INFO: Mafia Wars -- Bangkok

Are you enjoying playing Mafia Wars? Chances are, we share the same compulsion to play. It probably is one of the many online games that people get hooked to nowadays.

As I am one of the many selected to participate, it is interesting to be playing the expansion to the game (sorry folks I already gave out the three extra passports I was given). There are a few sweet glitches already found and, suffice to say, the developers are quick to get them patched. And if you are wondering about the Bangkok release of Mafia Wars, here are a few information supplied by the developers.

Q: What does "beta" mean?
A: Mafia Wars: Bangkok is currently in a beta release. This means that we are releasing it to a limited number of players, and may make needed tuning changes as the beta progresses - this includes changes to item costs, job costs and payouts, and item drop rates. However, we will not reset or remove mastery progress, experience, or items earned during the beta after the beta period ends.

Q: How long will the beta last?
A: The beta will last as long as is necessary for us to be sure that we are releasing a solid, stable, and bug-free expansion to our players. Watch for further updates on this as the beta period progresses.

Q: Why did it cost me more energy to do a job in Bangkok than my friend who is lower level?
A: In our previous expansions, we have required that players be fairly experienced before they travel to the new locations. For this expansion, we want to provide challenging content to our veteran players, while still allowing lower level players to be able to experience the new content. To accomplish this, we've created a dynamic system similar to that used by our Featured Jobs. High level players will find that the jobs have energy costs and experience payouts appropriate to their level, and lower level players will see those same energy costs and experience payouts scaled down to allow them to complete the jobs as well.

Additionally, the scaling only affects players between levels 20 and 200; players above level 200 will all see the same energy costs for jobs, with the appropriate modifiers for their Top Mafia of course.

Q: What is this "diamond mastery" thing I've been hearing about?
A: We've added a 4th level of mastery to the jobs in Bangkok. This will provide additional challenges and rewards to players, including mastery items with the highest attack and defense ratings of any items we've released in Mafia Wars.

Q: What are factions?
A: Bangkok introduces a new faction system, featuring the big guns of Asian criminal enterprise - the Chinese Triads and the Japanese Yakuza. Each time you are presented with a choice to help one side or the other, you will improve your reputation with the faction you help. Take note, though - the opposing side will not be happy with your choice and your reputation with them will drop slightly as well. You will also be able to switch sides by completing jobs for the other faction and attacking members of your current faction.

Q: What is the faction store?
A: The faction store allows you to purchase additional items to improve your mafia's strength. Both the Yakuza and Triads have a variety of goods for sale, with the Yakuza focusing on offensive goods and the Triads offering an array of defensive items. However, the better the item, the better your reputation with the respective faction will need to be before you can purchase it. Each item will include information on what level of reputation you need to purchase it.

Q: Can I only buy faction items from the faction I have the highest reputation with?
A: You can purchase any item from each faction as long as you have the necessary reputation needed to unlock the item. If your reputation with a faction drops below the level required to purchase an item, you will lose the ability to purchase it until you raise your faction back up to the level required to unlock it again.

Q: Can I max out my reputation with both factions in Bangkok?
A: Yes, you will be able to reach the 'Allied' reputation level with both the Triads and Yakuza. During the beta phase, you may want to leave at least one choice point job unmastered in case you want to change factions. We plan to implement a better solution to switching factions after reaching Diamond mastery before the final release.

Q: When will faction fighting be available and how does it work?
A: While we are not planning on releasing the beta with faction fighting in place, we plan to have it ready for launch on, or soon after, the full release to all players. Basically, each player will have an icon that displays the faction they are currently aligned with (the faction they have the highest reputation with). Attacking players from the opposing faction on the Bangkok fight list will improve your standing with your own faction and decrease it slightly with theirs. If you decide you want to switch factions, you can attack members aligned with your current faction. For example, if you aligned yourself with the Yakuza, but decide you'd rather be friends with the Triads, you can attack other Yakuza players on the fightlist. This will lower your reputation with the Yakuza and raise it with the Triads.

Q: Where are my properties? What are these businesses?
A: Unlike New York, Bangkok does not have properties that continue to provide income every hour whether you play or not. Instead, you will purchase businesses which can be upgraded to improve the quality and quantity of goods produced every three hours, as well as space to store them until you come back to collect them. Owning and expanding your businesses is a great way to earn extra Baht in the new city. Additionally, some businesses in Bangkok will produce items you need for jobs, and others will generate boosts to help you in fights.

Q: Why can't I see all the jobs right away?
A: Each episode in Bangkok has a storyline associated with it, and the choices you make as you progress through the episode will affect which jobs you see. Completing an episode will unlock the next one, as well as allowing you to complete it on the next level of difficulty.

Q: I'm level 18; how do I travel to Bangkok?
A: In order to unlock access to Bangkok, you'll need 4 items - the Thai Note, Yakuza Sake, Triad Coin, and Passport. The Note, Sake, and Coin all drop from specific jobs in New York.

Q: How do I get the Passport?
During the initial beta period, we will be giving out passports to ten percent of our active players. Each player who is selected will receive 4 passports – 1 for themselves and 3 to give out to friends. As the beta progresses, we may introduce other ways to enter the beta. We will release additional details on this as they are finalized. After the game goes into final release, any player who has not yet received a passport can obtain one at that point.

Q: I’m already in the beta and got an extra passport from a friend. Can I give it to someone else?
A: Yes!

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