I’m very certain that I’ve said this before, but I do not view dailies as actual game content. I can understand why they are there – to provide a distraction and something to do. Perhaps it’s to help increase reputation with a faction, perhaps there’s some reward at the end of it but I do not feel that it should be an on-going, and almost required part of the game.
Dailies were introduced back in Burning Crusade in the 2.1 patch with three different factions: The Sha’tari Skyguard, Ogri’la, and the Netherwing. Each of these dailies were optional. They didn’t provide any major reward to help advance your character. Netherwing required that you have the the 280% flying speed training before you could access it, your end reward was the Netherwing Drakes. The Skyguard battled the Skettis in Terrorkar forest. Your only tangible reward were a cloak, trinket, a pet, and mounts (and this was before you had them in a menu – you had them in your bags!). Ogri’la provided nothing, really. There were some items that you could get if you farmed for them but more than likely your character would have out-geared their usefulness.
Those three factions required that you do dailies to earn your reputation with them. They didn’t have tabards, nor did they have dungeons associated with them. There was a variety of different ways that reputation was earned in Burning Crusade. Honor Hold/Thrallmar was earned by doing the Hellfire Citadel dungeons. Lower City was through the dungeons in Terrokar. The Sha’Tar was earned through the Tempest Keep instances. The Consortium was done through Mana Tombs, turning in Obsidian Warbeads or Zaxxis Insignias. The Mag’har/Kurenai was through grinding mobs and turning in Obsidian Warbeads. The Keepers of Time was through running the two Caverns of Times dungeons.
None of them had any dailies associated with them. Rather, you were able to grind dungeons or mobs for repeatable turn ins. This is the go at your own pace method of leveling.
As we moved into Wrath, and as applied to Cataclysm. Rep grinds were done through tabards. Dailies were still available for most of the factions but instead you could put on your tabard and grind dungeons till your eyes bled. This method worked the best, in my opinion. Let’s say I logged on on a Saturday afternoon, I threw on my Wyrmrest Accord tabard and did some dungeons. After a few hours I could’ve gone from halfway in Friendly to just hitting Honored. This worked nicely. I took a nice chunk out of the reputation grind in a few hours and I was able to do it on my free time.
Mists of Pandaria, once again changed the paradigm for the worst. AS you hit level 90 you’re given four major factions: The Golden Lotus, The Klaxxi, The August Celestials, The Shado-Pan. There are other, more casual and optional factions: The Tillers, The Anglers, The Lorewalkers, and Order of the Cloud Serpent.
The problem with all of these factions (minus the Lorewalkers) is that they require you to do dailies. I can understand dailies for the latter factions listed above. They don’t provide any meaningful gain to your character, but they provide fun, interesting vanity rewards so they can be done more leisurely.
The other factions though have gear rewards, they provide a meaningful gain to your player. The rewards though are obviously gated behind reputation. The only way to get your reputation was through dailies.
My issue with treating dailies as content like this is that (to me and I’m sure others feel this way) you feel like you have to log on every day to do your dailies. Yes, you can log on and do the dailies at your leisure, but doing the dailies for all the factions you want may consume all the play time you had set aside for the evening. If you miss a day you’re one day further behind on getting your rep up. The old model worked fantastically. Blizzard felt that chain-running dungeons wasn’t really compelling to a reputation grind. I don’t see how dailies are any better. They’re just as repetitive as running dungeons but at the end of the day, you can chain run dungeons on your own time. Dailies make you log in every day and spend 15-30 minutes for one faction.
I personally had a burn out from doing all these dailies. Klaxxi, Golden Lotus, August Celestials, Shado Pan (the last two don’t even open until you’ve done the Golden Lotus rep grind!), The Tillers, and the Anglers were my focus. Everyday I logged in and did their dailies. When I first hit 90, my initial impression was “There’s a lot to do!”. When I realized that “a lot to do” was really “a lot of dailies” I dwindled the dailies that I actually did. On the flip side though as I saw the gear that I could potentially earn, it made me feel guilty for not doing those dailies as I was missing out on potential gear upgrades.
Blizzard was kind enough to add in Grand Commendations available at Revered which increased your reputation gain with that faction, across all of your characters by 100%. Okay, great that means there’s less dailies I have to do but it still means I have to log in every day to do them.
I can see where Blizzard is coming from though. If they kept things the way they were, people would chain dungeons and be done. You wouldn’t really get to know the factions that well, and I’ll admit they’ve done a great job with the story progression of the factions (though again, it seemed that as your reputation went up you simply had more dailies to do – Golden Lotus being the prime example). They could have easily done the dual progression system though. Let people chain dungeons but also offer story/lore based quests for the faction as your reputation went up. That way people would still have some vested interest in the faction and what they do but at the same time still let people earn their reputation on their own time and at a pace they preferred.
At the end of the day, I hope Blizzard is able to take the feedback that they’ve likely heard since Mists came out and re-think their design philosophy for dailies and reputation grinding. If a faction is meant for fun and doesn’t have any meaningful upgrades for a player, then I’m okay with having to do dailies because it’s solely for my own enjoyment. But if it’s meant as a way for the player to have some tangible power increase, then they need to make it a little less painful through the tabard dungeon system, or even the Burning Crusade model.