June 28, 2009

Mafia Wars Leveling Guide - Cuba Addendum

So, I finally got a chance to level up a new character through Cuba to see if the original leveling guide could be optimized. The results are actually pretty brief:

A minimum level of 35 is needed to go to Cuba, but you need to be in the upper 50s to have access to all the jobs. So, what I did was master the first four tiers then head to Cuba. Following the leveling guide, I was able to master tiers Street Thug - Soldier in about a day, and then Enforcer within an hour of finishing up Soldier. At this point, I head to Cuba.

Doing Jobs in Cuba

Cuba is a bit different then New York - nearly all the jobs provide the same energy:exp ratio.. and it happens to be pretty good.. around 1.6-1.7 xp per energy with a good wheelman and mastermind. I was able to just do the jobs in order and level up off of each energy bar. I mastered off El Soldado pretty quickly, but was too low of a level at that point to have access all the jobs in the El Capitan, so I went back to New York. Hitman was pretty easy to do, all the jobs pay pretty well, no deviation needed from the original leveling guide.

Once finishing off Hitman, I was able to blow through the rest of the tiers in Cuba just following the same strategy outlined in the original leveling guide - put all points in energy, have a good wheelman and mastermind, be someone elses top mafia mastermind and wheelman (if fearless). If all these things are covered, you can easily level up over and over again through Cuba without even trying. Although mastering Street Thug, Associate, and Soldier can take a day in their own right, I was able to master ALL of Cuba, in addition to Enforcer and Hitman in a day quite easily. I believe I ended just under level 200 by the time I finished off Cuba.

Not Quite Perfect...

The only problem with mastering Cuba in 2 days was that I was around level 185-190 and had not touched Capo, Consigliere, Underboss, and Boss. Why is this such a problem? Well, every time you level up, the exp:energy ratio increases. That is, every level, the total exp needed to reach the next level increases by 12 or so, but you can only get an extra 5 energy per level. Things like collections, job mastery stat points, achievements, and godfather points allow this ratio to decrease. However, these points eventually dry up and you will need more and more experience to hit the next level.

Additionally, an even bigger problem is that the experience points to energy ratio for the Capo tree is not very good. It took a lot longer to finish off the New York tier because I leveled up so much in Cuba.

Final Verdict?

The real question here is whether or not it is faster to level up according to the guide or to incorporate Cuba sooner rather than later. Here are the pros and cons of heading to Cuba early:

Pros of heading to Cuba early:
-
Can finish off Cuba in a day
- All the good loot is in Cuba (TNT, Hu-9 Helicopters, etc..)
- Can slowly master the New York content and diversify stat points into attack/defense if you want to make a good fighting character

Cons of heading to Cuba early:
-
Mastering New York can take a lot of time
- Can always head back to Cuba and level through it pretty quickly. It took me about 3 days to get through Cuba after hitting Master Boss - first 2 days for Soldado, the last day I was able to get through the rest of the tiers.


So, it depends. If you want to make a good fighter, I would probably do Cuba after leveling the first five tiers. That way, you can work on collecting the new loot items, which are the best for attacking and defending while leveling up. If you want to level up as fast as possible, I would follow the original guide, perhaps doing the first tier in Cuba after finishing off Capo, then finishing off New York before doing any more Cuba.
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June 25, 2009

More Lottery Info; Mafia Wars Strategy Guide

So, a new function has been added - the lotto. Here's how it works:

Once a week, 5 lotto numbers are selected randomly by the computer. You may enter tickets into the drawing with the "Lotto" function. You can find this under the Godfather tab, then by clicking "Lotto" on that page. If you match a certain number of numbers, you can win prizes. Here they are:


Requirement
Daily Chance Prizes
5 matching balls
333 reward points
4 matching balls
8 reward points
3 matching balls
A Daily Chance collection piece
2 matching balls
An unused Daily Chance ticket
1 matching balls
A random loot item

Four matching balls = 8 reward points? I mean, what are the odds for just 8 reward points? Weird.

Third, you get a point for each daily chance ticket you play. You can let these points build up to 6 total points and exchange them for rewards.

1 Ticket: Random Collection Item
2 Tickets: +10 Stamina
3 Tickets: +30 Energyy
4 Tickets: +1 Ticket
5 Tickets: +1 Stat Point
6 Tickets: +5 Godfather Points

This is actually pretty nice because without buying any reward points, you can collect an extra 5 godfather points per week. Collecting 5 Godfather Points is equivalent to ~1.43 stat points, which makes it more effective then buying +1 stat point.

You get one free ticket every day, and you may additionally buy a ticket for 52 godfather points. Doing some simple math here allows me to think it might take quite some time to collect the full lotto collection set, so I hope it is a good reward (will update when I get the information). None of the other rewards are that exciting- while 333 godfather points looks good on paper, the odds of matching all 5 are like winning the real lottery!


