I’m sure most of us remember grinding our HH rep for the healing head enchant; Aldor/Scryer rep for the shoulders; maybe Lower City for the prayerbook. The question on my lips lately has been: What rep will be hot for druid healers once WotLK comes out? Well, I decided to do my homework. First of all, without going into how hard it might be to get rep, I just looked at the rewards.
** KEEP IN MIND ANY OR ALL OF THIS COULD CHANGE BY RELEASE DATE **
Kicking off with the Argent Crusade, I hunted… and I hunted… and eventually, at exalted, I found one haste ring, the Signet of Hopeful Light. No regen, but a nice stack of spell power and haste. With the lack of any healing gear before exalted, I suspect I’m going to pass on this one until I’m getting desperate to find other upgrades.
Moving on to the Kirin Tor, it’s a bit more promising, with Shroud of Dedicated Research and Helm of the Majestic Stag both available at honored. While these are both quite decent items, they’re side-grades at best for me, but may be very worth picking up depending on your current gear. At exalted, you can obtain Robes of Crackling Flame, which again, I may not pick up over my T6, but I am quite tempted.
Knights of the Ebon Blade are an easy call. At revered, Sterile Flesh-Handling Gloves are a direct upgrade to my T6 gloves, and Wound-Binder’s Wristguards are a nice improvement over my current MH drop. There’s also a nice future, with exalted rewarding you with Belt of Dark Mending for your haste set.
The Frenzyheart Tribe rewards are very cloth- or leather-healy gear light. The only item you’d look at prior to exalted is Muddied Crimson Gloves, available at revered, and not particularly any better than the KotEB gloves I just mentioned. Exalted gives us Frenzyheart Insignia of Fury, with a stack of haste.
The Kalu’ak have some nice rewards available at only honored. Pigment-Stained Robes and Whale-Skin Vest are unfortunately both chest items, but they give us the option of stacking either spirit-based regen or haste, and so I personally expect to carry both of them around. At revered, you can pick up a nice haste-based weapon, the Totemic Purification Rod, and unless you’ve discovered some uber-leet super-secret healing weapon in BC, this will definitely be an upgrade over whatever you’re using at level 70.
The Oracles have very little for us. Fishy Cinch is the only interesting item, and while it’s a nice upgrade, you’re going to have to grind to revered before you can pick it up.
The Sons of Hodir is the faction we’ll be grinding out for our shoulder augments. Lesser and Greater Inscription of the Crag (at honored and exalted, respectively) are the healing-focused ones, and the mount-collectors among us will be grinding this rep anyway for our Ice Mammoth reins. Given the small improvement over our Aldor/Scryer shoulder augments, this probably won’t be a real priority though.
The final faction to look at is The Wyrmrest Accord. This is our head-glyph faction (Arcanum of Blissful Mending – revered), and has some nice items too. Ancestral Sinew Wristguards (revered) are an alternative to the KotEB ones, with slightly lower stats but a blue gem socket to make up for it. Also available at revered is Gavel of the Brewing Storm, which while itemized for dpsers, would make a good interim mace if you’re not revered with The Kalu’ak. Exalted brings Sandals of Crimson Fury, and an epic flyer as well.
On to decision time. I need to keep in mind that, like the Aldor/Scryer conflict, The Frenzyheart Tribe and The Oracles are at war. Looking at their rewards, the Frenzyheart Tribe’s exalted trinket is potentially useful (regardless of spec), while the trinket from The Oracles is very dps-focused, with a stack of crit rating. Frenzyheart Tribe is definitely my pick for resto druids.
The Argent Crusade, Kirin Tor, KotEB, and The Wyrmrest Accord all allow us to purchase tabards at friendly which allow us to apply all rep gains in instances to that particular faction. The Sons of Hodir, The Kalu’ak, and Frenzyheart/Oracles will probably be quest- and turnin-based.
For trees who didn’t gear up with T6 content (or equivalent) gear, the Kirin Tor will provide some nice quick upgrades at honored. Personally, I get to skip this step, and move straight on to The Kalu’ak as my main focus, with any other effort going to the Knights of the Ebon Blade. Once Kalu’ak is at revered, KotEB becomes the main focus, followed by Sons of Hodir. Later priorities are Wyrmrest Accord, Kirin Tor to exalted if you want the robes, and finally, The Argent Crusade. I’m still undecided about the Frenzyheart trinket, but I think it will probably slot in after Wyrmrest / Kirin tor exalted.
So there you have it: reputation reward focuses, ignoring other gear that may be available as drops and craftables. I promise I’ll be looking at dungeon drops fairly soon, and then integrate the lists. I’m thinking about trying to grab a screeny of Althura in the dressing room, with all of the rep/pre-heroic drops I should be wearing come 10-mans / heroics.