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Posts with tag faction

Get exalted with the Lorewalkers in an hour or less

This article was originally posted October 5, 2012 by Michael Sacco. With Mists of Pandaria winding down, it's a good time to wrap up some of your lingering goals this expansion. If you've yet to hit exalted with the Lorewalkers, we're here to help.

When I first walked into Lorewalker Cho's sanctum at 90, I peered around for Lorewalkers daily quests and saw that they all seemed to involve archaeology in some way. My DK did not have archaeology up to any meaningful skill level. I sighed deeply at the cheap, neat-looking Disc of the Red Flying Cloud and walked away, until I heard from a little bird that getting Lorewalker rep was a lot easier than I thought.

All you really need to do to get exalted with the Lorewalkers is read each of the lore objects located throughout Pandaria; you can see a list of them (like The Seven Burdens of Shaohao) in your Exploration Achievements tab, under Pandaria. When you read all of the objects for each "story," you get an item to bring to Lorewalker Cho, who presents you with a sort of play about the story you collected, and you get a ton of reputation (thousands).

The best part? You can collect them all in an hour or less with 310 flying and a map to help you out.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Faction, race, and World of Warcraft

Would it be World of Warcraft without the Horde and Alliance? Even if they don't need to be in direct conflict, do they need to be for it to be the Warcraft setting? It's certainly been argued in the past, both that the factions are absolutely necessary and that they are not. I've personally argued in the past that, whether or not the game has factions, it shouldn't prevent people from playing with their friends, but the counter argument must be considered - if I can play with my friends on the Horde side, and vice versa, what purpose do factions serve?

So let's actually ask that question, then - what purpose do factions serve in World of Warcraft?

We can break down the purpose of the faction divide as follows, at least in terms of intent.
  • Factions exist in World of Warcraft because at its heart, the setting was born in the original RTS. The factions help keep this flavor alive.
  • Factions allow for PvP content to be more channeled and to have team-building potential built right in. Horde players fight Alliance players, and vice versa. In the Warcraft setting, you always know who the enemy is.
  • Factions allow for more variety of experience. The quests differ - sometimes vastly so - and there can be elements at every point of the game that make use of the distinction between the factions.
There could be more arguments for factional divide - for instance, it's very hard to imagine a WoW where orcs and draenei were on the same faction - but let's discuss how these three work, or if they work.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

The passive faction cannot stand

Since I complained (some have said whined) about the Horde yesterday, turnabout's fair play and I should focus my complaining on the Alliance for a bit. Because if we're fair, the Alliance needs some changes in its story, too. And I think it's fair to say that what the Alliance needs isn't necessarily a victory - especially in terms of Horde/Alliance conflict, it doesn't actually drive the story forward necessarily to have one side win, and the end of Siege of Orgrimmar could in fact be seen as the Alliance winning. No, it's not really victory that's lacking.

The problem the Alliance has is as simple as the statement at BlizzCon that the Alliance is the 'Captain America' faction, the faction that has a more standard heroism about it. The problem with that is, in many ways heroism is depicted as being reactionary. You respond to a threat, you react to a crisis, whether it be Deathwing or Garrosh. Villains act, and heroes react - it's one of the reasons that actors often state that the bad guy is more fun to play. For better or for worse, the Alliance presence in Pandaria was a reaction to the crash-landing of Anduin's ship after it was chased by a Horde fleet, and everything that followed was reactionary. The Alliance stayed in Pandaria purely because the Horde was there, they weren't there to explore or even conquer. The entire struggle over the Divine Bell was a struggle to keep the Horde from getting it because they knew the Horde would use it (as they did) and so far, despite her having every reason to feel that the Horde cannot be trusted Jaina Proudmoore is being painted as villainous for maintaining this position.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Will Warlords of Draenor be alt-friendly?

Here's a bit of truth - while I have a lot of alt warriors, I don't play them much once I get them to max level. I have my main, who raids, whose gear I keep up to date and who I play often, who I indulge my transmog jones on - and everyone else, once I get them to max level and maybe get them some Timeless Isle gear, I stop. My most recent 90 warrior, a draenei woman, I kept up for a month before I finally just stopped wanting to run dungeons on her. My tauren has seen even less play.