***UPDATE*** - lotto seems to give consumable items instead now, like illegal transaction records, cell phones, and blackmail photos instead of rare loot items.
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Lottery Collection; Mafia Wars Strategy Guide

So, apparently a new collection leaked out a few hours ago, visible under the New York Collections tab for some players. It can be found at the bottom, here is a screenshot:



When you click on the "Lottery Tickets" link in the above collection, it takes you to the following window:
Apparently this is a new feature that will be live later tonight. More info later once it is actually released!
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Since people have been asking for a +11% experience points mastermind; Mafia Wars Strategy Guide

Here is a link to a +11% mastermind (promote in Top Mafia) enjoy:

http://www.facebook.com/bob.dick?ref=mf
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June 18, 2009

Mafia Wars Cuba - 17 Brand New Achievements; Strategy Guide

Good news - new achievements were added to Mafia Wars today. These ones are actually a bit more creative then the past, and offer players many new challenges (some of which will actually be quite tough!). Additionally, the developers put in progress bars on achievements finally! No more guessing how many fights you have won in Cuba:



Anyway, on the to achievements!

International - Earned by collecting over 1,000,000 Cuban Pesos
Strategy: Not actually too bad. Once you work through Mafia Wars: Cuba, start buying businesses. Fully upgraded businesses will be able to knock this achievement out in 4 days.

Big Business - Earned by fully upgrading a single Cuban business.
Strategy: Will happen en route to International. Don't worry too much about this or the Tycoon achievement, just buy some businesses and they will pay to upgrade themselves in short order.

Tycoon - Earned by fully upgrading all Cuban Businesses

Working Man - Earned by doing 20 jobs in one day
Strategy: Easy. They do not have to be different jobs - if you have 20 energy you can just do one energy jobs in the Street Thug tier and earn it easily. Or, you can just work on leveling up and you should get it!

Dependable - Earned by doing a job every day for seven days
Strategy: Do a job once every seven days.

Big Spender - Earned by purchasing an item or service with Reward Points
Strategy: Level up 28 times and buy +4 stat points, or spend your money on some.

Treasure Hunter - Earned by finding a rare item in a mystery crate
Strategy - Buy mystery crates. Sucks because the rares in the mystery crate are pretty poor quality, maybe they will upgrade them at some point

Slum Lord - Earned by owning 30 apartment complexes
Strategy - Buy 30 apartment complexes

Cashing out - Earned by selling 50 Mega Casinoes
Strategy - Buy and sell 50 Mega Casinoes. If you don't have any Mega Casinoes, you can buy and sell them 1 (or 10) at a time to save money.

Getting the Crew Together - Earned by promoting friends to each Top Mafia position
Strategy - Find some friends, promote them to top Mafia.

Crime C.E.O. - Earned by assembling a Top Mafia with all players above level 100
Strategy - Not too bad, by the time you have 50 or so Mafia members, you should be able to find enough to put in your Top Mafia.

Knife Thrower - Earned by looting 10 Butterfly Knives.
Strategy - You should earn this achievement just in the process of leveling up.

Uncle Sam - Earned by owning 50 federal agents.
Strategy - They had to put this in after I gave all mine away! At any rate, you get federal agents from the "Buy off a Federal Agent" job in the boss tier. They do not have a good drop rate, and the job requires blackmail photos, so I would recommend being a Master Boss before going for this achievement. It might take a few days worth of energy packs to collect enough blackmail photos to get this one.

What's after Trillion? - Earned by depositing 999 Trillion Dollars
Strategy - I'll be surprised if anyone ever gets this legitimately within the year. It took a few weeks for people to hit the 10 trillion mark, so getting 100 times that is going to take quite some time. I think this was just put in the game to give people who have done everything something to do.

Bulletproof - Earned by surviving for over 60 minutes on the Hit List.
Strategy - This one actually looks pretty interesting. Surviving on the Hit List takes an interesting build - you need to be able to win a lot of fights on defense (see guide), but you also need to have a lot of health so that you do not get knocked out in between bouts of healing. On the hit list, you can be knocked out even if you win every fight on defense. If you win 100 fights, you're still taking damage on most fights, and eventually you will get knocked out. You can heal every minute or so, but if you only have the base line level of health, you will not last very long on the hitlist. You can try to have this done at off-peak hours (in the middle of the night) and have a friend list you, but Mafia Wars is an international game, so there will never be truly be an opening.

That's Amore - Earned by gifting a Diamond Ring to any player under level 8
Strategy - Get a friend to play, gift them a ring before they get past level 8. In other news, the Diamond Ring crops up on everyone's wishlist..

The Best Offense - Earned by defeating 6 attackers in a row
Strategy - See the How to Win Fights on Defense guide. The best way to get attacked 6 times in a row is to get someone to list you on the hitlist after you get an outfitted Mafia of 501. It can be done earlier, but requires a bit of luck. Alternatively, you could have a weaker friend attack you until you get it.
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June 16, 2009

Updates for the day; Mafia Wars Strategy Guide

Added a bit to yesterday's piece on when to use the bank in an addendum called how to buy property. I thought that this would be a bit intuitive, but nevertheless, I see people with more casinos then office buildings all the time.

