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    Aug 2011
    Lahore, Pakistan
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    Mafia Wars: Robbing Spree Complete Walkthrough and Rewards

    The Robbing Spree is a game of chance designed to get you to overpay for skill points and loot items. There are two different strategies you can take and I don’t recommend using any reward points on this event. I’ll go into details but overall, it’s pretty easy once you get past the busyness of it all. The in game instructions can be found by clicking the help mark on the Home Page banner and a decent (but not complete) FAQ posted on the Official Mafia Wars Blog can be found here. If you can’t stand to read their blog because the font is too small and the color choices are horrible, it can also be found here on the Customer Support Page. They even included a video which is hard to see, has no sound and will put you to sleep but we will give them a A for effort.

    Upon entry into Mafia Wars, you will the following popup. I guess I look like the “perfect man for the job”. I know I don’t look that good when I first wake up but I don’t appreciate Zynga telling me that I look like a man! Just for being you, you get 15 of the consumable items called Knob Wrenches to start the event.

    Before you begin, it’s best to take a look at the in game instructions and read the FAQ mentioned above. It’s not as complicated as they make it out to be but it will help you to know the basics.

    Wait, there’s more…..

    To sum all that up in a simpler format….The Robbing Spree costs 10 Knob Wrenches to play. Once you spend them, you get 25 houses to rob. Each house can contain cool stuff like skill points, energy/stamina refills and loot (along with some junk boosts and cash). Houses that don’t have stuff, have alarms (which aren’t cool). Once you hit 3 alarms, your game is over. If you collect before you hit 3 alarms, you get the stuff you opened. 5 houses on each board contain alarms and 1 house contains a double alarm. Your job is to stop the game before hitting 3 alarms.

    You need Knob Wrenches to purchase each game but they also serve another purpose. You can use them to peek at what’s inside each house. Peeks cost 3 Knob Wrenches and this is where Zynga hopes to trick you into overpaying for skill points and loot.

    As you can see, Knob Wrenches are available for purchase. They cost 1 reward point each and get a little cheaper if you buy them in bulk. One reward point may not seem like much but remember you need to use 3 to get a peek at each house. It can really add up fast.

    Zynga does offer ways to get Knob Wrenches for free. In addition to the 15 they gave you to get started, you can ask your mafia to send you them through news feed requests, free gifts and jobs. You can ask your mafia to send you Knob Wrenches simply by clicking the “Ask button” on the Home Page banner.

    Each posted request will yield 5 Knob Wrenches. When your mafia members click on your request, they will get one too.

    Once you make the request, there is a 2 hour timer before you can make another one. You can gain a total of 20 Knob Wrenches per day. Once you hit the cap of 20, you can still generate requests but you won’t get anymore Knob Wrenches.

    You can get an additional 5 Knob Wrenches by clicking on the requests made by others. Find them in your news feeds and click on the “Send Knob Wrenches” link. You can help as many players as you like but the most you can get in one day is 5.

    You can use the Stream Scanner to easily collect your 5 Knob Wrenches.

    What I do like about these requests is you can help as many people as you want and they aren’t limited. There are 4 possible outcomes for each Knob Wrench request. You and your mafia member will get one, you will get one but your mafia member will have reached his or her limit, your mafia member will get one but you will have reached your limit or both of you will have reached your limit and the click through was a waste of time.

    You can also collect 20 Knob Wrenches per day via the Free Gift system. This gets a little confusing because Knob Wrenches aren’t on the Free Gift Page. You need to click on the “Send” button from the Home Page banner to access the Send Page.

    To save time and clicks, use the Gift Blaster by Spockholm Mafia Tools as Knob Wrenches can be found on the gift menu.

    Once you send a bunch out, look for the returned items in your ZMC. If you already hit your limit of 250 gifts for the day because of Mafia Poker, then you are going to miss out on 20 Knob Wrenches. Zynga should give us warning so we can plan ahead. I like that there is a countdown on the ZMC. Once you hit the max of 20, it even tells you when you will be able to accept more.

    If you accept more Knob Wrenches after hitting the limit for the day, they will convert to Blue Mystery Bags.

    The final way to get free Knob Wrenches is to do jobs. Knob Wrenches will drop randomly in all jobs in all destinations to include stamina jobs in Las Vegas.

    If you are smart about this, you can get more than 5 per day. You have 60 chances every 8 hours to get a double loot drop in Brazil, Chicago or London if you activate the Lockpick Bonus. If Knob Wrenches drop in doubles it won’t count against your 5 for the day. In theory you can get up to 10 Knob Wrenches a day by doing jobs but it takes some luck.

    To test this out, I took screen shots of my Knob Wrench total before and after I got my 5 drops for the day. I gained a total of 8 Knob Wrenches instead of 5 because 3 of dropped while I had the Lockpick Bonus activated.

