Mafia Wars from a Player's Perspective

Mafia Wars from a Player's Perspective

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

A look at "bullying"

What is bullying?

This is a hot topic in Mafia Wars as of late.

I have, heretofore, been rather indifferent on the topic of bullying, as it pertains to Mafia Wars.

In my experience, most players view behavior to be abusive when they are attacked repeatedly in the game. Honestly, I think most players have a rather extreme view of what bullying is. For me, the real questions are "how often" and "why?" We have a rival's list and a power attack button, and a lot of players with a lot of health. I must admit, I think the majority of cases of "bullying" fall into the category of competitive game play that someone else merely finds annoying.

But, game play CAN become abusive, I do recognize that.

I'd like to know what YOU deem to be abusive game play? Comment here, or email me your story at 

This is what Zynga considers abusive behavior. Essentially, the only thing Zynga will claim responsibility for is the names of players in the game.

But is Zynga looking more closely at this issue than we realize?

Conan says "Mafia Wars"!

Many thanks to Mike Nestor from the Mafia Wars Loot Lady's page for helping us figure out how to embed this easily! and many thanks to Tex for sharing this with us, I actually laffed til I cried lol. 

Zynga ignores players call to help the southeast USA

 Across the south-eastern United States, rebuilding has yet to begin in many communities. Families have yet to bury their dead.

Players have asked Zynga to sponsor a fundraiser to help the victims in at least six states that were blown away by the severe tornadic storms that ripped through here last week.  Or maybe only earthquake victims matter to Zynga, since they are near a major fault line.

Many players have outright said that they would spend money on a special loot item (as has been suggested and requested), but maybe it's not a priority for Zynga, since they wouldn't profit from it.

Or do they?

I live here in the south too, just northeast of Metro Nashville. It was indeed a rough few days, but there were no touchdowns in my immediate area. Nearby is another story. More than once I grabbed my cats by the scruffs of their necks and went into the laundry room - the "safest" room in my apartment, in the event of a severe storm. Most of us that live 'round here instinctively identify our "safe rooms", as these types of storms are rather frequent during certain times of the year here. A safe room would be the lowest, innermost room in your house or on your property, or wherever the heck you may when the skies threaten. 

But I digress. My point was, check out that storm map from last week. Ya think there might some affected, even severely affected Mafia Wars peeps in there? I think that's a strong possibility.

Hello? Zynga?? We'd like to do something!

In the absence of helping through our mutually-favorite game of Mafia Wars, I strongly encourage you to contact your local Red Cross to find out how you can help. I've worked with my local Red Cross many times over the past several years, I can tell you they really do get as close to the problem as they can to help in situations like this.

Text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or visit the website to donate, give blood or volunteer.

new secret stash spam/scam?

I'm starting to get a few of these things posted on my wall. First of all, the mere title is a ginormous red flag. "Mafia Wars 1,000 Reward Points Bonus". Now does that really sound like something Zynga would do? And I immediately noticed the little "" blurb underneath the title. Zynga uses their own url shortener. This is disguised as a Secret Stash - something that we would normally click on when they are posted to their wall, but there's nothing mentioned about any stashes in the post itself.

Hesitantly, I clicked on the wall post, and it brought me to this page. C'mon, do I even need to pick this one apart? It's obviously not legit, it's obviously not from Zynga. Pfft. A "PIN code" that looks suspiciously like javascript code? Just delete these if they are posted on your wall, and examine your stashes closely before clicking.

I can't even imagine what the creator of these posts is after, don't even care. But it's obviously trying to propagate itself and it's obviously not Zynga, so it's automatically suspect.

new Spocklet posted

Cracked da Safe?
Spockholm's new bookmarklet is now on their experimental bookmarklets page.

 It'll show you how many times you cracked the safe (bearing in the mind that the limit is 100 times), which loot items you got, and how much attack and defense were gained in equipment stats.

The information box is also moveable and resizeable.

