We all know the reputation grind, we do it for various items and rewards, to get into heroics and recipes, patterns, enchants, etc.
Now, what I always find rather ironic and amusing (if not done to me, but irritating if done to me!) is the thought that while reputation grinding, some people are in fact ruining their reputation by sheer asshattery.
Kill stealing, node ninjaing, watching someone die when you can save them... all these things go into making your own personal reputation... which by the way, includes not only your name, but the name that's listed under yours. (aka Your Guild)
You can argue ... all I need is one more skill point, mob, item, point of experience, etc. But it doesn't change the simple fact that all of the above is just plain rude. It's somewhat something that as a society we are moving more towards. You can see it in the way people drive, buy, walk...
But I digress slightly. You never know what the person you steal from, be it you think it's a deserved 'steal' or not, is. Are they a guild master to a small guild, yet know a lot of people? Will your name make the rounds as someone to not party with? Will your guild now be ostrasized because of your actions? Or maybe that person is a member of a bigger guild, and says 'Asshat just stole from me' in guild... suddenly, there are a lot of people who know your name and it isn't in a nice way.
I will admit, in the thrill of the hunt while you're chasing down mob after mob looking for something, especially in the field of mote farming (damn you engineers, damn you!), kill stealing goes on. In my own world, I wait and see. I'll play fair and if you play fair, I will continue to play fair. I won't take ten mobs at a single time just because I can if I see that someone else is farming the mobs. I won't take a mob that I can see you're obviously running towards. And if you get into trouble... I will help.
I ask before I skin or herbalize a giant. I ask before I mine. Sure, you may lose out on the node or skin or herb... but how do you feel when someone does it to you? If your argument is that you do it because other people do it to you... maybe they do it to you because someone once did it to them. Maybe you're part of the vicious cycle and by asking... you help break it and make the game a nicer place for everyone. Maybe not, but does it hurt to ask?
Do you regularly say rude things in general or trade? Do you curse? Do you portray yourself and your guild in a negative light? My guild has and will actively deguild people who portray us in a bad light. We don't want you if that's how little you care about your, and our, reputation.
Do you pull 'tricks' in BGs? They aren't funny to anyone but you and other asshats if you do. The /afk trick, the portal trick, the getting new people to accidentally go through the instance exit. None of them are funny and all of them brand you as a stupid fish if you do them. The person who got tricked (both myself and Boon have been tricked out of battlegrounds before, back before we knew about the tricks) doesn't thank you for it. They 1: lost out on a battleground that may or may not have won, but they lost honor regardless, 2: now have deserter status and can't BG until it's gone and 3: are probably contacting a GM or if you are from a guild on their server, your guild master about what you just did. I don't care if the tricked person is a nub for falling for the trick. I'm not stupid. I am however, naive. If you say 'click this portal to XYZ', I will try to be helpful. I fell for this, by the way, when I was an ignorant newbie to battlegrounds. I was also tricked into leaving a battleground by chasing a hordie who ran into the instance exit in AB. I didn't know what it was. I figured if the horde was going into it and nothing was happening, why should something happen to me?
The same goes for instancing and pugging. How do you carry yourself? How do you handle loot distribution if you're group leader, or how much loot do you try to take if you're a group member? Are you fair? Or do you give things to your friends and give a big middle finger to people you don't know?
Are you a terrible CC breaker as a DPS? Can you never manage to resheep or otherwise control your target? Do you pretend to know everything? (unlike me, I do in fact know everything) Can you do your job? Are you the warlock being out DPSed by the protection warrior? Are you the retribution paladin who constantly pulls aggro from the tank? Do you know your job? Do you laugh as you fail in your job and say 'lolzwut?' when people say 'wtf are you doing?'
I read a WoW Insider Article the other day about how to PuG a tank, and in it, a hunter was mentioned as being very rude and nasty to his party members. And in the end, that hunter had such a name for himself that it turned around and bit him in the ass. Likewise, I read another article about a warlock that took an epic tank>PvP trinket from the tank to use as a PvP trinket. The story made it to the official forums and WoW Insider. What do you think his reputation is like now? Was the trinket worth it?
There are guilds on my server that when I see them in my group, inwardly I groan and cringe. If I'm looking for a member, I'll take a member that's in an unknown guild rather than in one of THOSE guilds. Can that person be a perfectly nice person? Can they be well played in their abilities? Yes. But I've had experience with someone else in their guild that reflected so badly on the person that it carried over to the guild and stuck with me! Maybe it wasn't even from PuGging with them, but from them doing something else?
Consider how many people I PuG with? (a lot) Consider how many names I've encountered and how many guilds? If you stand out as someone I want to party with again, that's good. If you stand out as someone or a guild that I can't stand to party with ever again?... that's kind of bad.