Why? Is it just that I already have the one warrior, so why play others? No. Because even if that were the case, it doesn't explain why my shaman and my DK are both sitting there, doing nothing. My shaman makes potions and flasks for me, and that's about it. My DK is literally gathering dust. So, why then? Why am I not playing my alts? I thought about it this week while considering what to do with yet another Timeless Isle piece I could send to my tauren, and then I realized that he's off on another server, with no gold to speak of, and in order to get that piece gemmed and enchanted properly I'd have to play him for an hour or two to make the gold to do it - and it hit me. I already maintain my main's gear - doing the same work on my alts just doesn't appeal to me.

Having to get all their gear gemmed, all the enchants (I always forget boot enchants until I realize I'm slower than everyone else) - even when you can afford it (which I can for my alts on my main's server) it's just tedious, especially when you find yourself improving gear frequently. What enchants do I put on my shaman's blue weapons? Do I go for the good enchants and then replace them in two days when I get an LFR drop?

Ultimately this is what has me thinking about Warlords of Draenor. Gear has been and always will be an impediment to playing an alt - you have to be willing to put in the work to acquire new gear and get them up to the same level as your main if you intend to use them in that fashion. But the removal of the variety of enchants and gems we have now will mean there's less impediment to alt-playing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

WRUP: On the question of faction balance

WRUP On the question of faction balance
There are few tumultuous subjects with the power of faction balance. Whether you satirically point out that Orgrimmar can't be destroyed, or whether you think the cinematics simply need rewritten, addressing the subject of which faction is on top... well, it goes poorly.

So this week, we asked your intrepid WoW Insider staff what they think of the current balance. Is one faction better off than the other? And more importantly, what could be done to even out the story? Some of the answers might surprise you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: How did you choose your faction?

Most WoW players take their faction choice very seriously (some even outright reject it) -- and they have a real sense of faction pride, both in and out of the game. You'll see shouts of For the Horde! or For the Alliance! in-game and t-shirts, hats, and bumper stickers out in the real world expressing faction pride. But just how do we go about choosing our virtual compatriots?

In my case, it's always been about where my friends were playing. When I had friends playing Horde, I played Horde alongside them. But since I have friends on the Alliance side, too, sometimes I venture off to play with them... though I know to some eyes that probably makes me disloyal to both factions. But what's your story, WoW Insider readers? How did you come to play the faction you're playing? And have you faction-swapped?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What reputation is, how to get it, and why you should care

What reputation is, how to get it, and why you should care
If you've played for any length of time at all, you've noticed reputation being mentioned. Perhaps you've seen a message pop up when you killed a monster or completed a quest saying you'd gained reputation with this faction or that. But do you know what reputation is -- or what it can do for you? To get started, you'll want to click "U" on your keyboard to bring up the reputation panel. The list of names that comes up are factions you've interacted with, alongside your standing with each.

Most groups -- or factions -- in the game have their own reputation, which ranges from hated to exalted. At hated, hostile, and unfriendly, members of the faction will be indicated by red text. At hated or hostile level, faction members will attack you on sight, but once you reach unfriendly they'll no longer attack -- though you still can't interact with them. At neutral, members of the faction will be indicated by yellow text meaning you can interact with them freely: talk to them, trade with them, or accept quests from them. At friendly, honored, revered, or exalted level, faction members will be indicated by green text.

The trip from hated -- or even friendly -- to exalted is a long one, but almost always worthwhile, because as you gain standing with a faction you also gain rewards.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Why do you play what you play?

Why do you play what you play
Life is complicated. There's no simple answers to most of our problems, and even if you think there are, there are lots of people who disagree with you. Life is fraught with tension, with situations that require tact and even diplomacy to navigate.

This is one of the reasons I enjoy playing warriors. I enjoy their straightforward approach to problem solving. In the real world, my troubles are usually things that simply can't be dealt with via the application of a gigantic axe to their heads (my bills just refuse to die no matter how much I try and stab them) but I face no such difficulty in World of Warcraft. To me, the game is escapism, a couple of hours in a world where the stakes are larger than life, but the solutions are much more primal and basic. Sometimes you just want to yell Hulk smash.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: Reputation gain changes

Patch 52 Reputation gain changes
One change that's arrived with the latest patch 5.2 notes is one that has to deal with bonus reputation. Players have stated how grinding and repetitive the reputation can be. A suggestion that was offered was to bring back reputation tabards so players could continue to earn reputation while participating in dungeons. This would offer players two methods to earn reputation: Dailies and dungeons. Blizzard disagreed they didn't want players to double dip as dungeons already reward loot from bosses along with valor points. The developers mentioned sometime back in December that they were planning a way to include bonus reputation through dungeons. A suggestion was brought up by our own Matthew Rossi where players could represent a faction for a limited time.

