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Mists of Pandaria: Ghostcrawler confirms no tabards for dungeon reputation


Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has been very busy over the past 24 hours, answering a variety of queries on the US message boards. One in particular caught my eye, where he explains the decision behind the changed system of reputation gain in Mists.

To cut a long thread short, there had been some discussion on the fact that in the beta, there is currently no way to gain reputation with the factions that supply valor point gear, apart from doing daily quests. The factions do sell tabards, but these are purely cosmetic and award no reputation gain from doing dungeons or raids or the like. So the only way available to increase your reputation with the four factions is via completing their quest lines and daily quests.

The four factions in question are The August Celestials, The Klaxxi, Shado-Pan and Golden Lotus. All these factions offer different gear slots, recipes, patterns and mounts, with some overlap -- and of course this is beta, so there's likely to be more gear added in. At the moment, this is the only gear available in exchange for valor points.

Understandably, this has caused some negative reaction among players who don't really care for questing and dailies and prefer to do enough to buy a tabard and run dungeons to gain reputation. Those players asked Ghostcrawler why Blizzard is "forcing" them to do daily quests by removing reputation tabards from the game. See his response after the break.


Is there a reason you're FORCING us to do daily quests for rep instead of allowing us to CHOOSE to grind the rep in dungeons?

Essentially because dungeons already reward loot from bosses and valor. Letting them also provide faction seems extraneous. Why not just increase the boss drops or give you more valor to let you buy stuff?

Here's how we got there though:

-- BC had an extensive attunement system. (I'm not passing judgment on that system because I kind of liked it myself.)
-- As part of that system, you were required to acquire a lot of reputation with different factions, which you achieved primarily by running dungeons over and over. This meant you might have a dude that needed to run Shadow Labs 3 more times while someone else needed Mechanar or Botanica.
-- To solve that problem, we let players wear tabards so they could earn whatever faction they wanted while running dungeons.
-- This made things much more convenient for players, arguably too convenient. The factions themselves sort of lost their identity. They were just different bars to fill. Also, sometimes by the time you hit Exalted or Revered with a given faction, you already had better gear from running the dungeon so much.
-- In Mists, we want to provide players alternative content to running dungeons. The dungeons are still there, but even with 6 new and 3 redone dungeons, you're ready for something else after a while.
-- Part of that something else are the Elder faction quests, such as Klaxxi and Shado-Pan. We put as much work into these quest chains as we did the level-up zone quests. The stories evolve and new branches unlock. You earn faction by doing these quests and can also earn valor to layer on top of what you're earning from dungeons, or even in lieu of dungeons if you just don't have enough time or aren't interested in a dungeon at that moment.
-- As I said above, I know not everyone loves questing. (For that matter not everyone loves mount collection or pet battles or achievements or raiding). Strictly speaking, you don't have to do the factions to progress your characters, but we figure a lot of players will.

We could have a long discussion, probably beyond the scope of this thread, about how much time you should have to commit to feel like you're keeping up with end game progression vs. how much extra time you should be able to commit if you're interested in doing so. In Cataclysm, we think we steered too far into the zone of telling players to stop playing because there was nothing else to do.

No developer wants to hear "I want to play your game, but there's nothing to do." For Mists, we are going out of our way to give players lots to do. We don't want it to be overwhelming, but we do want it to be engaging. We want you to have the option of sitting down to an evening of World of Warcraft rather than running your daily dungeon in 30 minutes and then logging out. We understand we have many players (certainly the majority in fact) who can't or aren't interested in making huge commitments to the game every week and we hope we have structured things so that you don't fall very far behind. The trick is to let players who want to play make some progress without leaving everyone else in the dust.

The TL;DR version is as follows: In The Burning Crusade, earning reputation with different factions was too difficult. Blizzard inserted tabards to make it easier; this made it too much easier and removed faction identity. They've put a lot of work into the daily quests, and they hope you'll like them and see them as a fun alternative to running dungeons. This is all part of their grand plan to provide more endgame content for players.

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!

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