Thanks for voting in the Poll. I still can’t believe this won, but since it did, I’ll do my best to give you the best information available.
Once you hit 80, and the xp grind is over, a new grind starts – this time for reputation and gear. There are really only 3 reasons to grind rep: Gear upgrades, Profession needs, and vanity items. The best way to start churning out rep for ANY faction is to start doing quests in the zone where you find the majority of their NPC’s. After that, some factions will allow you to wear their tabbard into heroic dungeons and gain rep for them, regardless of the zone-location of the instance, while for others you’ll have to diligently knock out daily quests. Either way, it takes some planning to know which factions are worth it. I’m not listing EVERYTHING that’s available for each rep-level with each faction. I doubt you, as a healer, care much about non-spellpower shields and 2H axes.
Wyn’s Guide to Northrend Reputation
- The Hand of Vengeance
- The Sunreavers
- The Taunka
- Warsong Offensive
- Explorer’s League
- The Frostborn
- The Silver Covenant
- Valiance Expedition
This is a group of factions, and your rep with the umbrella faction will depend directly on your rep within each of the sub-factions. As you do quests for the sub-factions, 1/2 of the rep is also counted toward the main faction – WoWwiki explains it well: “For example, doing a quest for the Valiance Expedition, earning you 250 reputation with the Valiance Expedition, also gives 125 reputation with the Alliance Vanguard. Therefore, you must have two of the four sub-factions at Exalted in order to be exalted with the Alliance Vanguard, or the equivalent amount of reputation spread across all four.” Got it? Additionally, most dungeons will give you Rep for this faction as default when you’re not wearing the tabard of another faction.
For Horde, you can purchase these items from either Gara Skullcrush in Warsong Hold or Sebastian Crane in Vengeance Landing.
Allies, do your shopping with Logistics Officer Silverstone at Valiance Keep or Logistics Officer Brighton at Valgarde.
- Off-hand: Darkspear Orb / Orb of the Eastern Kingdoms
- Wand: Charged Wand of the Cleft / Gnomish Magician’s Quill
- Head-slot Glyph: Arcanum of the Savage Gladiator
- Engineering Mount Plans: Schematic: Mekgineer’s Chopper
Wyn’s Verdict: The truth is, by the time you’re revered with these factions, you’ll probably have had access to better equipment in both slots, either from non-heroics, heroics, or quest-rewards. However, if you PvP, that head glyph* is going to be a MUST. If you are an engineer, you will almost certainly want to be able to make the motorcycles. If you are an engineer that PvP’s, you got lucky – since you don’t have to farm an otherwise useless faction for only one item. *Note: These slot-enchants USED to be called “glyphs” in Classic and BC. To avoid confusion with stuff made via Inscription, they’re now called Arcanums. I’m still calling them Glyphs, because it was going to be confusing either way.
The new and improved version of the Argent Dawn, the Crusade has a few bases around Northrend:
- Argent Vanguard, on the borders of Icecrown and Storm Peaks
- Dawn’s Reach, in Dragonblight
- Light’s Breach, in Zul’Drak
- The Argent Stand, in Zul’Drak
There’s a small bug with Pa’Troll that is worth noting: Pa’Troll is a quest that requires you to go to 4 individuals around the zone, and do a quest for each of them, so it’s kind of 5-quests-in-one. The first time you get the quest (when it’s NOT a daily), go to Alchemist Finklestein and complete The Alchemist’s Apprentice. This involves you picking up 4 random things off the shelves in his lab – very easy. Turn in The Alchemist’s Apprentice for an easy 250 rep, and abandon Pa’Troll. Go back to the Argent Stand, re-accept Pa’Troll, and go back to the Alchemist. Lather, rinse, repeat until you’re exalted. I had a few people in my guild grind to exalted in a few hours, just repeating the Alchemist’s Apprentice.
When you’re ready to make your purchases, you’ll find Quartermaster Aliocha Segard at the Argent Vanguard in Icecrown. (Be aware, she’s stuck under a tent, in the back. It’s kind of a pain to find at first.)
