October 4, 2009

Mafia Wars Rackets Overview; Strategy Guide

Here is an overview of the new rackets system in Mafia Wars. This was supposed to go along with the introduction of Moscow, but it has yet to be implemented yet.

When you click on the rackets tab, you have the option to "expand" or purchase a racket for a low price (around $5,000 in New York). You can purchase up to 25 rackets, and each time you purchase one it gets more expensive.

Despite this, they are overall pretty cheap - the final (25th) upgrade is only $1,000,000,000, and even with the racket change, the jobs pay pretty well (on the brand new account I made to test the guide I have $35,000,000 after mastering all of New York and buying all the racket slots).

Now, you can chose to "Shake Down" a racket, which costs Influence, which is a new stat. To repeat, you perform rackets using Influence as your currency to start them. You start off with 15 influence and it regenerates at 1 per hour (this does not refill when you level up).


When you click the "Shake Down" button, you are presented with a variety of options:


As you can see, there are 4 racket types: Cash, Attack, Defense, and Job rackets. Cash rackets, as advertised, give you a cash reward, while the other types of rackets give you a boost once they complete. Take a look at the picture below:


After you choose a racket to "shake down", you have to wait for it to finish before you collect the reward. The rackets have a variety of time lengths - anywhere from 4 hours to a couple days before they finish.

Three things you should know:

Rackets have mastery levels, just like jobs. By mastering a racket, you can unlock better rackets. For example if you master the "Taxi Stand" job racket, you can unlock the "Trucking Company" job racket.

Rackets have to be collected pretty quickly or they get "busted". If this happens, you waste the influence points you used to start the racket, which is bad, because:

When you collect from a racket, in addition to cash (or a boost) and a few experience points, you actually get influence as well. For example, the "Taxi Stand" racket costs 5 influence to start but pays out 5 influence as a reward (if you collect it right away), making it virtually free.

On top of the rackets being free, you regenerate influence at 1 per hour. So, you can spawn a lot of rackets total off of a small influence pool.

Let's say you start 3 taxi stands with your 15 influence.
Five hours later, you regenerate 5 influence.
You use this influence to start a taxi stand.
You collect your other 3 taxi stands for 15 influence.
You start 3 more taxi stands (now 4 total off of 15 influence).

You can do this to start a lot of rackets off of a relatively small influence pool. I have an account with 200 (for testing purposes) influence that currently has 250 influence worth of rackets.

Regeneration only comes into play if you do not collect a racket in time - then you lose the influence and have to wait for the regeneration (which is slow)!

My Take

While the whole system is interesting, I just do not see it being worth it unless they upgrade the rewards. In other words, as it stands I would not waste stat points on influence at all on my main account. If some of the job boosts (-energy cost on jobs) are really good, I can see people "farming" these on second characters; that is having a second character just dedicated to collecting the best racket boosts and sending them to their main character.

As it stands, there is just not a distinct enough advantage to skip over putting points in defense or attack to put them into Influence. I think it would be better implemented if your influence was not part of your free +5 points and just increased by 1 every couple levels or something like that.
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69 comments:

  1. As someone else posted a few days ago, you cannot exceed the maximum influence points -- it will truncate. So if you put your 15 into 3 taxi rides, earned 4 points during the 4 hours and then cashed in the taxis then you will still have 15 instead of 19.

    My 4 hour racket costs 38 influence (I am on the third tier). I _had_ to put some skill points into that. I have a cap of 175 now. Rackets is the main purpose of my new character.

    I don't really have a strategy yet.

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  2. Well the taxis arent very intersting...
    But there are rackets that now give out energy negation (like inside tips, but less effective)

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  3. the energy negation boosts have 3 tiers, -3,-6,-9 energy cost to jobs. All only take four hours to earn any of these. As far as exceeding your max influence, you can but only cashing in one racket. If you have a max influence of 25 and have earned 4 while waiting on rackets to be ready, and cash ONE racket that costs 24 influence you will jump to 28. Anything you cash in without spending that influence will be lost. If you collect and then reuse that influence before collecting the next racket you never need to have more than 50 influence to get the highest level rackets going.

