December 22, 2010

No Crime Like The Present

No Crime Like the Present is LIVE

Were you a VERY good boy or girl this year?  If so - and if you asked Santa for the mother of all challenges, combining every annoying aspect of Mafia Wars into one event strategy and resolve, it looks like your wish was granted!


What Presents Do I Get?

At the conclusion of the NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT event, you'll get to open your presents - assuming you have 45 of them.   You *MAY* have to get 15 Presents in each of 3 colors (Red, Blue, and Green) - not just 45 total presents.  

The best Presents are pictured below, and are specific to what color Present you open.  The top two for each color will instantly rank in your top 501 in all categories, on BOTH Attack and Defense.

The 6 items above are the rare finds in each of the three Present colors.  The 5 items below are available in Presents of any color, and have at least one Stat in the 60s:

The Grand Prize is the Auld Lang Syne (110A/135D) - plus you can earn a special North Pole item  (110A/93D) when you play Mafia Wars on Christmas as your children are crying since they haven't eaten breakfast or opened presents like you do every other day.


Holiday Sacks (and how to get more)

The main way you collect presents AND decorate your tree is through receiving Holiday Sacks.   These can be sent and received as Free Gifts - though there is a much quicker way to do this, discussed below.

When you open a Holiday Sack, it will contain one of 7 items: a Present (Red, Blue, or Green);  a Tree Decoration (Candy Cane, Ornament, or Lights)... or a Lump of Coal.

The No Crime Like the Present challenge - just like the Hustlin' Wit Dre collection that is going on at the same time - **absolutely** requires you to understand and master the Facebook/Zynga Double Free Gift Trick.    Every Holiday Basket your Mafia sends you can turn into TWO Baskets if you follow this method.

In your effort to collect Holiday Baskets for presents and decorations, you will also benefit greatly from joining - and posting on -  the Mafia Wars Free Gift Collectors Link community group on Facebook.   That group exploded over the past week - from 600 Mafia Wars members to something like 2,000 today - and you can easily grab 50 to 100 Free Gifts each day with a little effort. 


Upgrading Your Tree

As you do with Properties, you must collect enough Decorations to upgrade your Tree from Level 1 to Level 5.   And since you were probably bored silly after all the upgrading you've done on your Private Zoo and Italy Village, you'll be happy to get right back to collecting upgrade parts for something new!

I've been collecting MW upgrade parts since Barack Obama was a Senator 

Each Tree-upgrade level requires an increasing number of Decorations to complete.  To go from Level 1 to 2, you need THREE Candy Canes, THREE Lights, and THREE Ornaments apiece.  Then you'll need FOUR of each to get to Level 3, and so on.   All tolled, you'll need 18 of each Decoration, or a total of 54, to finish your tree.  And if you use the tip at the end of this post, you'll be done... TONIGHT.  I am.

You need *complete sets* of the three upgrades, just as you did with upgrades for the Chop Shop... and the Armory... and the Weapons Depot... and the Vegas Casino... and the Vegas Vault... and the expanded levels of the Chop Shop and Weapons Depot... and the six Italy Village Properties... and Private Zoo (where Mafia Wars discriminates).  

With all the time I've wasted collecting these parts, I could have done something useful with my adulthood.  Trust me, this is time well spent.  All of this collecting reminds me of the nonsense I saw on Treasure Isle before the promo ended is both fun AND mentally stimulating!  

As you upgrade your Tree, it becomes more decorative.

Below is the Level 3 Tree...

...and the Level 4 Tree...

...and the Level 5 Tree...

At each level, your tree can "hold" more Presents.  

A Level 3 tree holds 18 presents; a Level 4 tree holds 30; the Level 5 tree holds 45.  But other Mafia Wars players can steal them...  (by the way, notice how my Gift Protection went DOWN from 4 to 1 as I upgraded my tree??  Read on...)