My last thought about reputation is personal. My personal reputation is that I am a good player. I know my job. I pull aggro. I do OMGWTF DPS as Kikidas. I win every roll that I roll on. I'm bossy. I know instances. I know quests.
I would like to think that I AM a good general player. I have a lot of alts and I try to learn about them before I go running my mouth. I generally preface any statements with 'I think' or 'Maybe', because I'm not 100% certain!
I do know my job and I do my job. If I'm a hunter. I'm CCing while maintaining steady DPS. If I'm a warlock, I'm seducing or banishing while maintaining DPS. If I'm a .. you get the point. Do I pretend I know how to play a holy paladin or a tanking paladin? No. I don't have one of those. I do play with them though and if you aren't doing what they're doing, I'm going to try to figure out why and (usually) correct bad behavior! (If you aren't doing it the way Owaru and Boon are doing it, sorry, you're doing it wrong! :) (I may be a bit biased.) (then again, probably not. :)
I do NOT pull aggro unless it's deliberate! I actually DO watch my aggro when I'm not the tank and I do my best to stay below it, even if it means my DPS drops as a result. I'll stop casting. I'll life-tap or darkpact. I'll bandage myself. I'll do something to drop my threat, be it feint, vanish, ice block, soulshatter, feign death... but yet, I still have the reputation of bring an aggro-hound. Probably my enjoyment of the K-Game has something to do with that reputation. Maybe? I also build aggro a lot faster and more uncontrollably than any other of my DPS characters. I dot things. Only one of them I can remove if I'm starting to get high up there, the others have to wear out on their own. This means that if soulshatter doesn't work or I've already used it, I just have to stand there and pray. And seriously... if I wanted to pull aggro deliberately, I wouldn't have respecced my shaman to restoration! C'mon, give a girl some credit here.
As Kikidas, I used to do OMGWTF DPS, especially in comparison to others of my then aquaintence. I'm scared now to bring Kikidas to anything anymore though, simply because of the expectation that exists.
If I'm lower than someone else on DPS, I'm not going to become a prissy prima donna and refuse to party with people better than me, but because people say 'OMG! I out DPSed Kikidas! Wow! Look what I did! OMG!' and it makes me feel bad. Stupid, no?
Here I am, the (almost) ultimate in OP DPS, an affliction (not UA) based warlock (UA, to my knowledge, is still considered the best in DPS for warlock specs, on an over time basis) and I'm being out damaged. Some of this is that Kikidas hit a ceiling in terms of what gear she was getting and I've been playing other characters and not farming for badges for upgrades and running Mags and Gruuls and ZA and SSC and TK... and so people of my aquaintence now have better gear than I do, and a great part of my ability to DPS was simply my gear.
So I have this irrational fear that if I bring Kikidas to something with Absitively or BigPoppi again.. I'm going to fail utterly in holding up the expectation that Kikidas is the ultimate in warlock technology. Reputation can be a two edged blade and the downward spiral can be quick! Well... if I'm no longer the best DPS friendship can buy... maybe I'm not that good a player... maybe they lose their patience with my somewhat overbearing at times personality and suddenly... suddenly I'm alone.
(anyone have a hanky? I'm tearing up over here.)
I do not win every roll that I roll on. I never have. I never will. I have as equal a chance as everyone else to win a random /roll. Yet again all I hear is 'Oh is K rolling? We stand no chance.', then 'I beat K in a roll! WOW!' *sigh* Some of this is in fun. Whenever Boon wins a roll he says that he had me type the command and hit enter for him. And usually I don't mind it. Sometimes though, especially if I'm wanting to win the roll and I lose it.. it's like rubbing salt in the wound.
As to the charge that I'm bossy.... you got me there. I am specced 5/5 in Bossy. This gives me the ability to 75% of the time talk over someone else when they are talking, with a 20% chance of being completely wrong. Chance on chatter to be insulting or rude unwittingly.
I'm bossy because I know what I'm doing and I've been in too many situations where it's obvious the 'leader' doesn't. So I start to take over in the name of efficiency and a low repair bill. And now it's habit, where even when the leader knows what he's doing, or she's doing, I start to take over.
I also know instances and quests ... have you seen my list of characters? I'm Boon's very own personal leveling/instance/quest guide. I level fast and I level easy. And it's delicious. :) Of course.. the downside is that the few times where I forget something or ask someone ELSE for something, it's 'Mark this on the calender! It's a holiday now!'. Oy.
So, reputation isn't just for factions. You have your reputation as a general player, the associated reputation of your guild and then personal reputation amongst your friends. Everything you do has positive and negative effects on your standings within the population of this social game that we play.
Completing quests for the K-Brigade will lower your reputation with the Asshats.