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  4. that's what i thought, and just tested to confirm. thanks!

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  5. That is interesting. So how do you do a 75 job with only 50 influence?

    Also, has anyone figured out how long you can let a job sit after "ready to collect" until it gets busted up? Is it a percentage of the time or a fixed time interval? It would be nice to let an 8 hour job go on while I sleep, but I would hate to lose it at 8:15.

    Also, at the beginning, the job lengths were 4, 8, 24, 48 and 72 hours. This was terrible because it always pushed the time forward -- I assume that is why energy packets are on a 23 hour timer. Now they are something like 4, 8, 22, 44 and 68. Are the 4 and 8 shortened too?

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  6. There are still 4s and 8s. I'm not sure on the duration until they bust.

    I think the most influence over I've had over my total was like 18/15.. you will need a minimum # of influence to do the most expensive rackets it would seem.

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  7. I'm at 20, and can go over to 25. A theory I'm testing is you can go over the same amount of hours as the racket. I know for the 4 hour energy racket I can go over 1-2 hours, haven't really kept track.

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  8. I'm new in Mafia Wars, and I just want to ask, that what happens, if you master a racket? You have to shake down again, if you want to collect the money, or it will come automatically?

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  9. I have currently up to 62/50 influence. Everything over it is lost. And in the 20 racket slots I have around 400 influence working at the same time. :)

    From my experience regarding busted rackets, it takes around the same time as the regular racket time. So 4-hours rackets should be busted after 4 hours and 8-hours ones after waiting 8 hours to be collected.

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  10. One thing to note with the jobs rackets is that ironically the taxi is the most profitable racket. each one gives you 3 X 3 energy saved per 5 influence which gives you 1.8 energy saved/influence. Trucking company gives you 1.1 energy saved/influence and shipping company gives you a dismal 0.47 energy/influence

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  11. yeah but, what jobs are you going to do with 3 saved energy?

    You could do bank heist for free with the shipping company boost for 17 XP free per boost or you could do a 3 energy job for free for 3 XP per boost. It's just not worth the time to collect the -3 energy boosts IMO, even if they are cheaper.

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  12. Just as an fyi of what is possible I currently have 6 Illegal Sportsbooks at 21 influence each and 1 strip club at 10 influence running. This requires a total of 136 influence. My total Influence pool is only 51 ;). As long as you keep collecting and investing right away you can build way beyond your total pool.

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  13. I have 15 influence. Right now I am doing the cab jobs. As of this moment I have 20 cab jobs going. The trick is to collect and reinvest into the job again. Do not collect all jobs. Collect them individually and reinvest right away. When you get another five influence through waiting start doing another cab job. It lines up almost perfect in five hour intervals. Each cab job give a boost that takes -3 energy off your next job x 3 so basically with 20 cab jobs you get 3*-3*20= -180 energy per four hours + some exp!
    If you look at maniac the most they get per 4 hours with New York consigliere and boss tier mastered is 196 energy.

    If you can get trucking company done the same way you get two boost that give -6 energy which comes up to 12 energy every 4 hours. If you get 20 of those going you can get 240 energy going. This is more than you can make waiting for energy to regen off a maniac with everything mastered.

    It is profitable but also if it goes bust you lose out and starting over again is mega time consuming.

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  14. "yeah but, what jobs are you going to do with 3 saved energy?"

    Any of them...

    I'm finishing off the upper tier masteries of New York at the moment. I have to do a lot of jobs to finish of a mastery, and I need a lot experience to level up. It's tight. If I want to continuously level, I have to spend a large fraction of my energy on Settling Beefs. Even a measly -3 energy to almost any of the Underboss or Boss jobs makes them practically self-sustaining for me... It's that much more energy that I don't have to waste on the Settle A Beef job.

    Since I'm doing so many jobs, I end up using every single Free Taxi Ride. Over the course of a level, the taxi stand gives me the most energy per influence by far.

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  15. Remember, it's a progressive system. The key to a successful racket operation isn't dropping a lot of skill points into influence, but growing your influence points from the initial investment by keeping your rackets in constant operation.

