Zynga Threatens Mafia Wars Auto Play Script Over Copyright Violations...

from the but-what-copyright? dept

I have to admit to massive disappointment with Zynga. The company who was founded by and invested in by folks who I tend to think are rather "clueful" has been involved in all sorts of questionable activity, from virtual goods scams to ridiculous trademark lawsuits against competitors. The latest, sent in by reader Eric, is a case where it looks like Zynga is really stretching copyright law as well. Specifically, Zynga has sent a cease & desist to the folks who make an autoplayer script called Mafia Wars Auto Player. MWAP appears to do what you would expect: which is allow a player who has installed it in his or her Firefox browser (it's a Greasemonkey userscript) to "autoplay" the game Mafia Wars based on parameters set in the tool. Seems pretty straightforward.

Now, Mafia Wars bans the use of such scripts in its terms of service, and has apparently been known to ban users caught using such scripts. I don't quite understand why this is a big deal (admittedly, I don't play the game, but I don't see how this is different than if a player sat there and played repetitively themselves), but if Zynga wants to ban players, so be it. But what isn't clear at all is how the makers of this userscript are violating Zynga's copyright. You can look at the full source code of the user script here, and I'm at a loss to see where the copyright violation occurs. I can understand that Zynga doesn't like that this userscript exists, but I'm not clear how "we don't like it" means "it infringes our copyright." Instead, it has the feeling of a (now) big company using the threat of copyright law to try to push a small community to shut down. And, it appears to have worked, as the MWAP people have decided to comply with the C&D rather than fight it.


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  1.  
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    william (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    unrelated, but I always hold the opinion that if an automated script or a "bot" can play a game for you, there is something seriously wrong with the game design/play.

     

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    Bradley, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re:

    I'd have to disagree. Just because a game can be boiled down to some simplistic rules doesn't make it less fun or enjoyable. Think of the computers that play chess. Or the simple games like Bejeweled.

     

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    Cryofdragon, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    Their use of copyright is certainly wrong, but I can understand wanting to ban this script.

    It's different then someone just sitting there playing. It's different then sitting there playing yourself, because you can have it on permanently and for very little effort. It devalues the time/effort other people put into the game. That matters in a social game, and it ruins the fun of 'legit' players. It can also wreck havoc on the in-game economy (if there is one, I don't play).

     

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    Esahc (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    I do play (though not as obsessive as some), and this statement hits the nail on the head.

    It's a social game, and the social element is a big part. I've met some really cool people playing some of these games and the robots ruin the fun.

     

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    Esahc (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    I'd have to disagree. Just because a game can be boiled down to some simplistic rules doesn't make it less fun or enjoyable. Think of the computers that play chess. Or the simple games like Bejeweled.

     

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    Esahc (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re:

    sorry today is just not my day to post

     

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    wnyght, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    The problem is not in "ruining" the social experience. the problem comes in when a "bot" is playing the game for you, YOU do not get to view all the wonderful ads that go along with how the game makes money. I've said it before, and i'll say it again: When you do not understand something, look to see who's making or losing money. You can usually figure out whats going on when you follow the money trail.

     

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    chris (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    Re:

    the problem comes in when a "bot" is playing the game for you, YOU do not get to view all the wonderful ads that go along with how the game makes money.

    so if the script randomly clicked ads as well, it would be ok?

     

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    pr, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Another good reason to quit

    I quit MW a few weeks ago, for all the reasons that existed then. This helps validate my decision.

    Most important, though, is the one alluded to in comment #1 above: it's just not that much fun. It's a lot of repetitive clicks in order to gain a few experience points so you can gain a level. Gaining a level occasionally gives you different things to repetitively click on. Whee! It's something a very mindless bot can do quite well, which saves the well worn part of my right index finger. And if a bot can do it, why bother at all?

    Unless endlessly spamming your real friends with endless Mafia Wars news is your idea of great social interaction.

     

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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 3:55pm

    Zynga's entire business model is to create a aystem where the number of clicks / repeated actions required to be "big" in a game are so big that people are tempted to pay money to buy credits / points to get ahead of their friends.

    Scripting that would bypass the annoyance and remove the reasons for buying points / money / credits would kill their business model.

    Their games are great examples of social pressure marketing.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 4:06pm

    Re:

    No, the problem is that it does not violate the copyright. Even if it's cheating, it still does not violate any copyrights. It violates something else, rules, whatever. Not copyright.

    If you come to my house and cheat at cards, can I sue you for copyright infringement? Can the inventor of the cards? Of the game? No.

     

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    Trerro, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 4:09pm

    Depends on what the bot does

    A lot of games allow limited bots that don't do anything intelligent (like a buff bot) or bots that are purely data miners (Ragnarok Online has a fansite called Ragial that runs bots that auto-collect in-game market data, resulting in a handy site for figuring out what something is worth, and what's worth going after when you need more game currency. The GMs don't mind that bots are involved, as the player running them has no advantage over other players, since all of mined data is made public, and the bots don't actually DO anything in the game, they just read player shops and record what they see.) Using a bot to actually obtain items and build up characters for you, on the other hand, is bannable in the overwhelming majority of games, because even the most dedicated player could never compete with a guy running dozens of bot accounts 24/7.