Additionally, I updated the how to win fights and how to win fights on defense section to be up=to=date for Mafia Wars: Cuba.

Finally, I've been playing through a new character to see how the Cuba expansion will fit into the leveling guide. More info on that later!
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June 15, 2009

When to use the Bank and how to buy Property - Being smarter with your Mafia Money; Mafia Wars Strategy Guide

I see this consistently - mid to high level players with a lot of money banking their money in New York religiously. Unless you are under level 50, this is a big mistake! Let's take a look at some math:

Let's say you are around level 80 and are working through the Consigliere tier.

1. Each job seems to pay an average of around $5,000,000 and there are 8 total jobs to master, so you'll end up doing a few hundred jobs to finish the tier.
2. So, let's say you do 300 jobs at $5,000,000 a piece.
3. This will leave you with $1,500,000,000 by the time you are finished.
4. If you deposit this in the bank, you will pay a -10% fee. This is $150,000,000.
5. Each time you lose a fight, you can lose a maximum of $100,000.
6. Therefore, you would have to lose 1500 fights in order to save money by using the bank.


Well, some people have lost more than 1500 fights, it's true. However, these players generally are Master Bosses and have been playing for some time. In the Master Boss tier, the average job pays 15,000,000 and you have to do over 1000 jobs to finish the tier. By the time you master every tier, you should have made at least 20-30 billion dollars. If you divide $30,000,000,000 by $100,000 (the most you can lose in a fight), you would have to lose 300,000 fights to save money. So, in short, if you are over level 50, you are wasting money (in New York) by using the bank.

However, Mafia Wars: Cuba is a different story.


The Bank is actually useful in Mafia Wars: Cuba. You can still lose up to 100,000 per fight, but this time it is scarce pesos. Fully upgraded businesses produce just over 300,000 cuban pesos per day, which you could lose most of in just a couple fights. Protect your money in Cuba and deposit it right away!


How to Buy Property

When buying property, always buy it in stacks of 10. It is much cheaper to get 10 casinoes for 300,000 a piece then it is to get one for 300,000, one for 305000, another for 310000, and so on.

Additionally, not all property types were created equal. The cost per building for casinoes goes up much faster than that of office buildings and five-star hotels. So, buy the property that is going to provide the most return on investment (ROI). For example, if you have 100 casinoes and 100 office buildings, and are looking to buy more.

As a theoretical example:

Office buildings produce 150,000/hr and 10 more would cost 1,200,000,000
Investment = 1,200,000,000
Return = 150,000/hr * 10 buildings

This investment will pay 1$ for every 800 invested per hour (1,200,000,000 / 150,000). This means it will repay the initial investment in 800 hours and begin to produce a profit after that of 1$/800 invested.

Casinoes produce 300,000/hr and 10 more would cost 3,000,000,000

This investment will repay itself in 1000 hours (3,000,000,000 / 300,000) and begin to produce a profit after that of 1$/1000 invested.

In short, you should not have the same amount of casinoes, hotels, and office buildings. If you really want that Nest Egg achievement, pay attention to which property will provide the most ROI.

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June 14, 2009

Mafia Wars Developers Considering Implementing Class Changes

The developers have mentioned the possibility of allowing class changes. Here is a quote below taken off the official forums(original post here):


"Will you ever make it so I can change my class type? I'm tired of being a mogul!

No promises just yet, but we are looking at possible adjustments to the class system. Ideally, we want to give each class something that appeals to everyone. Additionally, since it’s difficult for new players to gauge which class is best when first starting the game, we may also give players the option to select their class after reaching a certain level.

If we do end up making major changes to the class system, it’s likely that we’ll provide players with some way to select the class that most appeals to them. -Fenris"



Now, this would be a much appreciated feature for many Mafia Wars players. I know there are plenty of Moguls out there who wish they could change.


In other news, I've updated the job mastery section. Turns out the mastery items officially have no purpose other than to be a loot piece with good stats. Bummer!
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June 12, 2009

Mafia Wars Cuba Achievements; Strategy Guide

Eight new achievements also went live with the release of Mafia Wars Cuba. Some of these are actually related to New York, but were just put into the game. Here they are:

One Down - Achieved by mastering at least one stage in New York.
Strategy: Master one stage in New York..

What else you got? - Achieved by mastering all the tiers in New York
Strategy: Please see the leveling guide.

Island Bound - Earned by traveling to Cuba
Strategy: Hit level 35, click the fly to Cuba button.

Banana Republic - Earned by owning all four businesses in Cuba
Strategy: Money may seem tight in Cuba to start, but don't worry. You'll master this in no time. Don't buy any businesses until you master the first tier once; you'll need the money to buy the required items for the jobs before that.

