A surprising result of our WotLK Crafting Wishlist was the high ranking of faction grinding, which tied for second place. Obviously faction grinding isn't something any of us enjoy, but it must be a prominent part of our game lives if we rate it near the top of our wish list for the expansion. With that thought in mind, I wanted to turn my spotlight to faction grinding and how it affects us.
Something I heard through the grapevine was that Blizzard was considering some sort of account-based faction sharing (please don't ask me where I read this, I'm sure I won't remember!). I would love to see something like this implemented, but I can see where the devs and even some players might consider this unfair. Imagine grinding to Exalted with Consortium for Jewelcrafting recipes and unlocking Exalted recipes for 5+ other toons on the same server. Could this actually be a problem or an unfair advantage? What if it were Violet Eye rep which went to Exalted for all your toons because your one raid toon hit the cap?
In terms of the economy, I think there could be a perception that unlocking high-end recipes for my 63 Alchemy alt would be unfair to other players who worked hard to grind that rep on their main. Then again, if everyone benefits from the same system, then everyone would be gaining the same advantages. We can all agree that this would absolutely result in more high-end items on the market, since recipes could arguably be in the hands of 3-4x as many crafters. As it stands right now, my 63 Alchemist will never see any of the Revered/Exalted recipes, I just don't have time to play him that much.
Factions without a companion dungeon are especially troubling (Kurenai and Consortium, I'm looking at you) in terms of the time invested. At least running a dungeon 5+ times per toon can give you the novel experience of clearing it using a different playstyle. You can't even get that minor break from the drudgery with solo-grinding factions, you just have to keep killing the same stupid ogres. This is why I only have one toon who's Exalted with Consortium, the others never even made it past Honored. Once you've done it, why would you ever go back for Round 2 (or 3 or 4)? This is definitely one of those situations where I could easily justify unlocking Kurenai for all my alts once I reach Exalted with the first toon.
Since I have serious doubts that Blizzard will be nice enough to implement something like this, I'd like to propose a compromise. Perhaps for each faction I grind to Exalted, I automatically get boosted to Honored on all my other same-server toons? This way I'd only have a partial grind with subsequent characters instead of the full 42,000 points. For those alts that already have some rep, perhaps they'd just have the base rep of 9,000 points added to their current tally? This could be a reasonable middle ground between giving away the farm and offering an acknowledgment of the hard work involved in reaching Exalted on just one character.
I'm certainly open to other suggestions, so if you have thoughts on this issue please post a comment!