Reward point purchases: read the fine print

Even on the initial, annoying pop-up you get for this reward point "sale", the wording says "up to 30%", not just "30% off". In fact, only the most expensive package shown carries the 30% discount. 

It seems you have to buy at least the package for 215 reward points to get the boldly advertised discount. And no discount at all for the lowest reward point package - you know, the one most players are more likely to buy? 

And it's not just me, this has come up before. I call this foul play on Zynga's part, and you can bet that they just lost some of my money. In the past I have frequently purchased reward points when they are 40% or more off of the original price, but rarely the larger packages. If a good sale hit me at the right time, I might would spend an average of $20 on reward points. 

With this new wording and price structure, it simply reduces the probability that a good sale will actually fit into my budget. Sorry for ya, Z.

Thoughts from a Mafia Wars Health Junkie by Lewella Tembreull

 I have seen a lot of recent discussion about health; why some players have a lot of it, and many don't like that it's seemingly pushed on us in the game, with these +20 health builds and health point Fan Blasts, etc. This brought to mind this note written by Wella Warner.

Thoughts from a Mafia Wars Health Junkie

by Wella Warner

My name is Lewella and I am a Mafia Wars Health Junkie.  From the beginning I was one of those players other players would describe as "health heavy" or call just plain stupid for having so much health.  My thoughts on health have always been outside the box and I have a theory or two...

So What is the Allure of Health? 
The answer is actually pretty simple and counter to the old school of thought on fighting and health.  I'm health heavy because I don't want to die quickly.  Be it playing the fight list, participating in a mock, an icing contest, etc. I am impatient and I don't want to waste time healing.  The less often I have to heal, the less time I spend away from what I love doing and I love icing other players.

The ability to fight longer isn't the only reason I enjoy being health heavy.  There is a certain satisfaction in knowing your opponent has just blown 60 or 70 stamina trying to ice you.  Think about that for just a second.  Players don't have limitless stamina.  In a clan war having 1000 plus health would come in pretty handy wouldn't it?

But what about your fight stats?  For me fighting in Mafia Wars has never been about the win/loss ratio, it has always been about the ice.  It isn't unheard of for me to get 10 or more ices on one health refill playing the fight list.  Yes, if I get on the fight list it takes a while for me to die if I'm at full health but that doesn't bother me.  Chances are good a few of those attacks are going to run red and give me some free experience.

Another advantage to being health heavy is how long I can last during boss fights.  Not just the in city ones but the special events too.  The more health I have the less I have to depend on my mafia members to help me in boss fights.  I haven't needed assistance from my mafia in the special event boss fights until the last level even though the event boss fights seem to become harder and harder with each new event.  The quicker I get my boss fights done the quicker I can help my less health heavy friends complete theirs!

My Thoughts on Healths Future Roll
We've all noticed how Health is suddenly the easiest thing to add in Mafia Wars.  Everywhere you turn there is a way to add to your Health.
- Build a Palermo Luxury in your Chop Shop +5 Health
- Build a Dirty Trick or a Electric Prod in your Weapon Depot +5 Health
- Buy a Water Truck or Good Neighbor in your Port in Italy +5 Health
- Build a MNU Suit in your Armory +10 Health
- Day 7 or your Daily Take might give you +15 Health
- Build a Warthog in your Zoo +20 Health
- Vault the Operation Collection +20 Health
- Vault the Cacti Collection in Vegas +30 Health
- Buy a Tiger Claw in your Port in Italy +30 Health
- Vault the Great Inventor Collection in Italy +50 Health
So where do I think all this health is taking us?  Zynga had a reason when they made stamina cost half of what it had originally cost and I suspect they have a reason for making Health easy to acquire as well.

What if the event boss fights are just a preview of what future city boss fights are going to be like?  Rumors abound that the rest of Italy will be opening soon.  I expect the new city boss fights in Italy are going to be much more difficult than any other city boss fights have been.  We are about due for another boss fight event as well. 