    You max out the Taxi Stand racket then move up to the Trucking Company racket as your influence grows. Keep your rackets in play long enough, you'll be maxing out the Trucking Company racket before too long. Then, if they hadn't nerfed it, you could moved up to the Forged Documents until you had it maxed out.

    All without adding a single skill point to influence. You only add points to influence as insurance in case you crash your rackets... which could easily happen if your computer or internet access go down... or if Zynga or facebook go down for a day.

    And mock at the -3 ER boosts all you like, but remember these things drop in bunches. There effect isn't instant but cumulative. Run a 2.0 XP ratio job and your investment of 30 -3 ER boosts will net you an additional 60 XP. Those little ER boosts make the dog-turd ratio jobs in Moscow feasible for short bursts.

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  16. what is a racket.in my mafia wars why dont have this rackets thingy one?

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  17. I am currently running the following rackets: 3xFixed horserace =159 influence, 1xMassage parlour = 26 inf, 1xExecutive game = 38 and 1xCrooked rental = 25 inf. Which is a total of 248 influence, with a total pot of 50, I also still have 13 available. I agree that if you cash them individually and restart another then you will soon mount them up. The rackets I choose depends on what time of day it is and when I expect to come back to the PC. i.e. short ones through the day and longer overnight. Typically I would also do a 22 hour one if I am going to work as then I dont lose them. The ones I am doing now will pay me a total of $276,936,000 which is more than enough to supply my growing nafia family.

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  18. What is all this racket and influence stuff? I'm at Level 350 and don't have any of that. WTF

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  19. I just created a new account and was surprised that I didn't have Rackets! Instead what I have are Properties! Why the regress?

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  20. Anyone now when the rackets gona hit old accounts and what will happen with the old properties you own? I would suck if you lose all your properties along with the invetsted money in them :(

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. I'm currently running 222 Influence Racket ring with a starting pool of 25 influence. I can grow this as far as I like w/o adding a single influence (with-in the limits of the max rackets slots). The only reason to add any influence is to allow for the jobs that require higher influence to start. From what I have seen so far, the system allows 23% over your base Influence pool. So if you have 15 Influence, you can cash in and have 18 influence banked. If you cash in another job before starting a new one, you will lose any influence from that Collection. The trick is to start a new Racket before cashing in above your 23% threshold.
    The way I do it is I play the 4 hours Rackets during the time of day I am available to check my rackets. When I go to sleep I play the 8 hour rackets. If I'm out of pocket for a day or more, I play the 22 and 44 hour rackets. The Energy to Influence ratio isn't a valid argument with the current system. In just a few days you can be playing the 38 influence rackets on multiple slots. Once you reach the limit of slots it's a matter of using all your influence on rackets anyways. So why not play the -9 Energy racket in the same period of time as the -3 Energy when you have the Influence pool to do it with. Sure, you get more Energy per Influence with the Taxi, but depending on your level, the -9 Energy pays off better during your Leveling Jobs than the -3 and adds up at a higher rate.

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  23. I have been trying to find out what is going to happen with the rackets. I didn't know they existed until a friend told me he couldn't buy businesses(he just started playing). I read somewhere that Mafia Wars is getting rid of the properties in NY. For people who already have property, will we be able to keep them, will we be forced to sell them, or will we just lose them?

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  24. I think you can go 25% over your max influence points. So if you have 40 influence points you can have s maximum of 50 influence. It may seem like 23% due since the number is rounded of.

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  25. how is it even going to be feasible to get the "that's with a T", "nest egg", and "what's after 999 trillion" achievements if they take away properties? not like it'll ever be possible to get the "nest egg" and "999 trillion"...that would take years and who know's if the game will be around that long.

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  26. It isn't 25%, I thought the same thing, so I tested it by taking my Stamina up 5 points. Did it in increments of 1 and cashed in rackets to max influence each time. With the rounding off, it came in at 23%. It may increase as Influence increases, but I'm at 32 and can net 40 influence. The highest racket I care to do is 38 influence, so I'm in my sweet spot to farm the rackets I want/need.
    It isn;t a set percentage per say, because even with the rounding off, 23% doesn't fit the outcome every time, but it has been consistantly between 23 and 25%.
    31 would only allow me to get a max of 37 influence, but 32 allowed me 40.

