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Is your reputation in Mop important? Do you gain anything when you are making friends with the tillers?
The Tillers are one of several new factions in Pandaria, but they come with a couple of unique twists. First, you get to have your own farm for growing cooking ingredients through some unique phasing and a quest chain with a pandaren who is new to farming. In order to upgrade your farm and get more plots for planting, you have to get the approval of the other farmers around the area, which you can complete by increasing your reputation with the Tillers and completing a series of dailies.
Second, you can improve your farm itself, through befriending the various people you’ll meet around the area. You’ll start out as strangers to these characters, but over time you can earn reputation and make friends. Once you’ve reached best friend status, each character will mail you some items, and send an improvement or two for your farm. So what’s the best way to a Tillers’ heart? Some would say through the stomach, but I’d have to say through the judicious use of gifts.Scattered throughout the farmlands near Halfhill, you’ll find small hills of Dark Soil that you can interact with. Each pile holds a gift that can be given to the Tillers NPCs. There are five different possible gifts you can find, and there’s no limit to the amount of gifts you can hold at any given time, nor is there a limit on how many times you can give an NPC a gift per day. So you can simply gather as many gifts as possible and pile them on an NPC if you wish.
However, you’ll want to make sure you’re giving the right gift to the right person. Each time you give someone a gift, you’ll get reputation. You don’t have to give the NPC the item they want most, but if you do, you’ll net far more reputation than if you give them something that isn’t their favorite. But this also means that if you’re already best friends with the only two NPCs that really like Lovely Apples, you can go ahead and hand any remaining apples to someone else. They won’t mind at all!
In addition to farm items, some NPCs may offer different perks. In the case of Farmer Fung, his daily involves flying a kite and watering fields. Once you’re best friends with him, you’ll be able to pick from several different kites to ride around on as you do your daily. In the case of Fish Fellreed, once you’ve become enough of a friend, she’ll tell you a tale of a lost map and a treasure. Supposedly you can find the map in game and subsequently find the treasure for an achievement, but I haven’t found the map just yet!
While the rewards for becoming best friends with the Tillers don’t really affect the size of your farm, they’re still a nice bonus to all the farming. And although all the listed NPCs also have food they like to eat, finding the Dark Soil doesn’t require any cooking at all. Keep your eyes peeled for Dark Soil anywhere in the farmlands of the Valley of the Four Winds, and anywhere you’re sent to do daily quests for the Tillers.