I have another theory on Health as well.  I've been around a while, I remember when a single hit in a fight was not likely to go over 23 damage.  Then around the time Vegas rolled out I started seeing damage numbers increase to 28 damage per hit.  What if the roll out of the rest of Italy makes the possible damage per hit increase even more?  What if we start seeing hits that inflict 33 damage?  I don't think it is outside the realm of possibility.  In fact I think it is likely that as the value of our loot increases that the damage inflicted will also increase.  If you are inflicting 30 damage and taking 25 damage and only have 300 health you are going to be healing often aren't you?  If you are hitting someone like me who is health heavy what are the chances you'll get the ice before you are on ice yourself?

Zynga appears to be pushing us toward creating more balanced characters.  I feel that all the indicators are there for Health to become drastically more important as Mafia Wars continues to evolve.

Friday, April 29, 2011

operations dropping again for some players

I was surprised when I got an operation from doing jobs earlier today. I haven't had an op drop for several weeks now, and I did not at all buy the explanation that "it's random". I play every day, several times a day, there's no way I just didn't get an operation for all that time. There were many threads on the forums about this previously, and tonight I revisited one thread to report that I got an operation finally. It looks like at least one other person is reporting the same, so if you are someone who wasn't getting operations, be looking for them as you may start getting them again.

worth a thousand words

This was posted on the Mistyfied Mafia Wars fan page by Feature Contributor LeT. I thought he stated his feelings very eloquently :0)

I want to know why.

The more I think about it, the more it ticks me off, this overlapping event business. Mafia Wars players were so appreciative of the recent slowdown, and the fact that the Terminator event thingie didn't overlap with another event when it started. I want to know why Zynga seems to be forgetful of that. I want to know why all of these players being so appreciative of an event slowdown was ignored.

Three days ago, we were publicly thanking Zynga for the break. Positive reinforcement, if you will. I posted about it several times. We noticed the lack of an Easter-themed event, and started to be a little bit hopeful. As the Mafia Wars Loot Lady says in this post, "I'm not complaining about the lack of a Easter event. We all suffer from Event Fatigue . . ." and Informant Podcast said "It is about time[!]"

Naturally, I had some things to say about it too.

I went out of my way to say thanks, and so did a lot of other players. Nick Greig commented that it "was a pleasure to play this weekend without the 'stress'of the spam or pop-ups related to some event or another. Once every 3 or 4 weeks really is enough!"

This person called it a TRIUMPH.

But that's not all! Yesterday, we were asked about what type of events we liked best. I couldn't help but notice that there were several common threads in the landslide of comments left by players. Not just about the types of events we wanted to see, but one thing that was mentioned over and over again was players saying they just wanted to see the events staggered, spaced apart, with a break in between.

It was such a common thread that this user simply copy and pasted what the woman above him had posted, and signed his name to it! It should be obvious to Zynga what players are saying, but apparently we were too subtle. Are we not speaking loudly enough?

I really, really want to know why there are again overlapping events in the game. 

Thrill of the Hunt mission event released

I saw MWM's post about this a little while ago, and now I have it in my game too. Bummer. So much for a break in events. You'll have to look elsewhere if you want a walk-through of this event, because I'm not even sure I'm going to bother with completing it. I'm really disappointed by this.

Players want to help tornado victims

I'd like to see Zynga doing something for the homeland!

This Tennessean wants to know....

The Facebook & Zynga Podcast has issued a call for help that I probably should have been one of the first to issue. If you're American and have heard national news, you probably already know the situation. The southeastern United States was hit by a string of severe storms over the past couple of days.

I live here in the affected area, but I'm lucky. Nearly 300 people in this region are counted as dead. More than 300, depending on which news source you cite. That's just the dead, across a swath of several states, many hundreds of miles. It even affects my community.

Anyone that really knows me, knows I love weather and I love storms, but yesterday was tiring even for me. Find a way to help. 

It's been brought up by many sources now: Zynga posed fundraisers for international disasters, what about the home turf? 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Terminator Vs. Rambo begins

Let the gifting begin?

