Part of the newest expansion to the World of Warcraft, Battle for Azeroth, is the introduction of Allied Races. Essentially, slightly different versions of some of the existing races. Of particular personal interest was the addition of the more moose-like version of the Tauren, the Highmountain Tauren. Mooses are cool.
Looking at the expansion features page you’d be forgiven for thinking that unlocking these races is a fairly trivial process, but that is far from the case.
Of the six new races released thus far, four require players be well regarded by factions from the previous expansion, Legion. For people who kept playing long after the story quests wrapped up, they might already have achieved the necessary reputation.
For more casual players, those who left after they ran out of story, or those who just weren’t playing the right content… Well, those poor folks are in for a grind.
Taking the Highmountain Tauren as an example, because it’s the first one I set my sights on, playing through the Highmountain Tauren storyline from Legion will get you into the Honored tier of reputation. But you’ll need to be Exalted to start unlocking them as an Allied Race. To get to Exalted, you first need to get to Revered. Revered requires 12,000 reputation, then you’ll need another 21,000 to get to Exalted.
Got it? Good. Now, how long does it take to earn that much reputation? How do you get reputation? So glad you asked!
Once you’ve finished the story quests the only consistent way to gain reputation is by completing World Quests. These are random assignments to kill things, collect things or jump through literal hoops. A certain number are active at a time and once you complete a World Quest it disappears from the map, with the available quests updating through the day.
Generally, about 10 will be available on first logging in for the day, and you might get another half dozen done if you’ve the patience to wait or the opportunity to log in again later. If you’re exceptionally lucky, there’ll be a bonus quest available, which can net you another 1,500 reputation, but these are typically one per week.
You can also find tokens in treasure chests that can be turned in for reputation, but these are so rare it’s likely you’ll never see one.
So how much reputation do you get per World Quest? Usually 80-120, depending on the quest difficulty.
If you’re lucky and get 15 quests a day in (you mostly won’t, but for the sake of argument) and you get around 120 reputation each time… You’re looking at 15-18 days of grinding. Get only 10 quests done, at an average of 100 reputation, and you’re over 30 days. An entire month, which you’re paying a subscription for, don’t forget. And every day you forget to get in your daily grind is a day wasted!
Still doesn’t sound too bad? Well, it’s 15-30 days of doing pretty much the same quests, over and over, in the previous expansion. You’re likely to be level 120, smashing through level 110 content. Other than the reputation and gold rewards, you won’t get any interesting or rewarding gear, nor face any challenging battles.
It’s phenomenally dull. A phenomenally dull grind to unlock a much ballyhooed feature of the latest expansion. That seems a little unfair.
And it’s a problem the game used to have a simple means of addressing. Back in the day if you wanted to work on your reputation with a specific faction you could purchase a tabard, the wearing of which would convert any reputation gains for other factions into the one you actually wanted. This would let you play content relevant to your current level while gaining reputation with a faction that may only exist at a much lower character level.
Those went away a long time ago now. Bit of a shame, that.