I am always a fan of daily quests. Since the Shattered Sun in Burning Crusade, they have felt like the glue that holds together the rest of an endgame experience. Between dungeon running and raiding, there is that way to make steady money, get rep with a faction or two. It is also a way to push a story along, let us see how our actions in dungeons send consequences throughout the larger, non-instanced world. Cataclysm as a whole did not have a lot of these daily quest hubs, Tol Barad being the only huge one, with a dash of Wildhammer/Dragonmaw added for flavor. Really otherwise, it was all dungeon running/raiding all the time. This seemed to be a complaint with a certain subset of WoW’s playerbase, saying there was not enough to do, once valor was capped. To some degree, I can see this being true. Besides starting and leveling an alt, or gearing other level 85 alts, WoW did not have much to do with your main once they hit 85 and got geared. This was in the era of Cataclysm though, and that time is done. Deathwing is dead, and now we’re hanging out in a Furry’s dream of a continent. With this change of geography comes a wealth of options at the new level 90 cap. The list of things to do can be pretty exhausting, and they drag you in for the long haul. If you are interested in actually participating in the endgame that Mists has in it, this long haul is unfortunately mandatory.
A lot of this issue comes in the form of reputation grinds. Every expansion has had these, since the dawn of World of Warcraft, with varying degrees of ease, and accessibility. The height of ease when it came to the rep grinds in WoW undoubtedly was in the Wrath of the Lich King era. The expansion before stuck with an idea a tabard for a faction was a reward for hitting exalted with them. Wrath turned that on its head, giving you the tabards after you say hi to their designated representative for the first time. These tabards also ditched the idea of being a cosmetic item only, now giving reputation associated with the faction you got the tabard from. Wrath still had some dailies for the factions, allowing for a healthy, and relatively fast mix of daily grind and dungeon grind that allowed any character to hit exalted with expediency. Cataclysm continued this tradition, as we know, however it may have been a bit light on the dailies. This made dungeon running really the only viable option for rep grinds, unless you were going for Therazine, Wildhammer, or eventually the Hyjal rep. However, the rep gained while doing the normal questing was noticeably high; high enough to where the dungeon runs did not need to be so numerous. As a human with the rep bonus, I was well into revered with the Guardians of Hyjal after finishing the zone, making the rest of the rep a leisurely trip through heroics.
Cataclysm was pretty much the most maligned expansion in the history of the game however. With that came no shortage of criticism, and demands for change. Blizzard listened, and they made changes for Mists of Pandaria. Most of these for the best, but not all. One major complaint about Cata was that the endgame content was lacking, which seems to be where the majority of Blizzard’s focused laid in this expansion. However, one of the ways of ameliorating this situation rings very…hollow and artificial. Another is just plain annoying. The annoying one being the removal of dungeon rep gain from wearing a faction tabard. What the hell? After two expansions of a relatively smooth grind from mixing dailies, quests and tabard rep, Blizzard throws all that out the window and makes it where you can only gain rep for Pandaria’s many factions from dailies and sometimes a quest chain. This makes the game feel so much longer at points, and closes off one of the fucking vaunted options that Pandaria was supposed to be all about.
That other change? That hollow and artificial one? It’s something I have seen lately also complained about; not just by me. Why in the fuck does each daily give such a paltry amount of reputation? As a human, I get like…120 Golden Lotus rep per quest? Maybe? 240 for the final one. Granted, it ends up being a lot in the day because there are roughly 15 quests to do for the Golden Lotus per day. But still, I would much rather cut that down to 7-10, and give as much rep, as the grind takes forever to do, even in the random group pairings I sometimes luck into. Now note also, this is a faction you start at neutral with, and don’t have all those dailies up front, you need to earn your right to more rep by gaining rep. Ugh, dammit. What makes this the worst is that thig grind is required for getting the other two Panda factions, the Shado-Pan and August Celestials. This endless slog through daily hell, especially for the raid-ready “required” reps is just making me not want to play the game. The Golden Lotus is making me not want to play the game.
I have to imagine there are ways to fix this. Blizzard is rolling out some rep changes in 5.1 to make revered-exalted easier, as well as make any alt rep grinds easier. However, they should really just increase the rep across the board. Even 50 rep per daily would make a huge difference. Or give 10 valor points instead of the almost meaningless 5 we get. I know this sounds nitpicky, especially since dailies never gave out such a reward before, but with the number of dailies that need to be done to keep in good standing; at least at the start of this expansion, the rep/point reward per hour does not seem to add up on my end to something worthwhile. It leads to something way too gated and boring. A reward for a slow rep grind should not be more rep grinds. My simplest solution: Bring back tabard rep, nerf it a bit, and give us actual choice back on how we get to be besties with the denizens of Azeroth.