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  27. Why can't I do rackets!?! I am still able to buy properties!

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  28. From what I've observed myself, and from others, best guess is you can go 25% over MAXIMUM, it will only ever round down so it stays below 25% over.

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  29. I dont understand what to do now that I've mastered all the rackets.

    There aren't any in Cuba or Moscow.

    Seems like a giant waste.

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  30. Yeah, Im a level 177 and I've been playing for about 3 months I think. I don't have rackets, but I have over a 100 of the top 3 properties. I make around 1.7 bil a day in New York. If I lose my properties..... I quit.

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  31. Something strange just happend to my rackets.
    Usually you can only buy 25 spots to use but i have 26 now for some reason. I were going to moscow at the same time i pressed the rackets button and i came to a window (while in Moscow) with rackets. I had none avalible but i could buy one for 0 Rubles. I did that and got back to the New York rackets. I now had 26 instead of 25. The last racket is in a new tier without any name.
    I lost 5 bil$ by doing this but now i got 26 working rackets.

    Has anyone heard about this before?

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  32. Same as last post.
    I now also managed to get rackets in both Moscow and Cuba. I have two in cuba and three in Moscow. I can't start any rackets there though.
    Funny how a laggy computer can find holes in the system.

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  33. my rackets dont use influence, only money... i started playing only 2 days ago so it must be a new feature..?

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  34. WHY I DON'T HAVE THAT OPTION??????????????

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  35. How many times can you use the Taxi Stand free ride boost? Is it a time limit or a certain number of jobs?

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  36. How do you unlock this 'Rackets"? I'm a level 78..and I don't seem to see this Rackets feature..Help? Thanks

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  37. You can use the taxi or truck free rides as many times as you have accumulated them in your inventory.

    One thing that sucks, though, is if you do a job with 0 energy as a Top Mafia Wheelman, then you'll still use up a free ride.

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  38. darn it, you could buy a slot in moscow? lol..
    i've seen it before, thought it was just a glitch.

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  39. i have mastered most of the rackets, have yet to tackle the 128 and 188 point rackets. is it advisable to even try? :D current influence level is 80.

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  40. how come i dont have rackets were are they im lev 149 fighing acount and lev 562 energy dont have them nywere were is it

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  41. hey..i tried that moscow racket glitch...bought three empty spaces...did loose a dime in NY but nothing new appeared in the rackets tab back in NY...
    any others who have tried this?

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  42. how do i get raquetts instead of porperties

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  43. Rackets are in a different beta version of MW for randomly selected new MW accounts. I hate that skill points must eventually be diverted to 'Influence' if you want to master all the various rackets, and MW does not give extra skill points for those with this version of the game. Seems like in the end your character will be a weaker fighter.

    Your amount of 'Influence' is like a bank of sorts to temporarily hold the 'Influence' you get back when cashing in a racket, and before "shaking down" another, but you can only hold a MAX of 25% more than what you have diverted to this new stat. Truncate any rounding, so if you have 40 Influece, the MAX you can hold is 50, with 43 it's 53.

    I believe the largest racket out there requires 188 Influence (a cash job), so you would need 151 Influence skill points built up as a minimum.

    What I have yet to figure out is how long can you let a finished racket sit without collecting it before it "Busts Out"?? I saw someone post that it's 1x the time it takes to "shakedown", but I know that's not accurate. My best guess is that it seems like around 4 hours for any of the rackets, but I'm not sure. Any help with figuring this out is much appreciated!!

    The levels of payout exponentially increase with each racket level mastered, as do the 'Influence' points required to do the next level racket. Cash rackets come in 5 flavors - 4, 8, 24, 48, and 72 hour durations. Attack rackets are all 24 hours, Defense rackets are all 48 hours, and the Job rackets are all 4 hours. I haven't yet mastered all the Defense rackets, but the largest payout for cash is $245MM, Attack is +100 attack boost, (Defense I can't recall at the moment, but I don't have the max of that yet - I think the Bullmastiff is +80 defensive boost?), and job is +6 Energy boost for the 'Truck Driver', and +60 Robbing defense for the 'Political Favor', which is a waste, since you can't rob other players anymore. Will MW ever bring back Robbing??

