Glorious suns have started to burst through the sky all over Pandaria. Suddenly, my heart is lighter, my mood well… sunnier. The end of the faction grind is in sight.

For what has seemed like years, but in fact is less than two months, I’ve been dragging myself through various sets of dailies, and have ranted about the downsides of it in fair detail on this blog. Now, all the ends seem to be coming together at once. What were maverick trains, apparently careening in all directions at different speeds, have somehow come together. I finished Klaxxi two nights ago, finished Shado Pan tonight quite unexpectedly (I thought I had two days left) and Golden Lotus is due to end tomorrow. August Celestials, which has dragged behind the others simply because you don’t get as many quests for them per day, is due to finish in a couple of days. Not sure how they caught up! I thought I’d need another week, or thereabouts, on them. I’ve bought the Klaxxi Amber Scorpion mount, the Shado Pan riding tigers and did the quest chain that comes after exalted with SP to get myself an Onyx Cloud Serpent. I really feel I’ve worked for these mounts.

Finishing the faction grinds gives a beautiful feeling in game. Such a relief. It’s so euphoric, I’ve even considered doing it all again on another character in a while. Not immediately, of course. I’m not that masochistic, and one of the reasons the dailies have become less painful for me is that my Hunter has far better gear now, as he slowly works through buying the valor point gear and getting a few drops from raids. I knew this would happen, because it did before in Tol Barad, but it was hard to visualise it at the start when the mobs were so tough and took ages to kill. I know starting again on a new character will be just as horrible to begin with, and I’ll wonder why the hell I’m bothering. I won’t even consider doing this until after the next patch with the reputation improvements. Then, I’ll see. All I can say to everyone still doing this content they might not particularly enjoy is stick with it, because the glorious dawn of putting it all behind you (for now at least) will come for you too.

I don’t know if it’s the same on every realm, but for the past week or so I’ve been doing my dailies late at night, just after the reset, which is 2 a.m. in the UK, and there have hardly been any other players around. Each daily hub has been painless to do and I’ve managed to get the whole lot done very quickly. The only bad quests are the ones that require items from slain mobs; the drop rates are still bad. But if you’ve got herds and herds of mushans roaming about, for example, it doesn’t take that long to get your four rare tongues off them. This will be because more and more players are finishing their grinds. Only a short while ago, there just wasn’t a good time to do the dailies because everywhere was always busy, at whatever time of the day or night. Pretty soon, the peak time of early evening will probably be the only time it’s a pain in terms of competition with other players.

One thing about finishing the rep grinds – it’s going to take a massive chunk out of my weekly valor point earnings. We’ve not been doing many heroics recently, mainly because with no useful gear from them for anyone they’ve become a bit dull. I’ve been doing LFR (shudder) to help boost the VPs and will have to continue with that. I don’t really fancy doing dailies for nothing, other than VPs. A group of us tried a Challenge Mode dungeon again earlier tonight, thinking this might be a good way to earn our VPs post faction grind. We tried Temple of the Jade Serpent, which went great. We got to the last boss with about 12 minutes to spare for a Bronze Medal on our first try, and were dizzy with excitement, but then everything went bad. The adds on the last boss defeated us, well made mincemeat of us. We realised we’re going to have to practice these, and keep practicing, and read up, and watch more videos on You Tube for tactics and tips, but it will all be worth it in the end, I think.

I want to talk about our experiences of raiding in Mists, but will do that another time. I’m quite busy at the moment in real life, so haven’t had time to write anything thorough. Soon!