Havana Hat Trick - Earned by mastering at least one job tier in Cuba.
Strategy: Just play in Cuba for a bit, it will happen in no time.

Like a Hurricane - Earned by winning 1000 fights in Cuba.
Strategy: This is the only strategy in Cuba that will actually take a bit of time. If you are struggling to win fights in Cuba, find an easy target in Cuba to attack repeatedly as discussed here.

My Little Friend - Earned by gifting an M16A1 to a friend.
Strategy: Do the "Transport a Shipment of US Arms" job in the El Capitan tier until you get one of these guns, then gift said gun to someone in your mafia. Easy enough.

So far, there are 6 achievements to work on in Cuba, with the "Like a Hurricane" being by far the longest grind. I would not be surprised if the developers decide to add more though, as there is definitely room for it!

Update: 6/18/2009 - As predicted, new achievements were added today:

International - Earned by collecting over 1,000,000 Cuban Pesos
Strategy: Not actually too bad. Once you work through Mafia Wars: Cuba, start buying businesses. Fully upgraded businesses will be able to knock this achievement out in 4 days.

Big Business - Earned by fully upgrading a single Cuban business.
Strategy: Will happen en route to International. Don't worry too much about this or the Tycoon achievement, just buy some businesses and they will pay to upgrade themselves in short order.

Tycoon - Earned by fully upgrading all Cuban Businesses

Working Man - Earned by doing 20 jobs in one day
Strategy: Easy. They do not have to be different jobs - if you have 20 energy you can just do one energy jobs in the Street Thug tier and earn it easily. Or, you can just work on leveling up and you should get it!

Dependable - Earned by doing a job every day for seven days
Strategy: Do a job once every seven days.

Big Spender - Earned by purchasing an item or service with Reward Points
Strategy: Level up 28 times and buy +4 stat points, or spend your money on some.

Treasure Hunter - Earned by finding a rare item in a mystery crate
Strategy - Buy mystery crates. Sucks because the rares in the mystery crate are pretty poor quality, maybe they will upgrade them at some point

Slum Lord - Earned by owning 30 apartment complexes
Strategy - Buy 30 apartment complexes

Cashing out - Earned by selling 50 Mega Casinoes
Strategy - Buy and sell 50 Mega Casinoes. If you don't have any Mega Casinoes, you can buy and sell them 1 (or 10) at a time to save money.

Getting the Crew Together - Earned by promoting friends to each Top Mafia position
Strategy - Find some friends, promote them to top Mafia.

Crime C.E.O. - Earned by assembling a Top Mafia with all players above level 100
Strategy - Not too bad, by the time you have 50 or so Mafia members, you should be able to find enough to put in your Top Mafia.

Knife Thrower - Earned by looting 10 Butterfly Knives.
Strategy - You should earn this achievement just in the process of leveling up.

Uncle Sam - Earned by owning 50 federal agents.
Strategy - They had to put this in after I gave all mine away! At any rate, you get federal agents from the "Buy off a Federal Agent" job in the boss tier. They do not have a good drop rate, and the job requires blackmail photos, so I would recommend being a Master Boss before going for this achievement. It might take a few days worth of energy packs to collect enough blackmail photos to get this one.

What's after Trillion? - Earned by depositing 999 Trillion Dollars
Strategy - I'll be surprised if anyone ever gets this legitimately within the year. It took a few weeks for people to hit the 10 trillion mark, so getting 100 times that is going to take quite some time. I think this was just put in the game to give people who have done everything something to do.

Bulletproof - Earned by surviving for over 60 minutes on the Hit List.
Strategy - This one actually looks pretty interesting. Surviving on the Hit List takes an interesting build - you need to be able to win a lot of fights on defense (see guide), but you also need to have a lot of health so that you do not get knocked out in between bouts of healing. On the hit list, you can be knocked out even if you win every fight on defense. If you win 100 fights, you're still taking damage on most fights, and eventually you will get knocked out. You can heal every minute or so, but if you only have the base line level of health, you will not last very long on the hitlist. You can try to have this done at off-peak hours (in the middle of the night) and have a friend list you, but Mafia Wars is an international game, so there will never be truly be an opening.

That's Amore - Earned by gifting a Diamond Ring to any player under level 8
Strategy - Get a friend to play, gift them a ring before they get past level 8. In other news, the Diamond Ring crops up on everyone's wishlist..

The Best Offense - Earned by defeating 6 attackers in a row
Strategy - See the How to Win Fights on Defense guide. The best way to get attacked 6 times in a row is to get someone to list you on the hitlist after you get an outfitted Mafia of 501. It can be done earlier, but requires a bit of luck. Alternatively, you could have a weaker friend attack you until you get it.

Updated 10/16/2009

Hitman: Earned by collecting a bounty from the hitlist.

Bounty Hunter: Earned by collecting 50 bounties from the hitlist.

Master Collector: Earned by vaulting all of the New York and Cuba collections.

