Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dinner at Ikea

It has been a dreadfully long time since I last visited Ikea for home ideas. Since sweetheart wanted to get a laundry basket which are on sale, and me craving for their Swedish meatballs, so we went and get both things accomplished.


Ikea signature Swedish Meatballs


Mouth Watering Salmon

Thursday, May 28, 2009

UN Wants to Give Me Money


Noting says "This is a Scam" louder then someone wanting to give me money. What irks me more is that these scammers uses international bodies like UN to scam on gullible victims.

That's what I got waiting for me in my Inbox. Noway am I going to download that word document. It could be laden with viruses. Although I disabled macro for office applications, I'm not taking chances and hit the delete link with no hesitation.

Ok, I'm done with this post. back to mafia wars...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Understanding Mafia Wars Combat Calculator

Dear All,

I've retired from Mafia Wars.

Best regards,

Alex
6 Aug 2010

========== Updated (December 07,2009) ==========


Understanding Mafia War Combat Calculator Revision 2.0

I'm pretty sure that most of you who manage to stumble upon my humble blog know how to use the Mafia War Combat Calculator properly. Simply copy paste the fight log in the box (pictured below)

And paste them in the appropriate box in the Mafia War Combat Calculator.

There are Four parts to Mafia War Combat Calculator. Which are:
1) Combat Calculator
2) Combat Stats
3) General Info
4) Equipment

1) Combat Calculator
The Combat calculator is what made Mafia War Combat Calculator famous when it started in May 2009. It list your attacking equipment and the opponent's defensive equipments in an easy to follow list, along with its attack/defend stats for each equipment.

note: This information was crucial back then when the fight algorithm combines both A&D stats of the equipment, so, having a balanced weapon like the bookie holdout pistol (24/12) with a combined score of 36 is better then the high attack but low defensive score like the napalm (25/9) with a combined score of 34. And that's when the gifting madness started out when scores of napalms were gifted, especially to dormant accounts or to people who aren't aware of such fight algorithm.

2) Combat Stats

The combat stats first starts out with a summary of the fight log in old style. I think its just redundant information as the Combat Calculator has already listed out and it will be listed again at YOUR STATS and OPPONENT STATS just below it.

The picture above is the second part of the Combat Stats where it will compare your stats with that of an 'average' player of the same level. And following that (not shown in picture) will be the estimate Combat Stats of your opponent. Estimate, because you will never know the true figure of your opponent's real defensive stats, unless he tells you.

3) General Info

General info is just there for your info only. It's just a general guide on where to spend your stat points so that your alter ego mafia grow evenly to enjoy the game by leveling fast enough from jobs and fights.

note: Personally, I don't like clicking on the 'Do Job' button. I like to play Mafia Wars ruthlessly, keeping enough stats on attack so I win lots of fights, and stacking the rest in defense and health to earn points from failed assassination attempts. Having players attacking me and losing, I gained experience and money. Although I still will lose 6exp when I die, in net I still gain from the many other failed attacks.

4) Equipment

The last part of the Mafia War Combat Calculator is the equipment guide. It tells you if your equipment is on par with average players. And it also tells you of the stock equipment that you should at least have. It is up to date with the best weapons, armor and vehicle form each Mafia Wars expansion (which happens to be loot items). I feel that it should also include new stock weapons like the rebel sniper as I mentioned in my other post.

You Might Also Like:
Not so New Fight Log and Fight Algorithm

Explains the red/green attack/weapon score that you get on the fight result

Blofeld's Loot List & Combat Calculator
This is not the combat calculator that you are looking for? Try Blofeld's.


========== Updated (September 21,2009) ==========

Mafia War Combat Calculator is now compatible with the new fight log.

========== Updated (August 21,2009) ==========




The fancy fight bar is back. And I think that zynga might have tweaked with the fight algorithm a bit. Compared with the old fight bar (below) taken on August 5th, my attack stats has dropped dramatically, especially when my attack stat remains the same. The only possible reason to this can be the influence of the weapons that I use in combat which changes time after time when I pick up new loot.



========== Updated (August 20,2009) ==========
Got a new fight log but can't use the Mafia Wars Combat Calculator?
Continue reading for a simple fix-it solution below




Zynga has pimped the fight log yet again, this time you get to see your opponent's defense stat. And with the new fight log, you can't make use of the combat calculator by old method of copy and paste fight log since the format is different. But it is workable with a few tweaks.

How to use the combat calculator with new fight log:

Copy the following into the combat calculator field:

Your Mafia of 501 fought against ENEMY with (your weapon),(your armor),(your vehicle)

ENEMY's mafia of 501 fought with (enemy weapon), (enemy armor), (enemy vehicle)

You WON the fight, taking 0 damage and dealing 10 damage to your enemy. You gained $0 and 3 experience

Remember: you can fight with up to 501 mafia wars members, and each can use one weapon, one armor and one vehicle!

