There are three types of character available in Mafia Wars; Maniac, Mogul, and Fearless. Mafia Wars players must make a choice at level 9 as to what character type they want to be in Mafia Wars. Prior to January 1st, 2010, Mafia Wars players had to make the choice when installing the game. Many Mafia Wars players made the wrong choice. It is not fair to these players, or to the handful that joined in late December 2009 who automatically became maniacs, that their choice cannot be changed.
Because updates to Mafia Wars that are beyond the Mafia Wars player’s ability to control, having a Mafia Wars player have to spend Godfather points would also be not fair, although not as bad as not being able to change character type at all. But on the flip side, players shouldn’t be allowed to change character type unlimited either. A good balance would be to allow one free change per month and charge reward points should the Mafia Wars player desire to make a character type change more often. So why would a Mafia Wars player want to change his character type?
Most Mafia Wars players made their character choice based upon insufficient information. Although Mafia Wars had a detailed description of the benefits of being each type of character, the Mafia Wars player at that stage had no understanding of the implications of each character type upon how they chose to play the game.
Mogul has the advantage where Mafia Wars Moguls make an extra 5% income on properties and businesses. This advantage only helps when the player is starting out, as properties in most cities max out fairly quick. As money has little use in the game, being a mogul is a mistake a lot of players make based upon the assumption that money is more important in-game than it actually is.
Fearless comes with lasting advantages and disadvantages. Only a fearless can be someone’s wheelman. Being a wheelman allows for a slight chance for doing a job without using any energy. Fearless regenerates one health every 3 minutes, which is more a disadvantage because not only can health be healed at the hospital, it also reduces time which the player spends under 20 health. Because Mafia Wars players not on the hit list cannot be attacked when under 20 health, being under 20 health is the safest time to do jobs and collect from properties without risking losing money in fights.
Maniac is currently the most desirable character type to be in Mafia Wars. Maniac restores one energy point every three minutes instead of one every five minutes. Because energy and stamina are essential for gaining experience, maniac and fearless hold an advantage over mogul. Although fighting (1-6 experience per skill point) is better experience ratio, jobs (between 1-2 experience per skill point) are a lot faster. In addition to being faster, doing jobs does not require using a lot of skill points on attack and defense as does fighting.