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.
So tell me about these rewards...
The most basic reward is discounts. You'll receive a discount on all goods and services from a faction member at friendly reputation and all reputations beyond that.
- Friendly: 5% discount
- Honored: 10% discount
- Revered: 15% discount
- Exalted: 20% discount
Additionally, at exalted reputation, Alliance and Horde factions will let you buy their racial mounts even if you aren't a member of their race -- but sorry, mount-collectors, Alliance members still can't get friendly enough with Horde factions to pick up their mounts and vice versa. Those collecting titles and achievements will find some can only be obtained through the favor of certain factions -- like the Ambassador title for becoming exalted with all the races of the Alliance or Horde.
There are a number of ways to gain standing with any of the game's factions, though specific methods vary from faction to faction. Here are some sure-fire ways to gain standing with any faction:
- Complete quests for members of that faction, even quests well below your level. For trying to gain reputation with factions of the Horde or Alliance, we strongly recommend doing their starting zone quests! Some quests, indicated by a blue exclamation point rather than a yellow one, are repeatable daily quests that you can do -- you guessed it -- every day for rewards.
- Killing specific mobs. While not all factions will have things to kill that will gain you reputation, many do. However, if you're grinding for reputation, be aware that sometimes reputation gains from killing will only get you to a certain point and may stop at honored.
- Championing the faction. At friendly reputation you'll be able to buy a faction tabard from most factions. With this tabard equipped, you can head into certain dungeons (typically, they need to be level-appropriate to the faction) and gain reputation for that faction for anything you kill inside.
- For levels 80 and up, you can gain reputation with the Horde and Alliance factions by picking up Champion's Writ from daily quests for the Argent Tournament in Northrend -- each of these can be exchange for a faction-specific Commendation Badge that provides 250 reputation.
If all of this sounds tedious, don't worry, because there are several ways to boost your reputation-gaining abilities:
- Humans have Diplomacy, which increases reputation gained by 10%
- Mr. Popularity is a guild perk that boosts reputation gained. At guild level 4, you get 5% increased reputation and at guild level 12 you get 10% increased reputation.
- Guild banners, which are purchasable after certain guild achievements are earned, provide temporary boosts to your reputation gain.
But after that, well, you're on your own. And while it can certainly be a grind, we think you'll probably find it worthwhile -- at least for the factions that have the rewards you want. So remember to do your homework -- and then get grinding!
Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.