One of the hottest topics, that concerns me as well, that is going around lately are the requirements for reputation to buy patterns, spend valor and get what people consider essentials. People feel locked behind the reputation wall and feel as if they are required to do dailies to get the reputation required. See, that is the problem.
Once people feel it is required to do something the issue arises. People like to do things because they enjoy doing them. Once you put the required tag on something it becomes work and we play the game to play the game, not to work.
By putting patterns for my alts to learn, to help my main like the agility bracer enchants, behind a long wall of dailies that I would have to do on a character that has never done dailies in their entire history because they are basically a profession alt you have turned it into work for me. Sure I can buy the enchants off the market, I could have a guild mate make them for him, or I could post to trade to find someone that has it, but it does not change the fact the reason I have profession alts is so I can take care of every thing myself. To me, that is required. The way I play is that I should make every effort to be self sufficient.
So while some people can say it is not required of me to get the enchant patterns for my alt I will say, just because you do not consider it required does not mean I don't. If I choose to be the best I can be and do every thing for myself and you choose not to doesn't make either of us right or wrong. So you can say it is not required for you, because that might be how you play, but to anyone that tries to play the game as many do, it is required.
This is the wall a large portion of players are now standing in front of with their alts. The dailies wall.
I am a grinder. Anyone that knows me and has read my blog knows that. I love to grind. If they told me I needed to kill seventy two million mobs in the dread wastes to get exalted with the klaxxi guess what I would be doing? I would be in the dread wastes killing everything in sight with every free moment I had in the game because I dig that type of stuff. I am not some pansy gimme gimme gimme new generation of gamer that wants everything for nothing. I believe that you should have to earn things. If anything I would prefer that type of grind. Just doing some quests and getting exalted seems to easy if you ask me.
This is part of the reason I love the change to tabards when you reach exalted and not tabards to get to exalted. I think it is a fantastic return to real gaming the way it should be. Reward players with something because they did the grind. Don't give them something so they can skip the grind completely.
But it is when we turn to the alts that the problem comes into light. Like I just explained, I am a grinder, I love to grind and I would gladly go through what could be an amazingly hard and long grind, but I will not do it another time on another character just to get some sort of profession item. It moves from the category of fun, which is doing it on my main, to work, which is doing it on an alt.
I play for fun, not for work. That is the problem with reputation. It becomes work once you have to do it a second time.
I have many characters of many levels and I only have one that caps all reputation. My main. Of all my characters I only have three that ever finished all the argent stuff, and only two that ever finished all the molten front stuff. I just do not find doing the grind over and over again fun even if I love doing it that first time. Most of my characters are not even exalted with their home cities. I even have three characters that only have one exalted reputation, their guild. Reputations are a side game, it is part of the fun of what someone wants to do. Again, once it becomes work, it becomes annoying.
In wrath and cataclysm the concept of locking things behind reputation was forgotten being you could just throw on a tabard and do dungeons you were going to do anyway. So my characters that I raided with got their shoulder enchants because they never really needed to work for it. They were doing dungeons anyway and the head enchants were BoA so my main could get them for everyone.
Now this is were I believe the game needs to take a page from the last expansion and keep the awesome changes made this expansion. Leave the tabard out of it, but make all the patterns BoA. That would be my solution.
This would solve a large majority of problems people have with locking profession patterns behind reputation. My hunter has been exalted with everyone for weeks now. My panda monk was riding a shado-pan mount the second she learned riding. If she can ride a mount from a faction she will not even meet for another 65 or more levels, why can't my enchanters learn a pattern to enchant my bracers?
The blues seem to be of the idea that these things are not required. That in and of itself is another argument that I will save for another post. I will just leave it at this.
If someone does not want to grind the reputation on their main I consider them a lazy player which usually translates into a bad player. Plain and simple. It is required. If someone does not want to grind it a second or third or forth time on alts, I can understand that. You should not have to do something you already did unless you want to. Doing it a second time, it becomes work and we go back to what I said at the beginning. I play to have fun, not to work.
I have a few solutions that could help the whole locked behind reputation system for many. None would be perfect, but all would be possible solutions.
1) Increased reputation on alts:
They are adding this. Will it be enough? I don't think so. If I need something from the shado-pan I still need to do the golden lotus first even if I need nothing from them. So 100% increase does not really feel ample when I am still stuck doing something I do not want to do. 300% might make up for it.