Next!: Earned by mastering all of Cuba.

Dedicated: Earned by logging in and completing a job 20 days in a row.

Set Them up for Later: Earned by losing 10 fights in a row.

Brawler: Earned by winning 100 fights in a row.

It's Good to be the King: Earned by being promoted to at least 10 friends' top mafia.

First Blood: Earned by declaring and winning a war.

Veteran: Earned by participating in 500 wars.

Rossiya Matushka: Earned by traveling to Moscow

Pank 'n Spank: Earned by defeating Dmitri Leonov
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Mafia Wars Cuba Loot and Item List; Strategy Guide

Here's the loot list for Mafia Wars: Cuba.

Items available for purchase (click picture for fullsize)


From Jobs:

Weapons:


Armor:


Vehicles:



Cocodrilo APC, El Rey Roadster, Che's Beret, Guerrilla Commando, and Avispa Machine Gun are all Job Mastery Rewards.

This leaves us with 5 items of note:

TNT - 42 attack 20 defense - best offensive weapon in game - drops from the "Raid the Arms Depot" job in the El Padrino tier.

Guerrilla Squad - 30 attack 34 defense - best offensive and defensive armor in game - nice. Drops from the "Supply the FRG With Some Extra Muscle" job in the El Padrino tier.

Hu-9 Helicopter - 36 attack 27 defense - best offensive vehicle in game. Drops from the "Attack the Army Command Post" job in the El Padrino tier.

Armored State Car - 30 attack 38 defense - best defensive vehicle in game (same amount of armor as Private Jet) . Drops from the "Storm the Presidential Palace" job in the El Padrino tier.

Gaft Hook - 20 attack 30 defense - best defensive weapon in game. Drops from the "Pillage a Shipyard" job in the El Jefe tier (c-c-c-combo breaker)!
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Mafia Wars Cuba Now Live! Initial Impressions...

The day has come - Mafia Wars Cuba is now live for all Facebook players. New jobs, achievements, collections, new loot, and businesses await Mafia Wars players level 35 and above. Information on collections, job mastery items, and businesses can be found in previous posts found along the table of contents on the right hand side. I will post up information on new loot and achievements soon (probably later today). The rest of this piece is simply my initial impressions and insights on various aspects of Mafia Wars: Cuba.

On ease of leveling

The new jobs in Mafia Wars Cuba are fairly easy in my opinion. There are no annoying reagents like concealable cameras to be collected like in the original version. Additionally, even the last tier, you still get 4-5% of exp towards the job mastery every time you do the job. As a result, it is very easy to rapidly level off the jobs. Every single job in the first two tiers gives 1.7-1.95ish exp per energy point invested, which is significantly more efficient then the counterparts in Mafia Wars New York. However, the last 3 tiers give 1.8-2.1 xp per energy point, so, if you were to create an energy based character as outlined in the leveling guide, you could fly through Cuba incredibly fast. Example: one of my characters, was around level 300 when Mafia Wars Cuba came out and I got into beta. I mastered all 5 tiers by the second night despite travelling a lot in real life and having little time to play. Once I got done the first tier, I was to finish the second tier with an energy pack, and the last 3 tiers I was able to complete in an hour, just leveling up off of each energy bar without fail, without waiting for items.

On Cuban Pesos

There isn't nearly as much money floating around in Cuba as there was in Mafia Wars New York. I think this is a good thing, simply because it makes fighting more rewarding. Winning 30,000$ off a fight is a big deal when the best job is only giving you 3000-4000. However, the use of money runs out pretty fast too. It doesn't take long to run out of things to buy. Within a week or two, you can easily max out your businesses and have all the items you need to do jobs. At this point, money ceases to have a point. In Mafia Wars New York, while money is virtually worthless, at least you can buy more property and stockpile if for the "Nest Egg" achievement. For Beta testers, money appears to have been capped at 2.5 million cuban pesos. I had around 4,000,000 and got rolled back to 2.5 million even. Apparently, there was an exploit which allowed players to get a lot of money which was patched, so the rollback was necessary to prevent too much money floating around... not like there is much to spend money on anyway.

On Fighting

Fighting is still underpowered in my opinion. Mafia Wars Cuba was a step in the right direction - less money floating around so purses from fights are bigger is a positive change. Additionally, there is an achievement now for winning 1,000 fights in Cuba, which adds a little incentive to fight. However, there should be more incentives for actually beating high level players, or more powerful players. The fact that there is no advantage fighting a level 400 player with a mafia of 500 versus a level 40 player with a mafia of 5 is counter-intuitive.

On Job Mastery Items

Very disappointing. It appears after further review, that Job Mastery items are just items with good stats. One item is just a drop in the bucket when you consider you have access to 500 items. The pistol bayonette from mastering Street Thug in New York is more powerful then the reward for getting El Padriano Principal (master of the last tier in Cuba). Also short-sighted in my opinion.