What's unclear is whether you need at least 15 Red Presents, 15 Blue Presents, and 15 Green Presents under your Tree at exactly midnight on New Year's Eve (Pacific Standard Time).  

Is there a 15/15/15 Rule to make this challenge even harder?

If the 15/15/15 Rule is in place, it makes No Crime Like the Present a bit harder to master.

After collecting more gifts, I was unable to tell if there is a 15/15/15 Rule.  

Either way, if you have 15 of each Present, or 45 total Presents  under your tree on December 31 with two minutes to go... and some one STEALS one, what do you do?  Better yet, how can you prevent your Presents from being stolen?


Always Use Protection!

This being Mafia Wars and all, you'll need some form of protection.  So you'll have to ask Mafia members to protect your tree, much as you had to ask them to join you for Thanksgiving Dinner and for votes in Governor's Run.

You're encouraged to get 6 members of your Mafia to provide Gift Protection.  But "6" really means more like "593" if you read the text more closely:

"Refill your list of protectors"??  What happened to the first 6 protectors?  Did some one kill them?  This event suggests that you should use ebaY mentality and wait until 20 minutes before the event ends to get all 45+ presents, so you don't lose protectors - and presents - for the next 10 days.

Your Mafia will ask you for Gift Protection as well.   Each time you agree to help protect a Mafia member's tree, you get a Present or Decoration.  But in the spirit of the holidays, do you really need a reason to help strangers you've never met who create a fake identity through Facebook your loyal Mafia?

Hardly a positive holiday message - but check out the Grand Prize!

When you click on PROTECT YOUR TREE, you'll see pictures of various Mafia members who you can ask for protection.  You can do this as many times as you need until you have your team of 6.

I really enjoyed the Message of the Day: "Your presents are going to get stolen."   And that leads me to my strategy on how to complete this 10-day event... tonight.


Robbing to Victory (on Dec 22 only?)

While you COULD bombard your Mafia with Protection Requests, Holiday Basket Requests, and Decoration Requests, and search for Free Gift Links, you can get a lot of what you need in the TRUE Mafia manner: 


From your main Tree screen, when you click on STEAL PRESENTS, you'll be taken to the New York Property Robbing board, and you'll see a new icon:

Robbing a Christmas Tree gets got you Presents and Decorations

A successful robbery will get you one of the 7 items that you'd find in a Holiday Sack: a Red/Blue/Green Present, a Candy Cane/Lights/Ornament Decoration....

...or a Lump of Coal

You also get 27 or 28 XP for using 6 Stamina - an impressive 4.5+ ratio that beats any Job or Fight.

If your Mafia Attack strength is high enough, and you get started quickly, you can probably do enough Robbing to get your Tree to Level 5 in one sitting, you had about 4 hours on December 22 to use this trick.   As of December 23, I got a Lump of Coal in my first 6 Christmas Tree robberies, followed by this cheerful logo:

Receiving coal as a present - even a computer - does not feel like a "Success!"  Perhaps Robbing is going to be useful only if you have a time machine and can travel back to December 22 more difficult - or impossible - to use as a means to rack up Decorations and Presents.

Others may steal your Presents, but I'm not sure that they can steal your Decorations or reduce your Tree Level.  The flip side is, if you can't rob others, presumably they can't rob you.  So there's some good news in the Robbing development.

And more good news - I got one present (in 7 tries) from Robbing on December 23, so maybe all is not lost - it just may be that your odds of getting a Lump of Coal are much higher now when you rob Christmas Trees.

Robbery still gets (occasional) Presents as of December 23...


Plan B: Abstinence!

Now that robbing Christmas Trees is as useless as the Rack of Chips we get on Day 1 of the Daily Take no longer working, what's Plan B for maxing out presents and decorations for your tree?

Actually, it's the same, time-honored completely ineffective strategy they teach youngsters: ABSTINENCE. Good, old fashioned abstinence.  The idea is to completely suppress and ignore biology, hormones, and teenage urges defer gratification for your immediate needs, and all will be well.

