Categories
Debriefings

UPSIDE-DOWN

filed by Agent O
audio version

The standings are completely upside-down… and yet, our own team’s results are just as perfectly balanced as they have ever been. Over the last unknowable unit of time we have unwon 17 games and lost 15.

Unwinning

Unwins are, as expected, buoyant. They are also negative (that’s what them being red and in parentheses means). Runs still count for weight, but we have been Shamed several times, which is helping with the eDensity.

In this world, the worst-performing teams will be making the championships, because their records will be less negative than anyone else’s. Meanwhile, the best-performing teams will be reaching party time first. I desperately hope this only lasts one season, because that completely breaks Enhanced Party Time as a mechanic.

On the micro level, the sim seems to have been rebalanced, so pitchers seem to throw more balls. Our players are swinging more. They are getting on base a lot more. And Spies are drawing walks that aren’t just mind-tricked strikeouts. Even our newest acquisitions, Siobhan Chark and Jasper Blather, are performing respectably. The “dead ball era”, whatever that is, is over.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Picklestein – who everyone is referring to as Mo Pickles – has been faxed in to pitch (sending Emmett Tabby off in what people are calling a “catfax”). They are doing quite well.

Polarity

There’s a new (thankfully, quite rare) type of weather called Polarity. It can randomly switch within a game between Polarity + (plus, where runs score runs) and Polarity – (minus, where runs score unruns). The tooltip for the weather icon very helpfully describes the effect of this weather as “numbers go up” or “numbers go down”.

The way this interacts with things like Acidic pitches and Wired/Tired is, first, the total number of runs in a play is calculated the normal way, with factors and extras added. Then, if the weather is minus polarity, this value is multiplied by -1. Who wins the game is determined as usual – the highest value, even if both scores are negative.

Ambush

Three incinerations. The Miami Dale’s favorite party animal, Logan Horseman, replaced by Bobbin Moss. Wichita Toaster, from the Mexico City Wild Wings, replaced by Nickname Yamashita, who initially triggered the swearword filter on the main Blaseball discord. Igneus Delacruz, an original of the Hellmouth Sunbeams who was on the Ohio Worms at time of death, replaced by Millipede Aqualuft.

(Our currently-shadowed Malik Romayne, whose most commonly recorded reason for going to the Shadows is that xe is still trying to find the pre-Alternate-Reality Igneus Delacruz that xe married, is presumably having A Time. Our recent acquisition Dudley Mueller, who spent most of its career on the Sunbeams, is almost certainly similarly hurting.)

But these last two died in games against the Tigers, triggering the Tigers’ evolution ability, Ambush, which brings players from the Hall of Flame into the Tigers’ Shadows. In this case, Tyler Violet and Thomas Kirby.

Neither of them are good players (despite both receiving the usual Shadow-entrance boost sprinkled across all stats), and thus they are unlikely to enter active play, but they’re there. And they don’t even have Debted or Returned or anything: they are, for all intents and purposes, properly alive.

What If I Do, Anyway?

At Earlsiesta the Coin came in to condescendingly announce to us that Blaseball had gone terribly wrong (something everyone already knew), to reiterate that the Seasonal Reading was canceled, and to brag about the fact that people had so far voted 100% for her decree to repeal Turntables in the election she’d manipulated to only have one decree on it:

We’ve all had enough chaos.
We will Repeal this Corruption
Exit polls are showing a landslide
The Ratings will Rebound.
We guarantee it.
Play Ball!

At this point the Reader did a Seasonal Reading anyway, with the text:

under achieve
overwhelm

And then proceeded to give every single team in the ILB a tarot modification. We were able to view these tarot results for a few minutes (unclear whether this was accidental or intentional), but then the Coin wrested control of the site back:

That’s enough.
Repeal Turn Tables.
Play Ball.

And then, later, again:

Play Ball.

As if repeating it would make it happen the way she wanted it to.

Together, Everyone

At this point you might be asking asking how, exactly, the Reader created a reading that included every single team? Oh, it just kept drawing spreads, again and again, all the way down the page. By the end of it, eight spreads later, every single team – including the expansion teams – had one player given one of these three Modifiers: Undertaker, Uncertain, or Seeker. All three have interactions with Elsewhere. Maybe the Reader has connections with Elsewhere?

For us, Yeong-Ho Garcia received Undertaker. This means that he can “dive in to Develop a Negative when a teammate goes Elsewhere”. Yeong-Ho Garcia is often considered to have a weird relationship with gravity. Sometimes, I could swear that this random number generator knows exactly what it’s doing.

Renos, Gifts, and Items

As to the other things that showed up after earlsiesta:

Birdhouses is an extremely popular renovation; a decrease in Inconvenience (again) and Hoops are not far behind. Though, personally, the author of this debrief is a touch nervous about Hoops, because it looks like a Plot Renovation.

Meanwhile, as to Gifts, we’re putting wishlist selection off for now: last season we had to take a hard left turn because someone didn’t have an item slot open, and we might end up needing to do that again this season if we’re too rash about it.

Items have disappointed us: during the most recent Community Chest, Comfort Septemberish removed their Metaphorical Shoes in favor of a Parasitic Jersey. Remember, Parasitic is a mod that only works on a pitcher. And then, in a prize match, Denzel Scott dropped that solid Wooden Bat of Strength for… uh… “Charitable Sunglasses of the Famine”? Word on the street is that maybe we should be treating items as anti-consumer armor that happens to have a few gameplay effects, rather than objects that we can manipulate strategically. Ugh.

Glowing Purple Text Decree

As with last week, there’s another new glowing purple text decree, and a handful of glowing purple text blessings. The blessings I’m not even going to try to explain right now, this debriefing is already entirely too long, but the Decree? It goes like this:

UNDER ACHIEVER: unwin the underbracket. crown the underchampions.

Popular speculation is that this will create a losers’ bracket, thus also turning the championships upside-down to match the regular season’s being upside-down. Whether this will be alongside the ILB topside championships, or in place of them, remains to be seen.

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