the Forbidden Book specifically says the pitcher has to pitch the ball, and presumably the Gods are as beholden to that as anyone.
posted by rifflesby at 5:21 PM on September 21

So, during game 12, Pitching Machine drank Ortiz Lopez's blood and got better at pitching. Now a 3.5 star pitcher.
Gonna be a wild season.
posted by cortex at 8:28 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]

I bet 300 coins on two of the games when the odds had both teams with 0% chance of winning, and won 2700 on each. I don't know why I couldn't bring myself to bet my max. Funny feelings about fake money, I guess.

All those bets paid out 8.995 to 1. I played 1000c across the board and was pleasantly surprised with the tidy sum I acquired. I already have ~150,000c after a day and a half.
posted by slogger at 2:34 PM on September 22

Ignoring the ridiculous payouts, it would be fun to hide the win probabilities sometimes. I was digging into the SIBR API to see about making a simple linear regression from (say) pitcher star ratings to log win probability.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:58 PM on September 22

One of the Tacos pitchers just got pecked free of their shell, but Pitching Machine is still on the roster. I dunno what's going to happen there, but I changed my Idol away from the machine.
posted by Ampersand692 at 7:33 AM on September 23

posted by curious nu at 8:10 AM on September 23

uh, I maybe spent last night playing with the blaseball API.
Based on a kinda random sampling of season 7 games, it looks like a half-star pitcher advantage gives about a 58% chance of winning. 1 star advantage gives 65%, and 1.5 star advantage gives 66% (but the sample is pretty thin for 1.5 star advantages).

(I looked at 40 days worth of games, using whatever the current pitcher star ratings are, with the hope that subsequent changes to star ratings fall out in the wash. I used the published odds of victory, under the assumption that each of those numbers represents hundreds or thousands of simulated games, so should be much better than counting 'real' outcomes.)

next up, maybe include the sum of all of the team's batting stars as a predictive variable... or look at absolute pitching star values instead of just the diffs.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:07 PM on September 23

Blaseball is taking a siesta next week.

The devs promise "BIG surprises up ahead," which I imagine should have us all quaking in our boots.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:16 PM on September 23

Kaibutsu, are you sure that the narrator is reliable on winning percentages? In the first few seasons it seemed far easier to generate $$ through max bets. I've been assuming that they may have built in some level of unpredictability into the setup, perhaps through a mechanic where vibe changes on game day would impact winning percentages in a semi-random fashion. If they simply lied about percentages this would be exploitable and I'm sure there are people out there that are thinking about this. Has anyone at SIBR done the research to determine if the reported odds are reflecting reality?
posted by q*ben at 3:10 PM on September 23

Yeah, checking the reliability of the advertised odds is on my list of things that would be fun to try... and would probably make a nice data science interview question.

It's wholly possible that they run simulations with vibes (and maybe other factors, like weather) turned off. I'm not sure that extra factors would change anything over the long run (eg, if you don't observe vibes, they hurt as much as they help on a long time scale), but could certainly change how you bet on a particular game. My interest was 'how do I eyeball a win percentage without much effort' and pitching star diff seems to be a good jumping off point for that.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:24 PM on September 23

I'm not a data scientist, but I'm intrigued about what's going on under the hood. I haven't had a ton of time of poke around, so I hope you don't me asking where the best place to follow that sort of discussion is.

In other news, I get really nervous when the Philly Pies play a game during peanuts, even though I've got no shell in that maelstrom.
posted by mollweide at 6:20 PM on September 23

The SIBR Discord is definitely the hot spot for the stats discussion (though I haven't followed it much on the 'too much like my day job' grounds). It's a pretty hilarious mix of people using lots of overpowered stats tools and backwards engineering the game engine. The blaseball site itself has a pretty well-understood API which reveals all sorts of hidden player stats (unthwackability! anticapitalism!) which feed into the star ratings, and the SIBR community is slowly unravelling the actual meanings of.
posted by kaibutsu at 8:23 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]

Thanks, kaibutsu!
posted by mollweide at 3:19 AM on September 24

The narrative seems to be heating up - Jaylen hit four players in game sixty last night, and another four this morning in game 70.
posted by wotsac at 7:08 AM on September 24

are you sure that the narrator is reliable on winning percentages? In the first few seasons it seemed far easier to generate $$ through max bets.

