December 30, 2010

Operations - How to Join 200 or More EVERY DAY

Mafia Wars Operations feature some of the best Attack and Defense items in the game, and - in six instances - let you Wish List, gift, and trade top-tier Operations Loot.   The recent Steal the Ball Operation and Secure Rudolph Operation brought two more great items into the game.  If only there were a way to get to the point already join more Operations...

And there is.  In fact, if you spend some time at it, you can easily join *200* Operations each day.  And finish them.  And get the Rewards from them, which *may* include the Rare items, with stats in the 70s and high 60s.  The more Operations you join, the more likely you are to get fired for playing Mafia Wars at work better your chances are of getting these items.

What's that you say?  There's a limit of 10?  You can only join Operations when you happen to see them posted on your Facebook feed?  They'll never land a man on the Moon?  There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?   Wake up.  2011 is here.  The old ways just won't do.

Ten days ago, only 500 select Mafia Wars had heard of the Free Gift Link Creators group on Facebook.  Today, that number is closer to 2,500, with the group's administrators wishing I were dead members grabbing 100+ extra Free Gifts each day.  (Look at the comments to that post - there IS still a way to join...).

So today, I'm giving a shout out to three more Facebook groups, all of which are dedicated to posting Operations that need spots filled to complete.  

You go to these Facebook pages and click on other Mafia Wars players' Operations than needs spots filled.  You don't have to be in some one's Mafia to join their Operations -- but without these groups, you'd never SEE the Operations posted from anyone outside your Mafia.  So this is as easy as clicking your mouse.

As with the Free Gift Link Creators page, these groups work even better when you not only click on the Operations links, but also post your own links - more on that below. 

Between these three groups - and one other trick I'll discuss in a future post - there are more available Operations than I have time to click and join.  

Participating in 10 My Mafia Operations,
with most completed in a matter of minutes

My Mafia Operations is perpetually at 10 (that is the limit...but only at one time).  The Operations featured in these groups are usually fully completed within 5 or 10 minutes, so you can collect your rewards and join another Operation.  With enough Energy and Stamina, you could spend every day playing Mafia Wars in your pajamas instead of going to work doing the "Operations loop" - joining, completing, collecting rewards, and joining more  

One warning - most of these Operations are completely full if the post is more than 2 minutes old - I often click a link posted 40 seconds ago and see the Operation has no open spots remaining.  Or I'll click a link and see a few open spots, and by the time my increasingly arthritic hands imprecisely move my mouse somewhere near the Select button I decide which job I want, the Operation is completely full.  So act fast! 

Setting aside this frustration which I do by pounding my fists on the keyboard each time it happens to me, having an Operation fill up within seconds is good news.  If you are quick enough join an Operation (and you'll get to join plenty, believe me), you know that several other Mafia Wars players are right behind you to fill the remaining spots, complete the Operation, and let you collect your Rewards... leaving you free to find another Operation to join.  200 a day.  I promise.

The groups below have roughly the same format: a wall full of posts of TinyURL links that take you into Mafia Wars on a page with an Operation that has one or more slot to fill.

You'll usually see the type of Operation (circled in red above) listed with the post.  Another item to look for is how many spots are left (circled in blue above).  The more spots remaining open, and the more recent the post, the more likely you are to get a spot in that Operation.

There's no gimmick, no entry fee, not even the need to add Mafia members - just follow the links below, join/like these Facebook groups, and have a blast.

-Group #1-

Mafia New Year Missions and Beyond

Daily readers know how much I love the hard-to-find Secure Rudolph and Steal the Ball Operations, with the elusive Jackal ATV and New Years Resolution rewards.

So imagine my delight in discovering a new Facebook group dedicated to posting links to these Operations with open spots?  That alone gets my five-star rating - but the rebellious use of 'Mission' instead of 'Operation' makes me even happier, since Mafia Wars  needs to purchase a thesaurus with Zynga's multi-million dollar profits needlessly swapped those terms last month.

Mafia New Year Missions and Beyond is also the newest of the three groups - meaning, join now and you won't be whining in two weeks that the group isn't accepting new members will enjoy the ride.  