    That being said, while banning users for these kind of bots is acceptable, generally encouraged by players, and usually made VERY clear by the companies that it's standard practice, suing the maker of a bot is completely groundless. All the program is doing is submitting command packets (or forms in the case of a browser game), and the program is completely useless sans the game.

     

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    teknosapien (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 6:50pm

    Wow

    Way to build market share and keep customers

     

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    Rooker, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 8:19pm

    The reason it's in the TOS is because players using scripts like this gain an unfair advantage over other players who don't prefer not to cheat.

    The reason it is a big deal is that, in some games, like WoW or Eve Online, these scripts are used to gain virtual resources in the game world which can be sold for real money in the real world. At best, it leads to cheating. At worst, it leads to money laundering by organized crime and sweat shop operations in the third world.

    These game hacks are a bad thing that leads to other bad things and that's why they piss off game developers.

    You haven't linked to anything showing the copyright claim, so I'm not sure if the claim is legitimate or if it's just strong-arming. It ended with the script development being shut down and that is a good result. Most gamers hate these damned things - many of the ones who don't are using them to cheat.

     

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    Rooker, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 8:21pm

    Re:

    "advantage over other players who don't prefer not to cheat."

    scratch the word "don't" from that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Rooker

    "At best, it leads to cheating. At worst, it leads to money laundering by organized crime and sweat shop operations in the third world."
    Wow, I think someone has fallen for the crap the different organizations spout to try to shame or scare people from doing something. This is absolute crap talk meant to scare kids and keep them from cheating. Same as saying smoking pot funds terrorism or downloading movies is bankrupting corn farmers. Absolute bullsh!t.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: bots playing simple games

    If it is more fun to "play" the game when a bot controls the game for you then that is a good indication that the game design is flawed, or more usually, purposefully corrupted to be more profitable.

     

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    Dave, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 11:20pm

    Semi related, there was a similar case with the program known as Glider which was a tool used for botting in various popular MMOs. Blizzard Entertainment, now Activision Blizzard took them to court over copyright infringement among various other things. They won their case and Glider was court ordered to shut down or be fined. The big obvious difference is that Glider was a for purchase tool.

    Honestly, if you can't see how tools like this ruin the game, then you are incredibly ignorant or don't understand the basis of game design. It is cheating, it's against their Terms of Service and it unbalances the game. It doesn't speed up the game much, as there are various limits in place to exactly how far a dedicated player can go in certain time frames, but it does speed the game up. Farmville has a tool as well, which allows you to grow, plow and pick all of your plants with one mouse click and away your little farmer goes. There isn't much chance that this can be malicious as farmers can't go to war with each other (yet) but it does make for a depressed look at why you are playing the game in the first place. If you have to cheat, then why even play? It's like playing Solitaire and hitting hint every move, yea you'll win, but was it engaging? No! Did you really enjoy it? Probably not! Was it more of a chore than a game? Probably so! Honestly, if you find that you have to play this game and cheat just because you are either too lazy to play it regularly or because of real life, you need to get you priorities straightened out.

    Just because it's a Facebook game, and that you have 29 invites to be someones neighbor, gangster, family member, doesn't mean you are forced at gun point to do it (though if you are, blink twice and we will send in the feds).

     

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    BentFranklin, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 12:08am

    I suspect their copyright infringement theory is similar to the interface copyrights that were asserted 20 years ago when people tried to make free versions of Wordperfect, Lotus, etc, that still used the same datafiles. I seem to recall those theories were shot down.

    And yes, of course bots ruin certain games. But no, that doesn't give the game operators license to rewrite copyright laws. Their business models simply reached their limits.

     

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    MWAPUser, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 3:45am

    MWAP made MW more fun

    I play MW and I also use MWAP. Infact, the only reason I play MW is because of MWAP. It made the game tolerable and made it more fun to me.

    Instead of having to mindlessly click on one link 100 times a day or hour or whatever, the script allowed me to focus on the interesting parts of the game. The mindless clicking can be done by the bot. The bot also got rid of the spam that Zynga liked to send to everyone. I got to concentrate on parts of the game that was fun - collecting virtual items and trading with others to get them. In fact, MWAP actually made the game more social for me.

    Instead of just clicking links, I actually interacted with others to do things.

    In any case, this is not the end of MWAP. The source code is out there and others will pick it up and take it forward. The current/last version of MWAP still works without any errors. Once it stops working, I know someone will release another version.

     

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  21.  
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    chad, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 4:13am

    Re:

    whats in the tos is cheating and using scripts. however, they are banning players using scripts. they are shutting down the guys who make the autoplayer. you cant use terms of service to shut other people down. tos are agreed to by both parties. why would someone developing an autoplayer need to agree to the tos in order to write separate software. if its against the rules, then punish the people using them.

    its like someone robbing a bank with a gun and then shutting down gunshops because of it.

