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Omerta

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Omerta is a browser-based text MMORPG and has been running for eight years. In this game the player is a gangster in the 1930's. You rank up by stealing cars, doing crimes, breaking people out of prison and dealing booze and narcotics.

Contents

History

Omerta went public on 26 september 2003 with the first version, now known as Omerta 1.0 written by Moritz Daan (known in game as Moritz and a few friends from his home town Groningen . The game grew quickly, mainly because of publicity on weblogs and online Fora. A few days after the game launched, the team was expanded with Jonathan van Dijken (known in game as Teckna) and Alex de Groot (known in game as Alex).

Within three months, the game had around 3000 active players with an average of 150 online at all times and peaks up to 500. During the 5 year run of Omerta, there have been about 3.5 million unique registrations across all versions.

After the initial exponential growth, Steve Biddick (in game Brando) purchased a majority of the shares in mid 2004, making him the CEO of Omerta Game Ltd. The company moved from Groningen in The Netherlands to Hull in the United Kingdom where it currently resides.

The initial version of the game, 1.0, was not stable enough to maintain the high number of players and it was too easy to cheat. The game was reset in January 2004 to version 2.0. Version 2.0 was the first version to introduce Captchas as a meants to counter cheaters. With the reset to version 2.0, the game was also moved from shared hosting to a dedicated server in order to deal with the increase in number of players.

In July 2004, version 2.0 reached its end of life. Once again, massive increased in the amount of online players caused the game to become slow and unstable. The source code was reviewed and partially rewritten to accomodate even more players and a click limit was introduced. New servers were hired to run the new game and it was relaunched during the same month as version 2.1.

In July 2005, Omerta 2.2 was launched. After this, the game was upgraded and reset roughly every six months, usually increasing the minor version. Major new features were introduced in version 2.4, like Mega Organized Crimes and a new kill algorithm. in January 2009 the last version was released under the version 2.9

In January 2008 Omerta moved to a new service provider and currently has about 20 servers running the FreeBSD operating system.

In July 2009 The long promised 3.0 version of Omerta was released, and is currently the active version on Omerta, after its initial launch more then 100 000 people registered

Versions

There are currently several versions of Omerta:

Ingame

Ranks

The following ranks can be achieved in the game:

  • Empty Suit: This is the rank everyone starts on, by doing crimes the player will promote to a higher rank.
  • Delivery boy/Delivery girl: This rank will give access to the Casino and Forum
  • Piccioto:
  • Shoplifter: From here on a player can do a Route 66 heist. From this rank it is also possible to send 80 (dis)honor points. To send Dishonor points to another player the player needs to have at least 250 honorpoints in plus of its own. Also the type of crimes you can do changes.
  • Pickpocket: From this rank a player can play a game of 5 card draw poker, It will also be possible to own a Casino. From here on you can also send dishonorpoints and add someone in the players testament.
  • Thief: From this rank on the player can together with three other players do an Organised Crime. This means that four players can rob a bank.
  • Associate:
  • Mobster: From this rank it is possible to marry someone else from the opposite sex in the game.
  • Soldier:
  • Swindler:
  • Assassin: From this rank it is possible to do a Mega Organised Crime with with seven other players that have at least the rank of assasin.
  • Local Chief: From this rank on a player can start its own family
  • Chief:
  • Bruglione: The highest achievable rank for players not having a high family spot such as don or capo.
  • Capodecina: This rank is only achiefavable when a player is 100 % bruglione and is the boss (don) of a family .
  • Godfather/First Lady: This rank is only achievable when a player is 100% bruglione and is the boss (first position) of a family. Also at this rank you can not be caught by the police and be locked up in jail. Also capo money is needed for GF and CD, more information about that can be found here

The rank delivery boy/girl and godfather/first lady is decided by choosing the sex during registration. This has also an influence in various other non-unisex part of the game.

Families

In Omerta a player can register with a family who will offer protection. In exchange for this protection, the player will have to pay a certain percentage (max 10%) of his income to the family. A lot of families also ask for join-money. to join their family. this is not officially part of the gameplay, but widly used. In a family there are several functions:

  • Don The boss of the family, minimal a Local Chief
  • Sottocapo Can promote members to capo and invite/kick players to the family
  • Consiglieri This function is mostly to arrange the financial part of the family. Also used to answer questions from their members.
  • Capo Has a spot which resides a maximum of 25 members (including the capo). When someone in their own family kills a capo, he/she will become the capo him/herself. In practice the Capo is a sort of mentor of their members. members will go to their capo with their questions, the capo can see in which city his/her members are and when they signed in for the last time. He can also hand over his spot to one of his members. Almost all capo's are high ranked members.
  • Member An ordinary member of the family, usually with no influence. since version 2.2 the member is the only one that can hold objects in the game (a Casino) members with an object usually have more to say then ordinary members.