On Businesses

Great idea, bad implementation. Even with very casual playing, they can be fully upgraded in a week, two weeks tops. Simply not sustainable content. As boring as it was simply to buy more and more casinoes, a lot of players did it, and it at least attempts to give some purpose to make money (even if it was just to make more money), but I digress...

On New Loot

Pretty much all of the New York items are outdated. If you are surprised, don't be, this is the general progression model for RPG style games like Mafia Wars. Every time an expansion comes out, items get better, and you will have to collect them all over again. What was unexpected by me is the ease with which these new items are attainable. I already have 500 Guerrila Squads (best armor for attack and defense) and 500 TNTs (best weapon for attacking). In New York, the jobs that dropped the best loot either required a consumeable item (like Blackmail Photos), or gave out less xp per energy than other jobs (like the Mexican Cartel job for Private Jets). However, in Cuba, some of the best jobs exp to energy wise also give out the best loot - for example, with my current bonuses, the job "Supply the FRG with some extra muscle" gives 82 exp for 40 energy, a ratio of 2.05 exp per energy.. not bad considering this job also drops the Guerilla Squad, which is the best armor for both attacking and defense in game. At 34 attack and 30 Defense, it has twice as much attack power as the Federal Agent, which was the previous best, and 4 more defense then the Falsified Documents. I'm sure there are already more dedicated players who already have a full set of 500 of the best items for both attacking and defense. I'll the loot list a bit later today for those that are waiting!



Summary

Overall, it was nice to see some new content, but I hope they improve fighting a bit and make businesses a bit more substantial. I think this would greatly extend the longevity of the Cuba expansion.

More updates to come later today! Also, if you have any reports of various bugs or issues, feel free to discuss in the comments section.
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June 11, 2009

Mafia Wars Cuba Collections and Collection Items; Strategy Guide

Update: Mafia Wars: Cuba is now live for everyone to play. These collections are in game live as shown below.

Yesterday, new collections were added to Mafia Wars: Cuba beta test. As of now, there is one collection for each tier, an example of which is pictured below:



Just like New York, the collection items in Mafia Wars Cuba are random drops from the jobs of that tier. In other words, you can get all the collection items by doing the same job over and over, all that is required is a bit of luck (or patience). Here is a list of the collections, the items within, and the bonuses received for vaulting the collections:



El Soldado Job Tier
Rum Drinks Collection
Reward: +8 energy
Items: Pina Colada, Hurricane, Bahama Mama, Mojito, Rum Runner, Long Island Ice Tea, Cuba Libre

El Capitan Job Tier
Tropical Fruits Collection
Reward: +3 Stamina
Items: Banana, Lime, Pineapple, Papaya, Coconut, Passion Fruit, Dragon Fruit

El Jefe Job Tier
Entertainers Collection
Reward: +10 Health
Items: Magician, Fan Dancer, Comedian, Band Leader, Cabaret Singer, Crooner, Burlesque Dancer


El Patron Job Tier
Tropical Fish Collection
Reward: +5 Attack
Items: Pufferfish, Sergeant Major, Yellowtail Snapper, Great Barracuda, Queen Angelfish, Reef Shark, Blue Martin

El Padriano Job Tier
Beards Collection
Reward: +7 Defense (also an achievement)
Items: Garibaldi, Hulihee, Vandyke, Mutton Chops, Soul Patch, French Fork, Fidel
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Mafia Wars Cuba Update - Bug fixes, New Collections and Achievements

The beta test for Mafia Wars: Cuba was updated last night, and included several needed bug fixes. First off, the Golden Throne and Helicopter now work in Cuba, so players no longer have to worry about logging off in New York in order to regenerate. However, the bonuses between the 30 seconds off the stamina regen timers for both the El Padriano Principal reward and the master Hitman reward currently do not stack. If anyone has any information on whether or not the job mastery rewards are intended to be anything more than loot with exceptional stats, feel free to leave a comment. For now, I am waiting for the official word from the developers.

New Collections and Achievements

Five new collections were added to Mafia Wars: Cuba last night, one for each tier. Eight new achievements were added as well. Will have more information on these collections and achievements soon!
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June 10, 2009

Mafia Wars Cuba Businesses; Strategy Guide

In Mafia Wars Cuba, instead of buying properties, you have the option to take over businesses. There are 6 businesses available right now. Each business will produce materials every 3 hours, which you can then exchange for currency by clicking on the "sell" button (see picture below):



How Businesses Work

Businesses produce items which then can be sold. They work passively, but if you go a week without playing, your inventory will have filled up long ago. Unlike property, you can only buy 1 of each type of business. From there, you can upgrade 3 business attributes:

Product Quality: Changes the item your business produces. Upgrading this will increase the amount of profit you get per item you sell. Upgrading this costs twice as much as upgrading the other attributes.

Capacity: Increases your storage capacity. The limit is 2280 units. Upgrading this stat does not increase your maximal earning potential, it simply allows you go to longer between selling your inventory. With a fully upgraded output and capacity, your reserves will fill up once every 24 hours.

