MoP Beta Files: Faction Roundup

Now that Beta is winding down and I've wrapped up my reviews and revisions on the recipes, this is a good time to take a look at the various factions in MoP. There seems to be a distinct change in the accessibility of faction-based recipes that should make life a bit easier in Pandaria.

I don't know how many of you have analyzed the recipe lists on Crafter's Tome (if not, why not?) but most professions have only one faction to deal with. This is especially true of "gear" professions - those of us who'll be making armor. I've compiled a brief chart here to highlight this:

Blacksmiths: Honored reputation with the Klaxxi
Enchanters: Revered reputation with the Shado-pan and the August Celestials
Jewelcrafters: Honored/Revered/Exalted with the Order of the Cloud Serpent
Leatherworkers: Honored with the Golden Lotus
Tailors: Honored with the Golden Lotus | Exalted with the August Celestials

You can see that Blacksmiths, Jewelcrafters and Leatherworkers have a single faction which holds recipes for them. Tailoring has a second faction, but that can be skipped if you don't care about making the new uber-bags. The vast majority of these new recipes can be unlocked by grinding one faction and you only need to reach Honored with that group.

One major exception is Enchanting - you'll need to work on two groups and you have to get to Revered with each group. However, the recipes are divided by type. If you want to focus on weapon enchants, you start with the Shado-pan. For those who'd prefer to get the bracer enchants, you can go with the August Celestials. This at least gives you the ability to prioritize the types of recipes you want.

The other major exception for faction recipes is Jewelcrafting. Instead of simply going to Honored, Jewelcrafters have new recipes at each of the top three reputation levels. I think the main reason for this is that the goodies they're unlocking are seriously awesome and entirely optional. So you Jewelcrafters out there are going to have to work a bit harder to get these recipes. They are the ones that make the new panther mounts. The final recipe at Exalted is the Jeweled Onyx Panther. For those who don't care to tackle the massive grind, you can stop at Honored and pick up just the first two. Or you can go for Revered and have all four colors. If you want to make the top of the line panther, you have to reach Exalted.

A minor exception to the new face of faction grinding is the MoP Tailoring bag. They put this on a different faction from the gear and they made it also an Exalted level item. I think we can assume from this that they want access to this bag to be pretty well gated. Again, these bags aren't really required for any player. I think it's reasonable to make the pattern harder to get.

In general, I appreciate that they put in a lower bar for the gear recipes. Players greatly rely on crafted items to progress through heroics and early raids, so it shouldn't require days and days of faction grinding to access those recipes. And I feel that the recipes which do demand a higher grind are those which are fun/convenience items and will not interfere with character progression.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments! If you have a question I can try to answer it, but the Beta realms will be coming down any time now and I might not be able to dig up an answer for you :)

13 comments:

  1. If you only play a main, this is a fine system. For altoholic crafters, it sure seems quite unpleasant.

    1) is there a rep grind / faction that is a prerequisite for the others? GL?

    2) speaking of rep grind, what about guilds? Are the pants on the beta and do they benefit you from 1-85 or 1-90?

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    1. I'm not endorsing this as a good system for crafters, merely pointing out that it's less bad than previous expansions where recipes for one profession were commonly split among 3+ factions. In WotLK the recipes were spread out to as many as 6 different factions for a single profession. IMHO this is a meaningful improvement.

      1) I believe that Golden Lotus rep is somehow blocking access to the others but I don't know the details on how it works. I tried checking this on Wowhead but they have no helpful info either.

      2) I don't know much about guild functionality as I have spent very little time in a Beta guild. As far as I know the pants have not been implemented yet. I have one toon who just joined a guild last week but the guild vendor had no wares at all when I tried to check him out.

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  2. Correct Hagu. I don't think the real goal is to penalize altoholics so much as it is to benefit guilds. It's like the comment made in the other thread about making DMF cards: make a stable of eight scribes. Who can do that? Mostly, guilds. Looked at from the perspective of one person running a stable of alts it stinks; looked at from the perspective of a level 25 guild with 300 members gating content behind reps is a big fat yawn.

