Informant Podcast: Where Family is First!

Episode 43: To Script Or Not to Script, That Is The Question

We have a special guest on todays show, Alex from MWAP.  He discusses some changes within the script, and some history on MWAP, also he talks about something new coming out. Pistol Pete talks about the new spocklets that are being worked on for the St. Patricks Day Mock War. Jennifer “The MW Loot Lady”  talks of some changes in the game due to PAC, especially “Remove Non-Friends From Mafia” button. Also discussed  is Get Satisfaction,  Moscow closing and much more. Jana and Chester discuss more on the Mock War  starting on March 17th at 10AM PST and ending on the 20th at 11:59 PM PST.  We also announce 2 lucky fans that won the 5k Fan Lotto Giveaway.

  • Is there an easy way to find my top mafia?? I previously have done it one by one by one….but I have too many in may mafia to do that now. I want to review them in case I accidently remove one of them.

  • Thanks for the latest podcast – it was very informative and helpful.
    Renate

  • Please publish a written version for members who prefer to read. I am sure I am not the only one with a little hearing dyslexia

  • Fairness is not an attitude. It’s a professional skill that must be developed and exercised.
    – Brit Hume
    This episode of The Informant Podcast was a little surprising. Special guest, Alex, from MWAP was something I was not too sure about. I am still unsure if he was on the show for promotion or by request or what. The show has touched on a lot of topics that surround the MW community, and the use of scripts to enhance gameplay, so mentioning MWAP does not seem too far out of the norm.
    There was no comparison between full automation vs. play enhancement which left me stumped as to why someone from MWAP would be on the show for any other reason than to promote the script. Maybe my assumption is wrong, but I always felt the Informant Podcast, being led by Spockholm team, were pro NON full-automation. I just thought that would lead to some banter about the use of MWAP, but the Informant Podcast cast has made it known that each episode would be around 20 minutes and a topic like fairness when using MWAP would require much much more time.
    I would like to touch on a topic if I could…
    That topic would be abuse…and yes…MWAP has many abusers.
    When I first starting playing MW, a little less than a year ago, I didn’t really like the game. I could not find a whole lot of interactivity in it. Clicking on jobs didn’t really amount to much more than opening another job. I didn’t see a social aspect until I started fighting . This is when the “social” aspect began to reveal itself. You were not just performing preset tasks. You were pitting yourself against another person. I was your building decisions (coupled with mafia size and loot) against his/her building decisions. That seemed fun.
    The fun soon ended when I apparently offended someone and started to be added to the hitlist day and night for about a week. I was puzzled how I could be hitlisted as often as I was by the same player. It would take great attention to be able to wait for player to heal far enough to hitlist them as soon as they hit 20 health. And why from a level 30? I began looking for answers. The answer turned out to be MWAP.
    Someone decided I needed to learn a lesson and instead of using his/her own account (to avoid being known) they added me to a sub account that just ran day and night adding people to the hitlist. How sad was that? That’s when I decided to learn what I could about this MWAP. I fiddled with it and learned it was not so hard to set something like that up.
    It did not take long before I put 1 & 2 together (I like simple math) and realized how a lot of accounts good have such HIGH stats/levels. A new term was learned. E-HO. People who use MWAP to level have never been a concern as their actions do not seem to directly effect other player’s gameplay. Maybe they get more loot and can trade more often, but that seemed about the extent of how an E-HO could abuse the system (unless they were hitlisting people,too)
    In the show, Pete asked if it were still possible to hitlist yourself. It is possible to hitlist yourself. You just open a second account and run it 24/7 with MWAP and have it put your name on the hitlist. You can also add dumby accounts to the hitlist so family members, or you, can knock them off. I see that done fairly often when I peak at the hitlist from time to time.
    I think, like Alex said, hitlisting from MWAP is mainly to “annoy and harass other players”. He mentioned the feature was lef tout of MWAP but eventually was added because, “it is a valid game action”. It may be a valid game action but it is seriously overused and abused. But sometimes it is abused for good…like hitlisting bullies or for families/clans to pick on clan hoppers.
    Alex also mentioned that automation rates are limited so you cannot do a super fast click-burst functionality (which used to be WIDELY abused – and I think stil is). It would allow someone to attack another player a predetermined number times in a second making any attack on a live target essentially an auto kill/ice.
    One of the funnier quotes from Alex was when he said they “normalized” relationships with Zynga, but this is AFTER a cease and desist letter was sent by Zynga to MWAP admin and the MWAP serving host were moved to a region (the UK) to avoid complying with the request. That’s not working together. That is avoiding compromise or shutdown. In almost the same breath he mentioned MWAP is “normal and accepted”, but he left out that the majority of this “acceptance” is by its own users NOT the community at large. I would like to see an official poll sent out to ALL the MW community and see if people who use the MWAP are considered “normal and accepted”.
    The BIGGEST overall abuse for MWAP users would be CRAFTING. There is no way anyone will be able to refute that. It allows a player running the script to craft every 18 hours without fear of losing more than a couple minutes out of a day. Zynga recently moved the wait time for crafting in NY from 24hrs to 18hrs. I am not sure how often most players craft. It is probably a safe bet that most are not able to craft exactly every 18 hours. Most probably do craft after 20hrs or longer and maybe even a day or two depending on his/her schedule.
    By using MWAP a player gets to craft every 18hrs or 9 times a week while the average person will only craft about 6-7 times a week. Not too much of difference until you look at a longer period of time…say 1 month….1 month (rounded to 30 days) = 720hrs… 720hrs/18hrs = 40. A MWAP users can craft 40 items per crafting bldg per month. Lets say the average player crafts once a day for one month. They can craft 30 items. That is 10 less items PER building per month. So, a MWAP user can craft 60 extra attack points/month if crafting stun knuckles in weapons depot AND 60 extra stamina if crafting Rebel2 in chop shop AND 30 extra attack if crafting a tiger shark in the zoo AND 20 extra energy + 20 extra stamina if crafting power armor in the armory.
    When you add that up all the extra skill points that some by crafting every 18 hours with MWAP it comes to 190 EXTRA SKILL POINTS per month. THAT is the BIGGEST abuse. No regular player can compete with that. That is level of unfair gameplay that BOTH the MWAP script writers and Zynga need to address.
    I am NOT a do-gooder. I regularly use spocklets. I still click fight (mainly because if I do not I still get hitlisted/attacked on the regular basis by MWAP users/abusers how have my FB ID set in their attack list). That’s the game I play-Constant assault from a SCRIPT (although I have had a few accounts closed for repeated abuse…think goodness for screenshots diligence).
    I am fond of scripters. Spending hours working on something you enjoy and getting to work with and know people who share your passion cannot be criticized. But monitoring the end result is a scripters responsibility and reflects directly upon them (good or bad). Find that happy medium.
    I am looking forward to seeing what this Mafia Wars enhanced is going to contain.
    Live long and prosper, Shalom Aleichem & peace be upon you.