    If you collected at least 10 Knob Wrenches and have some stamina, you can get started. From the Home Page banner, click on the “Go Rob” button.

    You will get that same popup you encountered when you entered the game. Now click the second “Go Rob” button.

    If you don’t have 10 Knob Wrenches, you can’t start a new game. Zynga is quick to let you know you can buy them.

    Robbing each house costs 25 stamina but you get a great ratio on it. I got between 91-101 experience for each house I robbed. Just hover your mouse over the house and click on the “25 Rob” button.

    Once you click the second “Go Rob” button, 10 Knob Wrenches will be deducted from your balance and the game will begin. There is no need to start peeking in the beginning. Just start clicking on houses and using your stamina to rob them until you encounter an Alarm. At this point, you are no longer safe.

    Through testing, I determined that there are a total of 5 Alarms per board and 1 2X Alarm.

    Once you hit 3 Alarms, the game is over and you get nothing. The “Grab Haul” button grays out.

    You essentially wasted the 10 Knob Wrenches you used to open the board. To avoid this, it’s best to stop once you hit 1 or 2 Alarms. Since there is only 1 2X Alarm on the board, you can take your chances and rob a few more houses.

    If you choose not to start over, you will get this popup when you later return to the feature.

    Once you have 1 or 2 Alarms, you have to make a decision. You can take your chances by robbing more houses and risk losing everything, you can Knob Wrenches to peek at what’s inside each house or you can click the “Grab Haul” button and take what you already collected.

    It’s hard to definitely say what the best strategy is as there is a luck factor involved. Here are two complete boards and you can get a feel for what type of items you are going for.

    You are tempted with three loot items that have 5 levels. In order to get these items, you have to rob enough houses on the board to yield that item. Each board will contain, three, four and 5 of each item. Once you successfully rob a higher level, the lower level grays out. In the example above, the second board has 5 Lights Out. In order to get the Emerald Level of this item, you need to rob all 5 houses that contain this item.

    The same thing happens with the skill points. Once you find the second half, the first half grays out.

    Once you are satisfied with your haul, it’s time to click the “grab Haul” button.

    Below are my reward for the robbing boards shown above.

    Each board is it’s own game. You get to keep all the loot items you collect regardless of their level. There is no way to improve levels once you have collected them. For the rewards shown above, this is what’s in my inventory. The only way to ensure you get a Emerald Level item is to use your Knob Wrenches to Peek at each house once you’re in jeopardy of hitting that third alarm.

    The loot items and skill points are cool and all but lets take look at what you will end up spending to get them versus what you can already buy in the game. The event lasts for a little under 10 days but you can only collect free Knob Wrenches during the first 7. You can gain a total of 50 Knob Wrenches (up to 55 if you use the Lockpick bonus). This comes out to a total of 400 possible free Knob Wrenches for the entire event. You should be able to successfully clear about 4-6 boards without spending reward points.

    Method Knob Wrenches
    Initial Start Up 15
    News Feed Requests 20
    Helping 5
    Free Gifts 20
    Jobs 5
    Lockpick Bonus 5
    Total 55
    7 Day Total 400

    At this point you can elect to use your Knob Wrenches to start new games and get a few items or use them to peek and get better items. If you feel you need to purchase Knob Wrenches to get the Emerald Level items, think it through. Luck will be a determining factor but most likely you will end up needing between 20-24 peeks which would cost 60-72 reward points. In the example below, I clicked randomly until I hit my first alarm.
    I got it on the third click. In order to successfully rob the houses that have the loot and skill points, I will need to peek so I don’t hit 2 more Alarms or the 1 2X Alarm.

    To do this, I needed a total of 63 Knob Wrenches which would come out to 53 reward points (buying them them in bulk) if I had already used all my free ones. Once I got the 5 Alarms and 1 2X Alarm, there wasn’t a need to peek at the remaining houses so that saved me 15 reward points. In the end, I used a total of 51 Knob Wrenches plus the 10 needed to start the game.

    For the Knob Wrenches I used and the reward points I spent, I got the following.

    I could have used the reward points to speed up my Global Property timers and got +20 health points and +6 stamina. The loot items in the Marketplace cost 35 reward points and have better stats than even the highest level items in this event. For about the same cost, I could buy a strong item in the Marketplace and end up with many more skill points. Upon review, I think the best strategy is to do a few boards cautiously and use more Knob Wrenches than to waste them trying your luck. If you play on the Lucky Stash Slot Machine, you already know that Zynga odds are not in your favor.
    If my instructions on this event were not clear, take a moment to watch what Zynga believes is helpful to their players. Some commentary would have been nice! Throw them a bone for their efforts by taking this survey. I would tell them it's nice that they are coming up with new stuff BUT could they hold off on all the old boring stuff and decide what to do about the Family Boss Fights and Family Property? If they don't want to update these features then they should remove them.

    Source: MWLOOTLADY

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