It appears that this site will focus on the limited-time Operations that drop the limited-time Loot.  Join up, post YOUR links with open spots on Secure Rudolph and Steal the Ball Operations that you're in (directions below), and you'll be raking in the Jackal ATVs, New Years Resolutions, and future top-tier Operations Loot.  

-Group #2-

This Facebook group is a well developed, one-stop shopping for all types of Operations, though you will see Transport Stolen Uranium and Take On a Rival Operation links about 80% of the time.  

I gave Finish My Mafia Wars Operations a thumbs up in an earlier post on the best Operations Loot.  This group already has nearly 1,500 members, meaning there are often over 100 new links posted in an hour, all leading to Operations you can join.

There are enough posts here to let you be choosy about which Operation you want to join, depending on which Operations Loot or Mission Collection item you are targeting.  

-Group #3-

This "group" is actually a Facebook Event - which, like the syntax of the group's name, seems a bit off.  But what this group lacks in branding, it more than makes up for in volume of available Operations.

The powers that be at 5 mins Mission don't mess around.  With over 5,000 Mafia Wars players "attending" the event (and countless others participating without attending), this group keeps its stated purpose: "POST YOUR MISSION HERE!! WE WILL HELP YOU TO GET IT DONE IN 5 MINS."  And they do.

The links on 5 mins Missions are usually in long form - not TinyURL format - but the result is the same.  Click.  Operation.  Join.  Rewards.  Repeat.  Almost every time I hit refresh on this page, there are two or more new Operations links posted.  And because you don't need to be in the Operation leader's Mafia to join, you can join whichever ones look best to you.

Why waste time at when you can
post more Operations instead?

As the largest of the three groups discussed here, 5 mins Mission has new links are posted around the clock - so even if you are too slow for a few, a new opening is moments away.  Remember - if the post is more than 3 seconds minutes old, the Operation is probably filled.

As to this "group" being a Facebook Event, it appears that the creator of 5 mins Mission invited 100,000 Mafia Wars players to join - and has created a group providing non-stop Operations openings, posted by thousands of Mafia Wars players.  Hats off for the innovative development style - it is effective, judging by the sheer numbers. 


Operations Selection Strategy

One trend I notice (and follow) is that the first spots chosen in an Operation are the Energy jobs, followed by the mixed Energy/Stamina jobs, with the all-Stamina jobs usually being the last 1 or 2 spots.   Remember - if you have enough Stamina and are able to fill the last spot and complete your job, the Operation is done and you can immediately collect your rewards.

If you see an Operation with 1 or 2 spots open, and you don't have (or want to use) Stamina, I suggest clicking on another Operations link.  There are plenty to choose from.

Posting Operations Links

As with the Free Gift Link Creators group, you COULD just join and click on links and get what you need (here, more Operations).  But I encourage you to learn how to post your own unfinished-Operations links on these sites.  Not only will this widen the groups, but it will help assure that an Operation -where you've already completed your role - gets filled and finished completely. This will let you collect rewards and join another Operation.

Posting your links on these groups is easy, especially if you joined the Free Gift Link Creators group and learned how to use Link-a-Nator.  If you didn't join, or don't know how, read that post to get a basic idea of how to create links from Mafia Wars - the basic concept is the same between Free Gift Links and Operations Links.

Important note: you are creating links for "My Mafia Operations" (ones you joined that still have open spots) and NOT "My Operations" (ones you lead).  

The keys are two Mafia Wars tools called Unframe MW and Mission-a-Nator.  Like Link-a-Nator - you can get Unframe MW at Spockholm Mafia Tools with Mission-a-Nator available at this Spockholm page.  These tools do all the Tiny URL work for you.

As I said in my prior post on Link-a-Nator, if you find that these tools make your Mafia Wars experience, consider donating to the programmers.  A couple bucks from any percentage of the 15 million Mafia Wars players goes a long way.

To make and post your own Operation links, follow these steps:

1. If you're using Google Chrome, you simply drag the Unframe-MW bookmarklet to your Bookmarks bar.  Do the same with the Mission-a-Nator link, putting it next to Unframe MW at the top of your browser if possible.  DON'T CLICK ON THE LINKS ON THE SPOCKHOLM PAGE.  Nothing will happen.

