Just over three weeks ago, Mafia Wars players lost one of the game's most insidious features, robbing. Rather than merely loot one another after beating a foe in a fight, players with a sizable mafia would hunt down those with small mafias who were weighed down with lots of property. The premise was simple, smaller mafias were unable to protect their vast holdings so bigger mafias made them their piggy banks.
For players looking to scoop up lots of cash for seemingly little effort, robbing became a popular pastime for many, thus adding a real criminal element to the game as one mafia attacked and the other worked scrambled to secure their property. Of course, the practice was also viewed by lower level players as abusive since their foes were, at least from their view, unbeatable.
Then late in September, the game's creator posted a message in the game the simply read "Game Updates: Robbing will be removed for upgrades, beginning on Thursday, September 24. Thank you for your patience."
As you'd imagine, the final hours before the robbing feature was removed, players were robbing like crazy. While a group of players decried the action as unfair and criminal, others viewed the action as appropriate for a game about the criminal underworld. Players who made significant amounts of money, who in turn increased the attack and defensive scores of their mafias, along with buying larger properties that returned higher monetary rates.
Since then the Mafia Wars team has been silent on when robbing might return and what changes will be in place. Might there be bigger payouts for those who compete against similarly leveled mafias? Will robbing attacks require massive amounts of stamina? Might property protection get stronger (or allow the defending mafia to hire a mercenary force)? Or would Zynga limit high level mafias from abusing lower leveled thugs?
As much as the new Moscow chapters add something new to the game, we can't wait to rob again.
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