     

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    Christie Me, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 6:27am

    KC Me

    Well, Zynga may have got away with using copyright laws which were not intended for this purpose in the USA --- but there are always around these things... I believe others outside that site have already moved on... http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/64720 No MWAP is not dead....

     

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    Defrauded, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:33am

    Here's the problem I see now, which can be related to Napster shut one down, and several more pop up. So, one site and one script did most of the bot playing, but now, you will most likely have several variants that will be even harder for Zynga to fight with code, as they'll have to have several types of coding done to either slow them down or stop them.

    So, in essence, Zynga only made things worse, not better for them by shutting down this one script.

    Only time will tell how bad things will get for Zynga.

     

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    Sty, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:42am

    Re: KC Me

    Zynga will definitely erode once myspace and facebook's business models allow for them to no longer be bullied by them.

    I stopped going to both sites until I figured out that I can block all the damned spamming from mainly Zynga and it's less powerful and popular competitors.

    Once again free from application "join my mafia" and "sally, just leveled up" crap on my feed. I can now actually interact with my friends and meet new people, rather than being requested as a friend by total strangers that mainly have no interest in me other than being a "neighbor" or "mafia family member" or other generic minion that is simply on the friends list to boost one stat or another.

    It is no way Copyright Infringement, they just have millions of dollars to throw at lawyers and that little community of lazy Mafia Wars Players do not. The bully wins.

    For now...

     

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    Rooker, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Rooker

    meant to scare kids and keep them from cheating
    No, these are not scare tactics, these are established facts. People's willingness to spend money breaking the virtual rules of a video game has real consequences in the real world.

     

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    MWAP Player, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Zynga

    How can "ANYONE" play when they have to constantly click or do repetitive actions multiple times?

    My son has no use of his arm's do to an accident a few years back, He's on facebook book and through the use of scripts and adaptive software he's able to do thing's like all other children. Saying that using a Bot, a Script or whatever to make life easier is cheating is morally **WRONG**.

    6

     

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    J.Flush (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    Use of "Scripts and Bots"

    How can "ANYONE" play when they have to constantly click or do repetitive actions multiple times?

    My son has no use of his arm's do to an accident a few years back, He's on facebook book and through the use of scripts and adaptive software he's able to do thing's like all other children. Saying that using a Bot, a Script or whatever to make life easier is cheating is morally **WRONG**.

    6

     

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    MWAPLives, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    Zynga's Business Model? I don't think it's a business model it's a business scam. Just search in google and see how the CEO of zynga confessed on how he unscrupulously gained wealth! And now they're afraid of one tiny bot? Come On! The bot doesn't even touch zynga code! They're afraid that their scamming days are gradually decreasing... hahahahahaha

    Why would you defend scammers? TOS? Pffffft!!! TOS of a scammer??!?!??! How can that be a valid TOS? pffffttt!!!

     

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    David Fisher, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Contra?

    I dunno man, I'm pretty sure you could have played Contra or Super Mario Bros with an automated script and it would have worked. The timings weren't random and the levels always would execute exactly the same.

     

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    chad, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Rooker

    these are "established facts" that breaking rules in a video game has real world consequences (make not that the rules arent "virtual", their respective worlds are). for instance, that sweat shop would not lose any business if people didnt buy wow gold. they would simply put them to work doing something else. youre like a politician saying that buying gasoline contributes to terrorism somewhere else. everything you do can indirectly be linked to someone being hurt, exploited or killed. i would try establishing that as fact, however, you didnt do a good job of establishing your opinion as fact. oh wait, it doesnt work that way does it.

     

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    donnaB, Dec 30th, 2009 @ 6:27am

    First I'd like to say that only people who do play should comment here.
    At first Mafia Wars was fun, until I grew up a bit and was killed all the time by people with more 'friends' than I had, because I only played with my real friends ... But that is what Zynga is all about : forcing you to add more and more friends, forcing you to click more and more and in the end forcing you to spend lots of $$$ to stand up to the ones bullying you.
    But then came MWAP a simple, well-coded and genious script, that did all those stupid things Zynga forced you to do ... without having to spend lots of $$$.

    May MWAP live long and prosper ...

     

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    xagete, Dec 30th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Re:

    Explain how it devalues another person's gameplay? How does my use of an autoplayer make your game experience devalued? You would not even know I am on!

    It isn't a social game in any real sense, you click a button over and over. No discussion, no personal interaction. The only social interaction comes from your own mafia and that is outside the game.

     

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    Steve M, Dec 30th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    I think this guy (Rooker) was bullied in the game by someone using the script LOL any ways, to make a long story short, no its not a copyright infringement of any kind. As for the bot, who cares, I didnt? I think im gonna be done playing mafia wars myself, the game has gone down hill, cant rob, hard to attack, blah blah blah...