Now, replace the (your weapon) with the weapon list from your fight log. You will need to click on the "Show Item Used" link to reveal the weapons, armor and vehicle list. Rinse and repeat for (your armor),(your vehicle), (enemy weapon), (enemy armor), (enemy vehicle)

Don't forget to change your mafia size and enemy mafia size if it's not 501

If you've lost the fight, use the following line instead:

You LOST the fight, taking 10 damage and dealing 0 damage to your enemy.

The damage taken and inflicted doesn't matter as the combat score is calculated form your own stats and equipment list.

Tada!

One thing though. I'm not sure why some the weapons are highlighted in red. Combat score calculated is the same with that in the fight log.
I am starting to think that defense is not taking into play for the attacker since I accidentally keyed in the wrong defense stat with a difference of 40 points. If the defense stat is calculated together for the attacker, I would've yield a different result from the Combat Calculator.

========== Updated (August 13,2009) ==========



Fight page reverted back to old style

========== Updated (August 08,2009) ==========



It must be the amount of criticism Zynga got regarding the fight stat. The numbers are gone and so are the best weapon, armor and vehicle for attack and defense.

p.s. noticed something new?
declare war!

========== Updated (August 05,2009) ==========



This morning I was greeted with a different fight screen. There's an additional information bar just before the list of victims mafia. Apparently Zyanga took the liberty to calculate my combat score for me. Sure, now I know that my attack score is 38046, but unfortunately I can't see my opponents defense score, so it serves no actual purpose other then beautifying the fight screen.

My fights are not out of the ordinary, I still win fights and lose because of critical hits. seriously,
critical hit against someone 10 levels above me? I do understand that it's to protect weaker players from players of much higher levels against them, but this is getting absurd.

Anyways, a quick reference to the combat calculator reveals the new attack and defense stats has been updated into the calculator too. There is one thing, ignore the defense stats on the combat calculator because it's inaccurate. The combat calculator calculates the defense score based on your attack equipment which differs allot, especially when the weapons are not homogenized to 501 of each weapon,armor and vehicle. The defense score calculated in the Mafia Wars game is based on the defense weapons used.
So, is you are keen to know your defense score and the weapons, armor and vehicle used while defending fights, get a friend to attack you and have them to IM/YM/e-mail the result to you.

The combat score calculated at the combat calculator to gauge your strength against average players remains unchanged.

[(Attack + Defense) X Mafia] + total weapon score = (combat score)2

square root the sum and that's your combat score.


========== Old Post (May 25, 2009) ==========

Ever wondered why someone much lower then you keep picking on you? Ever lost to someone of a much smaller mafia size which is not the result of Critical Hits? Want to know what your opponent is made of? The Mafia War Combat Calculator is the thing you need.



4 Easy Steps using the The Mafia War Combat Calculator
1) Copy the fight result above
2) Go to http://www.mafia-wars.info/
3) Paste the fight log, and complete the fields (see below)
4) Click Calculate



You'll be brought to the result page. The first part of the results is regarding the weapons, armor and vehicle used in combat. It list in detail what is being used on both sides, and their combat score is calculated.



However, what's more important is the information above (red arrow). The combat formula. As you can see, the most important factor in determine the combat winner is the attack/defense stats and mafia size.
Therefore the fastest and cheapest way to boost combat rating is to achieve maximum mafia size of 501. Imagine multiplying any number with 501, for example 8 (4 attack, 4 defense for a level 3 player) which will yield 4008, which is the equivalent to 133 chain guns that cost 26.6 million.
This is then followed by attack and defense stats which you'll get from leveling up (5stat points), redeem from Godfather points, job mastery, and achievement awards.

One thing though. In robberies, you are limited to the level number of mafia that you bring along with you. So if you are level 6, you can only bring 6 mafias to rob another player. It works the same with defending a robbery attempt.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

5 minutes with the Ultra Touch


This phone caught my attention more then a week ago in one of the newspaper advertisement. I'm a sucker for samsung phones bearing sleek design with large display. Moreover, this phone comes with boasting new display technology, AMOLED. This phone is already available at at retail stores, but none of them will allow me to test it unless I buy the phone first. So, I went to a Samsung product gallery at Sunway Pyramid to test the Ultra Touch.

The form factor of the Ultra Touch is good. Not too big nor too small for my hands and it feels comfortable, though it'll be better without the security cable. However, the much hyped AMOLED seems indistinguishable from the older TFT displays like the one in my G400 Soul. The images are probably sharper and livelier, but for an average joe like me, I can't tell the difference.

