Nov 19, 2010

Fighting In Mafia Wars by Customer Support


While visiting Zynga Customer Support, I found a few updated pages dealing with fighting and the combat equation.  I'm re-printing them here. Click on the title links to check for updates or review more topics.  Most of you may already know how the fighting equation works but it's a good review.  It was nice to see confirmation that the luck factor exists and accounts for some of those fights you lose and can't figure out why.

Fight Strength has dropped in Mafia Wars

Updated 11/17/2010 04:20 PM
Here’s how your Mafia Strength should be calculated

Mafia Fight Strength
Up to Image  501 mafia members and hired guns help you in fights, each using a weapon, armor, vehicle, and animal from your inventory.
Image  Mafia Attack Strength is the total equipped offensive power of everyone in your mafia.
Image  Likewise, Mafia Defense Strength is your total mafia's defensive power.
Make sure you have at least one weapon, armor, vehicle, and animal for each of your mafia's soldiers.
Your four strongest offensive and defensive items (one for each category) add a bonus to your total mafia's strength.
Raising your attack and defense skills provides a secret increase to your mafia's strength that your opponent cannot see.

Our programmers recently discovered an error in which the formula for calculating Mafia Attack and Defense Strength was potentially using too many items for players of certain mafia sizes.

For example, if a player had 24 mafia members, and her top weapons were -

5 Big Cannons
10 Medium Cannons
300 Small Cannons

The old (incorrect) formula used the statistics from 5 Big Cannons, 10 Medium Cannons, and 300 Small Cannons.
The updated (correct) formula uses the statistics from 5 Big Cannons, 10 Medium Cannons, and 10 Small Cannons -  a weapon for each of her 24 mafia members and herself.

As players increased mafia sizes or improved their loot inventory, a flaw in the formula would sometimes reduce their attack/defense strength closer to their correct level.
This formula has now been corrected (as of 8/24), and fighting is now fairly calculating for all players.

Players that experienced occasional reductions in attack/defense strength should no longer see this happening.

Fighting in Mafia Wars

Updated 11/08/2010 04:22 PM
Fighting Basics:

Fighting in Mafia wars is as simple as navigating to the Fight tab and selecting a player whom you would like to attack. You can also attack players directly from the Mafia Wars home page by selecting a player who has attacked you in your Player Updates box.

If you click on your opponent’s profile name you will be taken to their profile page.
On your opponents profile page you can see a little bit of information about who it is you are about to attack. From this page you also have the option to "Sucker Punch" or to attack your opponent directly.

Sucker Punch is a cheap shot that will do very little damage and will not award you experience points. However, the Sucker Punch is always successful, and is very useful for antagonizing people.

If you choose to attack your opponent directly, things will get a bit more complicated as the combat engine takes several aspects of game play into consideration when determining a winner.

We can't spell out all the details for you, but the following breakdown should provide you with enough information for you to set yourself up to properly attack other players or defend yourself:

Crew Size:

Regardless of your overall mafia size, only 501 of your mafia members will be able to assist you in a fight. Any members above 501 can help you in the game in other ways; however they will be of no assistance to you in a fight.

The Arming of your Mafia:

Each member of your mafia that will be assisting you in your fight will be armed with one item from each of the Weapons, Armor and Vehicles categories of your inventory. The game will automatically assign the items in your arsenal that have the highest attack value if you are attacking or the highest defense value if you are being attacked.

Items that have the same stats are interchangeable. For example, since the .50 cal and the mini-gun have the same attack value, they are interchangeable when attacking.

Stat Manipulation and the Combat Calculator:

Improving your attack or defense stats will increase your odds of winning when attacking or when defending against an attack. There are 2 stats that determine the outcome of a fight.


Stat 1: Attack and Defense Skill ('Your Skills' in picture above)
-     This stat is all of the skill points you have allocated to attack or defense.
Stat 2: Mafia Attack and Defense Strength (Your Mafia in picture above.)
-     This stat is determined the attack and defense strength of your best 501 items per category multiplied by how many mafia members you have.

Increasing your attack skill (stat 1) will not increase your attack strength (stat 2)

Combat Calculator:

When a fight is conducted, the attacker will use his attack skill and attack strength against the opponent’s defense skill and defense strength. The exact calculation that combines skill and strength is a secret. However, if an attacker had 400 attack skill and 40,000 attack strength, and went up against an opponent that had either 401 defense skill / 40,000 defense strength or 400 defense skill / 40,001 defense strength, he would usually lose (as long as no other random variables came into play).

Power attack:

Once you realize that you’re able to win the fight in question you can use a power attack.  Power attack allows you to do five attacks in rapid succession, provided of course the opponent has not been iced already.  If part way through these five attacks your opponent is iced, the power attack will stop at that point.  Your stamina will not be wasted; it will only use as much stamina as attacks were required to ice the person, up to a max of 5.

Call your Mafia:

Sometimes you might find you can’t beat someone in a fight, but maybe someone in your mafia can.  You have the option to post a request to your Mafia members to attack someone.  The button will show up in the fight window if you’ve attacked them or as a link in their profile if you are viewing their profile page.  This will allow you to bring the full force of your mafia against someone as they will get a bonus for attacking the person if they follow the link you post, until the first time the opponent gets iced.  Be warned of course, some people might not like you painting a target on them for your mafia to hit and might well do the same back to you.

There are items that players can acquire in game that will give them one time bonuses to their attack or defense stats.
Top Mafia Assistance and Critical Hits:
If your opponent has a high level Bodyguard in their Top Mafia that is watching their back then there is a percentage chance that they will be able to win the fight regardless of the damage that you deal against them.
In addition, there are casino odds built into the game which will allow for a Critical Hit which is more or less a lucky shot.

Take Half Damage:

There is an assist option that is randomly applied in which a member of your opponent’s mafia can take a bullet for them; this results in their damage taken being reduced by 50%. So you can effectively deal more damage and yet still lose the fight as the damage you dealt was distributed over two players.


  1. Does that Top Mafia Assistance and Critical Hits still comes into play in fights these days?

  2. I haven't seen the Critical Hit in a long time, but it may just do it without saying it. The Family member taking 1/2 damage still is displayed. Which is basically the opposite of a Critical Hit.

    I do end up Icing opponents quite often when I lose. So the Critical Hit, while not saying it, is still very likely happening.

    I took a long time off playing this game though, so I'm not up to date with all the latest things... and changes seem to be happening faster these days than they were a year ago.

    I'm curious if anyone is has figured out the fight calculations again. The way it was a year ago, you had to dump certain lame loot because it would get used instead of the better loot you had. I do know they changed it about a year ago... not sure if they fixed it though.

  3. Mine went too 11k and now back to 121l ;)


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