Mafia Wars Rackets Overview

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.