Thursday Night Throwdown

Looking for something to do tonight? Drop by the Thursday Night Throwdown hosted by βιaςќφύτ╬βφ'a╬'assaṧṧϊηṧ♆


  What is an FFA? 

FFA stands for Free-For-All. When a FFA is going on, anyone posting on the wall is open to attack by anyone else participating in the FFA. There are no sides, no winners, it's only player against player. And believe it or not, it's fun! You meet a lot of other players, and almost always walk way with more good Mafia Wars friends at the end of the event -- often the people who's ass you beat or who beat your ass. Yeah, it's like that :) 

Something to keep in mind when participating in open Free For Alls: these are often hosted by different Mafia Wars clans or families. If you stop by for the FFA, that doesn't mean you're a member of the clan, so avoid posting on their walls after the FFA is over.

New armory and private zoo levels to upgrade

Nifty. It's crossed my mind that we could use some property levels added. Hopefully the benefits are interesting....let's take a look!

Basically what this is, is an upgrade of loot for the available skill rewards. I'm good with this, I like this.

For the armory, again we see comparable rewards, and this stacks slightly in our favor. It's nothing drastic, but it is more opportunity for additional attack and defense skill points.

I'm off to get building :0)

Zynga wants event feedback

Nate Dawg wants to know: what game events DID you like? Be sure to click the link and add your feedback. I'm about to do so now.

wtf pop-ups

Yikes! While doing jobs in Brazil, I suddenly had this all over my screen!

tick tock

Every time I log into Mafia Wars, I keep looking at the timer on the Against All Odds mission. The Terminator vs. Rambo event is slated to start today, and it's been mentioned as starting "late Thursday".

I wonder... 13 more hours puts us at "Late Thursday" Zynga Time (Pacific). That's cutting it close for us to have an actual "break" between events, but it seems quite possible that there will be little or maybe possibly no overlap between these two events. I will be watching!

Could we get a little less Animal Feeds in Golden Promotions?

As more people are starting to get the Golden Promotions, I'm starting to see more complaints about the rewards of animal feeds. The above image was posted on the Mistyfied Mafia Wars fan page by user Jonathan Bickers. I have to agree, for such a milestone as level 1000, 5 animal feeds is kind of crap. Congrats on level 1k, Jon, sorry about the animal feeds :P 

Animal feeds should probably be removed or severely reduced in the frequency of their appearance from Golden Promotions.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Terminator Vs. Rambo 411

-starting tomorrow
-will have a "slow rollout"
-you can collect 10 pieces for each fighter, up to 5x per fighter
-no limit on the total number of 'weapons' you can collect (but they aren't great, so don't get excited)
-at the end of the event, uncollected items will turn into Mystery Bags
-not that any of us really cares which character wins, but that will be determined by the overall number of gifts sent for each one.

Read more here.

RP Sale Pop-up gets a facelift

Right. Because when the players said "WE WANT LESS POP-UPS!!", what we really meant was, "Please allocate more funding AWAY from fixing bugs and improving the game, and waste that money on paying someone to  redesign the reward point pop-up!" 

If you're remotely tempted by the new pop-up, be careful that you're getting the right discount. My discount was correct, but that was not the case over at Mafia Wars Maniac, so be sure to double-check your figures. 

Unfortunately for Zynga, I'm not spending my husband's hard-earned money on reward points at anything less than 40% off :)

run bookmarklets FRAMED with FF add-on

image from Mafia Secrets

A lot of us have been having trouble with unframing Mafia Wars for several weeks now. It would be really nice if Zynga were to iron some of those kinks out, but in the meantime, the Mafia Secrets blog has found an interesting alternative in the form of a Firefox add-on called FrameExt.

image from Mafia Secrets
 After installing the Firefox add-on, you'll want to copy the link of whatever bookmarklet you want to use. Mafia Secret's image shows that you can just right-click on a bookmarklet, and "Copy Link Location". This can also be done from already-installed bookmarklets that are on your browser bar. Just right click and copy link location.


image from Mafia Secrets

There are a few extra clicks involved, but it's worth it in some cases. Right-click somewhere inside Mafia Wars, and look for "This Frame" > "Change Frame URL".

image from Mafia Secrets
That will bring up this box. Here you will right-click and paste, which will insert the code of your chosen bookmarklet.