- The Tabard: Tabard of the Argent Crusade
- Shadow-Prot Head-Glyph: Arcanum of the Fleeing Shadow
- Healadin Legs: Standard Issue Legguards
- Resto-Shammy Helm: Battle-Mender’s Helm
- JC Pattern – Exp/Stam: Design: Guardian’s Twilight Opal
- Wand: Purifying Torch
- Healadin Helm: Helm of Purified Thoughts
Wyn’s Verdict: You’ll probably want to farm Exalted with this one, since that ring is pretty nifty. The gear in the Honored range is really just gravy – I’m sure you can get better from running the dungeons it’ll take you to finish out to Exalted. The JC pattern is a tanking pattern, but the Spellthread is one tailors wil be able to sell for cash. (You won’t use it yourself, since it’s on-par with the trainable tailor-only thread.)
The ruling mages of Dalaran. This faction is related to BC’s Violet Eye – but all those Kara runs won’t help you get any of their rewards in this xpac. Most of the rep gains will be from doing quests in Borean Tundra, around Amber Ledge and in Coldarra, and wearing the Tabard. The Daily cooking and dungeon quests also give Kirin Tor rep.
- The Tabard: Tabard of the Kirin Tor
- Fire-Prot Head Glyph: Arcanum of the Flame’s Soul
- Druid Helm: Helm of the Majestic Stag
- Caster Cloak: Shroud of Dedicated Research
- Caster Head-Glyph (Crit): Aranum of Burning Mysteries
- Caster Dagger: Flameheart Spell Scalpel
- Healadin Belt: Girdle of the Warrior Magi
- Boomkin(?) Belt: Ghostflicker Waistband
- Decent Chest: Robes of Crackling Flame
- JC Pattern – Spell Pow: Design: Runed Scarlet Ruby
- Stam Spellthread: Pattern: Sapphire Spellthread
Wyn’s Verdict: You can’t get around needing a helm-enchant. It’s a gotta-do. And if you want the one with Crit, here’s your faction. JC’ers will definitely want the Exalted gem pattern – it’ll be a big money-maker on the AH, and all the casters in your guild will want it. Tailors will have guildies asking them for the spellthread, mostly for PvP gear, but maybe for some Shammies.
These are your Death-Knights-turned-good-guys. They do have a base in good ol’ EPL, but for Northrend purposes, you’ll first meet them at Ebon Watch in Zul’Drak. Their main quest hub and Quartermaster, Duchess Mynx, are in Icecrown at the Shadow Vault. You cannot access the Quartermaster until you take back the Vault – a phased quest line which starts with It’s All Fun and Games and is available at lvl 77.
- Nature-prot Head Glyph: Arcanum of Toxic Warding
- Caster DPS Cloak: Dark Soldier Cape
- LW Pattern – Quiver: Pattern: Nerubian Reinforced Quiver
- JC Pattern – AP/Crit: Design: Wicked Monarch Topaz
- Priest Gloves: Sterile Flesh-Handling Gloves
- Tree-Bracers: Wound-Binder’s Wristguards
- Soul-pouch: Pattern: Abyssal Bag
- Caster Belt: Belt of Dark Mending
- Resto-shammy Skirt: Kilt of Dark Mercy
- JC Pattern – Spow/Stam: Design: Glowing Twilight Opal
Wyn’s Verdict: Again, Jewel Crafters are going to want to farm this, for completion’s sake, and to fill special orders. The gloves at Revered are really quite nice, especially if you prefer questing to instancing. Tailors will want to make the Warlocks in their lives happy, and most casters will be very impressed with that belt (even without any regen.)
These rather loveable Walrus-people have quest hubs on the southern coasts of Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, and Howling Fjord. Each zone has one daily quest for the faction. The quartermaster, Sairuk, is southeast of the inn at Moa’ki Harbor.
