The OverAchiever: Reputation factions in Cataclysm

Allison Robert
A. Robert|10.07.10

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The OverAchiever: Reputation factions in Cataclysm

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we find ourselves the designated butt-monkey of several new factions.

Hello again, fellow achievement-hunters. This week we're going to finish up with a look at the new reputation factions available in Cataclysm and a quick look at new world events.

"There aren't any new world events," you point out.

That's what makes it so quick. Although this goes without saying in any article discussing new achievements, there are a few spoilers in here discussing how you meet and work with various Cataclysm factions. If you'd rather stay unspoiled about upcoming quests, don't go past the cut.

45 Exalted Reputations
This is now the highest reputation-related achievement in the game. Interestingly, there is not a new title associated with it; you'll still receive The Exalted at 40 Exalted Reputations, although it's possible that it's just a placeholder. Then again, if you already have 40 exalted reputations, getting 45 should be very simple during Cataclysm, as there'll be at least six new reputation factions available. I'm not sure a new title's going to be in the cards as a result.

Cataclysm reputation factions and achievements

The six new reputation faction achievements available are as follows:

Baradin's Wardens (Alliance) and Hellscream's Reach (Horde) These are the factions quarreling over Tol Barad, so you'll have to get your PvP groove on in order to make any headway with them. I still have no experience with this Wintergrasp-like battleground (I've mostly been focusing on 5-mans on the beta), but Zach's got you covered if you're curious about it.
  • How do I find them? Head for Tol Barad. On the beta, a port will open to the battleground (similar to Wintergrasp) from Orgrimmar or Stormwind at level 85.
Wildhammer Clan (Alliance) and Dragonmaw Clan (Horde) These are the folks associated with the Twilight Highlands. You'll get an early and ugly introduction to the reordered political landscape as you meet them; Alliance/Horde conflict is the first thing you'll see in this zone. If you're Alliance, you'll wake up to it after a bumpy ride in, and if you're Horde, you'll witness yet another moment of Garrosh Hellscream's appalling stupidity on the airborne convoy delivering you to the Highlands. I know this expansion is meant to rehabilitate Garrosh's image somewhat, and I'm happy to allow that it might occur in content I haven't yet seen, but this is getting to be a harder sell by the day.
  • How do I find them? At level 84, a really interesting series of breadcrumb quests becomes available that will eventually put you on an airship (Horde) or plane (Alliance) to the Highlands. Having done both, I can state unequivocally that the Alliance quest line is by far the more fun and interactive of the two, but the Horde's compensated with a badass event while you're actually en route to the zone. Either way, you'll be dumped on the proverbial doorstep of the new factions, and it's awfully convenient how quickly their problems are suddenly yours.
Ramkahen These are the catlike NPCs you've probably seen in a bunch of screenshots we've run, and you'll meet one of their more influential members in the opening cutscene to Uldum questing -- which, by the way, is amazing. Like dwarves and gnomes, the Tol'vir were created to safeguard Titanic creations but many succumbed to the Curse of Flesh, becoming the faction you'll know as Ramkahen.
  • How do I find them? Another breadcrumb quest, which becomes available at level 83 or 84 (I don't recall which) from your local archaeology trainer or announcement board. You'll be sent to southern Tanaris to a caravan waiting outside the Gate of Unending Cycles. A lengthy cutscene ensues, which I would very much like to see paired off so it can produce lots of cutscene babies for the future. At the end, you'll meet Prince Nadun, who's been imprisoned by the tol'vir and will get you started on Uldum questing.
The Earthen Ring This faction's technically in the game already in a very low-key sort of way, but with elementals running amok, you'll be seeing a lot more of them. The Earthen Ring organization (and powerful shaman, more generally) play a key role in Deepholm questing while you're trying to rebuild the World Pillar. The introduction to the zone is just as stunning as its Uldum counterpart. You know all those pictures you've seen of Thrall straining to keep the Maelstrom from getting even more unstable? That's where you'll be heading. Finishing Deepholm quests will (as with Therazane, below) gets you about halfway through honored.
  • How do I find them? A high-ranking representative guards the zone portals in Orgrimmar and Stormwind that whisk you off to all the new Cataclysm areas, and as of ... I want to say early September, you'll get a quest to go see them immediately on entrance to either city. You don't even have to pick it up; it just appears in your quest log.
The Guardians of Hyjal Unsurprisingly, the druidic faction in Hyjal. If you finish off questing in the zone, you'll wind up about 6k into revered with them. I finished questing in Hyjal before Blizzard did some additional work on both the faction and zone, so I'm not sure whether my experience is actually representative of what you can expect. Either way, even the early zone featured a very extensive and involving campaign against the Twilight's Hammer.
  • How do I find them? Major cities feature new announcement boards in high-traffic areas where you can pick up the breadcrumb quests for zones, and that's where I got the initial assignment to head to Moonglade for transport to Hyjal. An emerald dragon will oblige you with a flight into the zone, at which point you'll discover that things are so much worse than everyone thought they were.
Therazane You'll get an introduction to Therazane the Stonemother and her cadre of powerful earth elementals, called the Stone Lords, in Deepholm. She doesn't have any particular reason to like you right off the bat (mortals like you -- or perhaps you, assuming you've finished Maraudon -- killed her daughter), but your assistance putting the World Pillar back together will go a long way toward a civil partnership. At the end of Deepholm questing, you'll be about halfway through honored with the faction, and they offer a set of daily quests to take you to exalted.
  • How do I find them? Assuming you're questing through Deepholm, you'll be introduced to them along the way.
So how do you get reputation after questing? Cataclysm factions are similar to Wrath of the Lich King factions in that they offer tabards at friendly that give reputation while you're completing dungeons. Unlike Wrath, this reputation is awarded only in heroics; you don't get any for the higher-level dungeons on normal mode.

World events

So far, there are no changes or additions to holidays or major events in Azeroth. Blizzard's said previously that it has no plans to alter What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so I doubt we'll see any real changes apart from whatever might be required to make holidays compatible with the new landscape.

Working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! We cover everything from Glory of the Hero and Insane in the Membrane to Master of Alterac Valley and Lil' Game Hunter, and you can count on us to guide you through Azeroth's holidays and special events.
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