Facebook, Mafia Wars and you!
March 11, 2009

This post is me recruiting. If you use Facebook, you definitely should be playing the new browser-based game, Mafia Wars. It's a lot of fun. I'm fairly addicted and I could really use some friends in-game to make my mafia more powerful. If you want to join, you'll first need to add me as a friend on Facebook. You can find my profile here.

Once you've added me, then I will confirm the addition sometime shortly thereafter. You should next click to play Mafia Wars. There's are links from my profile page. There, you can invite me to join your mafia, or I will invite you.

In-game, more mafia members is beneficial in a whole host of different ways, so I'm really hoping that several of you see fit to join and play.

This is as good a place as any to announce that I'm working on my own browser-based game, after years of thinking about doing it again. I had done so once before and it was pretty cool, but this is a more sustained effort. I am working on a guide for IGN now, but when that is concluded I'll resume work on the game. It's already coming along nicely and I am hopeful that it'll turn into something really cool, as I've discussed on the forums. If you want to play an extremely early version and just mess around, you'll find it at:


That's about it for my update. Now to get back to work on about 50 different things... Ugh!

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

hmd hmd - March 11, 2009 (06:08 PM)
I added you! Now I have friends!
espiga espiga - March 11, 2009 (06:18 PM)
I somehow lost all of my Gold when I hit Lv. 6 ; ;
zigfried zigfried - March 11, 2009 (06:35 PM)
A damn mage four levels below me is kicking my ass!

wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - March 11, 2009 (06:44 PM)
Heh. Well, I'm not into the whole "Paying real money on Facebook" thing, so I probably won't help you there, sorry.

But this HG browser MMO you created is pretty cool. I can't imagine how awesome it'll be when it's fully made.
Suskie Suskie - March 11, 2009 (10:25 PM)
Level 165. I own your parents.

But yeah, there's definitely a glitch that just randomly deletes your money every once in a job when you do a job. Not that money seems to serve any purpose anyway...
espiga espiga - March 11, 2009 (10:26 PM)
I know you're not going to work on it for a while, but after playing it for a bit, I have a few suggestions:

1. Make every level up give stats based on the class, with the upgrades serving as a sort of bonus. My Lv. 10 Mage attacked georox, who was a good 60 levels higher at the time, and killed him in one hit, earning me around 100,000 Gold. Now, while I'm not complaining, it seems a little absurd that a piddly Lv. 10 mage would stand a chance against a 70-something Thief, which also brings me to my next suggestion:

2. It may not be the most realistic way to do things, but implementing a system where you can't attack someone outside of a certain level range may make the battles more fun since you'd be fighting someone who can put up a good fight. At the moment it just seems like a few people are just going around one-shotting everyone that appears in their Attack list. (myself included)

3. Possibly some kind of a cap on the amount of Energy one person can gain, or not restoring energy to max upon level up. There's one account there (hi Suskie =3) who gained nearly 100 levels since I opened the browser, in what appears to be simply by buffing nothing but energy and spamming jobs to get the most efficient exp/Energy ratio, whereupon he levels up, restoring that assload of energy back to max... Because even though he's well over 150 levels above me, I can still kill him in one hit with a 40 dmg attack.

Just a few suggestions to help the balance of the game, which is currently broken in a hilarious way... Still, Venter, this brower game is fun =D
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - March 11, 2009 (10:56 PM)
Actually, I think some stats already do go up every level up regardless of upgrade. Attack and strength do for my level, anyway.

But it still does seem unbalanced, yeah. Especially with the energy trick. My class isn't specialized for that, so it's been kind of slow for me, but I'll be picking up shortly.

I will say that I don't even know what the point of half of these stats are. Like the Wisdom and resistance don't seem to serve any purpose. And I don't know what the difference between attack and strength is. These things might need looking at in future updates for this thing.

It is really cool, though.
espiga espiga - March 11, 2009 (10:59 PM)
Wisdom is strength, but for Mages. Since I'm a mage, my Strength serves no real purpose, unless your success rate at jobs is based on certain stats... And while I know that classes get one or two points per level, that's not really enough to make much of an impact in the long run. =x
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - March 11, 2009 (11:05 PM)
Ah. So then Wisdom and Resistance would be completely useless to me while my useful stats are useful to you? Well... that kind of makes sense, but... it should be that all the stats have some use to everyone. I dunno. Maybe if Jason implements a magic system or something (lol complicated).

But then does that mean Attack is, well, attack and strength as defense for me and wisdom and resistance are the same for you respectively?

But yeah; that much is true. The bonuses aren't all that huge.

I think Luck affects how well you do at jobs. But that's it.

I have no idea what Guts is for... though I think it has to do with attacking people of higher levels or something.