- JC Pattern – Int/Spirit: Design: Seer’s Dark Jade
- JC Pattern – Parry/Stam: Design: Defender’s Shadow Crystal
- LW Pattern – Ammo Pouch: Pattern: Dragonscale Ammo Pouch
- Resto-shammy chest: Cuttlefish Tooth Ringmail
- Priest-chest: Pigment-Stained Robes
- Caster DPS Chest: Turtle-Minders Robe
- Drood Chest: Whale-Skin Vest
Wyn’s Verdict: Ask all of your JC’s VERY NICELY to pick up that gem pattern at Friendly. Buy them cookies, if necessary. Those of us that fish will want the fishing pole – it’s now the best in the game. Those that collect pets will definitely want the penguin- he’s adorable. For raiders, I would say this is a faction that can wait, since you’ll replace the gear from Honored rather quickly, and none of it is essential for boss-killing.
The Sons of Hodir
Based at Dun Niffelem in the Storm Peaks, this is a cool, lore-based faction, tying into a war with Loken and the titans. These ice giants start out aggressive to you, and you have to do a quest chain starting with They Took Our Men! in K3 to be able to talk to them. Once you’ve completed the quest chain, there are only two ways to earn rep: dailys, and turning in rather hard-to-find items called Everfrost Chips. If you don’t find any chips, it’ll take you 8 days from Friendly to Honored, 8 more for Honored to Revered, and 11 from Revered to Exalted. The Quartermaster, Lillehoff, is inside Dun Niffelem. He’s the big ice giant. Heh.
- Frost-prot head Glyph: Arcanum of the Frosty Soul
- Shoulder Enchant – Spow/Mp5: Lesser Inscription of the Crag
- Shoulder Enchant – Spow/Crit: Lesser Inscription of the Storm
- LW Pattern – Mining bag: Pattern: Mammoth Mining Bag
- Better Shoulder Enchant – Spow/Mp5: Greater Inscription of the Crag
- Better Shoulder Enchant – Spow/Crit: Greater Inscription of the Storm
- Land Mount: Reins of the Grand Ice Mammoth
- Tailoring Pattern – 22 slot bag: Pattern: Glacial Bag
- JC Pattern – Crit: Design: Smooth Autumn’s Glow
Wyn’s Verdict: If you’re not a Scribe (Inscriber? Inscriptionist?) farming this to exalted is essential. JCs and Tailors will will want the patterns anyway, and the mounts are a nice money-sink if you swing that way. Also, this faction has some pretty cool dalies – you don’t have to run all over the place like you did with Ogri’la, and killing the Wild Wyrm is really pretty exciting.
Another example of Blizzard using the lore much earlier in the levelling experience, you’ll find the Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight. Joined together against Malygos’ perversion of the Blue Dragonflight, the other Dragon-factions have decided to enlist your help. Quests throughout Dragonblight will give you Wyrmrest rep (say that 3x fast), but there are also 3 daily quests and a tabard to wear in heroic dungeons. Rep rewards can be purchased from Cielstrasza, who is on the very top level of the temple, along with the queen.
- The Tabard: Tabard of the Wyrmrest Accord
- Arcane-prot Head Glyph: Arcanum of the Eclipsed Moon
- Caster DPS Belt: Sash of the Wizend Worm
- Healadin Wrists: Bracers of Accorded Courtesy
- Tailoring Pattern – Enchanting Bag: Pattern: Mysterious Bag
- Healadin Mace: Gavel of the Brewing Storm
- Head Glyph – Spow/Mp5: Arcanum of Blissful Mending
- Priest Bracers: Ancestral Sinew Wristguards
- Caster Shoes: Sandals of Crimson Fury
- Resto Shammy Gloves: Grips of Fierce Pronouncements
- Flying Mount: Reins of the Red Drake
- JC Pattern – Parry/Def: Design: Glimmering Monarch Topaz
Wyn’s Verdict: Your other helm-enchant option comes from this faction. Depending on the rest of your gear, you’ll probably want the Mp5 option over the Crit from the Kirin Tor, but that’s pretty much personal preference. Tailors who are enchanters will certainly want the bag, and this is going to be another long slog for JCers. The gear is relatively meh compared to what you’ll pick up in heroics as you grind the rep, but I know a lot of people will want the Mount. And it DOES look pretty cool.