There are also a few functions, who are not visible pubicly:

  • Buster Buster of the Family. Can be anyone.
  • Successor The successor will become the new Don when the Don is killed. The successor has to be at least a Local Chief. This person cannot own objects. However, this person may already be a Sottocapo, Consigliere or Capo.
  • Capo-Successor Will be the next Capo if the Capo dies. Has to be in the regime' of the Capo. There is no minimum rank for this function.
  • Hammer Will receive one percent of the bullets family members buy at the local bulletfactory

A player with the rank Local Chief that has at least 15.000.000 Omerta Dollars, can start an own family buy buying a spot. This spot will offer a maximum of 25 players, including him/herself. Any Concequent spot can be bought by one of the members for 10.000.000 Omerta Dollars, and with this be able to hold an extra 25 members in the family. The maximum amount of spots a family can own is 14, creating a maximum of 350 members per family.

A lot of families are regulated by one or more players on the background who do not nessecary have a leading role in the game (Don, Sottocapo or Consiglieri) They run the game in the background.

Kills

An important part of Omerta is the killing of other players. This can be achieved by hiring detectives and firing bullets. this way in a couple of minutes a complete family can be killed off in the game. Usually this means that there was a conflict between families, resulting in a family war. This is a war between at least two families, but can ultimately be a full scale all out ingame war. the usual conflicts come from a killed member, loosing an object or previous escalated conflicts.

The usual winner of the war is the family that killed the other family first. This happens by killing the don and successors so the family will no longer have a top and ultimately fall down. In practice a war can linger on at a continues basis as the members of the previous family are either not all dead, or reincarnate to a new ingame account. The war ultimately ends if all the high ranked players are killed ingame.

Usually a war is prepared in advance, where detectives are hired to find all the high ranked family members. so that unexpectedly everybody could be killed of in one big blow. This means that in a coordinated war at least ten to twenty people have been killed off. Big family wars require a good coordination, that is why there is a use of so called kill bots, these are webpages linked to irc bots to easily update all the targets locations and status and thus know exactly who still has to be found and/or killed.

Crimes

Cars/Crimes

The main tool to get rankpoints in the game to rank up are the Crimes and Cars. With these crimes you can earn money, steal cars and rankpoints every couple of minutes and will eventually cause you to rank up to a higher rank in the game.

Booze/Narc

Another tool to generate money is to do booze/narcotic runs, for this you have to buy booze/narcs in a city where the prices are low, and then go to a city where the prices are high. this would include the price to travel. For these purposes there are automated bots available on irc which can calculate the best run from the city you currently resident.

Route 66

A route 66 crime is also called a heist. This is where together with another player you do a crime on the route 66 highway. The results of the heists are quite variable, also depending on the equipment used by the players. One time you can get injured while another time you can a lot of money. In the 2.7 version the route 66 has been changed so that the good v.s. bad ratio is more in favor of good then a bad heist. Some other major changed where that around october 2007 the results of the heist always go to the leader and the put in efforts to the heist like a car and money remain in tact.

organised crime

A player robs the bank with 4 other players, there has to be a leader who will manage a safehouse, a driver who will provide the car in the city the organised crime will take place. Ofcourse a car with 4 seats without damage will work best. An explosives expert who can choose between TNT and C4, and a weapons expert who will handle the guns and bullets used for the organised crime. The results of the organised crime heavily depend on the input from players, where the general rule is, the better the equipment provided, the better the results will be. The results (money) of an organised crime will always go to the leader who will have to split the money.

Mega organised crime

In this gamefunction a team of players will try to steal some gold of the national bank, This operation require a team of 8 players with the following tasks

A leader, who will invite the people, finance the crime and rent a warehouse to store the luit.

Three drivers, one of them will drive the truck used to steal the gold, the two other cars will drive the gangsters needed for the organised crime

One explosives expert, who will be in charge of using explosives. The explosives expert can choose between Experimental Plastic Explosives (EPE), TNT and C4. the costs go down sequentially depending on the quality of the explosives.

To deliver the firepower needed three gangsters will have the task of securing the location with their guns and bullets.

All members of the Mega OC have to be in the city which they are planning their robbery in, The leader will receive the winnings and is responsible for distributing it through its fellow members as soon as the crime is finished.

Ingame history

Release 1.0

Released 26 september 2003
Was the first version of omerta that had to reset to 2.0 because of automated scripts.

Release 2.0

Released January 2004
Version was intended to stop the cheating by automated macro's by adding captcha's. This version is also the introduction of the Clicklimit.