There is one thing about this phone that bugs me, the slow response and sometimes inaccuracy of the touch screen. The touch response is just like the Omnia, sluggishly slow at the widget display. As for the matter of accuracy, it can be much improved if I use my pinky to operate the touch screen. Big stubby thumbs will prove a challenge selecting buttons adjacent to one another.

Lastly, it's the 8MP camera. The camera software is very responsive with no noticeable lag even when taking pictures at full 8MP resolution at fine setting. Unfortunately I couldn't see the picture quality on the PC to make a detail comparison. Viewing pictures on small screen always seems nicer until the picture is expanded to its original 1:1 size where it exposes noise, and out of focus blur.

If Samsung can get this phone to response like the iPhone or iPod touch, then it'll be a sellout. Until then, I'll wait.

Related links:
Review from Mobile Review

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I've Stopped Trolling, LOL WUT?

I've been a member in Low Yat dot Net forums since 2003. Its a strange addictive forum, for some unknown reason, I'm always refreshing pages for the latest news, gossips and wacky stories from other fellow members, especially the kopitiam subforum. 6 years of trolling, and lately I've stopped. My last post was a month ago, and I've never looked back since. So, I guess its insanely addictive nature has cease to affect me.

On the flip side of the story, I'm actively participating in the Facebook Mafia Wars discussion board. :D

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Angles and Demons


Watched this movie last night with sweetheart at GSC @ 1U. I've read the summary of the story at wikipedia two months ago, so I already know how the movie will end. And I already know who the bad guy is from the start of the movie. Having read the summary did spoil the show, since the plot isn't that thick.
Vast majority of the time, Langdon (Tom Hanks) was on a wild goose chase then actually solving riddles and puzzles as compared to the first movie, DaVinci Code. The henchman in Angles and Demons is not as interesting as Silas in DaVinci Code, which is another letdown for me.

overall, it's just an OK film.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Internet in Bed


All these while I've been balancing the laptop between my lap and knee while using the laptop in bed. This has become tedious when I watch movies on my laptop, especially when the movies are as long as 90 minutes or more.
So, not wanting to spend RM60 on a dedicated laptop holder made from an aluminum plate and tubular plastic, I got myself a wooden breakfast in bed tray for RM23.90 at Carrefour. It served the purpose of keeping the hot laptop off my lap. But there is one thing, the legs of the tray is rather short, and it is microns away from touching my thighs. I might need to modify the legs a little longer to give enough room for me to move about under the tray. Sitting too long in one position can cause sores.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Today I Met Aaron

Today I met Aaron, the guy that serve me at Starbucks Metro Prima Kepong. We had a small chat while waiting for the bank to charge my credit card for a Java Chip and Mocha Frappuccino.

This is his 5th month at that branch, and will be leaving for college to pursue an engineering degree. I've been working in Kepong for years and this is my first time patronizing the Starbucks here.

Like any other Starbucks outlet in PJ, there are people here with laptops utilizing the free wifi either for leisure or work purpose. There is this girl with paper (i assume they are college notes) strewn all over the small round table and covering part of the laptop hand rest. There is another girl with the same laptop as mine, a whooping 15" wide screen Compaq. Then there's a guy on facebook sitting not far away from the two girls.

So, I was thinking, are they really working or just showing off that they have laptops? Personally, I don't find Starbucks a conducive environment to work. I can hear about the investment cum insurance plan 2 tables away. Plus not to mention the occasional sound of the blender going off. And the table is only fit for a laptop and a frappuccino, barely enough space to use an optical mouse comfortably not to mention enough space to place notes. Probably they can work with all those interruptions, I know I can't.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It Pays To Be Specific

A man walks up to the bar with an ostrich behind him, and as he sits, the bartender asks for their order.

The man says, "I'll have a beer" and turns to the ostrich. "What's yours?" "I'll have a beer too" says the ostrich.
The bartender pours the beer and says "That will be $3.40 please," and the man reaches into his pocket and pays with the exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the ostrich come again, and the man says "I'll have a beer," and the ostrich says "I'll have the same." Once again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.

This became a routine until late one evening, the two enter again. "The usual?" asks the bartender."Well, it's close to last call, so I'll have a large Scotch" says the man. "Same for me" says the ostrich. "That will be $7.20" says the bartender. Once again the man pulls exact change out of his pocket and places it on the bar.

The bartender can't hold back his curiosity any longer. "Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change out of your pocket every time?"

"Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and I found this old lamp. When I rubbed it a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever needed to pay for anything, I just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money will be there."

