On Reputations in Pandaria

I don't know about you guys, but the changes to reputations in 5.1 have already got me strategizing my current gameplan for dailies. Earlier this week I got my second toon to 90, so I'm employing a bit of a "divide and conquer" scenario. Kaliope had been pushing Golden Lotus to Honored for the nice Leatherworking recipes while Kayree spent her last two levels in Townlong, soaking up Shado-pan rep for Enchanting recipes. I'm still not completely clear on the reason for the Golden Lotus gating to other reps. In the case of Kayree (enchanter/engineer) she has no need for Golden Lotus except to unlock Shado-pan. Kaliope also has no desire to continue doing Golden Lotus now that she has her recipes. But after the arduous grind to Honored, I find myself contemplating a push to Revered purely for the benefit of my other toons. Since Kaliope is already Honored, it should be faster to get her to Revered, which will let me unlock double rep for all the others who need it.

I have to say I'm not thrilled with the structure of the Golden Lotus progression. Each quest grants a measly 100 rep (110 with guild perk), which feels really sluggish after the last two expansions. There are also a ridiculous number of dailies to wade through if you want to cap your rep each day. I have a hard time sticking with it, by the time I finish the second hub I really want to move on to something different. I think folks would have less problems with this faction if the number of quests had been cut in half with the faction per quest doubled. I realize that may not be the time sink that Blizzard wants to allow, but from what I'm reading the culture shock of this change has really created some negative player sentiment for them.

I think what contributes to the sense of angst is that we're spending up to an hour a day doing a dozen (or more depending on what you've unlocked) quests and walking away with maybe 1000 rep. To me this seems to be the heart of the frustration - putting in a relatively large chunk of player time and gaining a seemingly small amount of reputation for it. It's not so much that I don't want the rep or that I'm averse to doing the quests. It's more that the perception of progress feels quite slow compared to what we're accustomed to getting.

On top of this, you have Golden Lotus rep blocking access to other factions. This simply compounds the frustration and anger. I know with my enchanter, I've been able to cheese my way through a good portion of Shado-pan rep by hitting the right quest hubs while leveling. But I know that I have no chance of getting to Revered without side-tracking to Golden Lotus, then coming back to Shado-pan. No matter how you slice it, that process is just going to feel bad to players. Pushing me to spend two weeks grinding a rep I don't need just to unlock the one I actually want is not ever going to feel rewarding or fun. Much as I try to see both sides of the issues (dev vs player) I really can't wrap my head around this one. What was the goal that demanded Rep A to be a prerequisite for Rep B other than just unfettered content gating? I would rather see Shado-pan take twice as long to earn than have to do a seemingly unrelated task for days just to access it.

As I say, I totally get that they want to reduce the rate at which we can consume content. I'm just not convinced that this was the best way to achieve that goal. So they take away our EZ-mode tabards - fair enough. And take away the quest zones that let us get to Honored while we level up - I can deal with it. Cut the amount of rep per quest in half - fine I'll suck it up. Force us to level one faction just to unlock another - that's crossing the line in my book. I think the situation we ended up with was just too much/too soon. They spent the last two expansions mostly making rep grinds easier and less painful. Then in one fell swoop they threw us back to something that resembles a Vanilla/BC hybrid approach.

That said, I'm glad they are making a concession to the situation by adding the Revered boost in the next patch. It's a step in the right direction, but I think they should seriously consider removing the chain between Golden Lotus and the other factions. There are plenty of players who will do Golden Lotus to get the recipes for their crafters (Smiths, Tailors & LW). There are also plenty of us who will push to Revered to make life easier with our alts. This faction and this content will not get ignored if you let players tackle other factions without it.