    Zynga can bite my butt! LOL lates!

     

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    Steve M, Dec 30th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    AWWWW BOOO HOOOOO DAVE!
    OMG you people get bullied way too much in the game, who gives a frogs fat ass? Quit the game them LOL

     

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    ex-MW player, Dec 30th, 2009 @ 7:15pm

    used to play...

    Okay first all this talk about comparing this whole fiasco with WoW gold farmers is bogus. There is no monetary gain anyone could provide to other players for using this script.

    Secondly, you missed a point here. They are banning ALL scripts. Yes I used MWAP in the past and when it was banned and taken down I figured I'd just play without all the bells and whistles, and I am not talking about the bot playing for you. I mean more like the handy hospital button where I click once on the medic symbol and am healed. Or where it tells me exactly how much XP I need to the next level. Or which property it recommends I buy next. These are just handy tooltips for me where I don't need to get my brain all worked up with math. Okay that sounds bad, but hey it saved me time to look at all those pretty Zynga ads than my calculator. ;-) Oh well.

     

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    Boomer, Dec 31st, 2009 @ 8:41pm

    One of the affected...

    I am one of the many developers for the MWAP script. The C&D order sent to us is baseless, but to fight it in court, it would cost us money, of which we don't have.

    The script will most likely be carried out in some sort of REBIRTH. ;)

     

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    chad, Jan 2nd, 2010 @ 5:12am

    boomer, i would have gladly donated to fight zynga. i feel the app is worth paying something, as anything that saves me time is. i know alot of people arent like me and dont have cash to throw around or wouldnt donate for the actual script, but alot would for the principle. i think someone should have contacted the EFF before they made such a drastic decision. at least take donations for the filing of an llc and let them file their lawsuits.

    i can think of many projects, such as bnetd, that the EFF took up representing in court. in the end bnetd devs didnt spend a dime, on legal fees or the judgement against them in the court case they eventually lost.

    im not sure what they were citing in the cease and desist order. im not sure how its copyright infringement, reverse engineering or anything that could be covered by the dmca. that along with the negative reputation that zynga has im sure the EFF would have left zynga with their foot in their mouth.

    the last script i have is of course still running fine. there were a few features i wanted such as boss fights that i can live without. however, the principle of this whole matter infuriates me. please contact the EFF, it wont cost you anything. its not a matter of saving a bot or as some on here call it, "a cheating script". its a matter of making sure people like zynga cant misuse laws and fear to bully people.

    thanks for the work you did. i wish you much success in life. please keep up the fight.

     

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    linuxnizer, Jan 2nd, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re: One of the affected...

    Boomer, sorry to hear that you decided to stop working on the script. I'm one of the many who really love MWAP and deeply believe that MWAP made the game much better and more enjoyable.

    Thank you so much and hope I can do something to get this great script back.

     

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    Fletcher, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 5:07am

    MWAP didn't just make the game more enjoyable, it actually made it playable.

    Realistically, who wants to spend hundreds of stamina points one at a time on fights? It's dull, dull, dull. MWAP lets you concentrate on the strategic elements of the game and ignore the monotony.

    This will be it for me - no more MW. It's not that important to me, and really - it's not actually that good a game.

     

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    wheatman, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:25pm

    Copyright

    The only copyright infringement possible is the fact they used the name of the game on their website and script "Mafia Wars Autoplayer blah blah". Yet I have not seen the classic TM or C on the Mafia Wars logo's. Valve / Steam could not win this case in court when they went after players that wallhacked etc for Counterstrike so they tried to do a anticheat (VAC). So did Zynga with the iframes, changing the Ajax calls with Base64 etc. "They will never get around this" thought zynga. Just as Valve / Steam thought. If it is my computer sending and receiving the data then I can hook it and manipulate it.

     

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    TJ, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 5:41pm

    MWAP

    This is total crap I was not cheating I just have more to do with my life than click 500 times for 200 fights. I only used MWAP for fighting and it made it bearable. Zynga has a lot of balls to try this crap. I think you should have a counter suit for harassment.Zynga is worried about bullies in their game sounds like they are the bullies in the real world. I am done with all their games. glad I never spent a dime for GF points or any other crap they were selling.

     

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    Tango, Jan 8th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    MWAP

    I don't understand the point of any this issue from a player stand point.... there is no beginning (unless you count when you first join up), there is no end, (unless of course you count the point you realize there is not ever going to be a reward of value, and certainly no time frame to declare 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc, so you quit), no prize, no way to communicate directly without being allowed into someone's facebook account, and no real defined competition. More of a "Groundhog Day", the movie plot type of existence. And that is just the point, you just exist. Rep point? LOL Similar to the gold stars they give to 1st graders for doing something good in class.

    From the company side of things, sure i understand. Bots/scripts downplay the need for human attendance, causing you to miss out on Ads,and additionally doing away with the need to purchase extras in order to keep pace with others in a "game" that has no beginning, no end, no reward worth anything. Zango spent over $39 mil developing many games like this that have no directive, or objective for the player, except to produce clicks (traffic), and purchases for thing that have no reward except "1st Grade Gold Stars".

    I personally now play a game - mobsterboss.com - not saying you should, but at least in games like MB, you are shooting for a real goal with a defined end and reward. I have actually won money there with no purchase on my part. Again, I am not saying that you should play it, but at least a game like that seems more geared to a real strategy and competition. But I have noticed that they (MB) will not allow bots/scripts in their game. But then again, it is a real competition, and they seem to realize the need to cut that out because of the competitive nature of their game. Like I said, I am not trying to encourage anyone to play MB, but since I have played both, I am just comparing the two with regard to the bot thing.

    So, I agree with the company in the case of MW not allowing scripts and bots in their thing, because the overall goal of MW is to create traffic, Ad Views, and encourage you to purchase things to get your "Gold Stars". So, it's their game, let them run it as they see fit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:30am

    Re: MWAP

    If Zynga were smart, they would pay the developers of the MWAP to incorporate into MAfia Wars. The game is just too tedious without scripting.

     

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  44.  
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    Hack Reed, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 11:56am

    MWAP

    It is just like all other games on the web. Some people are just too lazy to play the games and earn points as intended, they just buy the auto pilot software, put it in play and gloat about the high points/scores they have. Real great achievement, let me pat you all on the back so you don't hurt your own arm.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    MW Fan, Jan 17th, 2010 @ 6:36pm

    Copyright infringement?

    I'm a long-time Mafia Wars player, and I admit, I also use MWAP. I won't justify myself, or give any lame excuse why I use MWAP. I just want to give my opinions on this issue...

    Zynga MAY have to right to stop players from using MWAP, and they MAY have the right to ban players caught using MWAP, I give them that much.

    But to carry the issue all the way to the people who create scripts and declaring those scripts "copyright infringements" is going way too far beyond the boundaries of the law.

    Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works covered by copyright law, in a way that violates one of the copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement)

    The creation of a script, in my opinion, is not a reproduction of the copyrighted work. The authors of the script DID NOT create a Mafia Wars clone. They merely created software that automated the job of a human player. Call the player who uses MWAP a cheater if you will, but that's his choice. Besides, MWAP isn't something that you just simply slap on and it'll play the game perfectly in the best possible way. The human player still has to correctly configure it, otherwise, it's gonna end up doing worse than the human.

    Yes, it is indicated in Zynga's TOS that the use of scripts are not allowed. So what they should have done was just ban the players using MWAP, IF they can prove that they were really using the script.



    The problem with Zynga is, they were so hell bent on creating the game and putting it online in the soonest possible time that they didn't debug it properly. They didn't even make gameplay fair and balanced between the 3 types of characters that players have to choose from, one of them being severely handicapped after around 20 levels in the game.

    They were probably afraid that someone else would release a similar game and that would have meant a loss of profit for them.

    So now that they're raking in the clams, they don't care if the game has more bugs than a rain forest. In fact, they haven't even addressed or fixed most of those bugs.

    And now they go after people who exploit those holes that they won't or can't plug with a criminal lawsuit?! Thank God Bill Gates didn't think like that, otherwise, there would be no Linux, Mozilla, Adobe, or any other software company. And worse, we'd probably still be stuck with Windows 3.0...

    Zynga, you're barking up the wrong tree. Clean your house first, because that's where the bugs are at...

    Besides, stopping the people who wrote MWAP won't stop players from using the scripts already installed. Until Zynga plugs all them holes and writes a major revision of the code, those scripts will still be functional.

    Or at least mine still is...

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Me, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re:

    Theres ads in the game?

    Never seen any though, mied be because of adblock in FF who knows, so that is a lousy excuse for banning an autoplayer.

    I logged in to facebook the other day from IE, the shit is full og ads, made me even more glad for adblock :D

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    UncleSim, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    Cheating...

    So, if the one you're paying to advance over others in the game is Zynga, its NOT cheating, but advancing without paying Zynga IS cheating?

    OK, I think I've got the rules now... Same as gov't, but without the actual threat of deadly force. Thanks ;)

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Phil, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:42am

    Re:

    When you allow other actions set the "value" on your time, you have the problem not them...This is the typical "make everybody feel good" attitude that our society has devolved into.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Jim, He's Dead, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    I'm all for that but... The problem with Zynga is that they have their OWN model in place to do exactly what they stopped the developer of MWAP from doing. Rather than having a script that auto-plays, you pay them money and you get godfather points to buy things or increase your ability to level. This too is an advantage over people who choose to just play the game.

    I'm disgusted with Zynga. They steal other developers games and then threaten people like the Mobsters devs or MWAP dev while banking money on another persons idea.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Jim, He's Dead, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re:

    Just curious if you're 12...then again that may put your maturity too high.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 8:46am

    Re: used to play...

