I don't care about my Bloodsail reputation, but I would like four new exalted factions. What's the quickest and easiest way for a level 80 player to get exalted with the four Steamwheedle Cartel factions?
Endless runs of DM north. You'll get 350 points for completing Free Knot! and 75 points for each repeated turn if of the Gordok Ogre Suit
Sorry. This is the quickest way if you want to preserve Bloodsail rep.
Make sure you've done these quests first:
Then follow this guide:
I would like to point out a faster (and as yet unmentioned) way to get Steamwheedle rep. Specifically, grinding Southsea Freebooters (just south of Ratchet) and Wastewander (and/or Southsea Pirates) in Tanaris. I find the rep/hour is much better than grinding shackle keys in Diremaul -- at least for me, who averages just over 2 keys/hour in DM (despite killing all 5 guards/captains 5 times an hour). And this can actually be done all the way to Exalted, if you are smart about when you grind what.
*I actually find that the Southsea Pirates (in the cove in eastern Tanaris) are a faster grind than Wastewander, since they are far more clumped. But I haven’t done extensive testing.
Rep Rates in Diremaul:
Even if you get 5 keys per hour in DM + 10 Tannins (1 from knot, 1 from basket), the theoretical absolute maximum rep/hour is 5x350 + 10x75 = 2500. My own rates (based on 4 separate 1-hour tests) were closer to 1150 rep/hour (2 keys + 6 tannins) for 5 full “miniboss clears” per hour. My luck absolutely STINKS though, so I’d be willing to accept that you can average up to 2000 rep/hour in DM.
Rep rates outside Ratchet:
Nothing complex here: I have been able to maintain well over 2500 rep/hour without too much effort simply running around killing southsea freebooters (and Baron Longshore). This is 2500/hour Everlook/Booty Bay/Gadget “spillover” rep -- actually 5k/hour Ratchet rep, and I have read that 3k-3.5k/hour spillover is possible.
Rep rates in Tanaris:
Have only done limited testing here, but was able to maintain 2100 rep/hour grinding wastewander (while half asleep) and I am guessing a good deal more from the southsea pirates. Again this is 2100/hour Everlook/Booty Bay/Ratchet “spillover” rep -- actually 4.2k/hour Ratchet rep.
The point is, even the half-credit “spillover” rep is faster grinding pirates than what you can get in DM.
Getting to exalted:
Most people assume that because the direct rep from pirates stops at revered, that you must go to DM (or zap giants) to get to exalted. This is untrue. The key is to switch zones at different points in your grind to make sure you are always progressing:
grind one area at full-credit until you hit revered (and stop gaining rep with the local faction)
switch to the other zone and grind until you hit exalted with the originally capped faction
switch back to original zone to finish grinding the other 3 factions to exalted.
Example (which I am using personally, though only about 30% through step 2a.):
Started grinding south of ratchet, from 0/36000 hated for all 4 factions
Grind Ratchet rep to 11999/12000 (revered), resulting in the 3 other factions at 31500/36000 hated
Switch to Tanaris, and grind until Ratchet is exalted (another 21000 rep), resulting in:
Everlook & Booty Bay at 1500/12000
Gadgetzan at 11999/12000
Switch again to pirates south of ratchet, until all factions are exalted
The downside is that you don’t earn any cash (the rep rates assume no looting), but it is definitely faster than the DM key grind, even if your luck is considerably better than mine.
I hope the above makes sense. It certainly does work, but it may be beyond my ability to explain it clearly & concisely in a single email.
Some additional information that may help you with your goal of reaching exalted with the Steamwheedle Cartel can be found over at WoWWiki.com.
Specifically, you will want to look into the reputation page and select the portion of the Steamwheedle Cartel you are currently working on.
For your convenience, the links to each of the members of the cartel are listed below: