Era 4 of Mafia was filled with a lot of old things and a lot of new things. When I arrived on BD in February of 2009 I really didn’t see any pull from the game section, seeing it as merely another forum secondary to that of the Logic Puzzles, but I feel that this changed very quickly during this time. While many of the more ‘veteran’ or experienced players were on Mafiosphere, there was a rise of a lot of new players, sequel mafias, and new traditions and ways of organizing the game of Mafia.
The first notable thing during this time was the rise of new players. With big games and lots of room there was plenty of room for newer members to try out the game of Mafia. I was happy to join up myself during scsw’s Fantasy Mafia and I haven’t looked back since, and neither did some other new people who joined. Everyone was willing to learn from the more experienced players who still played on BD such as Kat, Andromeda, woon, crazypainter and of course Grey Cells. That being said, there were others who were unwilling to learn. We had large bouts with inactivity in most games stemming from some hopeful newbies who fell off the face of the earth. However I feel that contributions from some veteran members and the constant work of tpax, Framm, abhisk, Magic, Music, DarthNoob DudleyDude, and even Medji and Sayalzah (who hosted a very successful Wheel of Time Mafia before disappearing from the Mafia scene) helped keep Mafia going during this time.
Mafias in general during this era were a little less Franchise, and more about series of good ideas. PrinceMarth85 (Ye Olde Mafia 1 and 2), scsw (Fantasy Mafia 1 and 2), and myself (High School Mafia 1, 2, and 3.) all made sequels of our successful mafias. Even Mekal came in and made a Cruise Ship Mafia 3, which I remember fondly for being killed on the last day but still winning as a baddie and being buried in Jamaica by PM85, the only man left standing. Overall there were a lot of fun games. But as mentioned before inactivity was a bother. Ye Olde Mafia had to be restarted because of it, Terminator Mafia was terminated for a while because of host inactivity. But when these games were active, they were epic and really fun. They weren’t really overly complicated and were just the right amount of difficulty to attract new people while keeping more veteran ones entertained.
Lastly, there were some organizational type things that were used during this time that have stuck over on BD. First of all Era 4 began the idea of clarifying a few things before each Mafia. Tie votes, priority of night actions, and other little details started getting out of the way earlier and earlier so that everyone could strategize accordingly. There also was a massive influx of Mafias, leading me to make a Google Docs spreadsheet of all the game ideas on BD. Rookie pinned the topic on top of UR’s guide to Mafia and it has been used whenever there were too many games in order to keep a constant flow of Mafias. To be honest, the order was chaotic and hard to manage during the beginning of this era but there weren’t enough Mafia hosts to cause a conflict. Now we have the system of signing up to host games and it has worked splendidly.
Mafia on BD lost a lot of familiarity during this era, with many smart, valuable members not around as often. But this made it so new members like myself and others could flourish and test their merit in playing and creating mafias. I know that I enjoyed that along with many others and that this era really set up the formation of MafiaManiac.