Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cata Factions: A Moonkin Point of View

To be honest, I traditionally haven't paid a lot of attention to the different factions in WoW. This isn't to say that they didn't have value, but historically they haven't had a lot of impact on my play.

In The Burning Crusade I hit level 70 several months after most players and the early guilds I was in didn't stress min/maxing or getting the most out of your faction reps. Plus, there wasn't a whole lot of gear available to Moonkin in those days and I was irrationally stuck on leather. Not to mention it was difficult to find groups as a moonkin.

In Wrath of the Lich King, I paid a little more attention to the faction rewards. I tried to grind some of them out quickly but it quickly became apparent that wasn't really necessary. The T7 Raids were relatively easy. I was getting better gear from Naxx and Sarth before I could grind the rep needed to purchase other items. As a result my effort lost steam quickly.

If we believe Blizzards claims, Cataclysm is going to be different. I can tell you from experience that we won't be using a single piece of T10 raid gear when we start raiding in Cataclysm, and the quest greens we receive while leveling are unlikely to be good enough as well. Normal dungeons and Heroics are going to be our primary sources of gear when we try and make the leap to raids, but that is not the only source we should pay attention to. In this post I want to take a look at the different factions being added and what they provide us as moonkin interested in raiding.

(Please Note: Some of the items listed are faction specific. Most of the items have the same name for both factions, but there are a few exceptions. To make things a little easier on myself I am listing only the Horde version.)

Hellscream's Reach/Baradin's Wardens:

These are the Horde and Alliance factions related to Tol Barad, the Wintergrasp style PvP zone being added in Cataclysm. Even though these factions are PvP related the Rep Rewards they provide are not, and there are several good items that a raiding moonkin will want.

The primary way to get rep with these factions is through Daily Quests. According WoWhead there are 34 daily quests that grant rep with these factions, but If I remember correctly you only get access to them or some of them if your faction controls the zone.

The Good Stuff:
[Stump of Time] - In my opinion, this is probably the most important faction related gear option. I'm sure some of you think I'm crazy for being concerned about hit capping, but I like this item for a couple of reasons. First, I think Hit capping is going to be harder then a lot of people expect and picking up a nice big chunk of Hit from a Trinket can be a big help. Second, there are not a lot of good DPS trinket options, and those that drop from raids will be highly sought after by all caster DPS players.

[Hellscream's Reach Tabard] - I think some of you will roll your eyes at me for this one as well, and you might be right. However, I'm a big fan of the teleport feature. Call me crazy if you like, but given that the Cataclysm zones are all spread out I like being able to change continents in the blink of eye. I realize that there will be portals every were to make travel easier, but I also like the peace of mind knowing that I can pop this target or my Moonglade Port and catch a bird to where ever I want to go (except Deepholm).

The Other Stuff:
[Shimmering Morningstar]
[Insidious Staff]

Overall Impression:
I really like the hit trinket and think a lot of people will be using it for most of T11 content. At revered you are also able to pick up a couple of good weapons that could make the transition to raids easier. This faction also has a couple of mounts and pets that don't impact raid, but will be attractive to some people.


This is the Sons of Hodir for Cataclysm, but a little different. You start out as Hated with Therazane but you should be Honored by the time you unlock the daily quests while questing in Deepholm. Once you are Honored, you can gain rep by completing the daily quests or by using their tabard.

The Good Stuff:
[Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone] - The shoulder enchant will be required of all raiders, but it's only 20 Int and 5 Haste better then the blue version. If you are a scribe then you can get a better enchant from your profession.

The Other Stuff:
[Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone]
[Diamant's Ring of Temperance]

Overall Impression:
A necessary but lackluster faction if you as me. The shoulder enchants are the main draw, but the Greater Inscription isn't that much better then the Lesser version you should get just by questing through the zone. If I wasn't a scribe I would probably do the daily quests as much as possible, but save my Tabard rep for other factions.

Dragonmaw Clan/Wildhammer Clan:

These are the factions associated with the Twilight Highlands, one of the new Cataclysm zones. You will gain some rep with these factions by completing quests in the zone, but the primary way you will gain rep is by wearing their tabard in max level dungeons.

The Good Stuff:
[Yellow Smoke Pendant] - Not an ideal choice for a moonkin since it provides Crit and Mastery instead of Hit or Haste.

[Withered Dream Belt] - This is a great starter belt for a Moonkin. It provides all of the stats we will need heading into raids and has a gem socket.

The Other Stuff:
[Band of Lamentation]
[Spaulders of the Endless Plains]

Overall Impression:
Having two usable Epics makes this a great faction for a moonkin. The neck is a bit weak, but the belt will likely be a priority for a a lot of players. The two blue items are decent as short term solutions as we gear up for raids and heroics.

Guardians of Hyjal:

As you have probably guessed this faction is associated with Mount Hyjal, one of the new Cataclysm zones. There are a ton of quests in the zone that will provide you with this rep, but they also have a tabard to allow you to gain rep in dungeons.

The Good Stuff:
[Arcanum of Hyjal] - This is the caster head enchant that will be required of all raiders. It is bind on account so technically you only need to be revered on one toon, but if you Moonkin is your main then this item alone makes this faction important to you.

The Other Stuff:
[Aessina-Blessed Gloves]
[Cloak of the Dryads]

Overall Impression:
Guardians of Hyjal is a pretty mediocre faction for moonkins. If it wasn't for the head enchant I would tell you to ignore it completely. I didn't pay a lot of attention to factions in the beta, but my hope is that quests in the zone will get you most of the way to revered, then just few dungeons will finish it off. Once you hit revered I would switch tabards, because there is no practical reason to take this faction to exalted.

