Well, that was weird.
Softclaiming is a two edged sword. Mafia might want to plant a fake soft claim relatively early to have something to fall back on if things go wrong, which is the chief reason softclaims are seen as suspicious. As with hard claims, they ultimately only make life easier for the mafia, because townies never ever lie (or at the very least, never ever should
lie), so all information coming from the town helps scum narrow down the power roles. Or to rephrase it, through their silence, plain vanilla townies help protect the power roles, which is their job, after all. Giving out information for free is stupid. (Now where have I heard that before?)
The difference between a claim and a softclaim is nothing set in stone. In general, a softclaim is subtler, often just partial, and usually is dropped rather casually. Hard claims are typically only provided by people about to be lynched or power roles coming out in the endgame.
Thanks! That's very helpful.
I'm still a bit lost, but I suppose that's Day 1 for you.
Will read Mafia wiki when I get the chance, I think that will clear up most of my problems; but have just been given two more assignments for uni- bleh!