I've automated my betting using a mild variation on Max Bet for the last couple days and am keeping logs. Over 39 rounds, there have only been two where I lost money, but at least as many where I spent 10x more on winning bets than losing bets. So a simple betting strategy is still very effective.

However, the odds are generated before the previous game is played. So they don't account for anything that happens during that game. Negative starting score due to Targeted Shame? Not included. Lineup changes from Feedback? Not included. Stat changes due to Bloodrain? Etc? As the game adds more of these effects the stated odds would have less to do with the odds of the game actually being played, even as the narrator is reliably offering odds at the time they were generated.
posted by wotsac at 7:57 AM on September 25

How are you automating your betting? I know there's an API but I thought everything was read-only.
posted by Ampersand692 at 8:30 AM on September 25

There's a 'bet' API endpoint. I just popped open the 'Network' tab under Inspect Element in my browser, did some experiments, and started programming. Presumably you have to have an authenticated session cookie in order to post to the 'bet' endpoint. The big challenge is just wrapping your head around the /events/streamData JSON blob that represents the current public game state - it's big to wrap your head around as a hobby programmer.
posted by wotsac at 9:28 AM on September 25

For those who missed it:
• The Peanut was annoyed that we've been wasting peanuts in the Hall instead of eating them, but seemed satisfied about having completed... something
• The Monitor was dismayed at having missed the Peanut again
• Jaylen Hotdogfingers, NaN, and Sixpack Dogwalker are now permanently Flickering
• NaN and Sixpack Dogwalker have apparently been possessed by the spirit of the Microphone, aka Wyatt Mason, who has "a plan".
posted by rifflesby at 1:06 PM on September 25 [3 favorites]

Also the Garages' newest album might be their best yet. The last three tracks in particular are magnificent, and it was really neat to see 200 people live-streaming it together.
You've never seen so many people wailing about Cat Boy!!! Oh Caaat Boyyyy!!! at once.
posted by CrystalDave at 2:24 PM on September 25

The songs just keep getting better, agreed. Cat Boy had some real Neutral Milk Hotel vibes to be sure.
posted by q*ben at 2:42 PM on September 25

"mike townsend (knows what he's gotta do)" makes me cry even more now, I don't even understand it.

also "get normal" is uh.. it's a lot, considering ~everything~. Rain is very good.

I have a Yellowstone Magic poster downstairs at my work computer, and I ordered a Seattle Garages t-shirt and guitar picks this week. If blaseballcares can find a blaseball jersey shop for one-off orders they are going to EXPLODE.
posted by curious nu at 3:20 PM on September 25

re: permanent flickering: I'm wondering if they all need to get on the same team? If so, that could potentially never happen unless TGB is going to weight the scales somehow.

If the Crabs beat the Spies and the Tigers can finish off the Steaks, someone should be Ascending today, I think? Crabs have won the last two?
posted by curious nu at 8:31 AM on September 26

Last season the wild wings won, not the Crabs. We're 1-1 in tigers vs Crabs final right now... We'll see if the tigers can take it upward. If they pull it off, we can say the new Sufjan Stevens album was prophetic.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:38 PM on September 26

Crabs take it all! Three teams on the precipice!
posted by kaibutsu at 7:51 PM on September 26

4th strike??? I came in at “YOU ARE OUT”
posted by curious nu at 12:05 PM on September 27

According to the blasebot:
Peanut: "You fools. Seriously? Seriously. 100 million snacks wasted. You fools. That is it. Strike four. You are out. See you soon."

I am saddened that Ron Monstera got the stability blessing... And was then incinerated by a separate blessing. Hopefully our home field advantage helps balance out the longer rotation with the two new rookies.

But, hey, now it's fat bear siesta time I guess.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:49 PM on September 27

I am saddened that Ron Monstera got the stability blessing... And was then incinerated by a separate blessing

whaaaaaat the Garages' roster has gone through such a shakeup this season.
posted by curious nu at 5:29 PM on September 27

Can't believe I forgot to post about Season 9, but here's a new thread for 10.
posted by cortex at 9:17 AM on October 12

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