Output: Increases the amount of product you produce every 3 hours. For each upgrade point, this produces 20 more units every 3 hours. This is upgradeable until the output reaches 280.


Summary of Business Types

Keeping up with a long tradition of a lack of ingenuity, there appears to be virtually no difference between businesses aside from cost. That is, a tobacco plantation costs exactly half that of a sugar plantation, and produces exactly half as much income. A coca field costs 10 times as much as a tobacco plantation, and produces exactly 10 times as much income. Therefore, it makes no difference which type of business you buy first. Regardless, here are the 6 businesses, along with upgrade costs and product output:

Update: The costs for the initial businesses are no longer accurate. These have been recently changed. The output/price of selling the items is still the same.


Tobacco Plantation - Cost: 25,000 Cuban Pesos
Sale price of product: Starts at 400/100, ends at 800/100
Upgrade cost for Quality: Starts at 3,200. increases 400 every level and ends at 4400.
Upgrade cost for Capacity/Output: Starts at 1,600, increases 450 each level and ends at 5,200 for the final upgrade.


Sugar Plantation - Cost: 50,000 Cuban Pesos

Sale price of product: Starts at 800/100, ends at 1,600/100
Upgrade cost for Quality: Starts at 6,400, increases 800 each level and ends at 8800 for the final upgrade.
Upgrade cost for Capacity/Output: Starts at 3,200, increases 900 each level and ends at 10,400 for the final upgrade.


Factory - Cost: 100,000 Cuban Pesos

Sale price of product: Starts at 1,600/100, ends at 3,200/100
Upgrades: Quality - Starts at 12,800, increases 1,600 each level and ends at 17,600
Upgrade cost for Capacity/Output: Starts at 6,400, increases 1,800 each level and ends at 20,800 for the final upgrade.

Coca Field - Cost: 250,000 Cuban Pesos

Sale price of product: Starts at 4,000/100, ends at 8,000/100
Upgrade cost for Quality: Starts at 32,000, increases 3,200 each level and ends at 44000
Upgrade cost for Capacity/Output: Starts at 16,000, increases 4,500 with each level and ends at 52,000 for the final upgrade.

Bodega - Free

Produces Canned Goods
Output: 200 cuban pesos / 3 hours
Cannot be upgraded

Bribery Ring - Costs 75,000 Cuban Pesos to take over
Produces Politco Corruptos
Cost to Upgrade Output: 15,000, 25,500, 43,300, 73,700 for final upgrade. Max capacity 5 politicos every 3 hours
Cost to Upgrade Capacity: 15,000, 25,500, 43,300, 73,700 for final upgrade. Max capacity 10.



Summary:

Maxing out your businesses happens pretty fast. The order in which you buy the upgrades is not terribly important, though you will make money faster if you upgrade output twice to start, then upgrade quality a few times, then output, then quality. Capacity should be upgraded last in most cases. With all four businesses maxed out, you can make 38,080 Cuban Pesos every 3 hours, or 304,640 a day (equivalent to doing the highest paying jobs nearly 100 times). Now if only there was something to do with all your Mafia Wars Cuba money..

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June 9, 2009

Mafia Wars: Cuba Job Mastery Reward Items; Strategy Guide

The Job Mastery Rewards in Mafia Wars: Cuba are items which can be used in fights rather than items with passive bonuses.


El Soldado (Tier 1) reward: El Rey Roadster


Vehicle: 40 Attack, 34 Defense


El Capitan (Tier 2) reward: Guerilla Commando


Armor: 38 Attack, 35 Defense


El Jefe (Tier 3) reward: Avispa Machine Gun

Weapon: 54 Attack, 24 Defense


El Patron (Tier 4) reward: Che's Beret


Armor: 46 Attack, 34 Defense


El Padriano (Tier 5) reward: Cocodrilo APC

Vehicle: 42 Attack, 56 Defense

El Cacique (Tier 6) reward: Cazador Assault Rifle

Weapon: 60 attack, 25 defense



And that's all the tiers. The rewards are a little disappointing - they do not really do much! Five total items is just a drop in the bucket when you can fight with 501 weapons, armors, and vehicles.
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June 8, 2009

Mafia Wars: Cuba - Updates and a Warning!; Strategy and Leveling Guide

Update: Golden Throne Bug is fixed, currently unsure if job mastery reward items provide any bonus aside from their stats as an item.


Two short updates on Mafia Wars: Cuba. First off, some new information on the job mastery item for El Capitan, the second of 5 tiers in the Mafia Wars: Cuba expansion (click for full size):

Kind of strange - it appears in the inventory as a really good item rather than a Job Mastery item. I am assuming it doubles as both, being used in fights and providing the bonus, but it's too early to tell.

*UPDATE* - Mastered El Jefe (third tier) as well, here is the job mastery item (bonuses are not very original..)