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  3. @11:33: It's not your system, I don't want to argue/attack you but I see it differently. Penalize and benefit are just different words to refer to the same thing, whether you focus on paying men more or women less, it is just different semantics for the same situation. I also dislike how everything is pushing towards megaguilds. The 999 person guilds will have stuff capped before dawn on the 25th whereas. I probably do more crafting than a lot of small friends & family guilds. If all the perks push you towards joining a large guild well above the Dunbar number, then what is the advantage of a guild?

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    1. I don't think it's nearly as bad as you are making it sound. Remember, this is still supposed to be an MMO game - at least in theory. Following this theory, you shouldn't be able to reach self-sustaining status with any ease. Group effort should matter, because getting a number of people to work together is always something of a feat. If everything could be easily done by a single person and their stable of alts, then I can't imagine how much it would trivialize things when you add more individuals to the equation (or how much it would let one person with too much spare time on their hands dominate the AH).

      Don't get me wrong, I like crafting very much. Different aspects on different tons. I wasn't a big fan of how access to the various recipes had been handled in the previous expansions. But so far in MoP, I consider this to be a pretty good compromise. Honored is usually very easy to reach, so putting the most important recipes at that level (and making it more focused) is a fine choice. Vanity and convenience items being a little harder to obtain is also a decision that makes perfect sense.
      There aren't many literally huge guilds out there, so I'd consider that one example to be somewhat extreme.

      While this might not be ideal, it certainly seems like several steps in a good direction have been made. If there is anything that bugs me at this point, it's the fact that reaching revered Golden Lotus seems to be necessary to make real progress with August Celestials and Shado-Pan.

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    2. I feel your pain Hagu, really I do. I am fiercely independent with my girls and I take pride in providing for myself as much as possible without infringing or depending on others. However, I think Blizzard feels differently about that playstyle. This recent comment from Ghostcrawler would seem to make that loud and clear:

      Q: Dunno if you're the best person to ask, but why not make reputation achievements account-wide? I see the reasoning for actual reputations, but it's one of those limiting character-swap achievements for me. Making interchangeable reps such as Warsong offensive/valiance hold only count once would be a good compromise, but atm it's annoying having 38 & 8

      A: Why not make loot account wide? Or leveling? At some point you're not actually playing the new character.

      Their design philosophy seems to be more about each character being a separate entity that is played in its own right. Not that each toon is an extension of one player who does all the work 10 times over.

      I still think there are some ways they could acknowledge the relationship without destroying the immersion factor. A reasonable compromise would be that a Revered or Exalted toon could unlock account "perks" that ease the grind for subsequent alts. I liked what they did in WotLK where an Exalted toon could purchase commendations for alts. A more elegant approach would be to build in a bonus multiplier on your account when you unlock a rep for the first time. Later toons would get the benefit of the multiplier (say 50% increase for Revered, 100% for Exalted).

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    3. I both agree and disagree with GC. On one hand, I don't particulary like grinding the same reputations all over again. On the other, I would really hate to see a situation where everyone can become self-sufficient without putting in a lot of effort and without a solid time investment. A lot of crafters here seem to forget that in their need to have everything done by themselves (and you do benefit from having achieved such status, after all). Imagine if everyone could do that - it would essentially kill the economy and the market. Like I'd said before, it is an MMO. There is a good reason behind gating some of the most sought after recipes, or making them BoP raid drops. It's not fun when looked at from the "me & myself" perspective, but makes some sense when looking at the bigger picture.

      The compromise you mention is an interesting one, Kaliope. Maybe it would be the right way to go, with some tweaking.

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    4. Well this is a lively conversation we've got going - how fun! I don't worry too much about everyone becoming self-sufficient and the market drying up. I live with 2 young WoW players who don't enjoy professions and would never put forth the effort that I do. For every one of me there are 5-10 players who log in for raids/dungeons and don't want to do much else. I do think there should be some kind of effort required, I don't want those people to suddenly get easy access to great recipes either :)

      I don't mind so much working for the recipes I collect. But I do get discouraged when an alt needs to reach Exalted just to unlock one recipe (Kirin Tor - ugh).

