Happy New Year!
My guild has been enjoying a nice holiday break from raiding. This has given me an opportunity to see the other side of the Pandaria reputation system, and I have to say I see some real positives to it.
The Pandaria reputation system of dailies has been decried pretty much universally across the interwebs, and at first I was in total agreement. The issue I saw with it was it essentially provided a second gate to gear. As a time constrained player, I was getting Valor in raids and dungeons, but then I would lack the reputation to spend the Valor because I hadn't done the requisite dailies.
Eventually I started to get caught up on my reputations, and buying some Valor gear to fill in for the raid drops. With the pressure to get 'raid ready' off, I could see the upside.
Usually, by this point in an expansion raid nights were about the only night I would really play my main very much. They were the only place left for me to improve my gear. Log in, raid, log out.
What the new reputation system has done is given me a reason to continue playing my main, even on nights when I don't raid. I can still build up Valor and reputation needed to buy gear that will be an upgrade for my character. It gives a purpose and a goal to the grind, and its kept me playing my main longer than any other expansion I can remember. It has almost done too good a job. My poor disenchanting alt is still mired in the low 30s.
As an added bonus, we've gotten some fantastic, progressive lore to go along with the grind. The Klaxxi quests introduce you to new questgivers and new dailies at every major reputation increase. Their lore has been exciting, but the best implementation of this has been the Dominance Offensive dailies. It seems like every couple of days I open up another story quest. These quests are great for a lore nut like me because they show some seismic changes happening within the Horde.
Since I've switched back to Blood Elf from Tauren, I was most delighted to encounter Lorethar on one of the Dominance Offensive quests. I'll talk about why I switched later.
Between the lore, and the gear rewards, these dailies have not felt like a grind. I've wanted to do them and as a bonus I've kept playing my main and thoroughly enjoying the class. The Pandaria take on Paladin might be the best one yet, but I'll have to save that for another time.