2) Daily dungeon quests:
They do not want to do tabards so how about dungeon dailies. Maybe a daily quest for a dungeon, a different one each day, and the reward is a token you can use to get reputation with one faction of your choice. Lets say 1000 reputation, not as fast as doing dailies for sure, but still a nice additional way for alts to slowly build up reputation by doing the daily dungeon of the day. Perhaps even make it an additional bonus for the second dungeon of the day instead. So first dungeon gets you 80 valor, second gets you 40 valor and a 1000 reputation token of your choice and third on are just 40 valor. Either way, something like that could work.
Some people want to have their cake and eat it too. I said I am completely against tabards for grinding reputation but some people just want the best of both worlds. I say give it to them, but conditionally. They need to get one character to exalted first. Once exalted they can buy a BoA tabard that they can send to alts where they will gain reputation while doing dungeons. 1 reputation per kill. What? Not enough? Too bad, you are now getting something for doing nothing which is still more than you deserve. Trust me, some people would love this. More so anyone that ever ended the day 36 points from revered and said, shit, I have to wait until tomorrow. Now they can put on the tabard and run one dungeon and get their 36.
4) Shared reputations:
As I mentioned my level 20 monk can ride the shado-pan exalted mount so why can't she be considered exalted with them as well. I mean you can't have the mount unless you are, so being you have it you are, but you aren't? Make up your mind blizzard. If you are going to let me ride mounts that require reputation and let me use pets that require reputation then let my enchanter buy the bracer enchants that require reputation. Can't have it both ways. Take the shado-pan mount away from my level 20 or give my level 90 the ability to buy the bracer enchants I need without needing to get exalted on their own. Pick a side blizzard, no more mixed messages when it comes to reputation being shared.
5) Gold sink it:
How about making the reputation vendors a gold sink for the lazy people. Heck, I do not consider myself lazy but I really do not like the idea that a character I perter to heal on I have to grind reputation on to open up gear and patterns, I would take the easy route for them. Make it that once you reach exalted with a faction you can pay 5000 gold to open up their quartermaster to all your characters. It would be worth paying that 5000 gold just so I did not need to do all those dailies on my priest whom I prefer to heal on.
6) Make patterns BoA:
This might be the easiest for them to do. Gear would still be a reputation wall, but at least make the patterns bind to battle.net account. So my hunter is exalted which would mean he could buy the bracer enchants for my priest to learn. This would make me happy as it would solve all my personal issues with the reputation system. I can live with the gear blocking even if it is annoying, I will out gear the valor gear fast anyway if I decided to start raiding on that particular character and will soon be able to use my valor to upgrade my raid gear. The fact that if I want to make my own enchants I need to grind reputation on an alt is what burns the hell out of me. Just make them BoA and that would be my solution.
In the end we have to give Blizzard credit where credit is due. They noticed the colossal mistake that reputation tabards were and they removed them. A very commendable effort if you ask me and they are not backing down to the lazy masses that keep asking for them back. Stay strong blizzard, do not give in to them.
They also did a bang up job on the dailies. As recently as the last week I came across two dailies I had never done yet. And we are talking a person that is exalted with everyone and there are still dailies I never experienced. Well done blizzard.
The gating of shado-pan and august celestials behind golden lotus at revered was also a stroke a genius even if I disliked it. It extended the content a small amount and kept me and many others like me from burning out trying to do even more quest hubs right at the start when we were just starting to gear up and dailies took a lot of time. The golden lotus used to take over an hour all by themselves, now I can do all 12 million of their dailies if I wanted to in less than 30 minutes. Much less if there are not a lot of people on and I have to wait for spawns.
Blizzards daily plan, offering valor from dailies, and the lesser tokens to trade in for extra rolls, and locking items behind reputation was amazing, it is the perfect design if you ask me. It is one of the reasons that you can tell MoP had more thought put into it than cataclysm did. The only issue I have with it is the second character issue. The design is splendid, near perfect even, if you only have one character. If you have more, this design losses a great deal of its appeal.
This is where blizzard needs to continue learning. They learned tabrds were a mistake, now they need to learn that their design, while great, is not very alt friendly and they need to address that.
The problem with reputations is not actually a problem with reputations, it is a problem with alts. If people have a problem with reputations on only one character, they are lazy. No ifs, ands or buts. Just do it, in less than 3 weeks you have everyone at revered.
Lets see if blizzard can follow up a fantastically designed questing and reputation system with making it alt friendly. And lets hope they do it soon because that 100% reputation increase in 5.1 is not going to be enough and not going to be soon enough either. They should have addressed this weeks ago.