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:
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!
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.