  • Paul, you write a lot 🙂
    Anyway, my, personal, opinion, just covering a few of your points.

    Alex’s “normalized” comment, I agree that moving hosting to avoid expensive litigation wasn’t “normalizing”, but time has moved on, and it appears grudges aren’t held. As I recall at the time, the autoplayer staff weren’t concerned that Zynga had a valid case against them, but that hiring a lawyer to prove that would be prohibitively expensive, especially as the script is free. As Playerscripts don’t hold a grudge over the heavy handed C+D threat, which they demonstrated by removing the “burst” function at Zynga’s request (and against the wishes of many of their users), it appears Zynga don’t hold one over automation as they are in dialogue with many members of the scripting community.

    “But monitoring the end result is a scripters responsibility and reflects directly upon them (good or bad). Find that happy medium.”
    Absolutely, I believe I heard Alex discussing the removal of the auto-hitlisting feature as it is being abused, and all features will be discussed at length before being added to the script(s)

    I’d also be interested to hear what percentage of the “informed” playerbase are anti-script, and exactly where they draw their line in the sand. Officially all tools are bad, but most of us would struggle to play the game without some form of enhancement, the “switch” BM is probably my most clicked button, yet it shouldn’t exist if we were to follow the letter of the TOS.

    Personally, I’ve been playing a couple of years now, I used to auto-hitlist with a group of friends to gain XP using imacros, long before MWAP performed anything but the simplest functions, but the game has changed, and so have attitudes. Each person on this podcast has created/has access to tools that you’ll never see, because “fairness” is important to each of them, just because they can write a function that attacks a gazillion times a second doesn’t mean that they would, or that they’d share it with everybody, risking the ruining of many people’s experience.

    Nowadays I use MWAP, Scrubber and spoklets to enhance the game. MWAP is always paused, only unpaused to craft (manual is so tedious), but paused it gives me nice job ratios and an icechack on any profile I open (within zynga’s crappy 4/minute limits), I use Spok’s repeatjob, marketplace buyer, link-a notor, Arun’s chucker, various people’s Switch BMs as they all seem to struggle occasionally, but, in the main, I click buttons. There is a chance I could be using brawler or battlefield to burn some stamina, but on most occasions, if you see me in your feed, I’m sat at the PC and I clicked the button. When the stamina runs out, I close the browser and walk away. All things is moderation, and that includes mafia wars.
    Enhance your game, but don’t ruin somebody else’s could be my motto.

  • @Sandi – DKDLMafia works great for assessing and sorting through your Mafia. You can paste the info into an Excel spreadsheet and sort through your Mafia anyway you choose.
    http://keen-computing.co.uk/mwtools/

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