May 1, 2010

On the Topic of Game Changes..

As many, of you may have noticed, there are a bunch of new minor features in game:

1. Players now receive a reward point for logging in each day. Pretty cut and dry, can't complain about that!

2. There is a new add mafia and gift accepting tab when you open up Mafia Wars:

What a lovely name...

Adding people to your mafia is now definitely easier and faster than before. The gift accepting thing still seems to run through Facebook so it is about the same speed as before.

3. Players now have to click an extra button to help people on jobs. Originally, it seem that this change cut out the experience points bonus:


However, this was later changed back to getting an XP bonus:


I think the problem with this "nerf" (even though helping people for XP is not a massive source of XP) is that people are inherently selfish and can't be bothered to click a help link unless they are going to get something for doing it!

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However, it still seems that the developers are looking for ways to get rid of power-leveling with energy accounts. Different changes are being experimented with and we really can't be sure of what might change in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, any major changes are about a year too late, as players of all types depend on current game mechanics to play their accounts.

I touched on this exact issue back in December in this post. The only reason players played energy accounts in the first place was because at that time, there was no other meaningful activity else do to besides spend energy. There was no real reward from fighting. This is the only reason energy accounts existed.

While I'm not going to rehash on why energy accounts exist, I will repeat that the best way to draw players away from energy accounts is to make fighting more appealing. I will also restate that nerfing the amount of xp per energy point simply encourages more people to put points in energy. An attack/defense heavy account has a hard enough time completing content as it is, anything that negatively affects them will only make it worse.

So far, I would say the developers are doing a good job since the turn of the year in promoting fighting. Robbing so far is a nice addition. It provides pretty good XP per stamina, and the Diamond collection is pretty valuable.

The Chop Shop and Weapons Depot also give fighting characters a meaningful method of progression, since players can rob for weapons and car pieces and earn permanent stat increases each day. It would be a nice change to allow the "rare" weapon pieces, like the railgun barrel, to drop from good records on robbing grid clears. This would allow a true balanced account to acquire these rare pieces which are currently most easily gathered from jobs.

Apparently there is some more fighting-oriented stuff in the works like the Fight Club and Street War or something along those lines. Adding these things in will draw people into the fighting game and out from mindlessly putting points into energy.

All things considered though, some people will continue to play energy accounts simply because this game has been out 2 years and those players just aren't inclined to start over. Once a game has been running a long time and players have invested money into it, any massive overhaul will upset the community greatly. These types of changes should be noted and saved for Mafia Wars 2.
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36 comments:

  1. Great insight into what the developers should do to make fighting more attractive. Right now, it is extremely difficult for a fighter account to pick up all of the parts needed to maximize the weapons depot and chop shop. Until the drop of those items increases greatly, we will still need energy accounts to gather all of those pieces.

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  2. Robbing in its current form is nowhere near as much fun as it was back in the day. And they have really screwed fighters by allowing a random number factor that can cause someone with high attack to lose to an energy account with almost no attack. That is desperate for a revamp. Add in the new "burners" feature (which I hope you will do a post on) and even low level attack accounts can regularly clear boards.

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  3. Mafia Wars 2? Please exlplain what you mean MWG, am I missing something?

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  4. I cleared a Full Grid by 9-0 10 Times but still cant find a Diamond piece.. what the heck.. :(

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  5. I have 2100+ robberies. most of them I cleared the board (but not always 9-0) I got my first diamond yesterday and it was on an 8-1 board. The drop rate is just really, really, really low.

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  6. I can't seen to find bulletproof glass so even though I have all these car parts, they are useless cuz I can't build the car I want.

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  7. This Week's Daily Chance has ended and we are now calculating the winners.



    Please come back when we announce the winners in: 0:00
    has that happened 2 any1 else ,.,,,.,.,

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  8. My daily chance is doing the same thing...

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  9. daily chance is up and running

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  10. maybe they can improve on the stamina front or fighting by requiring half the jobs in las vegas to "rob from ?" then those with an energy account may want to invest in stamina. i have an energy account and i would welcome this.

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  11. get 2 mystery bags from one person. first open it from the in game pop up page, then go to the facebook gifts page and open another one.

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  12. Great article and great blog!!

    I think, Bangkok went a long way in ensuring that the game doesn't favor energy accounts over fighting accounts (Something that was totally wrong with Moscow).

    Lets face it, except for Lloyds Spectre no Bangkok loot is the best in the game. Thus, the incentive of Bangkok is buying the Faction store items (Yazuka Assassin and Shaolin Bodyguard (esp.)).

    Now, to buy enough of these items, you need a huge amount of money, and currently the most efficient amount of way of earning that money is through fighting, I generally attack the same guy who gives me B$10,000. It is easy to buy 2-4 of each of the Faction store items provided you have a 500-600 stamina account.