2. Once you have both Unframe-MW and Mission-a-Nator in your Bookmarks Bar, go back to Mafia Wars, and click on Operations and then My Mafia Operations.

3. There are three Operations on each page - so if you've joined 10 Operations, you will have arrow keys to scroll from 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10.  Start on the page with 1-3.  If any of the three Operations on your first page have OPEN JOBS (not unfinished/partially finished jobs), click on your Unframe-MW bookmark.

4. Your Facebook page will lose its white borders and the page will be all black, meaning that you're about to enter The Matrix you've "unframed" your Mafia Wars page - a necessary first step.  If any Free Gift or Operations notice windows pop up, just close them.

5. NOW click on the Mission-a-Nator bookmark.  The program will identify the Operations ON THAT PAGE, and indicate the type of Operation, time remaining, and number of open slots - that is, slots that people can join to finish the Operation.

6.  Click on "Make Tinyurl" on any Operation that has 1 or more Slots listed.  Mission-a-Nator will generate several TinyURL links for each Operation you click.

Mission-a-Nator, after you click "Make Tinyurl"

7. Copy the ENTIRE text and link(s) in ONE of the two white boxes above (they feature the same link, but provide slightly different info).  Don't just copy the link - copy the entire text.  This way, when you post your link(s) on one or more of the groups above, others will know the Operation type and how many Slots are open.

8. Open a new tab.  Leave the Mission-a-Nator window open - you will need it again if you want to re-copy the link for another Operations group, and to go to  your other My Mafia Operations pages that have open Slots.

9.  Go to the group(s) above and post your descriptive links.  Within minutes, some one will click on them and join the Operation that you're waiting to be completed.

10.  Go BACK to the Mission-a-Nator tab/page and click the yellow arrow to go to other My Mafia Operations pages with open-slot Operations.  Notice you are still in unframed mode (as you should be).  Click on the Mission-a-Nator bookmark again and repeat steps 5 through 9.

11. If you've got open-slot Operations on multiple pages in your My Mafia Operations tab, you can always START a post in the Operations group that you're posting the link to, go back to Mission-a-Nator and get links from Operations on your other My Mafia Operations pages, and paste those links into the same post.  Or you can post the link(s) generated by Mission-a-Nator from each of your My Mafia Operations pages separately in the Operations groups above - the end result is the same.

NOTE - Mission-a-Nator will not work unless you are in Mafia Wars AND on your My Mafia Operations page/tab.  Don't click on Mission-a-Nator from your Facebook home page.... or from your Mafia Wars Chop Shop page... or from the Mafia New Year Missions and Beyond page... or from the Finish My Mafia Wars Operations page... or from the 5 mins Mission page event.  NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.  You have to be in Mafia Wars, and on your My Mafia Operations page/tab, to use Mission-a-Nator.  (You can unframe Mafia Wars from any page in the game).


Now... get out there and join the three Operations groups discussed above... and watch your stats soar as you round up tons of top-tier Operations Loot.

**If you think YOUR Mafia would benefit from this information, please click LIKE and/or SHARE at the top of the page, and spread the word!

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December 29, 2010

Steal the Ball Operation: New Years Resolution

Following on the heels of the Christmas-themed Secure Rudolph Operation, which drops the trade-able Jackal ATV once every 320 tries on occasion, Mafia Wars recently unveiled 
something I remember Zynga using in December 2009 the New Year's themed Steal the Ball Operation which I'm sure New Yorkers appreciated after the May 2010 bombing attempt in Times Square is fun.

Steal the Ball is an Easy operation, but don't be fooled.  It's difficult to find this Operation, either to lead or join. 

Jump in when you see this operation open.

The top Reward from Steal the Ball is an impressive Weapon: the New Years Resolution (69A/46D).  You can trade, gift, or Wish List the New Years Resolution.  

Get this item on your Wish List ASAP in the hopes that some idiot gifts it to you by accident Red Mystery Bags or excess Time Capsules start dropping New Year's Resolutions, as they do with other top Operations Loot items that can be gifted/traded/Wish Listed.

The other Rare reward from Steal the Ball is less impressive: the New Years Party Bus (42A/52D).  This is the stat level for an item you would expect to never use receive from an Easy Operation, which makes the New Years Resolution that much more interesting.

