Drug Front Property
A Drug Front Property (DFP) is a business that can be purchased to provide free drugs that can be purchased by other players.
There are a few things one needs to know about buying a DFP. The first and absolutely most critical, is that one needs to be in his/her Home City before one can buy one; until then, none of the rest of this section will matter. Secondly, the total number of DFPs in the city is proportional to the number of people calling that city Home above a certain rank. A city with two families who are each maxed out at 40 members will have more DFPs available than a city with 5 families who only have 15 members each. The formula for the cost of a DFP is (average price of the drug)*# of units*7 so the cost of the DFP depends on the person who is buying it, but it can be estimated fairly accurately. Thirdly, the earliest one can buy a DFP is at the rank of Thug. Also, if one is not a member of a family, then one can not buy a DFP. The type of dug produced is tied to the rank of the person buying the DFP. The relation is as follows:
Like buying, upgrading needs to be done in one's Home City. The cost of upgrading a DFP is the same as the purchase price of the DFP, so unless one is planning to spend weeks at a time gaining each unit, it is more cost effective to only upgrade after being promoted, this gains one the benefit of only having to buy the upgrade every five units, and if it's boss or lower, it nets a new drug type at the same time. Money can also be saved if one sells and then re-buys the DFP rather than straight upgrading. The upside to doing this is that one gets a bit of the purchase price back upon selling it. The downside is that for the short time that it isn't owned, it IS possible for someone else to be trying to buy one right then and they'll get the one that was just sold. Also, if the city suffered recent losses or demotions, then it is on "borrowed DFPs", and no DFP will be available regardless of how fast one tries to buy it back.
The most cost effective thing is to not upgrade until one hits capo or boss for a heroin or cocaine DFP, respectively. Barbiturates are a nice intermediate DFP drug, but one will make 3000 more per unit per day with heroin or cocaine. That difference adds up quickly and will cover the cost of upgrading. If one is ranking efficiently one may want to consider not upgrading into intermediate drugs as it's an added cost that may be unnecessary.
Operating and Keeping
Operating one's DFP is rather simple as they do most of the work. All one needs to do is set the price and remember to bribe the cops off. This takes a few minutes when the DFP is first bought/upgraded, but only a mouse click afterwards.
Pricing can be done either exactingly or roughly. Most people boost the price up to the highest hundred it will go to, while others will fiddle with it trying to squeeze every dollar they can out of it. The choice is up to the owner, but remember: if no one buys the DFP's drugs, no profit is made.
The cost of the bribe depends on the size of the DFP: the larger the DFP, the more the Bribe will be. Keeping this in mind, the bribes on the larger DFPs are still only a few thousand dollars, so it's no financial hardship keeping the bribes flowing. When an owner forgets to keep the cops paid off, the DFP gets raided, and the DFP is lost. But worse than this, the raid is announced in the coffee shops (IRC Forums) and everyone paying attention learns that there is now a DFP up for grabs. This is both embarrassing and financially painful when it happens. Also, crew leaders tend to frown on members that can not keep a DFP, even though they sign into the game daily.