    I agree... I have the new one and I keep it paused most of the time. It's nice to see what properties have the best return and the percentages for energy to XP. It would be great if Zynga spent less time trying to figure out how to screw people and more time at adding some of the non-intrusive features like the OP said.

    I think the lame part of things is people that just set it to fight 24/7 or juice energy in order to level.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 8:54am

    Re:

    You just named the lame part of the script. All the little info helpers are great. Auto-fighting to level and creating multiple "drone" accounts is where it gets to the point where you're just sad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    MW Cheater, Jan 23rd, 2010 @ 8:34am

    Stupid

    I can't believe that: A) Zynga spent real money on lawyers to draw up a C&D on some computer geeks that wrote a greasemonkey script for fun. B) That people are actually discussing the ramifications (including me) C) That this discussion has moved to ethical and moral grounds to discuss cheating on a stupid game.

    I cheat like a banshee on MW and I've used the script for several months now. I don't get what the big deal is, I played for months without cheating, even spent money on points to get ahead at one point. What Zynga doesn't realize is that for people like me: 30 something, with kids, a wife, a real job and a social life. Is that without the script, I wouldn't play anymore because it is too mindless for me to do anymore. Nobody wins anything of actual tangible value so who the F cares if we cheat? It's not like taking roids to hit homeruns, those guys were playing for millions, this game is supposed to be fun.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    NB, Jan 24th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    ..

    According to a letter from Zynga sent out a little while ago not ALL scripts are disallowed.

    There are the tools that determine EXP/Energy, gifting, property purchases et. Those are permitted.

    The issue lies with bots that run 24/7 hit listing people, auto fighting etc.

    Many people and some clans are using them to the extent to make the game unplayable for others (targeting) and they are trying their best to stop these practices. Not only because of this issue, but because of the server draw. A relatively free game on a social server assumes bandwith and server needs by the number of people playing multiplied by a certain number of hours a day.

    Is Copyright the way to go? No. But a better choice may be to cite those using the script with a DOS attack charge. That is what a bot does IMHO, it sucks up bandwith via automation and limits the access for people who actively play the game.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Doug, Jan 25th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Another good reason to quit

    If you don't like, stay away from it. And why bore everyone with your opinion?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Assie, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    Re: MWAP made MW more fun

    I play MW and I also use MWAP. Infact, the only reason I play MW is because of MWAP. It made the game tolerable and made it more fun to me.

    Instead of having to mindlessly click on one link 100 times a day or hour or whatever, the script allowed me to focus on the interesting parts of the game.

    What mwap user is saying is true. And i want to add that a lot of people get RSI from all that clicking. I did before using mwap player.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Assie, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: MWAP made MW more fun

    MAYBE WE CAN SUE ZYNGA FOR GETTING RSI FROM THEIR GAME!!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Never Mind, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    MWAP

    I have played this game many many times and admit that I used auto player to help me advance as it's very boring at times otherwise. I also purchased GF Points to help me level up. I will now no longer be playing as my auto player has stopped working and I cannot get any other one to download.....Unless anyone here can help?????
    I will miss the game.. but I cant afford to keep buying the GF Points.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    MW players, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 11:17pm

    MWAP

    What is the crap Zynga is doing? MW will sucks without the MWAP, it will look like surfing a crap-boring website with endless click and click.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re:

    William never once mentioned that the game wasn't "fun". Try paying attention or leaving the discussion to the adults.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

    Re:

    "if there is one, I don't play)." Then what could you possibly know about this particular issue besides biased idiocy? Besides, there is no value in time and effort with these games. It is mindless clicking meant to serve you ads as you do it. The autoplayer lets you hide the spam. This is where Zynga wets their pants. Advertisers learn of the bots feature and decide that they can argue that point when negotiating fees. Zynga is likely tired of losing ad revenue. That is it folks. That is the issue. Done and done. I know because I DO play. Furthermore, I have paid to play.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Another good reason to quit

    Because pr is right. You offered even less to the thread. Go away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Rooker

    Do you prosecute the gun or the one pulling the trigger? Murder is the problem-guns are not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Dude, Jan 28th, 2010 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: One of the affected...

    He never said he was not going to work on it anymore. What about rebirth do you fail to understand? Sheesh, people are dense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    KC, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 6:41am

    Rebirth is well and truly working

    Hey, who said MWAP is dead.... It's truly not. In fact you could go and look at the site that is out of reach of Zynga. www.playerscripts.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Nunya, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 11:00pm

    Autoplayers are the only way to go...