Mafia Wars abstinence: Don't open those Holiday Sacks yet.

In No Crime Like the Present, abstinence works!  If you don't open your Holiday Sacks now, you won't have Presents under your tree to be stolen. 

Please be merciful
The R-rated family planning analogy works at an additional level unless Google has taken down this blog for a Terms of Service violation before you read this, because timing is everything... in opening Holiday Sacks, of course.  If this event ends on New Years Eve or New Years Day, stay home like a zero and play Mafia Wars while your friends party without you and open your Holiday Sacks just before the end of the event. 

You won't find yourself in this picture, because you're playing Mafia Wars

That way, you'll wake up in 2011 with divorce papers being served on you while you sit at your computer all of your Mafia Wars presents from No Crime Like the Present under your virtual tree, ready to be opened.  

Boy, I like the new strike through feature!


Stepping back into reality, Colin and I want thank all of our readers for visiting our blog, providing your feedback, and making Mafia Wars into more of a global community in the process.   

I've been amazed to track the site and learn  that some 300,000 readers from 100+ countries and 6 continents visit each month.  

We truly appreciate your loyalty, and wish each of you and your families a happy, safe, and healthy holidays and New Year.

Best regards and warmest wishes,


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  1. How can you finish it just by robbing? You can just rob 1 tree per city, how can you finish it so fast I need help I guess. Please help me out??

  2. Josh - What are you talking about mate? Have you done Robbing before. Every time you clear the board of 9 properties (rob all of them) you will get a new sets of properties to rob for, and if you get lucky, the next set will have another Chirstmas Tree to rob. Imagine if you have tonnes of staminas (so that you can rob board after board of properties)

  3. Robbing is screwed up right now. AAARGH!!!

  4. I am able to upgrade my tree to level 5 and almost 30 presents by robbing. I have over 3k in stamina.

  5. I am currently unable to rob a single property in any city. The JavaScripts are "void" for each one and I get the "refresh" sign. Refreshing, however, doesn't help a bit. WTH?!

  6. Yes I know how to rob I just thought there was an easier way like maybe the targeting robbing tip.

  7. Phil,
    Every time there is a new event or feature on MW, I visit this blog for more info and tips. Just have to say: You are awesome & funny. Thank you.
    Happy holidays!
    ~Ya Na

  8. Maybe they are rethinking robbing for presents/ornaments? I haven't been able to successfully rob a tree in a while either.

  9. Thanks for the nice words above. One thought on robbing Christmas Trees - if it still works at all - there was one (and only one) on each 9-property board in New York. I robbed the Tree (6 stamina) and skipped to the next board (8 stamina) without robbing the other 8 properties. That might seem like a waste of Stamina, but if the goal is just to get presents and decorations for No Crime Like the Present, no worries - and getting 27 or 28 XP for 14 Stamina isn't bad. This is New York - so while robbing the Armory, Weapons Depot, or Zoo may get you some spare parts, robbing the other Properties that give you New York dollars is probably NOT a good use of your Stamina - it's better to skip the "complete all 9 bonus" and the 1:1000 chance of getting a Stolen Diamond Collection Item, and save your Stamina for something good - and spiritual - like robbing some one else's Christmas presents!

  10. I can rob Christmas trees only from Italy. All other cities aren't working.

  11. I get the best EXP from Bangkok so I robbed there for a ton of upgrade items. It's great that they have all the event for christmas, but I wish they'd stop overlapping these gifting events with each other. I don't have the heart to add 2000 strangers for this game.

  12. I used 1500 stamina and got a lot of coal. After getting 2 to 3 presents in one city, it seemed the presents were gone. So I moved on to different cites and got a total of 16 presents.

  13. It is not allowing me to protect others, or ask for protection myself. How do I get past this please?

  14. I love reading your blog, especially the struck-through lines :D
    Thanks and keep up the great work!!!
    Happy Holidays!

