Last week, we dove head-first into Kick Off! and Season 3 by looking closely at the changes for Harmony and Tapper (which you can read about here if you missed it). We also talked about the changes to player’s HP tracks, Kick Off!'s health dials, and the Icy Sponge rule. This week, we’re focusing on Mascots since Season 3 has two big rules changes that will impact their role on your team.
We knew many teams relied heavily on their Mascots, thanks to the synergy they bring to the pitch. Because they were some of our most popular and most beloved models, we saw Season 3 as an opportunity to give coaches more ways to get their Mascots into the action, alongside their other teammates. During Seasons 1 and 2, Mascots had a high risk versus rewards playstyle, as they tended to offer great bonuses or augment their fellow teammates, but they were easy to take out. We knew we could adjust the risk versus rewards levels in order to make sure they had a greater impact on each team play. We wanted coaches to have a greater incentive to keep Mascots in the center of all the action.
After thorough playtesting, we felt we came up with a pretty simple solution: give the Mascot players an Icy Sponge icon on their damage circles. Doing so would allow them to come back onto the pitch after they’ve been taken out instead of being removed from the game, This changed Mascots from being a once a game "fire-and-forget" ability to a truly renewable resource for their coach. With the addition of the Icy Sponge icon to their damage tracker, they’ll also be at roughly half HP when they come back (much like the other players), not with just one HP as seen on the Animal Husbandry plot card! That’s right. This means coaches no longer need to agonize over how aggressive they should be with their Mascots. Consider Princess as a quick example. In Season 3, if she’s taken out after assisting Boiler, she can still return to the pitch to lend her assistance to Boiler in future turns!
We know what you're thinking. What about situations where coaches focus on taking Mascots out again and again, using them as VP generators? This brings us to our second rules change for Season 3: Mascots will only generate  Victory Point when they are taken out. We knew this change would better reflect their "fragility" and newfound ability to return to the pitch. It also allows Mascot take outs to contribute towards victory without becoming a particularly viable tactic. Yes, you will still be rewarded for taking out a Mascot, and now they will come back with reduced health, just like all players!
Between these two changes, we are certain Guild Ball's gameplay experience will be even more dynamic and exciting in Season 3 and Kick Off!. By augmenting the pitch presence of Mascots and creating a new game state where Mascots play a more active role during the game, we are sure to see an impact to the team building stage. And we cannot wait to see what our coaches come up with for their Season 3 rosters and what new tactics they'll develop over the coming months!
Check back Wednesday for previews of updated Mascot cards and some more examples of what these changes will bring to the pitch!