WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.
As a social game, it's fun to make friends in an MMORPG environment. In World of Warcraft, you must also make friends (and sometimes enemies) with members of various faction groups. Reputation (rep) is gained through killing a faction's enemies and completing quests to assist a particular group. Obviously, killing member's of a particular faction reduces rep. For example, killing Bloodsail Pirates increases rep with Booty Bay (Steamwheedle Cartel), while decreasing rep with the Bloodsail Buccaneers.
There are many reasons why we may increase or decrease reputations. You may be asked to do so to as a quest objective or to gain particular rewards. By gaining exalted reputation with the major cities you have access to purchase their racial mounts (provided your they may be scaled to your racial model) and their guild tabards. Higher levels of rep also allow discounts on goods and repair services from vendors, and higher prices for selling useless items. For the next couple of weeks, we'll be taking a look at the ins and outs of reputation on WoW Rookie.