    When Zynga and the developers allow you to continuously level up then the auto-players can cease to exist. But when they require 1000s of stamina points just to level up, and not even fast just averagely, the auto-players should remain. Who wants to play a game for 5 minutes and then have to wait for hours and hours before they can play again and really advance? Its ridiculous how they have the game set up now. So until they realize their mistakes, MWAP all the way. =)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2010 @ 3:17pm

    no MWAP I will not play MW Full Stop

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Mafia Wars Auto Player, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 6:49am

    MWAP Rebirth

    Now they came out with a new version

    http://www.mafiawarsplayer.info

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    daniel, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 10:23am

    Zynga

    Stupid ignorant assholes at Zynga should realize that their game takes WAAAAY too much time for the average person to maintain interested in that's why people were using the bot. Once the software quit working for me I quit playing the game - I don't have an extra two hours a day to screw around with the game - people use the bots to make gains in the game that are impossible without it. They shot themselves in the foot on this one. What do you expect though. Jerkoffs.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    daniel, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 10:25am

    ...one other thing I forgot to mention - if you can't play the game all the time then you get your ass totally kicked by stupid fatass welfare recipients that sit on their lazy asses all day playing the game - so what's the point in trying to play against unbeatable opponents?

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    daniel, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 10:27am

    I am seriously pissed about this... I hope Zynga rots in hell. I was interested in the game now I hate it. And to make things worse, they change the interface and add new crap to it NONSTOP!!!! Someone with some sense should start a game like this for people that actually have time to play. I seriously hope Zynga files chap 11 or something. Pieces of shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    StevenD, Feb 16th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

    Copyright & Such

    I am one of the many authors of MWAP. I just thought I would mention that copyright was a very small part of the C&D sent out by zynga. Many folks refer to that component, probably because the main stuff is boring 'legaleze.' In truth, copyright issues did not affect my decision to take down mafiawarsplayer.org. From the very beginning I did not want to use MW IP. We made our own graphics as soon as we had graphics folks join the team.

    However, what I feel compelled to say is that I was adamantly against using MWAP for profit. There was no gifting component built into MWAP so you couldn't use it to trade. We were concerned about end users too, so even though an auto hitman would have been a really neat feature, we didn't include that either.

    But ultimately we felt like we were making a good game better. I wrote an article on the front page of mafiawarsplayer way back when... That article was a response to zynga about why MWAP was good for MW. I still believe the statements I made back then. Not everyone enjoys every element of the game. MWAP would allow folks to enjoy the elements they liked most. In addition, for the stat lovers, we had elements that MW didn't have.

    Anyway, it was fun... But it didn't end because of copyright issues...

    StevenD

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Amarjit Singh, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 11:54pm

    I like this

    I like to use bots and autoplayers....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    njt, Mar 28th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

    Re:

    "It devalues the time/effort other people put into the game"

    what about the option to spend money and buy godfather points to make the game faster.... is that fair for people that dont have money to spend? theres people that blow thousands of dollars on this game because they have the money to do so...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    njt, Mar 28th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Re: ..

    the game is "mafia wars", since when does a mafia follow rules? they should all this "moral wars"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    christine miller, May 9th, 2010 @ 6:58pm

    access code on mafia wars

    i recieved an access code but was stupid and did not pay attention to it so could you please resend it to me? thanks christine

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Sirplaya, May 18th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    It's all about advertisement

    When a script plays the game, the user/human can go and do other things and does not get to see all of the marketing and advertisements to but gold coins, rare collection items, etc. They use this as an excuse, though the copyright issue has nothing to do with it.

    It's all about them thinking that they're losing revenue due to the scripts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    icon
    woodburyadpost.com (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 7:18am

    Mafia Wars

    Ive been into computers and programming for almost 20 years now. The auto players are not at all a violation since they dont use any code from the actual game. "SIRPLAYA" is correct about the ADS. They would actually be theatened by the AD companies they use to not pay them since it is not being seen by an actual person. So they then threaten the users to be banned since they are loosing money. I can see people actually suing them back if they.. 1. have made a purchase of items, or 2. have to pay a membership fee. Its all a matter of time before the next best thing comes out and they are just a memory in your mind somewhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    dublklik, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 9:50pm

    MWAP

    No MWAP - no play. There is nothing wrong with the bot playing, all it does is replicate what you would do. The bot actually takes some of the mind numbingness out of the game and makes it a bit more enjoyable. If I can't automate parts of the game then it is waay to boring to sit there and click away for little gain.

    It's not like it changes any stats or makes it any easier to win anything. Even the most ardent players must admit there is a lot of mindless clicking in the game that is much better handled by a bot. -- It doesn't stop you from clicking manually if you want to.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    AJB, Jul 31st, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Mafia Bot

    MW turns our to be nothing more than a scam for your money, I guess I will remove myself from the game. Mafia Bot encouraged me to spend more money on the game, as otherwise you can sit there for weeks, if not months trying to finish a level. I'll stick to the free games from now on. MB in no way infringes on MW copy write laws, it just helps players from spending hundreds of dollars a month to advance. It no fun if you have to pay to level up constantly. Done with MW!

    From a devoted player and MW payer!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Rafael, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 5:34am

    I use it

    Well I use bot in some social games, and I don´t see where this ruin all the fun... As I am not a hardcore player, I want to progress quit a bit without give up my REAL SOCIAL LIFE, since facebook games are not a real interact with someone else. I discovery some nice peoples in games interaction, but we´re never going out for a beer or something, we´re stranger in real life.