Release 2.1

Released july 2004
Was the version that most people concidered the best version of Omerta, due to the gameplay. This is also the longest version of omerta, as it was running for a year. This was also the version that changed the Donate systems from a one time donation, to a micropayment system.

Release 2.2

Released july 2005
Was the first version that was played with the newly added memberlimit by using a spot system a family could only hold 14 spots what equals a maximum amount of 350 players per family. In earlier versions a family could grow beyond 1000 players. Most people see this new system why a vast amount of 'pacts' where made as from now on, if a family wanted to grow bigger, a sister family had to be created. This was meant to decrease power in the game from one person however caused the rise of pacts where a few families working together decided the faith in Omerta

Release 2.3

Released december 2005
Introduced the (controversial) Kill Algorithm used to kill other players. A more delicate system is in use on which kills depend on more then just the amount of bullets that where needed to make a correct kill.

Release 2.4

Released july 2006
With some major changes where put through where the most important change was that the Kill Algorithm was changed substantially from its initial in an attempt to create a more fair and balanced algorithm

Release 2.5

Released november 2006
The biggest change this version was that from now on families had two successors instead of one, Another change was that the settings where tweaked to look more like the 2.1 due to the popularity of the 2.1 version of omerta.

Release 2.6

Released march 2007
Was the version with the introduction of 5 card draw poker.

Release 2.7.0

Released june 2007
This version included a lot of small adjustments, like placing money on the bank without taking money off, and the need for more capo money before getting the Capodecina rank.

Release 2.7.1

Released december 2007

Release 2.8.0

Released may 2008
This is the first version where donate codes bought in the game through obay could not be sold in other versions nor sold in a next version of omerta, effectively stopping the transfer of funds between versions and new releases, of which the effect would only be notible in a new release.

Release 2.8.1

Released september 2008

Released 2.9

Released january 2009
This is the version where the captcha's where updated to a new version of the teabag captcha's, and the KA got a revision to include a more daring backfire and other adjustments.

Release 3.0

Released July 2009
3.0 is a complete overhaul of Omerta, where many new things are released. One of the most notable is the activity now players can only actively rank a certain amount of time before getting tired. this is also the version that introduced bodyguards.

Release 3.1

Released August 2010
This was a small overhaul with not that many changes from the 3.0 version of omerta. A few adjustments were that you could kill two ranks above/below your own rank and the first 48 hours you did not need to enter imagecodes.

Release 3.2

Released february 2011
This is the most recent version of Omerta, the most notible change would be the introduction of Lackey's which would do crimes and such in your absence. Another is that the Rob/Mia bodyguard cause of a lot of debate are removed from its game

Controversy

Version 3.0

There had been talks about Omerta 3.0 since the launch of 2.0 promising a vast amount of new features that are meant to increase gameplay. However, some major changes have been put through the normal cycle of 2.x versions like for example citymaps, poker and a new killing algorithm. However since the 8th of july 2009 the 3.0 version has become live, 4 years after the initial talks of 3.0

Killing Algorithm

Altough the newly designed kill algorithm was designed to bring a more balanced gameplay the introduction has caused a lot of controversy and complaints around the player base of the game, attempt to clean the KA up have been made in 2.4, and heavily modified since the 3.0 launch complaints still exist to this day.

Version numbering

A big mistery is how the version numbering is done, a second release of the same version is consequently called 2.Xa instead of 2.Xb and/or 2.X.2 for a second release of the same version. For this page a first release of a version is called .0 and a second release is called .1 based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_versioning#Incrementing_sequences

Rounds

Although Omerta was never designed to be a round based game, mainly due to pressure from their player base the game has effectively had resets around every 6 months and with this usually changes are made in the gameplay.

Scripting

Omerta is a game where a lot of actions are repetitive to grow in rank, this caused the creation of scripts to automate gameplay, Either by OCR or so called typers where everyone types for eachother. during the last few versions of omerta typers have become public available, and with that widly used. As scripting is against the TOS of Omerta, well over 1000 accounts have been killed by the Omerta administration for scripting in 2.8.2 as a result of stepped up efforts to detect scripting accounts. As a likely countermeassure omerta introduced 'lackeys' in the 3.2 version.

Free to Play

The Omerta mafia game is a free to play game; it has no banners or other advertisements and no paid functions that would else limit the game play. Instead Omerta works on basis of a clicklimit. With the clicklimit active you can only request 11 webpages in a minute, as soon as you buy a code your clicklimit will be raised to 40 webpages a minute. A second code can also be activated allowing more storage in your ingame inbox and gives you a bigger profile. A donate code is usually bought on a mobile phone by text message or on the ingame auction tool.