Oh. And I noticed another glitch where the message box doesn't always display. Like I attahed georox and died, but the message describing the battle din't appear for whatever reason. I think this is kind of rare, though.
honestgamer honestgamer - March 11, 2009 (11:06 PM)
Mage, Cleric and Bard classes attack with magic-type skills, so their WIS rating affects their attack. Fighters, Thieves and Beasts attack with physical-type skills, which are impacted by ATK. A player's defense against magic-type attacks is determined by RES, while a player's defense against physical-type attacks is determined by STR. RES also adds slight impact to any magic-type attacks, while STR also adds to physical attacks.

The energy technique is intentional, since it forces the player to decide whether he wants a tough character at a lower level--but to take longer leveling up--or wants to level up quickly but be mincemeat at the hands of someone who levels more intelligently.

Stats such as LCK and AGL are already built in to impact things like success rate with jobs, chance of an opponent dropping extra gold in battle and so forth. More will follow as the game is developed. Balance is still very much up in the air and I'll work more to make tweaks as the other features come into play and the game is more well-rounded. When I'm able to resume actual development, it'll probably be a few weeks before I'm happy with the logic and stats that drive it and ready for open beta.

WQ, I just noticed the same glitch and it's one thing I will obviously need to fix.

Also, the Facebook game is free or I wouldn't be asking people to play it. It's free, fun and addictive!
espiga espiga - March 11, 2009 (11:14 PM)
Another bug (or possibly just incorrect wording):

When you win a battle and you receive the message that gypsies stole half of your bonus loot, you only receive the half of the bonus loot, not the cash that you originally got for killing the victim.

Example: espiga mounted a vicious attack and dealt 24 damage to georox. Alas, brave georox was slain! espiga looted the corpse and skulked away with 470126 gold. espiga waged a successful war and was the victor. As a result, espiga walked away from the battle with 235063 additional gold!

After the battle, a wandering band of gypsies offers a place to sleep in comfort, plus delicious food. It turns out that the food was drugged, though. By the time anyone comes to, the gypsies have vanished... along with half the coins. What once was 235063 gold has now become 117531. Bummer!

Instead of receiving 587657 like the text implies, I only got the 117531. A bummer, indeed.
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - March 11, 2009 (11:21 PM)
Ah, alright. That all makes sense now.

Did you encounter the money glitch yet, too? I've had that happen several times to me as well. Unless it's not a glitch....

And I'm assuming I was right about Guts, then, too?

Hhm... If the Facebook thing's free, I might look into it, then. I usually don't fool around Facebook, though, so I dunno how much of a help I'll be if I joined you.
espiga espiga - March 11, 2009 (11:35 PM)
Each time you mount an attack on someone, you spend 1 Guts. It's kinda like energy, but for attacking people. Just like energy, you get 1 Guts back per minute.
honestgamer honestgamer - March 11, 2009 (11:37 PM)
If your money is disappearing apparently at random, it's a bug and I'll need to fix it once someone figures out what's causing it. That's one reason I wanted more people to start playing, though I'm not sure when the fixes can happen. Some of the stuff mentioned I can hopefully fix tonight before I begin proper work on the guide tomrorow.
espiga espiga - March 11, 2009 (11:41 PM)
Get on Aim and we can discuss some of these issues in greater (and faster) detail.
overdrive overdrive - March 12, 2009 (01:52 AM)
With your game, I'm looking forward to the day where I level up enough to kill all of you bastards!!!!

EDIT: Hell, jeee-yaaahhhh!!!!! My L7 fighter just put L25 espiga in the casket garden!!!!!! Unfortunately, L40 honestgamer evaded my wrath and took some of the large sum of money I took from espiga's carcass.....but I'll take you down too....you S.O.B. But not now. I gotta get some sleep....

EDIT2: Okay, I'm really going to bed now, but I did want you to know that, yeah, there is a gold-stealing glitch. When I hit L9, I lost all my gold, so I had to kill espiga for the third time to get 59000 of that 120-some thousand back. If my character could kill yours, HG, you'd be dead, but....NOOOOO....I'm 0-for-3 in attempts on your life. Tomorrow, that will change....
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - March 12, 2009 (10:00 AM)
Huh. I think I just encountered a glitch where it said I defeated someone successfully but it counted it as if I'd lost the fight (i.e. lost all my health and some gold), but maybe we just attacked each other at the same time or something.

EDIT: Nice job on modifying the properties thing, too. There's a cap too how much you can buy and they cost more as you buy more, too. I've already purchased all the real estate I can for now (plus some extra from when it was infinite =D). Georox has a lot of money. I took like 13 million... omre than once!
overdrive overdrive - March 12, 2009 (11:41 AM)
I'm having a grand ol' time level-grinding and occasionally killing EmP when the urge strikes me!
honestgamer honestgamer - March 12, 2009 (12:40 PM)
I tried killing georox and failed. It was depressing. He took gold from me!