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  4. You must get to revered with Golden Lotus in order to start the dailies for the August Celestials and Shado-Pan. I need to spend some time trying to figure out if there are currently any quests in game other than the dailies which reward rep for those two factions.

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    1. Thanks for filling us in on that! Looks like Enchanters will have their work cut out for them.

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  5. This is in response to Hagu, Anon and Kali (since I can't post a reply on this computer for some reason). Hagu I feel your pain. Anon, I understand your point about it being an MMO, but that doesn't help dead servers, and their CRZ hasn't fixed this aspect of the dead servers. Until they implement cross realm AH (which I have mixed feelings on), some realms have major shortages in professions. And the number of motivated guildies just seems to decline as people quit. I've maxed every profession except for engineering (which I'm leveling now) just so I can produce the items my friends, raid team, and I need, and help the people who have been asking for ENCH/JC in trade for 45 minutes with no replies. At this point I probably will still level each prof in MoP (and get these recipes), but I'm not sure. It will depend how sick of it I am after the 4th or 5th alt. May just take my time and reach

    I'm surprised no one said in response to Ghostcrawler, "Well, you've done this already. You've made gear account wide, to an extent, and remember cold weather flying?" due to the BoA archy items, new inscription staffs, and heirlooms. Those are, with the exception of the new inscription staffs, rewards for persisting through a long slog (leveling and obtaining JP/honor, or archy). Cold weather flying in WotLK, was, in its entirety, a reward for maxing out a toon already. The inscription staffs are just...a nice perk for people who leveled it, which is easy, with the "grind" being doing your daily scroll creation? Not very annoying, so I can't see any reasoning there that would make it an exception from Ghostcrawler's statement.

    So my point is, gating them being a rep grind (again, since some were gated in WotLK, but those you could get rep with while leveling) is pretty silly and tedious (as is the gearing via the rep method), which they had said they wanted to get away from. At least in Cata they were only gated behind a few quests. They should treat them the way they treat many other tedious grind aspects of the game, and make the rewards, not the rep, BoA. You don't get them for free, if you really want the rep (either to achieve rep achievements, or perhaps for price discounts?) you still have to grind it on a seprate toon, yet you're not gated behind a pretty silly grind. These profession recipes could be like cold weather flying and be BoA and one use.

    Oh well, no point dreaming of what could (should?) have been since we're a week and a half away and they are not changing it now. Maybe they'll go BoA when SoH become BoA... ;)

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    1. They may not change anything now, but they certainly could in a future patch. They can always add BoA items to the faction vendor that allow us to boost our alts. There's always hope!

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  6. @Aesandil "On the other, I would really hate to see a situation where everyone can become self-sufficient without putting in a lot of effort and without a solid time investment."

    One could argue there is a lot of effort and solid time investment required to become self sufficient...leveling another toon (to at least 80, more if you want the better recipes) and slogging through the professions, several of which are quite a pain in the rear (LW particularly springs to mind. I'll never do that again). So I'd posit GC is a little off base in a way. Yes they don't want it to be too easy (nor do I), but until they give you one of the other things there (a free max toon, which I would argue would be much worse to give us) then you'll always have a large investment required to add a new profession. Adding the rep grind is just tedious to the point of being pointless, at least in my experience on the beta. But, I hate dailies. Others don't, so may love doing a ton on every toon, at least until Golden Lotus rep is done.

    Like Kali said and I inferred, many people have 0 interest in professions. My personal situation is that I need to make up for whatever professions others in the guild aren't covering. No one is forcing me to, but I don't want us to be disadvantaged initially because other people can't be bothered to level professions. I'll probably get frustrated after a short while though, and just end up maxing what I need to on my main for gearing purpose, and then make my way through the other reps over 6 months or so. Or until they implement Kali or my suggestions helping alts. I think they're more likely to make the recipes BoA since doing it Kali's way would result in easily leveled reps on alts, which they've already shown they're averse to, but they have a history of BoA items/recipes.

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