Rep Farming: the endless quest
So, a while back while I was in my fifties, one of the level 60’s in my guild made the following comment in guild chat: “Up to level 60, it’s all about farming xp, after 60 it’s all about farming rep.” I never realized how true those words were and what they really meant to how my gameplay and approach to the game would change once I reached level 60.
Once you hit 60, that’s it from a level perspective. We all know that. But while we’re trying to get there we keep telling ourselves – “plenty to do after 60. Instances, high level quests, places I haven’t visited, etc.”. And that’s all true. You can do all those things and I’m not here to say that somehow they are less fun just because I’m 60.
But I have approached those activities differently. For instance, I never completed the questline to get my Scholomance key before I hit 60. I still have two quests in my log – one to get the key and one for simply killing Araj the Summoner. At a level in the mid-50s lets say, there are tangible rewards for these quests: lots of xp and a Scholomance key. Now at post 60, I’ll get a little bit of gold and don’t really need the key as there are plenty of folks in my guild that already have the key.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not so jaded that it isn’t still just fun to complete quests like this. I do plan on getting these done, they just don’t have the urgency that they did before. But the decision on whether to pursue a particular quest or not is now evaluated with a different set of priorities: what will be the impact to my faction reputations?
So in evaluating whether to complete the two quests above, you end up weighing the time spent to complete the quests against the reputation gain you get, and with with faction. Because at 60 (in fact, once you start getting close to 60), it becomes more and more about the gear you have. And there are really only two ways to get increasingly better gear – venture into increasingly more difficult instances and raids, or increase your reputation with the faction or factions that have the gear you want.
For instance, I’ve talked a lot about the gear I’m shooting for. I’ve said it’s important to have a plan on where you want to get, so you don’t waste time and/or money with the wrong faction or buying stuff that you end up not needing. That’s all well and good, but then you still have to get the reputation with the faction to get the stuff. For instance, I’d like to get the Symbols of Unending Life set from Cenarion Circle. That mace is sweet! But, it takes Exalted reputation.
So I’m looking at my Reputation tab and I’m seeing I’m Friendly with Cenarion Circle and need around 4000 points just to get to Honored. Okay, 4000 points isn’t all that much, right? Well, considering killing a level 59 Twilight Cultist only gets you 1 rep point, 4000 looks pretty big. Okay, i’ll head into AQ20 or AQ40. Good plan and the rep gains are much better there, but still only around 5 or 10 for trash mobs. I haven’t gotten very far into either, so I’m not sure how much more you get for bosses. We did kill Kurinaxx the other night and it looked like we got 150 rep for him.
So again – not complaining, but it does take quite a lot of effort to hit the upper reputation levels.
And here is where I think we get into some of the general malaise for level 60’s until the expansion comes out. While I really want that upper level equipment and mentally I tell myself I’ll put in the effort to get the rep it takes, it just seems kind of boring to go around doing stuff simply to get rep rewards. Yes, I’m still seeing new scenery and instances, but it just feels different. I never realized how much that simple act of getting xp and every once in a while going up a level meant to my gameplay. I think that’s what’s really at work with most of the folks who say they are taking a break until Burning Crusade comes out – I think we just need that positive reinforcement of working toward a goal and for most players, I think the main goal is the next level.
Just my ramblings – take them for what it’s worth. As always, I’d be interested in your thoughts.