The Earthen Ring:

From a lore perspective The Earth Ring seems to be the primary faction in Cataclysm much like the Ardent Crusade was in WotLK. They are all over the place. They have a large presence in Vashj'ir, Deepholm, and the Twilight Highlands. Plus, they provide the portals in the capital cities. I wouldn't be surprised if they drove the lore behind most of the raid instances as well.

From a more practical perspective they are no different then any other faction. There are a lot of quests that provide Earthen Ring Rep, but none of them are dailies. Again, the primary source of rep will be with the tabard.

The Good Stuff:
Unfortunately the Earthen Ring doesn't have any usable epics for a Moonkin or any enchants that make it worth the effort.

The Other Stuff:
[Leggings of Clutching Roots]
[Cloak of Ancient Wisdom]
[Pendant of Elemental Balance]

Overall Impression:
It does have some decent blue items, but the reality is there are better factions to level. By the time you could get the Earthen Ring to Revered you should have better gear from heroics or raids. This faction should purely be an after thought.


This is Uldum's faction. There are a lot of quests in the zone that will provide Ramkahen rep, but once again the primary way you will need to level it up is with the tabard.

The Good Stuff:
No enchants. No epics. Not even a heroic level blue item.

The Other Stuff:
[Ammunae's Blessing]

Overall Impression:
And I thought that the Earthen Ring was bad. There are only two positive things I can say about this faction. First, if you have a Feral offspec then you will want to level it eventually because it does have the Agi head enchant. Second, if you are interested in riding a camel then you will want to level it because two of them are exalted rep rewards.


HR/BW - As a faction with several good items, I would make doing the Tol Barad daily quests a priority.

Therazane - Important for non scribes, but the Greater Enchants aren't good enough to make it the number one priority in my opinion.

DC/WC - With several good epics and superior items, these factions should be a high priority for any moonkin.

GoH - Because of the head enchant I will probably level this one first, but I will drop it in favor of DC/WC as soon as I get to revered.

TER - Nothing much of value for a moonkin. Skip it.

Ramkahen - Even worse the TER. Skip it.


Gevlon said...

You did not mention cloth. Is the leather mastery good enough to keep several leveling greens/blues instead of epic/top-blue cloths?

I understand that the final raiding gear will be leather-only, the question refers to the preparation phase.

Gevlon said...

Also, a tip: if you want GoH rep, captain obvious says to start in Hyjal and not Vashij'ir

Graylo said...


Yes, the Leather mastery is that good. Think of it this way. According to my current armory I have 2203 Int. 105 of that comes from Leather Specialization. There is not an item I could pick up that would make up for that 105 Int I would lose by using a single cloth item.

The only time wearing cloth would make sense was if you making big iLevel jumps in gear, but likely isn't all that practical in the long run. For example, some of the epic cloth rewards may be enough to make you use them instead of a leveling green leather item, but the time it takes to obtain them makes them impractical. Most of the reps are primarily increase by running dungeons. Along the way you will be exposed to heroic level gear which would like me make the cloth item a down grade.

In short, some of the cloth might be an upgrade technically, but it's impractical in the long run and not really worth concidering.

Jod said...

You are right with the Hit Cap, it is going to be harder to reach - even in full T11 gear I had to put an extrodinary amount of gems, chants and reforging into getting Hit Capped on my Beta Druid and Shaman, and my brotehr did on his Shaman and Warrior.

From what I had gathered from trade chat rumor on the beta it was to do with scaling .. so that instead of capping hot easily and working on other stats like we did in Wrath we will start out having to work on the hot Cap and it will becme less worrisome as tiers progress then allowing us to work on other stats.

I have no idea if that is true but I do know that without a lot of work T11 is far from Hit capped so anything you can get outside that is going to be really useful.

Myllo of Durotan said...

1)thanks for showing out the factions, saves me the time preparing and looking at it myself. Definatly now have a direction I'm going once servers are up.

2) While I think hit cap may be tough to get, it's not as hard as I think your making it out to be. Simple fact is, a lot of leather gear as spirit or hit on it, and the ones that don't...well, that's what the forging's for.

3) Starsurge doesn't consume the instant anymore while casting it! Yay! Is it me, or did it feel like everytime it proc'd I was already casting it? lawls

Bolink said...

Myllo...same here on proc for Starsurge just as it's being cast! Really nice breakdown on new reps. Really got a decent idea of a plan of attack. Thanks!

lissanna said...

On cloth - Any time I tried to equip cloth in Cataclysm Beta, my DPS went down, even if the item looked like a huge upgrade. It ends up just being a pain in the neck to try and pick up cloth.

On rep mounts - When you are done grinding out important factions, you should do Ramkahen if you are a mount collector just for the camels! But, wait until you finish more important things, lol.

Genaro said...

Very useful summary.

If you level 80-82ish in Mount Hyjal by completing all quests then you will be revered with GOH and that is all you need for the head enchant.

Wildhammer Clan have 5 dailies that allow rep to be levelled relatively quickly. There is a caster dps ring reward at revered - is missing from your list here (and also the gear list)

Therazane has 3 dailies that will allow levelling rep for the shoulder enchant.

Onwards and upwards!

Genaro said...

Correction to my post above-

Therazane have SIX dailies to boost your rep for shoulder enchants to the exalted target.

At 250 rep each that's 1,500 rep a day (before any rep faction bonuses).

Anonymous said...

soz for posting a little offtopic here but im curious about this trinket.

is it worth to farm as moonkin? and how high does it rank against other trinkets. i couldnt comment on your raidgear list post.

Parasha - Aszune EU