In my case, I chose to run Brawler, and here you can see that it's doing its job - in a FRAMED Mafia Wars page.

This will definitely come in handy. Thanks to Mafia Secrets for posting that!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Operation Ethics: No Campers

I happened across this post in my news feed by Rebecca Read, which not-really-satirically equates a colonoscopy to having to wait on operations in which other participants don't start/finish their parts in the operations for several hours - or at all.

Rebecca says:
. . . It really sucks when you have 10 operations in your queue and they all contain squatters who either don't start the job for 5 or 6 hours, or don't complete the job they started hours ago and you can tell they are actively using stamina or energy because their wall is open. . . .

And she's hardly the only one with this complaint. And some players don't just complain about it, they take it to the streets (in that digital, Mafia Wars kind of way).

It's one thing to miscalculate, underestimate, and undershoot, and accidentally join an operation you can't finish -- most players will greatly appreciate if you even bother to let them know it was a mistake, whether or not they leave you on the op. Aside from that, there is no reason why any player should join an operation and not immediately complete it. Not doing your part holds up the mission owner and several other people from getting quick rewards. With a cap of 10 operations, most of us want to get in and out as quickly as possible. I'm pretty sure if we were really hi-jacking an ocean liner, we would not be taking our sweet ass time about it, either.

It's been the same with me when I participate in operations. If I happen to be in on 10 operations already and I'm locked and loaded with more energy or stamina, it drives me crazy to see 'squatters' or 'campers' just...sitting there in operations!

Be aware that many players consider this aggravating. Those of you using some form of automation or tool to join operations, you may want to consider disabling that option for the sake of the sanity of your mafia and your extended mafia.

Or, another, simpler option would be, Zynga just adds the option to let us remove ourselves from operations that we're stuck in due to some jack-wagon stockpiling ops.

Happy Hour Help skype chat

Great idea, Nick and Rebecca! I like the idea of players supporting players. I hope it's fun and informational. All are welcome to participate. 
By Feature Contributor Nick Greig

{NG} here, hello :) Tomorrow will see a trial run of an idea that's been bouncing around in the background at Mistyfied for a few weeks now. In simple terms, Rebecca Read and myself are going to host a live chat session on Skype, where we will offer the following:

  • General MW gameplay hints and tips.
  • Guidance on in-game functionality.
  • General bookmarklet support and advice. 
There's no real structure yet, but we plan to be available from 6pm GMT / 12pm CST on 27th April, on Skype (click HERE to download the software) to try and answer any questions you may have regarding Mafia Wars. The session will be open for 2 or 3 hours, depending on how many of you crazy cats want to swing by.

In order to participate, you will need to add either myself ( or Rebecca ( to your Skype contacts beforehand, so we can add you to the group chat.

Be gentle with us, it's our first time!

Terminator Vs. Rambo event announced

The Mafia Wars blog announced the next event just a little while ago: Terminator vs. Rambo. This will be in the style of the Super Bowl ring event or the boxer event (was it a boxer event? I can't remember, they all blur together...), so we won't know who wins until after the end of the event. We will know for sure when the 411 is posted. The blog just states "late this week" as the starting point for the event. If I recall correctly, the Against All Odds mission event ends late Thursday. Is Zynga really going to give us a break? I will be surprised if there is no overlap. Hopefully pleasantly surprised.

FWIW, the comments that have been left on the Mafia Wars blog don't seem too positive; people resent having to beg. We'll see how it goes, though. I certainly don't mind events sometimes if they are staggered, and this past week has seen a slowdown. Time shall be the proof.

Gamefly ad reappears on home page

I guess they realized that the bottom of the jobs page wasn't the best place for this advertisement. An hour after it was added and then quickly pulled, the advertisement is back as part of the home page module, which is probably a better place for it.