Nov 292010

Cataclysm has six factions (one per zone) that your character will need to build reputation with, in order to fully unlock their rewards. Drawing on my gear list,  I’ll take a look to see which factions offer the best rewards for your time, from a feral DPS perspective (though I’ll note a few tank items). The primary way to gain faction rep is by questing in their associated zone, which should (after completing all quests) raise reputation to at least Honored. Revered and Exalted will require wearing that faction’s tabard in instances (all except Tol Barad factions) or completing daily quests.

Guardians of Hyjal (Mount Hyjal)

I, along with most others, will be starting my Cataclysm leveling in Mount Hyjal. (If you even care about lore “slightly,” you should realize that for a druid, Mount Hyjal’s problem >>> Vashj’ir’s problem.) Reputation-wise, however, there’s not too much on offer here for the 85-minded druid. The Sly Fox Jerkin is a great piece but will be quickly eclipsed by heroic drops; however, for leveling and pre-heroic instances, there isn’t anything better. The rest is mediocre; the Acorn is okay, but better BoE (Jewelcrafting) options exist, and the Wrap is a (albeit very good) bear tanking piece.

The Earthern Ring (Vashj’ir)

Unlike Hyjal, there is no item here for us at Honored, so this zone will take some rep grinding. The Signet ring is excellent and will be a pre-raid BiS piece; other than that, though, there’s not much. The Arcanum, of course, is handy for bears, and the Cape is okay but not special (there are LOTS of blue cloaks to be found).

Therazane (Deepholm)

Sons of Hodir, version 2.0! Yawn. The ring is unremarkable, so quest through the zone to unlock the Lesser Inscription, then just tabard the rest of the rep (or run the dailies, up to you).

Ramkahen (Uldum)

I was prepared to ignore this rep entirely, then I realized our Arcanum comes from here. Bah. I will probably wait on this rep as well and use the Wildhammer arcanum as a fillin (see below)

Wildhammer Clan (Twilight Highlands)

You will want to quest extensively in Twilight Highlands for the quest reward gear (best available pre-instance, in most cases). As such, you’ll have a good bit of rep anyway. The Leggings are okay, but not really worth it (they’re an upgrade over the quest reward piece, but not a large one, and the JP item is superb). As mentioned above, the Wildhammer arcanum is a decent fillin until you grind Ramkahen. Finally, the gloves are EXCELLENT and are pre-raid BiS.

Baradin’s Wardens (Tol Barad)

Well, now. That’s the way to make me do PvP; put a great weapon and a great trinket on the vendor. :) That weapon should be your first priority; as with any melee DPS class, upgrading our weapon increases our damage output considerably, and the trinket is likely pre-raid BiS. Sadly, I believe the only way to rep up with your Tol Barad faction is via daily quests; once you hit 85, if you see that TB is up, stop queuing and get questing! (Remember, there’s only an hour between battles.)


After review, once I hit 85, I think I’ll be grinding the factions to Exalted in this order. If you disagree, let me know in the comments! Thanks.

  1. Baradin’s Wardens (use your dailies here)
  2. Wildhammer Clan (tabard this first)
  3. Ramkahen (ONLY to Revered, for the Arcanum)
  4. The Earthen Ring
  5. Therazane
  6. Guardians of Hyjal
  7. Ramkahen (Exalted)
 Posted by at 11:46 am

  16 Responses to “Cataclysm Faction Analysis”

  1. First off I’d just like to say thanks for throwing in some content on this slow Monday. MMO champ is all filler and coming here was a nice surprise to have some new discussion. I agree completely with doing Wildhammer/Dragonmaw prior to doing Ramkahen. Sure, I want the camel and our proper arcanum, but those gloves and the mastery arcanum are quite the choice.

    Is there any word on what rep you are with Hyjal by the time you hit 82 and are relatively done with the zone? My plan was to try to get the chestpiece before I left the zone, then do Deepholm to get . Thanks again Alaron!