In fact it might help players enjoy the content more than they are now. I haven't even seen the dailies for Shado-pan, August Celestials or Cloud Serpents. I'm too busy working on my Tiller rep to unlock my farm and doing Golden Lotus. I've heard rumors that the Cloud Serpent dailies are fun, but I just don't have time for it. At this point I fear burn-out before I even get to them because I'll be bottle-necked on Golden Lotus with all five of my toons. What I think would be more fun is a scenario where each of my toons might be working on a different rep. So each time I log in, I can look forward to a completely different set of dailies on each character. I truly hope they reconsider the current structure and loosen up the restrictions as this expansion moves forward.

12 comments:

  1. I share a lot of your feelings about this and it was a lot of fun to have alts to level crafting professions with, now I foresee a nightmarish future for them that will go on forever.

    It's like Blizz has confused rep grinds with time sinks because of all of the complaints about boredom.

    I like where you're going with your strategics and hope to read more from you and others. I have two at 90 and am really a sea when it comes to organizing all that has to be done.

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  2. A silly change. It has taken only a few weeks to become exalted with all factions, is this seriously too long for some people? Perhaps they should have given some better gear to the respective QMs in order to justify the grind. This expansion is set to last 2 years, is it really necessary to cap everything within 2 months? "Faction grind is too slow" ... fast forward 6 months ... "Blizz fail, nothing to do."

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    1. Wow, I can't imagine how many hours of play time it takes to become exalted with everyone in a few weeks. I only have 3-4 hours a night to play and I'm not exalted with anyone.

      My point was not to suggest that we should be able to access content faster. I mentioned several times that I'm fine with waiting a month to be exalted with my chosen faction. I don't particularly care about the Valor gear either - wasn't even mentioned in my post. I was mostly trying to point out that the current system is drastically different from the last two expansions and has resulted in a significant level of frustration. I also take issue with gating several reputations behind a different reputation for no real reason. That just seems like a questionable design choice. Of course opinions differ, but that's my take on the situation.

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    2. It is certainly a return to Vanilla/TBC rep grinds, and I personally think that's a good thing. It isn't even necessary to get reputations in order to progress, they're entirely optional in every respect. Because they're optional it makes sense to make them a bit more involved than simply slipping on a tabard.

      There's variety too, you can gain exalted with one rep via a quest chain in the starting zone, another rep you can literally farm your way to exalted, or cook your way, or seek piles of loose dirt, etc. Then there are those tied to daily grinds, and one tied in specifically to exploration. I'm far from a Blizz fanboi but I think they need to be applauded for trying so hard to please everyone with rep grinds. MoP is infinitely better than Cata and Wrath in this regard, at least in my opinion. I just don't understand that some people find it more 'fun' to chain run instances with a tabard than spend 30 minutes every day doing a randomised set of daily quests, and the random element helps keep them less stale for much longer. Hell, there were some daily Golden Lotus quests that I never even saw before hitting exalted.

      I also like that some factions are gated, it's extended the initial content for me, and had those 2 factions been available from the beginning then, for me at least, it probably would have been too much content to get done on a daily basis.

      I play maybe 3-4 hours per day, and I had a 10 day holiday last month during which I didn't play WoW at all, yet I'm now exalted with everyone except August Celestials, Nat and the Prince. There's a lot to do in MoP, much more so than in Cata, and I for one am very thankful for that. It means I can't do it all so I concentrated on rep grinds first, but there's plenty time over the course of the expansion to do everything else.

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  3. I agree with you about Golden Lotus. Why make that faction the gatekeeper of other rep? I am resenting doing the GL dailies just to unlock other factions. All I really want is to unlock the enchanting recipies and raid really. I suspect 5.1 will bring relief for crafting alts though..either massively accelerated rep gain or BOA rep.