These last two factions are a little different, in that their rep gains are inversely linked. Once you choose one, you’ll be hated by the other. I’ll go over how you choose between them at the bottom – it can be a little confusing.
The Frenzyheart Tribe
These little badger people are not as cuddly as they look, since they tend to ask you to do mean things to The Oracles – who lived in Sholazar basin first. Once you’re affiliated with the Frenzyhearts (see below), you’ll have to do daily quests to farm the rest. The dailies It takes about 8 days to hit Revered from Honored, and 12 or so more for Exalted. Buy your loot from Tanak.
- JC Pattern – Spow/Haste: Design: Reckless Huge Citrine
- Healadin Pants: Discarded Titanium Legplates
- Priest Gloves: Muddied Crimson Gloves
- Resto Shammy Pants: Scavenged Feathery Leggings
- Healadin Gloves: Sparkly Shiny Gloves
- Pet: Disgusting Jar
- JC Pattern – Crit/Stam: Design: Jagged Forest Emerald
- Haste Trinket: Frenzyheart Insignia of Fury
Wyn’s Verdict: I’m never really as impressed with the gear from rep factions as I am with the gear from instance-grinding. But, again, if you’re a solo player, there are some solid choices here. Of course, if you’re a solo player, I’ll need to ask you why you’re healy-spec’d. The haste trinket seems pretty useless for casters. A word on the Pet-jar: The one you buy has to ferment for 7 days before it becomes a pet… it’s kind of like letting your fridge marinate long enough to spawn intelligent life. It also has a small chance to give you a reusable Wolvar costume, so once you hit Revered, you can buy one of those suckers every week for your chance.
The Oracles are a sort of super-murloc. I find them rather endearing, what with their naive devotion to the relics of the Titans, quickness to forgive you for fraternizing with the Frenzyheart, and love for “shinies.” Friendly
- JC Pattern – Hit/Stam:Design: Vivid Dark Jade
- JC Pattern – Crit/Mp5: Design: Sundered Forest Emerald
- Priest Belt: Fishy Cinch
- Resto-Shammy Helm: Shark Jaw Cap
- Wand: Shinygem Rod
- Pet/Mount: Mysterious Egg
- Crit Trinket: Oracle Talisman of Ablution
Wyn’s Verdict: I think this exalted trinket is better for casters than the Frenzyheart one, but that’s not to say it’s a particularly good trinket. If you’re grinding this rep, it’s more than likely for the Egg, which is even MORE special than the jar of ooze. Like the jar, you have to hold onto the egg for 7 days before it will give you a pet. The egg can give you one of FOUR pets, and has a VERY RARE chance to give a Green Proto-Drake mount.
Okay, both the Frenzyheart and the Oracles are located in Sholazar Basin. As you quest through the Nessingwary lines, you’ll eventually meet up with the Frenzyhearts – who will have you do some rather disrespectful things to the Oracles. Eventually, you’ll be given a quest to kill an Oracle caught in a trap… but the only option presented to your character is to talk to the Oracle, and let him go free. This doesn’t sit well with the Frenzyheart, who are watching your every move for signs of disloyalty. You are then forgiven by the Oracles, and start doing quests for them. Eventually, clearing out the zone will lead you to another, seemingly unrelated, chain: A Hero’s Burden. The final quest here has you fighting Artruis the Heartless in a cave – and this nasy piece of work has enslaved both an Oracle and a Frenzyheart. In order to kill him, you must choose which one of them to save, and which to kill. The one you save is the faction you choose, starting you at honored rep – so don’t let it catch you off guard. If you make a mistake, it’s okay – the quest to kill Artruis is a repeatable daily, so you can always go back tomorrow and kill the other one. Now, if you’re a title or achievement collector, you should know that farming to exalted with the Frenzyheart will give you the title Frenzyheart Tribe, while exalted with the Oracles gives you THe Oracles. If you do first one, then the other (the order doesn’t matter), you can also call yourself a Mercenary of Sholazar.
The Bottom Line
Update as I went to publish: Check out the lovely Seri’s perspective at Snarkcraft.