The Uncommon and Common rewards from Steal the Ball are worthless worth less than the New Year's Resolution, and are featured in other Operations.

False advertising, Zynga-style:
Only 1 of these 14 items is actually "great"

After searching and searching, I found an open spot in a Steal the Ball operation and won These Great Items:

Notice that you don't see a New Years Resolution there, though I enjoyed receiving Mugati Sport back in October 2009

As a recap, Mafia Wars now has SIX top-tier Operations Loot items that you can receive, gift, or trade:

Z17 Micro (69/45) (Transport Stolen Uranium)

Grim Reaper (67/51) (Transport Stolen Uranium)

Grip Gloves (41/66) (Truck Hijacking)

Coyote (37/64) (Truck Hijacking)

Jackal ATV (50/67) (Secure Rudolph)

New Year's Resolution (69/46) (Steal the Ball)

The governing trade ratios for Mafia Wars items value the Jackal ATV and New Year's Resolution nearly 1.5x higher than the Z17 Micro, Grim Reaper, and Grip Gloves.  (The Coyote is much less valuable than the other 5).  

Oddly, the New Year's Resolution and Z17 Micro are nearly identical in stats.  The New Year's Resolution is probably more valuable in trade because the Steal the Ball Operation - like the Secure Rudolph Operation - is hard to come by.  

By contrast, Transport Stolen Uranium (which drops the Z17 and the Grim Reaper) seems to constitute 50% of all Operations I get to join or lead. 

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December 28, 2010

Atlantic City: Chapter 3

As readers have noted in their comments, Mafia Wars recently premiered Atlantic City: Chapter 3, called "South Jersey".  

This seems like a well-thought out name by Zynga because Atlantic City is, after all, in the southern half of New Jersey along with over 200 other towns in the 9  counties comprising "South Jersey"... and thus makes as much sense as using "South Europe" for the title of Italy: Region 6, when it finally debuts in May 2013. 

Chapter 4 awaits!
At the same time, Atlantic City: Chapter 1 was renamed "Uptown", while Chapter 2 was christened as "Boardwalk" - with the menu providing a hint that more chapters will follow.

For the most  part, the new chapter is like the previous two: click, click, click, job done, repeat.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, however, you CAN play Mafia Wars: Atlantic City on your desktop if you are bored to death like.  

South Jersey/Chapter 3 featured the same layout as previous chapters: 4 levels with 6 jobs in each.  At Bronze level mastery, some jobs completed at 10% or 9% per click; by Ruby level, you get 2% or 3%.  It's a big energy drain, but what the hell else is there to do while we wait forever for the rest of Italy you'll earn 24 Skill Points for completing the chapter.

Your only checkpoints along the way are these artistic masterpieces signs indicating your completion of each of the four levels. 

All kidding aside - there *is* something new and exciting about Chapter 3: actual "Atlantic City Loot" - items that do not drop anywhere else, including Las Vegas, which is the source of currency and other Atlantic City job drop Loot.  

I saw (or learned of) 3 new items dropping exclusively in Atlantic City:

Ground Hugger
Vehicle (55A/30D)

Frilled Lizard
Animal (26A/57D)

This item should be pretty valuable - other than the Bighorn (Hoover Dam, 64D), there is no collectible Animal that drops from City jobs with better Defense than the Frilled Lizard.  

There are superior defensive Animals in your Italy Port...but you can't trade them.  The Operations Loot Coyote (also 64D) can be traded, but is hard to come by - and certainly can't be collected at will like the Frilled Lizard. 

Armor (25/58)

The clear photo highlights my failure

I actually went through all 24 jobs and 167,388 Energy points in South Jersey without finding one of these, but read a lot about the Pick Pocket - an Armor piece with 58 Defense.  This stat made the Pick Pocket a hot item, especially since there was a day or two in which you could BUY this item (or 501 of them) to boost your defense stats if your lowest defense Armor was under 58.


The good news about Atlantic City Loot?  You can gift/trade/Wish List these items.   The Frilled Lizard should fetch a few Weapons Parts on the trading boards, though it's hard to load up on them.  Given the wealth of Amphiquads and Cooling Vests out there, an Animal with 57 Defense is more valuable than a Vehicle with 55 Attack or Armor with 58 Defense.