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  13. I don't think 500 - 600 stamina will normally yield $1,000,000 baht! That means 1 out of 5 or 6 fights would have to yield 10,000 and I have yet to find anyone that consistently gives that out.
    Also, Cleavers and Tantos are tied for the best which is better to loot than the counterparts because you can mine baht.

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  14. The OP forgot to mention the reason for most pure energy accounts - the stupid loot farming second accounts! THAT is what Zynga would really like to get rid of - as well as scripts and bots.

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  15. The OP forgot to mention the reason for most pure energy accounts - the stupid loot farming second accounts! THAT is what Zynga would really like to get rid of - as well as scripts and bots

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  16. my energy account going to end up 2 years of Zynga works in just 1 month. also 500-600 fightings would waste real life time alot and i dont prefer that.

    still its an energy game.

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  17. Another new update. Sometimes from mystery bags you can get items on your wish list. I have ubijica's in my wishlist and have received 3 ubis from about 40 mysery bags and when you get them it says. ''you got a ubijica assault rifle a item on your wishlist!'' (not the exact quote so i have now put UBI's tantos and a lotto item in my wishlist. there isnt a high chance but it could still get you a lotto item

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  18. to the post above me. getting wishlist items from mysterybags is nothing new. and you cant get lotto items from the bags.

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  19. http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/2910/53657013.jpg

    Please view this pic, I began to hate this game, I hate the random number :@ I try to rob a tenement and for that is required 25 mafia and 4 stamina, and pls look at the opponent's defense and level....it's just not real !!!

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  20. hahahahaha niceeeeee
    25.000 lvl!!
    the bad thing r the loots for these kind of players, if they will put precious loot from robbing everything will be better...or just quit the game!!! :P

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  21. GR8 news:those who hv not installed mafia wars toolbar good news for them only....they hv chance to get 50 rewards points by zynga for installing toolbar...i got 50 gf in all my accounts..limited time only.

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  22. when opening the gifts the new way, i don't know how to open the mystery bags. when i click to open they disappear, does the item appear in ur inventory after that?

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  23. People who run an energy account to send items to a fighting account are investing enough time in the game that odds are they are spending or will spend at some point money on reward points.. at least be much more inclined to do so than the average player.

    The 25,000 level thing is from exploiting, not just taking advantage of normal game mechanics.

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  24. Rogue CIA Agent
    69 Attack 30 Defense

    Up to 5 items you can receive, when you receive more you will only get 1 energy point extra.

    You can only send 50 items random to your mafia.

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  25. the random element of the gift really sucks

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  26. I agree with the above anon. I wish I could chose who to send the gift to, I don't want people who haven't been playing for months to get it! -knuckles k.

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  27. I have played for 10 days to complete the El Cacique tier to recieve a fu**ing Cazador Assault Rifle and now they give me 5 items with 5 clicks stronger than the Cazador Assault Rifle i mean WTF is wrong with them.,!!

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  28. I'm not one of those people who create multiple accounts to gather weapons. I have only one account and I spent most of my skill points on energy because, "there was no other meaningful activity else do to besides spend energy."
    So now, if the game changes what am I supposed to do with this energy based account? You call this fair? Or I guess I should just call it quits.

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  29. now there's another 'free' weapon - Death Dealer Minigun. Again 5 pieces of it per user.

    48 A/ 64 D

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  30. Mafia Wars accounts who istall toolbar get 50 Reward Points free. 50 Reward Points FREE!!!!

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  31. its armor not weapon hahahahaha

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  32. Has anyone else lost the special items they used to have? I had a Golden Throne for instance, as well as a number of other special items. All gone! I now just have regular loot and boosts.

    What a ripoff! I worked my butt off to get that!

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  33. Someone mentioned making LasVegas jobs use stamina or attack/defense stats to make energy accounts invest in those. Well Zynga is gonna do just that! At least that's the indication from the "Developers' Section" of the Zynga forum.

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  34. I read couple of comments from couple of excited people regarding 50XP points for installing the zynga toolbar (they were sounding so much excited like they got 1000 reward points) But they are forgetting the thousands of XP they missed by NOT installing the tool bar when it was launched many months back. LOL

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  35. As of midnight tonight they are eliminating all XP from Declare War due to players "exploiting" it. Why not just turn it off if that is the case? It is probably one of the least liked features of the game to begin with.

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  36. hey... I really dont know where to post this but seems to be here, about the stats moving up or down, it is weird, I'm mafia -150 but I'm able to fight with up to 200 armor attack, I discovered and bought +100 CUBA rebel snipers and got up +2400 more attack stat, I guess it would be good for guys with mafia -200, this is just for attack armor I dont have the clue yet for the others (weapon/vehicule > attack/defense)
    Hope helps :)

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