  15. Funny AND helpful, thanks!!!!

  16. one question when u have all 6 protectors can u still be robbed? and want to say Happy Holly day s for all blog moderators you guys rock!! this is my first stop before start playing MW every day...just keep being THE best :)

  17. Here's my understanding: each protector will block the robbery of ONE gift. So when your Christmas tree is robbed, you won't lose the gift, but you WILL lose that protector... and need to replace him or her... which now appears impossible - I'm having the same problem that was noted above in the 4:42AM post... but as you'll see if you read the post again now, robbing seems to have been wiped out as a strategy (this is good for YOUR gifts; bad for stealing others') - but there's a PLAN B suggested above..,

  18. You are getting more hilarious with every post!!! Love this blog!

  19. I have seen people posting tiny url's for gift protection...any idea how to do this?

  20. I robbed presents using my basic 1500 stamina (clearing the board, etc.) and found out you don't need 15 of each. I have 8 green, 4 blue and 33 red presents.
    Also, when you reach 45 presents, you won't be able to add more. A wasted another 1500 stamina to verify this and got nothing except coal when I used to get an average 10 to 15 per 1500 stamina round.
    This is a pain because there's no comfort zone (presents over 45) so you will have to constantly add protection until New Years. I already lost 3 of my protectors and have to get 3 more again.

  21. Now, I think we're forgetting something here. I doubt that it's MW being an arse about present drop rates, but the fact that you're killing off peoples' protectors when you rob someone. And seeing as how the event started just yesterday, many didn't have protectors up yet (response time), but had presents up to be stolen. I'm hazarding to guess that the death of a protector (as opposed to a salesman) results in a lump of coal.

  22. For whatever it is worth, I haven't lost a single present to robbing yet. I've only been able to get 3 protectors and they've all been picked up. I am no longer able to post requests for protection.

  23. Is it possible to get the Atlantic City purchaseable armor, Pickpocket (25/58), by only playing on the PC and not with a phone??

    TY in advance

  24. Now I have a problem. I have 45 gifts but lost 5 protectors over 2 days. I only have 1 protector left and when I try to ask for more, I get a [post failed][Error: Feed action request limit reached] What the hell is this? This means I gonna start losing my presents due to robbery unless I keep on buying a protector for 3 reward points which is not going to happen.

  25. I can't get lights or protectors I just get the message [post failed][Error: Feed action request limit reached] any ideas??? Merry Christmas everyone !!!

  26. I love your posts and you are a great help-visit every day. However Solution #2 I just created didn't work for me. A friend hit on it and it said she was too late. I went to my Tree and still have NO protectors!

    Linda (MO JO)

    PS: Anonymous--do Solution #1 --that clears up your problem!

  27. The way I see it... The odds for getting presents from robbing is the same its always been... just where you used to mostly get ornaments from robbing... once you've maxed out upgrading your tree... where you get an "ornament" result in the random generator... as you don't need any more you get a lump of coal instead... and the same when you max out to 45 presents... there's nothing else you need so all thats left is coal...

    Plus what I was assuming (possibly optimisticly) you have til the end of New Years day to get to 45... you don't have to have 45 at the stroke of midnight... but I could be wrong... just a guess...

  28. This is the most ridiculous MW event EVER. Yesterday I robbed trees and got about 13 presents. Today I go back and have only 1 left because, I, in turn, have been robbed. Fair enough. I see no choice but to let my presents pile up and collect them on NYE because I really don't feel like spamming my mafia over and over again to ask them to "protect" my presents. And I get that error message as well when trying to add protectors. I'm not going to waste my time trying!

  29. Today i get a present in one of 7 robberies of trees.

    and my tree is being attacked by really hight level players above level 3000 AND 4000 i get robbed 5 of 6 times in one minute...

    I don't understand this anymore

  30. This is new group which will replace the Finish the Mission which you mentioned in your post.!/group.php?gid=330501505260