And yeah, I stayed up until almost 5AM tweaking the property settings so that there would be limits. I still think that there's a little too much earning potential with property so I will drop it down a bit more for the higher properties, now that there's a limit on the lower ones. It's a constant balance thing, but I'm getting closer to a level that I feel is right for the game.

One of the next things I'm hoping to add is the ability to build a fortress. The way it would work is that you first have to buy the property for the desired type of fortress. Then you can buy the fortress, which consumes a property and prevents you from gaining revenue on that piece of property. However, a fortress allows you to recruit more mercenaries, with your limit depending on which fortress you have. To build one fortress, you would have needed to build the one before it and so forth. That's the plan, anyway. It'll give people other things to spend money on and fortresses will boost your defense in battle as well, I'm thinking.
overdrive overdrive - March 12, 2009 (01:05 PM)
I recently killed WQ. I should have won a large amount of money (even if if that bastard, Melvin, threw half of it into the air). But, something weird happened. The game acted like I lost via death. My character went to 0 HP and I lost a fraction of my money while gaining nothing.

That made me said, as I'm looking at WQ as sort of this site's version of those Gold Golems in Dragon Warrior. I can kill her.....and she gives out a lot of cashola!
honestgamer honestgamer - March 12, 2009 (01:24 PM)
I'm wondering if perhaps someone else killed you around the same time you killed her, overdrive. Everything I can see in the code looks correct. Hopefully, I'll soon be able to set up the battle page so that it displays the last few fights so those things will be easier to check.
espiga espiga - March 12, 2009 (01:49 PM)
Perhaps on your character's profile page (which is currently as bare as the catgirl in my blog), you can have a list of "rivals", or a list the last several people you've killed, as well as the last several people who killed you.
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - March 12, 2009 (01:51 PM)
Yeah - what OD describes is what happened with me and georox (twice). I guessed it was because someone attacked me at the same time or something, but... it still doesn't make sense that that I didn't get the winnings from that fight while losing whatever from another.

I think something that allows us to see who's attacking us will help instead of just seeing one moment that our health and some money vanished. Something like "You were attacked by xxx, you lost xxx" or something. Though I can see that getting a bit out of hand with how easy it is to attack people. Hm...

Anyway, I like the fortress idea. I don't know anything about recruiting mercenaries, though. But I'm guessing that's something you haven't coded yet.

EDIT: Yeah - something like what espiga said.
honestgamer honestgamer - March 12, 2009 (02:03 PM)
So much coding to do, so little time!
espiga espiga - March 12, 2009 (02:11 PM)
Just an idea, but some sort of shoutbox where the people currently on the game can talk shit to each other wouldn't be a bad idea... Seems more efficient than using this blog post! =D
overdrive overdrive - March 12, 2009 (02:16 PM)
Yeah, what Espiga said! Especially since the last half-hour was a pure kill-a-thon where I killed people about 20-30 times and got killed at least that many times myself.
espiga espiga - March 12, 2009 (02:21 PM)
LOL, so I was playing around with some of the IDs in the URL when I stumbled upon my own:

espiga mounted a vicious attack and dealt 59 damage to espiga. Alas, brave espiga was slain! espiga looted the corpse and skulked away with 1191021 gold.
wolfqueen001 wolfqueen001 - March 12, 2009 (05:48 PM)
Haha. That's funny.

I don't know if that shoutbox idea will work, though. It seems to me that the people tend to be around "all" the time, as long as they're uninjured... Like EmP had cropped up a few times when I knew he was away (unless he really wasn't), so I'm not sure if that'll be a reliable system if the people aren't actually there to see it at that time.

I could be wrong about this, though; it's really hard to tell the activity thing when so much goes into whether people are visible or not, though my main support for this argument is that you still accrue inome every minute despite not being logged in. Unless that's just people attacking me and me reeiving the proceedings if they fail, but... part of me doesn't think so.

EDIT: and I've just seen Will on the game... even though he's currently away on AIM.

EDIT 2: I just lost all my money again due to the glitch (it happened while I was working, and no one was on to attack I don't think). Sorry OD - I am no longer a huge cash monster with which to draw millions and millions of dollars. But I will be again shortly!

Also, that update window is very handy.
espiga espiga - March 12, 2009 (08:11 PM)
I'm not sure you're really getting where I'm coming from with the shoutbox idea. Them being there or not is irrelevant since the shoutbox would have the last X statements being displayed for those who ARE present and want to talk shit without needing to resort to adding people to AIM. I fail to see how "Well, so and so may not be there" is even a factor to worry about, since if you and a rival are killing each other over and over, then obviously, you're both there. =P
overdrive overdrive - March 12, 2009 (08:57 PM)
Not only did I just lose all my money, but after taking it out on Venter......and getting 300+K back, I nearly-immediately lost it all again, despite not being in a fight.

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