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  44. I hit a glitch a while back where I could spend $ instead of influence, so I've got the equivalent of about 1500 influence in use right now.

    The cash rackets are nice, but what do you do with all the money? I've basically burned off a fair amount of influence, because the energy rackets are really cheap and payoff after only 4 hours. Offence are 1 day payouts and defence pays out in 2 days.

    The big problem with rackets is that you really cannot take a vacation from the game without losing your influence and having to wait a long time for it to regenerate.

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  45. So these rackets repalced the properties. I am ok with Rackets and i think i am doing good. i have 150+ influence and am almost done with them.
    The only problem i am facing is how do i buy properties, apartment complexes and mega casinos? i dont see any link. if i cant buy them, then i cant finish a couple of achivements either. Is there any fix to this at all ?

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  46. where is the racket thign located? cant see it...=(

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  47. If you are annoyed by the racket system, I'm willing to barter may mafia because I need new chalenges. Just email me at saijohiroshima@gmail.com

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  48. If you are annoyed by the racket system, I'm willing to barter may mafia with property system because I need new chalenges. Just email me at saijohiroshima@gmail.com

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  49. Why in heck don't I have rackets on my page at all???

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  50. Have they gotten rid of the rackets? Or do you need to be on a certain level to open them up? I am on lvl 171 and I can't find them on my page.

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  51. you get acheviments with the propertys that you cant get with the rackets so how can we get them all?

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  52. so its mean i cant buy apartments?

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  53. rackets are long gone. it was a beta 'test' which is vastly superior and after a few months its back to properties on all new accounts. those who got rackets got v lucky as they are much better than properties

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  54. Has anyone mastered all the rackets, and if have done that, what happens after that, do u get some kind of reward or bonus for that. im only missing the 128 points and 188 point rackets (dockyard scam, toxic waste and crooked suburb. and currently im almost in middle of dockyard scam...

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  55. Well, thanks to this blog, I finally got the answer about rackets vs properties that I have been asking Zynga but got no reply. I saw other mafias with properties, but I could only do rackets. Also, what to do with the money? Just keep accumulating? I can stop wondering and be happy with the fact that I won't be able to buy property, except in Cuba. I'm fairly new at this game.

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  56. I'm a racket person, too. I only have the Crooked Suburbs left.

    Anyone else finish them?

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  57. not fair i just created an account and no racket :(

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  58. I just mastered all the rackets, and got nothing for doing that.

    Best cash racket seems to be the 4hr "executive game", and even if you do that in all slots non stop, it will take around 200 years to get the "What's after trillion" achievement.

    So if you are stuck with rackets like me, say bye bye to at least four of the achievements.

    I really hope that when Las vegas comes out later this year they have properties there so I can again accumulate enough money to get all the achievements!

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  59. What level must you be to unlock rackets?

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  60. I mastered all rackets longer time ago. Nothing happened... Is it true that shortly 'rackets' will be replaced by 'properties'? I hope so!

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  61. why i don t have job rackets???
    i can t find them

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  62. i have rackets in my account. but how do i open a chop shop???
    is it that i can 'never' build the cars? am i permanently tied to this useless racket feature of mafia wars or what?

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  63. I guess we racket mafia will never be able to build the cars. :( Rackets sucks!

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  64. from what ive seen on the Zynga forums are 2 replace rackets with the new properties after 1 week or so of the new properties running, so we should be getting properties soon!

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  65. I just finished all the rackets as well and got nothing. I was hoping for an achievement at least for it. That means there are achievements I cannot get and cannot build anything in a chop shop. Hardly seems fair...

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  66. well, we must tell zynga so. I suppose that the know, but we must express our dislike! write them

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  67. I am fine with rackets because of the job energy savings but i would like a chop shop too

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  68. This Rackets page can now be removed as no longer valid as there are no rackets any more. All of a sudden with no warning my account was just changed to Properties.

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