"That's brilliant!" says the bartender. "Most people would wish for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!""That's right! Whether it's a gallon of milk, or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there," says the man.

"That's fantastic!" says the bartender. "You are a genius! ... Oh, one other thing sir, what's with the ostrich?"

The man replies, "Oh, my second wish was for a chick with long legs."


Jokes aside, or should I say, the joke is on me this time. I visited my regular barber a week ago for a hair cut. Instead of the normal trim, I wanted something shorter to cope with the hot weather, so I said "pendek" meaning short in malay.

10 minutes later...



he gave me an ah beng boy racer look.

I Told You So


I got a little update on the Pulau Ketam Survivor: Canine Edition form this morning's paper, The SUN. And what I said will happen is true. The castaway strays has got aggressive and wild and turned on each other in order to survive. Now organizations are rescuing these dogs from certain death. But what they should do instead is to educate the Pulau Ketam inhabitants on the stray dog issues.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Beginer's Guide to Mafia Wars

If I was given the chance to restart, I'd probably play the game differently. But then again, it's a subjective argument since I started playing before all the "game improvements" like achievement awards and job mastery bonus. Anyhow, here's a quick guide on getting started in the game, compiled from various discussion board and also personal experience of getting whooped.
Do note that this is just a GUIDE, not a must follow rule. Anyone can play it as they like, but I think that what I'm about to share is close to 'ideal' in the current situation when playing style has change since the game first started in facebook.

Character Select
You start the game by selecting a character.
Mogul: 5 minutes off to paycheque (normal 60 minutes)
Maniac: 2 minutes off energy regeneration (normal 5 minutes)
Fearless: 2 minutes off health regeneration (normal 5 minutes) *You can buy health every 30-45 seconds

No matter what playing style, maniac is the best choice as it cut short energy regeneration by 40% That means, in an hour, a maniac replenish 20 energy. Versus the other two character which only gets 12 energy replenished in an hour. The faster energy replenished means the faster you can complete jobs and level up faster.

Fearless do have energy bonus, if you are a wheel man (top mafia). Being a wheel man you get a chance to do jobs for no energy, but such occurrence is rare. And not to mention the slim chance being placed at wheel man at very early levels of the game. Quicker health regeneration for fights might be tempting at first, but stamina regeneration is slow (5 minutes), hence the limitation on how many times you can attack in an hour.

Mogul is the worst class to choose from. Money is worthless in the game, especially when you past level 20, and have more then 100 mafias.

Why mafia money is worthless
Money is only good for 3 things.
buy weapons, defense equipment and vehicle (you'll run out of things to buy when you have 501 of the strongest available weapon, armor vehicle)
buy properties (to generate more money)
buy health (when you are earning 1 million an hour, 100k to revive form 0hp seems like peanuts)


The fastest way to make money is to have a large mafia so that you can buy mafia mikes which has very high return of investment at early game. With just a one time purchase of $8000 will give an hourly revenue of $12000.
But the price of mafia mikes and any other property will increase as you buy more of it.

Leveling up/Playing The Game
There are two ways of gaining experience
Doing jobs: using energy
Attacking/robbing other mafias: using stamina

You start with 10 energy and 3 stamina, it's a no brainer that jobs is the priority in leveling up then fighting. Especially when you just started the game with little members in your mafia and don't have the money to equip them.
In terms of experience gained versus energy/stamina spent, fighting has better yield ranging from 1-3 experience in every successful fights. There are also random X2 experience bonus, loot, and money (limited to a maximum of $72k) from fights. But losing is equally as easy too due to critical hits which is much more prominent attacking weaker mafias. You lose money if you lost in a fight. So if you are tight on cash, deposit the money in the bank before a fight.

Spending Stats Points
I'm not going to tell where to spend the stats points as this is where you build your character to suit your playing style. Some will be energy bias so they can level up faster, while others will beef up attack and defense to win fights easily.

Whatever the upgrade, do bear in mind that you are not playing this game alone. As easy as you can attack others, others will return the favor, plus interest. So, don't skimp on attack and defense point if you really dislike being a punching bag.

An example of someone 5 levels higher and with a mafia size much larger then mine who spent too little points on attack and defense. And also quite ill equip as he still uses low level items. For someone that level, weakest equipment in the list should be the chain gun, body armor and town cars. Any items lower then those appears in the fight log means there's some serious shopping to be done to the inventory.

Dealing With Bullies
There will be time when a certain individual or group will pick on you, just like in real life, the class bully will pick on the quiet one who sits alone during recess. The first thing to do is to play dead, do not retaliate, do not heal, do not repair your properties (sell them if you must) and let him shift attention to another target.

If you can't take the constant attack, then don't play the game.