    • You’re welcome. :)

      According to Reesi at Inconspicuous Bear, questing through Hyjal should easily get you to Honored, and possibly Revered if you clear every quest in the zone.

      (FWIW, I’ll be doing the same as you, quest-wise.)

  2. How’d the Thundering Skyflares work out for you, Al? Despite the annoucement changing things back, I’ve still been making money hand over fist on my server, and I have a fairly low population/not that great progressionwise one.

    • Made the money back off the recipe I bought for 1200g, but not much more than that. I’ve been able to sell them for ~70g, though, which is a pretty good markup.

  3. I plan to use both Melee-Trinkets from Tol-Barad (the Str-Version: at first, it’s a two-in-one-deal for me until something better comes along.

    • I did some checking into this when I wrote my gear list, and a str item is roughly equivalent to an agi item three tiers below (with a tier either being 13 ilvl points or a color difference, eg. blue/purple) In short, the str Tol Barad trink is probably a bit better than a green quest reward, but that’s about it.

  4. I was wondering if anyone was able to take advantage of the glitch that allowed you as level 80 to buy level 85 items with justice points. I was too late but know a couple people that got up to 3 items and are now doing more easy heroics to get their total of JP’s back to 4000.

    As a side note let’s say we hit 85 spend 3850 on 2 lvl 85 items. Can we go back to WOTLK heroics and get more easy JP’s that way? Wouldn’t this be faster than doing Cata runs? Does anyone know if Blizz will allow it?

    • No. From the blue post:

      “It’s important to note that once you outgrow content, by leveling past it by a predetermined amount, you’ll no longer gain points. The ‘outgrown’ level for end-game Wrath of the Lich King content is likely to be level 81. Once you level beyond Lich King content you’ll still be able to enter the dungeons, kill bosses, and see their drops, but they will not award you with points. This same principle applies to all content that provides Justice Points, including content from The Burning Crusade. “

      • Bummer. That means the lucky few really got a big break with this glitch.

        Speaking of gear kitties pretty much will be ignoring hit/expertise and going for just agility in enchants/gemming. Reforging will most likely be haste to mastery or crit.

        But bears need hit/expertise till capped due to the new tanking setup. So I guess this means that for those who want to dual spec or even hybrid spec you will need two complete gear sets. While the gear item might be the same our reforging, enchants and gemming will benefit either kitty or bear and not both.

  5. […] bloggers have posted before me now. I’ll still list the items, but it is worth going over to The Fluid Druid to check out the discussion of faction gear for feral cat druids. Much of that discussion applies […]

  6. Alaron, have you found that the Spear of Trailing Shadows will benefit cats more than the same tiered weapons from heroics that have a haste/mastery combo? I’m wondering how cats will fair with low hit in Cata, and how low we can get under 960 to still be efficient.

    • My understanding right now is that hit/expertise for cats is way down the list. In fact over at Tossk’s they are saying that it’s agility (around 2.7) and nothing else is close. Mastery comes next at around .97 then crit followed by haste/hi/expertise which are lumped together.

      In other words you can basically ignore hit/expertise. If an item has it then fine but take mastery and higher agility over it.

    • Actually, strength is next closest (around 2) then yeah, the secondary stats are all below 1. Mastery is the best of them, then the rest are all pretty clumped together. I’ll have RSV’s up with my updated feral guide.

      • Thanks Alaron i forgot about strength. BTW, for reading tons of leaving stuff the hybrid spec just might be the best way to level. helps save your butt if you aggro two or more mobs and bear form level 81 on with Thrash does decent damage with enjoying goor mitigation and avoidance. I think I’ll be leveling in the hybrid spec.

  7. This is fantastic, helps me soo much! One thing though.. I see that you are not counting strenght items at all. (Hyjal has a good strenght ring for example) Strenght is very good for us aswell, could u maybe add them as an option somewhere in the post after each faction? :)

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