Warning: Do not log off in Cuba

That's right, do not log off in Cuba. I am not sure if is intentional or not, but at this point in time, all the job mastery items have no effect while in Cuba. In other words, a master boss in Cuba will only get 1 energy per regen period, and regen periods will last the full length.. no bonuses at all. So, for now, make sure you fly back to New York before you log off!
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Mafia Wars Cuba, Beta; Strategy Guide

The beta test (quick aside: a beta test is just that - a test. All of this information is subject to change after the testing period) for the new expansion to Mafia Wars is now up! If you registered for the beta test, you should see a "Fly to Cuba" button at the top of your screen:
Here is a run-down of what I've found out so far:

The New Job Tiers and Mastery Items

Cuba is available for players over level 35. There are 5 new job tiers in Mafia Wars: Cuba - El Soldado (levels 35-59), El Capitan (60-84), El Jefe (85-109), El Patron (110-129), and El Padrino (levels 130+). So far, I have not seen any new collection items, but there are new job mastery items. For mastering the El Soldado tier, I recieved an El Rey Roadster (pic below):


The weird thing about this is that when I recieved this job mastery item, I was shown the item with the tag that it would allow me to do +4% more damage in fights. However, it appears in my loot page as a vehicle rather than a job mastery item, with no mention of the +4% damage done in fights. I think it may do both, but there is no way to tell for now and it is subject to change since this is a beta test after all. Will post more as I get there.

Cuban Pesos

When you get to Cuba for the first time, you start with no money. You have to do the "Rob a Cab Driver" job in order to get your initial money to buy other items to do other jobs. Upkeep on items is paid differently - for every item you have, you get .5% less income on each job (additive, not muplicative). In other words, if you have 10 items, you get paid 5% less for each job. I'm assuming if you have bought items, you'll get no money for jobs. Additionally, all the jobs pay out very poorly. Some of the later items require around 50 items, so it is obvious you will not make much money in Cuba through jobs. Which brings me to the next point - how do you make money in Cuba?

New feature - Businesses:

When you get to Cuba, the "Properties" tab is replaced by "Businesses". As of now, there are 4 types of businesses - a Tobacco Plantation, a Sugar Plantation, a Factory, and a Coca field. Unlike property, you can only buy one of each and they can not be robbed (as of now). There are 2 main differences between properties and businesses:

1. Businesses produce commodities, rather than income.

Every 3 hours, each of your owned businesses produces a certain amount of "product". This product stacks up until your maximum capacity is reached. You can exchange this product for cuban pesos with the push of a button. The main difference here is that businesses must be checked up on regularly (perhaps once to twice a day) in order to produce the most income, you have to click the "sell product" button in order to get paid.

2. You can only buy one of each business, but it can be upgraded to produce more money.

Businesses have 3 attributes - quality of product, storage capacity, and output per 3 hours, which all can be upgraded for cuban pesos. For example, the Tobacco Plantation (the cheapest business) costs 25,000 cuban pesos. It produces tobacco to start, but it can be upgraded. For example, for 3,200 pesos, it can be upgraded to produce Cigarillos. Cigarillos sell for more money. Here is a picture to illustrate:

So, in the picture, you can see that each business can be upgraded multiple times. Additionally, you can see that these attributes will cap out after a point. A brand new tobacco plantation only produces a few hundred pesos every 3 hours, but a fully upgraded one, as pictured above, will produce 2240 cuban pesos every 3 hours. It seems like most of the money in Cuba will be made off of businesses, since even the top jobs only give 4000-6000 pesos.

Fighting in Cuba

For now, fighting in Cuba works a bit strangely. You can use all the best items from New York in Cuba from now, plus all of your mafia members, in addition to the best items in Cuba. However, the items you get in Cuba can only be used in Cuba. I'm assuming this will change once beta is over - it would be unfair for beta players to ravage New York with all the better weapons and armor. Speaking of new items...

New Loot in Cuba

Cuba has a lot of great new items available to players. I've only played in the first two tiers so far, but will have more info soon. Here is a sample of some new loot items:

As you can see, the Cane Knife (weapon) has more defense than any other weapon, and I was able to get 10 of them just mastering the job "Ransack a Local Plantation" (second tier) twice. The Street Gang Member has more attack than any "New York" armor, and the Camouflage Body Armor is a great all around item. These are only from the 2nd tier as well, I think it's safe to say we'll see even better items in the higher tiers.

That's it for now, I'll post more info when I get it!
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June 1, 2009

What is the best weapon in Mafia Wars? Strategy Guide FAQ

Question: What is the best weapon in Mafia Wars?

Answer: In Mafia Wars, not including reward points weapons, the TNT is the best weapon for attacking, and the Gaff Hook is the best weapon for defending. TNT is dropped from the "Raid the Arms Depot" job and the Gaff Hook is dropped from the "Pillage a Shipyard" job. If you are going by combined stats, TNT has the highest at 62.
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