    It´s depends on how you use this bots, harass another players attacking or something like that is a bad behavior that I avoid, but I don´t see the point where level up fast will make my enemies/friends sad...

    Besides, it´s about personal if you want a "legit" level and enjoy the road to be there or want to power level and enjoy stay there.

    No flames, just opinions

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Kriegar, Nov 1st, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    "Social Games"

    I, personally, do not care one whit of the opinions of the WHINERS who claim it "devalues the game", or demeans all of the 'effort' they've put into clicking.

    First of all, there are purposely MANY more clicks than are even remotely necessary in these Zynga games-it's tiring, can be physically injurious (carpal tunnel), and is a backward step in computer programming entirely.

    I did NOT originally sign onto these games to add 500 strangers to my FRIENDS list. I started playing for the graphics, the game, and to enjoy it with my REAL friends and family.

    You want Social THAT badly? Join a website of forum.

    You want to worry about what OTHERS do, how they play games, or conduct their business? Join the local 'Nosy Old Ladies Society' at your hometown church...or just STOP minding other peoples' business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Marc, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 1:11am

    IM so TIRED of people fighting me just because you have a bigger mafia YOU GUYS SUCK

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Feb 27th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: KC Me

    Really there is tons of new options on facebook that allow you to ignore all the gamer feeds and see only important stuff you want to see. And they have never forced anyone to view game spam anyone with a little common sense can change settings to block whatever specific game that bothers them or all the game apps if they so wish. People with lack of computer skills like you make myspace & facebook a nightmare to be on simply cuz you don't understand simple settings adjustments to make the sites what you want you report innocent ppl as spam and get them in trouble over nothing. I totally disagree because I can click at the top of my facebook show posts only from my specific lists "real friends" "game friends" "family" its super easy if you create the list to view whatever relevant data you want. So stop bitching all the settings to make ppl like you comfortable and even less crappy ppl like me were implemented into both social networks from the very start the only thing stopping you is your own ignorance.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Mob guy, Mar 29th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Zynga

    Does anyone have the information on the Developer that Zynga sued?

    Thank you

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Kevin McLaren, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: Zynga

    Well, simple, they did not sue us. And now, they actually,or should I say certain people in Zynga, support what we do.

    me? Head of playerscripts.com - the people who code MWAP. Still do, will always do.

    We even had a mock war a couple of weeks ago, would you belive Zynga supported it on their official mafia wars blog and had a debate about it on their forum. So long as we did not mention that you had to use one of scripts to play. lmfaooo

    But we did rais over $1000 for a good cause too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    David, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    Re:

    It doesn't ruin MW, MW is a real-time based game, you can leave the auto player up all day it isn't going to anything for a couple of hours anyways.

    The blizzard situation was totally different, the ToS says you're not allowed to profit off of the game in anyway look at the addon carbonite for example, used to have to pay for it blizzard cried and now it's free

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Luis, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re:

    What are you talking about?

    Mob Wars sued Mafia Wars, they lost.

    This is the first time Mafia Wars is threatening anybody.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Kriegar, Jan 7th, 2012 @ 4:56am

    MWAP then, FGS NOW

    Facebook Attacks Private Citizen/

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-727662

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    icon
    Kriegar (profile), Jan 7th, 2012 @ 5:02am

    MWAP then, FGS NOW

    Facebook Attacks Private Citizen/

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-727662

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    UncleSim, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    Scripts = Cheating?

    I am disabled due to joint pain and swelling, and clicking repetitively exacerbates it. Autoplayer let me keep up with the friends I had made in the game, with less pain.

    I tend to agree with the sentiment that there's something wrong with a game, not if a game can be played by a script/bot, but if there is enough demand for so many people to use them instead of playing manually. To tell the truth, if it weren't for the script, and the game was still as tedious to play manually, I would not have played it for so long, personally. Trying to keep up with my clanmates can take the better part of my day, now, thanks to the disappearance of the autoplayer.

    I will admit that I did once sell some loot to a needy friend who had more money than free time, since I was racking up a lot of useful extras at one point. But that time is long past, and I used the money to buy medicine, not run a sweatshop or anything nefarious.

    If scripting is cheating, perhaps paying Zynga for skill points and fight loot is also cheating?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    dirtyjoe, Sep 23rd, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    MWAP needs to say no to Zynga and force Zynga to file a lawsuit, which Zynga would lose and in such a loss, force Zynga to pay said MWAP cummunity fee's & costs for attorney's along with compensation for trying to "abuse" a law that has no bearing or merit in this circumstance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Kevin McLaren, May 14th, 2013 @ 9:49am

    Still here, never went away..

    Lol, just cam across this after so many years. Well, just a quick update.

    We did not go away, still here, still going strong... and nice stiff middle finger to Zynga.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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