This article is part of a series of recaps on Blaseball. Blaseball is “fantasy baseball with an emphasis on the fantasy,” an absurdist sports simulator where fans can bet on the outcome of fictional games, and spend their winnings to change the rules of the next one. For previous season recaps, click here. For an explanation of the basics, click here.
After the several-month long Grand Siesta, Blaseball is back with Season 12: Peace & Prosperity: The Return, and there are more mechanics and nonsensical phrases than ever. It’s a little daunting to scroll through every tab to see what’s changed, so I thought I’d add to the grand history of Blaseball Explainers and write a little dossier on what’s new.
A brief summary for those who don’t know: Blaseball is “fantasy baseball with an emphasis on the fantasy,” an absurdist sports simulator where fans can bet on the outcome of fictional games, and spend their winnings to change the rules of the next one. If you want a more in-depth explanation of how it works and why it’s cool, you can check out my explainer from a few seasons ago, or Pathologic 2 and League of Legends writer Cat Manning’s classic “I Am All Love Blaseball (And You Can Too)”.
The first change of note is that the site itself has been significantly reworked. The homepage has a Schedule of the season, some Actions that newer players can take if they’re not sure what to do next, and a live feed of games being played.
Each page now has more information on it, and most include a live feed. Since a lot of Blaseball events rely on just watching at the right time, this change makes the site much more friendly to people who don’t have time to watch all day. The Book page has a feed that includes any messages from the Boss, Monitor, or other otherworldly figures that have appeared on the site. Each team and player has their own feed that goes over any status effects, changes, or plays that have been made recently. Many teams also have altered icons and slogans, such as the Tokyo Lift changing from “We’ve Got Swole” to “Heart and Swole”.
Teams also have their “Wins” categorized separately from their “Non-Losses,” which helps account for the insanity caused by Black Holes and Sun 2’s. There’s a full glossary page that explains this, along with any and all terms found in Blaseball. (Although some are explained in predictably cryptic and unhelpful terms, such as an Inning being defined as “a non-zero number of Ins.”) As is standard practice, much of the Glossary is censored and will likely not be revealed for seasons to come.
The next big change is the Shop, which has been converted into a concessions stand as a result of the “Eat! The Book” decree of Season 11.
Every purchasable has been transformed into a food item, with the addition of some new ones. For instance, Passive Income Potion, which gives fans coins when their team wins, has been renamed to Popcorn, and the item Stale Popcorn has been added, which does the opposite (gives coins when your team loses). Stale Popcorn is definitely a must-buy for fans of the Lift, Steaks, Magic, Fridays, or any other predictably low-performing team. There are also four new items — Pizza, Cheese Board, Tarot Spread and Apple — that give you access to other portions of the site.When purchased, the Tarot Spread adds a three-card tarot reading to a fan’s inventory. This likely has something to do with last season’s blessings, which assigned a tarot card to each team, but it’s unclear exactly what effect either scenario has on gameplay or lore. The Pizza allows access to “Stadium Renovations and Flag Planting,” which, according to the rulebook, is currently “SUSPENDED, PENDING INVESTIGATION.” Finally, the Apple lets fans view a team’s shadows (reserve players not currently in the batting order) as well as a player’s forbidden knowledge (hidden stats).
The Cheese Board gives access to a new part of the Election, called “Wills.” While One Decree happens for the whole league, and each Blessing will happen once, distributed among the teams, Wills work slightly differently. Every team will automatically receive two Wills, determined by fan voting. This, in addition to Enhanced Party Time, will definitely help with teams on the lower end still improving even though they might have smaller fan bases or less history (I am talking specifically about you, Tokyo Lift).
Fans can also now sell items back to the shop for around a third of the purchase cost. This mechanic is necessary with the addition of a Snack Pack, which is effectively an inventory. Fans can only have eight items at a time (with an unlimited quantity of each item), which will allow for some interesting metagaming.
In terms of actual play, Blaseball seems to be back to normal. Every weather condition from the past 11 seasons appears to have returned, including the specialty weather from the Coffee Cup. By clicking on the Black Hole weather condition, you can view the Baltimore Crabs, who seem to be living inside the Black Hole. Curious…
To be quite honest, I’m incredibly excited for this season. Blaseball’s developers, The Game Band, have taken the Siesta to really get at the core of what wasn’t working about Blaseball (namely, the fact that you had to actively check three different websites to figure out what was happening at any given time) and reworked it to make it more accessible, while adding all sorts of new nonsense. If you’ve been delaying getting into Blaseball, now is the time to start. It’s only going to get better from here.