That looks like the compromise solution we were looking for!

Patch 5.2 PTR and Patch Notes
You can now earn bonus reputation for your first dungeon and scenario of the day. You can select which reputation you choose to champion by selecting it from the reputation panel on the character screen. When you queue for a dungeon or scenario, the UI will remind you which reputation you are championing and allow you to change the reputation from there. (You cannot change that reputation once you are in the dungeon or scenario.)

The UI has changed so that the Reputation panel in the character screen displays which reputation they have purchased Grand Commendations for. That's great for people like me who've accidentally purchased the same reputation commendation twice.

How about it guys? What do you think of this alternative way to earn reputation? You can still knock out your dailies but between the commendations and the bonus reputation from dailies, I wager you'll be able to hit Exalted at a nice rate.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.1 PTR: Reputation changes with Grand Commendations

With all the back and forth discussion of reputation in Mists of Pandaria, it's probably worth taking the time to cover the Grand Commendations and how they work. Our friends over at Wowhead have posted a roundup of the Grand Commendation system, covering each faction and how the new system will work.

The Grand Commendation for a faction works like this - once one of your characters reaches revered with a faction, they can purchase one of these Commendations, which once used will then allow all characters on the account to gain double reputation with said faction. Originally, this was going to simply be automatically implemented, but Blizzard decided that didn't feel obvious enough and wanted something in game to allow players to be aware of the changes. It should be noted these are as yet only for Mists reputations.

In addition to all the current Mists of Pandaria reputations, the new Horde and Alliance factions the Dominance Offensive and Operation: Shieldwall will also have Grand Commendations. In addition to making it easier for alts to level their reputations, it seems to me that these will also make the climb through revered to exalted easier as well - the text on the Commendations does not exclude the original character from the reputation gains, after all. Head over to Wowhead for the complete list of Commendations by faction.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

The evolving design of reputation

The evolving design of reputation
I'm not going to pretend that I like the process of gaining reputation in World of Warcraft, because I don't, and I never have. I remember grinding Brood of Nozdormu reputation back in vanilla for a ring that I still have in the bank. I remember gathering Scourgestones so that I could get to exalted Argent Dawn (I also still have my Seal of the Dawn), and murdering bears in Winterspring to get enchants off of other bears. As an insanely old bearded madman it is fair to say that I have dragged my ancient, grumbling carcass from expansion to expansion, finding various ways to get various groups to like me (often via the application of murdering pixels or collecting pixels off of murdered pixels) and I have always come to loathe the groups I've gained rep with along the way.

In fact, I'd go so far to call it an axiom. The more a certain group comes to like me, the more I'd willingly feed them all to a wood chipper if only that were an option. (Yes, Klaxxi, I'm looking right at you here.) That being said, it would be unfair and untrue to pretend that faction-based reputation hasn't undergone several design permutations over the years.

During Burning Crusade, for instance, there were specific dungeons that rewarded reputation with specific factions. I ran Shadow Labyrinth for Lower City reputation until my eyes quit in protest and moved to Paraguay. One of the ways that design began to change was with the Isle of Quel'Danas, which itself built upon the foundation laid by the Ogri'la and Sha'tari Skyguard factions.

These were faction grinds that allowed for the progressive unlocking of quests designed to be repeated daily, and these three faction grinds laid the basis for what we have today in Mists of Pandaria. And I'm starting to wonder if the reason I so dislike the Mists approach to reputation, with its copious daily questing, is not because of anything wrong with that system but rather because I'm incredibly spoiled.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Get exalted with the Lorewalkers in an hour or less

Get exalted with the Lorewalkers the quick and easy and only way
When I first walked into Lorewalker Cho's sanctum at 90, I peered around for Lorewalkers daily quests and saw that they all seemed to involve archaeology in some way. My DK did not have archaeology up to any meaningful skill level. I sighed deeply at the cheap, neat-looking Disc of the Red Flying Cloud and walked away, until I heard from a little bird that getting Lorewalker rep was a lot easier than I thought.

