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What reputation is, how to get it, and why you should care

If you've played for any length of time at all, you've noticed reputation being mentioned. Perhaps you've seen a message pop up when you killed a monster or completed a quest saying you'd gained reputation with this faction or that. But do you know what reputation is -- or what it can do for you? To get started, you'll want to click "U" on your keyboard to bring up the reputation panel. The list of names that comes up are factions you've interacted with, alongside your standing with each.

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
This might not sound like very much, but it adds up over time -- and it's definitely noticeable on large purchases like high-level mount training. This alone would make advancing through faction reputation worthwhile, it's not the only benefit. Most factions have gear and crafting recipes you can buy at certain levels of reputation. Rewards vary, so your best bet is to check with faction vendors to see what's available (though Wowpedia has a good summary). Want a good look at where you stand with the game's factions? Wowjuju has a reputation calculator that will not only show you your current standing but will also let you know the rewards and offer tips on gaining reputation -- all in one place!

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.

What reputation is, how to get it, and why you should care
Sounds great! How do I gain standing with a faction?
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.
And be aware: sometimes gaining standing with one faction will cause you to lose it with another. (For example, you cannot be friendly with both the Scryers and the Aldor in Shattrath City: gaining standing with one will lose you standing with the other.) Watch out for factions that are obviously hostile to one another: you may have to choose one over the other!

What reputation is, how to get it, and why you should care
This seems awfully tedious!
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.
And, while they won't speed up the grind, you may find these reputation addons to be helpful for keeping track of the game's myriad reputations.

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.

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