So, now that robbing (and a lot of new features) have been in the game a little while, I've had some time to think about the mechanics and the advantages of the system. I've determined that robbing is good, and by virtue of not robbing, you're missing out.
Why win robbing fights?
When you win, robbing pays out good XP per stamina point. A successful robbery generally pays out 2 or more XP per stamina point spent, on top of the bonus for clearing the grid (+10 XP for each successful robbery). So, for successfully robbing a flophouse, you not only get the 4 or 5 XP for winning, but also +10 bonus XP on your clear! That's a 7:1 XP:Stamina ratio. Even if you skip grid clears when there are a lot of casinos, its still great XP per point spent, especially as your mastery increases.
Clearing a grid in robbing can result in the the dropping of a diamond from the Stolen Diamonds robbing collection. The diamond collection is great for two reasons. First off, it's valuable. Each diamond piece is currently comparable to a lotto set piece in worth.
Side note: I think the Diamond set will plummet in value very quickly fast, at least compared to the lotto set. It can only be vaulted once and there is no rate-limiter on the rate at which it enters the game (the lotto for example only happens 1x per week - but people rob around the clock). Trade off any extra pieces fast - don't hold onto them for long periods of time.
Another reason why the Stolen Diamond collection is good is that because in this case, wealth begets wealth. Since the diamond collection improves your chances of winning robberies, you will earn more XP, levels, loot, and ultimately be able to rob more often. Additionally, since you will be winning more robberies, you will be earning more experience.
In theory, a well-equipped, high stamina, high attack account with the Stolen Diamond collection vaulted could be effectively used to 'farm' diamond collections.
3. Robbing Mastery
As you win robberies, you get more mastery. This goes hand in hand with reason 1, as by gaining more mastery, you can earn more experience. By earning more experience, you can level up more often, and end up winning more robberies, so on and so forth.
All of these three factors are synergistic and by virtue of winning a lot of robberies, your Mafia Wars account certainly stands to profit. Now, we just need to look at how to win robberies!
The Components of a Successful Heist
So, the formula for robbing (on offense) is:
Attack Stat Points + total sum of attack points from allowed equipment + a random number + boosts = your offense.
Defense Stat Points + total sum of defense points from allowed equipment + a different random number + boosts = your opponent's defense.
Note about the random number: To quote the developers - "we roll a giant die". Basically a huge random # gets added (or possibly subtracted, doesn't matter either way) to your score, providing an element of randomness to robbery attempts.
You will see properties labeled as "Easy", "Medium", and "Hard". This simply refers to the similarity between your offensive firepower and your opponent's defensive strength before the random number has been added. As a result, you can win or lose all types of fights. Here is some approximate %s I have found:
- You will win ~85% of "Easy" fights.
- You will win ~50% of "Medium" fights.
- You will win ~15% of "Hard" fights.
It's all because of the random number added to you and your opponents score. While you can't change this number, note that the random number is simply added. If your character not just is better than your opponent, but if you really crush him (or her) in firepower, you can win in spite of a bad roll. Therefore, to improve your odds of winning robberies, you need to get better equipment and more stat points. No surprise there, but your overall strategy will change based on the property you are trying to rob. First I will discuss improving loot and stat points, then I will discuss selecting the right ones based on properties and your needs.
High Stat Points
You will need a lot of stat points in attack if you are going to do well in robbing (especially with the smaller properties). However, at this junction in the game, there has never been a better time for increasing your stat totals. You can get stat points in the following way (not including leveling up, collections, achievements, and the standard stuff):
56-84 bonus points a week via building weapons and vehicles in your Weapons Depot and Chop Shop each day. The lower end value is if you picked attack for both (3 attack from vehicle, 5 attack from weapon for a total of 8 per day for 7 days). The higher end value is if you picked the +6 energy car and the +6 stamina weapon. I personally think that with the Chop Shop, picking the energy or stamina car is much better than the +3 attack or defense car, since you can use stat points from leveling up on +Attack and make the most of your rewards. For the weapon shop, the best choice varies, which I will discuss later.
5-35 bonus points a week via mystery bags. Even a casual player can find +5 skill points per week playing, and if you open a lot of bags each day, you can wind up with +5 for each day of the week.
7 bonus points a week for completing the daily checklist each day. Most players don't even know this exists! When you log in, simply complete each task laid out for you on the "Daily Checklist" tab in the middle of the screen. You can do this once every 24 hours for a free skill point.
1 bonus skill point each week from playing the daily chance (hey, everything counts and it's part of the daily checklist!).
This adds up to a grand total of a bonus 79 - 127 bonus skill points per week. It would not be terribly challenging to wind up with 1,000 bonus skill points after 10 weeks time. You could go from losing most robbery attempts to winning most heists simply by being consistent. The funny thing is most players will not take advantage of this. If you have been regularly reading this blog for any time now, you are in the top 10% of Mafia Wars players by default. Most players never even venture outside of the game and never search for stuff on Google, read blog posts, or have any sort of strategy to their Mafia Wars game-plan. Most players don't even have an upgraded Chop Shop let alone a Weapons Depot! These players will be your easy targets if you simply take advantage of all the free skill points available to you.
I will discuss different loot types based on property below, but if you can collect as many Yakuza Assassins (Bangkok faction store item), Hunter 'Spy' XSs (Chop Shop, but preferably trade for this), and Railguns (Weapons Depot).
Differences Between Robbing Different Properties
Very Small Properties: When robbing small properties, only two things come into play: your stat points in Attack and having job mastery items. Look at my Flophouse heist below:
My actual loot doesn't even come into play. My total score from equipment is only 449. Strong players have at least 1,000 stat points in attack (getting higher every day thanks to Chop Shop), so the lion's share of robbing very small properties goes to Attack stat points. Boosts can also help out here, but add virtually nothing on bigger properties.
Small to Medium Sized Properties: Small to Medium Sized properties rely on both stat points in attack and specialty loot. Players in this category who end up with chunks of high end pieces (such as Yakuza Assassins as shown below) will end up with a sizable advantage:
In this example, consider that if I was using 23 Railguns to his 23 Zmeya Carbon Blades, I would have a 161 stat point advantage. Apply similar bonuses to Yakuza Assassins and Hunter 'Spy' XSs, and you can see that for mid-grade properties, specialty loot becomes important. It's importance declines as properties grow beyond 100 Mafia members though, because nearly all players won't have enough time to collect a full set of this specialty loot before"the next" thing comes out and replaces our current best pieces.
Note that in these categories where you can actually use specialty equipment, something like a Railgun adds quite a few points to your offensive firepower. For each Railgun you purchase, you would replace one Tanto or Ubijca Assault Rifle, for an 8 attack upgrade. On top of that, you will gain +5 to your permanent attack score. This is like really upgrading by 13 attack points as far as robbing medium to large properties is concerned. In other words, once your attack is high enough to win most of your Flophouse fights, you should focus on Railguns over the +6 stamina weapon, even though it offers 1 more stat point (at least until Railguns get replaced by something better).
Large Properties: Large properties are straight-forward. Get a full set of mass-collectible loot such as Zoloto Sports Cars, Tantos, and Shturmoviks. Have a full mafia and you'll win most robberies. Attack points don't mean much since they add right to equipment score, and here your equipment score will be very high.
1. Robbing is good, do it!
2. Take advantage of all the free skill points available to you.
3. Note that you will need to maximize attack skill points, specialty loot pieces, and still have a full set of 1500 loot pieces in order to win heists.