All you really need to do to get exalted with the Lorewalkers is read each of the lore objects located throughout Pandaria; you can see a list of them (like The Seven Burdens of Shaohao) in your Exploration Achievements tab, under Pandaria. When you read all of the objects for each "story," you get an item to bring to Lorewalker Cho, who presents you with a sort of play about the story you collected, and you get a ton of reputation (thousands).

The best part? You can collect them all in an hour or less with 310 flying and a map to help you out.

Read more →

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Major reputation changes coming to WoW

Crithto unveils new reputation changes
I'm going to be honest -- I'm not a huge reputation person. I end up with them, because you have to, but I wouldn't do the grinds if it wasn't necessary. So I may be the absolute target audience for this post from Crithto on the official forums, highlighting changes coming to the rep grinds. This makes this morning's Klaxxi questing feel less onerous to me.

Crithto - Upcoming Reputation Changes
Earning reputation with various factions has long been an important part to World of Warcraft and as time has gone on, we've made tweaks and changes to the system to make it more interesting and to give players access to unique items. For example, we recently hotfixed the game to apply a change to some reputation items which you can read about in our recently updated blog that allows players to purchase certain items much sooner. And we're not done!

Coming in a future patch, earning reputation is going to become much more fluid. Basically, once one of your characters has reached at least Revered reputation with a faction, all other characters on the same account will then earn reputation with the same faction at twice the rate. Going one step further, and as an added bonus, your main character who reached Revered will also begin to earn double the reputation as he or she climbs to Exalted.

Here's a simplified break down:
  • Any single character earns Revered reputation with a faction
  • All other characters on the account begin to earn double reputation for that one same faction
  • The Revered character earns double reputation as he or she works toward Exalted
  • ???
  • Profit
We'll keep you posted as this change is closer to being implemented. In the meantime, we'd love to hear your feedback!

My biggest problem with reputations has always been having to do them again on my alts. Now my characters on Cenarion Circle and Sisters of Elune will reap the rewards of my main's hard work, which I like.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Why do you play your faction?

Breakfast Topic Why do you play your faction
A forum post about why people play Alliance turned into a general discussion that got me thinking about why I play what I play, which is primarily Alliance. Interestingly to me, I played Horde most of Cataclysm on my main, so when I went back to Alliance, I felt like I was coming home. To me, I played Horde to raid with good people, to play a tauren -- and that was it. I really don't like Horde races aside from tauren, Horde lore aside from tauren lore, or Horde cities aside from -- actually, I don't like any Horde cities. Sorry, Thunder Bluff. I made some good friends Horde-side and I still miss playing with them (Woo Apples), but in general, I'm happier being Alliance.

But for all the reasons I could say I play Alliance, the real, honest truth is I play Alliance because I like to be able to play with my wife. She's awesome to be around, and I enjoy doing old content and will likely enjoy running dungeons with her in Mists. The fact that I like playing Alliance races like draenei and worgen, that I enjoy Alliance lore better and think Stormwind and the Exodar are cool cities -- none of that really matters. I play Alliance because of my wife.

So, therefore I ask you: Why do you play the faction you play?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Would you like to change factions without changing races?

Breakfast Topic Would you want to change faction, but keep your race
When I first heard that Blizzard was implementing faction changes, I was so excited. I want my gnome to go Horde! But it was nothing that fun (or complicated). Finding out I would also have to change races took all the fun out of it.

I have always wanted (in any MMO with factions) the ability to change sides without having to change anything else. In the physical world, we have defectors, immigrants, and slaves who have become citizens. My Russian professor was an escapee from the Soviet Union. It was her lifelong wish to change factions, and she was so happy to be in the United States.

I know it is complicated design-wise, and I completely understand why Blizzard doesn't do it, but I think it would be perfectly logical that some residents of Azeroth would want to change sides. A human might want to live the simple life of a tauren. A blood elf may long to return to nature and attempt to fit in with the night elves. A gnome and a goblin might fall in love.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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