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  4. For the very first time, i'm experiencing a bit of a burnout with Wow. I think it has a lot to do with the reps behing behind Golden Lotus. As you pointed out, I dont even feel like trying getting my toons all rep'ed out, cause its such a long slog!
    After having lvl'ed like a maniac to get regular access to the motes of harmony, looking at a very long stretch of rep-grinding for a faction that I dont really have any interst in, has just left me not doing it. And thats my perogative, but it also pretty much means I'm not raiding. Or crafting, cause recepies are locked. I sincerely hope they change *something* around to make it feel less daunting. (Golden lotus is a good place to start)

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  5. Blizzard doesn´t seem to get that what they should do is adding FUN stuff to do, not another grind after grind. Rep grinds are nowhere near as bad as Vanilla/BC, but MoP reps remind me more of those times than they do of Cata reps.

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  6. I'd like to see the GL rep requirement drop, too; but I think people are underestimating the effect 5.1 will have.

    Right now, you need 9,000 rep, 2,000 or so is provided by one-time quests that open up the region, and 7,000 provided by doing 70 dailies over a week.

    When 5.1 hits, we'll need 4,500 rep; 2,000 will still be provided by onetime quests, leaving only 25 dailies.

    +10% guild rep, +10% Thanksgivings rep, brings it down to 20 daily quests.

    It's still a bloody pain, and an unnecessary imposition; but it will be easier in 5.1 .

    And if hozen peace pipes keep dropping in price, I might snatch a few up for use when 5.1 drops. +2,400 rep in all factions starts to sound really good. The only downside is that they're still a bit pricey.

    N.B. If you get GL rep tokens from caches opened by the rare drops of keys, consider saving them for the harvest festival.

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    1. I don't know how rare those keys are but I'm a bit past Honored and I have yet to see one.

      Thanks for the tip about Thanksgiving, I wouldn't have thought to stack that for my dailies :)

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  7. I'm burnt out. I levelled my Death Knight who has JC and mining to 90 first (still my only 90) So for the first couple of weeks I did Golden Lotus, Tillers and Cloud Serpents. My will broke sometime around getting Tillers to REVERED, Cloud Serpents to REVERED and Golden Lotus to HONOURED.

    Nevermind I will have to do all that Golden Lotus nonsense again and again for my other crafting characters. I guess I will have to keep on going to get her to revered with Golden Lotus. The thing is after doing Golden Lotus, Tillers and Serpents that is it for me, which means I can't do any PVP (not even seen the new bgs) can't grind out some Heroics because they take way too much time.

    WoW seems to have been changed to requiring at a minimum of 4 hours a day and for you to log on everyday for all the various things that have daily cooldowns like scrolls of wisdom.

    I am seriously thinking that it might be time for an extended WoW break and to go off in search of something else that doesn't require that much of a time commitment to feel as if you're just treading water.

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    1. You don't NEED to grind any rep - they're all entirely optional. You're burned out because you've gone hell for leather trying to get entirely optional reps like Tillers and Order of the Cloud Serpents. You could have taken it as steady as you felt comfortable with, there's no-one to blame except yourself.

      If there's one change I'd like to see, it's BoA rep tabards for all factions, required Exalted to buy, which would then allow you to grind rep on alts by running instances. I think that'd be a good compromise.

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    2. I agree that grinding three reps at once is probably too much. I assume Shaft was trying to unlock the JC patterns from the Cloud Serpents, most JCs probably don't consider that optional. Also I would argue about Tillers being optional, you probably won't be a very competitive armor-crafter without the daily supply of Motes of Harmony from farming. Golden Lotus is also required for LW/BS/TL patterns but other crafters can probably skip it.

      That said, I agree that you probably pushed yourself to hard. I've had to prioritize my rep grinding purely to avoid the situation you're in. I'm only working on Golden Lotus with Tillers as a secondary grind (just hit Revered with that a week ago, so the pressure is off). Once I get to Revered with GL, only then will I start a new rep.

      IMO Blizzard knew full well that we couldn't do all these reps. They put them in to gate the content so we wouldn't blow through it all the first month. Too many players were complaining about being bored in Cata and this seems to be the response. Not saying I agree with it, but after reading numerous Blue posts, that appears to be the rationale. No point in trying to do it all, it wasn't designed for that.

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