Atlantic City:Chapter 3 also features better Las Vegas loot dropping from jobs than in prior AC chapters.  Now you will get an occasional Range Finder Rifle and Diamondback.

Your reward for completing Ruby level mastery of South Jersey is a Big Bang (119A/100D) - a very nice Weapon.

I'm eagerly looking forward to the release of another mindless Challenge Mission like 50,000 Feet Atlantic City: Chapter 4 in the hopes that it is called "Eastern United States" features additional Atlantic City Loot to shake up the trading boards and boost our stats.

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December 24, 2010

How to Protect Your Christmas Tree

If you're like me, you've been getting an error message when you try to add more Gift Protectors for the No Crime Like the Present event...

That's odd - I had *45* presents last night...

...and you're slowly losing Presents from under your Tree because of it.

I've read about two solutions to this problem, and want our readers to benefit from them - but the thanks go to various MW players who Zynga wants to kill deduced these solutions.

You don't have to pick one solution or the other - you can do both - but one is easier (yet leads to more clutter on your Facebook news feed) than the other.

Either way, you'll want to repeat these in the days leading to New Years to keep as many Gift Protectors - and Presents - as possible.

EASY & More FB News Feed Clutter

1. Start at your main Facebook Page (not in Mafia Wars)

2. Go to the Account menu at the top right of your Facebook home screen.

3. Click 'Privacy Settings'

4. Click 'Manage'

5. Find and click on the 'Applications and Websites' link on the bottom left of that page.

6. Click 'Edit Your Settings'

7. Find and click on 'Mafia Wars'

8. Look at the 'Post to My Wall' setting.  If you can click Remove, do that.

Once this is done, when you return to Mafia Wars, and go to the No Crime Like the Present screen, you should be again able to add Gift Protectors by clicking on 'Get Help' and seeing this screen:

CHALLENGING but Minimal News Feed Clutter

1. Go to the Wall Page for any Mafia member who is either (i) one of your still-active Gift Protectors, or (ii) some one you asked to be a Gift Protector, or (iii) a former Gift Protectors (you lose them from Robberies).

2. This is NOT on your Profile page.  You have to go to the Wall Page of some one in your Mafia meeting one of the three definitions above. (If you can't recall the Mafia members you asked, try Solution #1 and then follow these steps for a Mafia member you ask from that process).

3. Scroll down until your find YOUR request for Christmas Tree protection

This is NOT on your Profile page - go to your Mafia member's Wall

4. RIGHT-click on the words "Protect em" on the lower right of that request.

At this point, you're no longer playing Mafia Wars...
you might as well drop out of society
and write a blog
try another game.

5. Select 'Copy link address'

6. Open a new tab/window in your browser, and go to  

7. In the center of the screen, where you see the blank space under 'Enter a long URL to make tiny', either (i) LEFT click your mouse so that the cursor is there, and press Ctrl-V, or (ii) RIGHT click your mouse and select 'Paste'

8. Once you see the ten-trillion-character URL in the box, click 'Make TinyURL!'

9. Now copy the much-shorter URL that is generated.

Just copy and paste the TinyURL link, shaded in blue above.
(Don't open it - you can't protect your own tree)

10. Return to your Facebook home page.  Under Share (right at the top of your page), select Link, paste the TinyURL link, and click on Attach.  

11. You'll be give the option to comment on your Link.  Type something like "Please protect my  Christmas Tree!!" so that your non Mafia Wars friends think you are defending a home invasion Mafia knows to help.

12.  Press 'Share' and this message - and the link - will be published to your entire Mafia (or every Mafia member who you've kept as a Facebook friend).   

13. Anyone who clicks on that link will become a Gift Protector (and will receive a gift from you), until you have 6 protectors.

14.  Repeat this process each day that you see your Gift Protectors fall below 6.  Don't use the same link the next day - you NEED A NEW TinyURL LINK EACH DAY.

I know this is a lot of work - but given the Rewards you'll get from completing No Crime Like the Present, it's well worth the effort.  Good luck!

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